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Central California Life Magazine

3 Picturesque Weekend Getaways

Sep 29, 2016 03:17PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Carmel. Photo courtesy of the Carmel By-the-Sea website.

Part of the beauty of Fresno is that beautiful sites aren't too far away. All it takes is a quick trip down highway 99 and there plenty of stops to enjoy. 

We've put together a few ideas for some weekend getaways that are out of town, but not too far from home. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Contact: (831) 648-4800

Location: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

Tickets: Adult $49.95; Child $29.95 (Ages 3-12, under 3 free)

Student $39.95 (Ages 13-17 or college ID); Senior $39.95 (Ages 65+)

General Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a destination spot for people both in and outside of California. Nestled in the foggy coast Monterey, the aquarium has unique animals such as otters, penguins, sharks, crustaceans and so much more. 

Currently, they have a Baja Exhibit featuring flashy fishes., colorful crustaceans, and riveting reptiles. Meet them all in their new special exhibition, ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge, featuring animals from Baja's deserts, mangrove forests and coral reefs. Click here for more information about this exhibit.

For more information about other exhibits, hours, and pricing, you can visit 
their website

Nearby Accommodations

It's not a weekend getaway without somewhere to stay. There are plenty of nearby inns and hotels to consider, as well as places to dine and shop. 

Cannery Row Inn

Photo courtesy of their Yelp page.

Contact: (831) 649-8580

Location200 Foam St, Monterey, CA 93940

Located in the historic Cannery Row area on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula, Cannery Row Inn is within walking distance of the Row, the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, downtown Monterey, the Monterey Convention Center, and all the historic adobes.

Their 32 rooms offer both modern comforts and convenient amenities. Each morning they will provide a complimentary breakfast. Guests can overlook the Monterey Bay and coastal trails on their own private balcony. They also offer rooms with cozy fireplaces to relax in after a full day of sightseeing.

For more information about the Cannery Row Inn, you can visit their website


Cindy's Waterfront

Contact: (831) 648-4870

Location: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

Located at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cindy's Waterfront offers tasty American-style foods. Enjoy casual food that's perfect for the whole family including brick-oven pizzas, made-to-order burgers, fresh-tossed salads and mouthwatering desserts. All of our dishes feature the freshest, local ingredients sourced from Monterey Bay and the Central Valley.

Also offered at the Aquarium is a Cafe. 
Click here for more information. 

Cannery Row Brewing Company

Contact: (831) 643-CRBC (2722)

Location: 95 Prescott Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940

Cannery Row Brewing Company is a family-friendly, beer-concept restaurant that offers the second largest number of beers available on tap in Northern California and is the largest single outlet beer account in Monterey County. In addition to the vintage beer paraphernalia décor, diners can view the 75-plus kegs behind the glass bar, or enjoy the fog-lifting fire pits overlooking the Cannery Row recreation trails and the Monterey Bay.

For more information, visit their website

Carmel By-the-Sea

Whether you have a day -- or two or three -- Carmel-by-the-Sea will reward you with some of the world's finest scenery, historic sites, art galleries, restaurants, and boutique shops. On foot, by car, or both, there's no lack of things to do. Carmel is one of the most beautiful coastal locations in Northern California. Known for having a beautiful contrast between beaches and mountains, Carmel remains one of the top destination spots for local-area people and travelers alike.  Here are a few places to consider stopping by for a relaxing weekend getaway. 

Edgemere Cottages

Contact: (831) 624-4501

LocationSan Antonio Between 13th & Santa Lucia

Edgemere features quaint private cottages, fresh home-made breakfast, beautiful gardens, and is a one block walk to Carmel Beach.

Located just steps from the white sands of Carmel Beach, Edgemere Cottages is the perfect setting for a romantic escape to the Monterey Peninsula.  Blending European-style architecture with the beauty of the natural surroundings, Edgemere features three unique cottages, with one lovely room inside the Inn.

The Rosemont, Piccadilly and Devon cottages and the Patio Room each features a wide variety of modern conveniences, yet each retains the charm and character of an earlier era.

Built in the early 1920s, Edgemere is located in a quiet neighborhood just a few minutes from Carmel's popular downtown shopping district, where wonderful dining possibilities abound.  World-class golf is hardly a chip shot away, and if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of waves washing upon the shore at night...

Visit their website for more information.

Carmel Fireplace Inn

Contact: (831) 624-4862

Location: 4th & San Carlos, Carmel, CA 93921

The Carmel Fireplace Inn is an 18-unit Inn, located on a bright, sunny corner in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, just a short distance from the heart of town, shops, restaurants, and the beach. The inn has an abundance of charm and elegance.

As you enter the property you will walk down a beautiful shrubbery-lined path to the tiled patio in the rear of the inn. There, on all sides of the chairs and tables is a large array of flowers, shrubbery, vines and hanging pots.

The quietness and serenity of the surroundings is exceeded only by the uniqueness of 18 carefully designed and decorated rooms, each with its own personality and attention. Each and every room has its own fireplace (except #29 - Woodworth). No two rooms are the same, and many feature King beds. You'll also find unique furnishings and decor including Amish-crafted furniture. To view each of their rooms, please view their Units and Rates webpages.

For more information about this lovely inn, you can visit their website


Carmel restaurants and bars--despite boasting among them some of the world's landmark establishments--remain pleasantly undefined. The town's charming eateries feature a full range of international, regional and local cuisines, all benefiting from their proximity to the bounties provided by the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley. Taken together, Carmel restaurants have a hallmark blend of Old World elegance and modern charm, all with an artistic flair.

Forge In The Forest

Contact: (831) 624-2233

Location: SW Corner of 5th Ave and Junipero, Carmel, CA 93921

The Forge in the Forest offers an extensive menu of American cuisine featuring tantalizing appetizers and entrée selections that run the gamut from vegetarian to ribs, burgers to fillet mignon, pizzas to pasta, tacos to stir fry and seafood to salads.

Visit their website for more dining information. 

The Grill on Ocean Avenue

Contact: (831) 624-2569

LocationOcean Avenue Between Dolores & Lincoln

A warm, friendly and professional staff, generous diversified California wine list and full bar service... these are the additional elements that help make The Grill "the choice" for locals and visitors alike for lunch and dinner in Carmel. The menu celebrates fresh California tastes and virtuosity in bringing flavors together, finely tuned by the taste of a keen palate.

The Grill on Ocean Avenue was designed to be modern but not trendy. The room is graceful and exciting. The ambiance offers a handsome balance of light, tapestry, stone, local gallery art, mirrors, fire, warm oak, and linen.

Visit their website for more information. 


Napa Valley

Napa Valley is another popular California destination spot, with over 400 wineries to explore. Alongside the famous wine tastings, there are picturesque views, restaurants, shopping, and so much more to experience.

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting at some of the hundreds of wineries and vineyards is a must if in Napa Valley. Here are just a few to consider. 

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards

Contact: 707.254.8673

Location1 Kirkland Ranch Road, Napa CA 94558

Visitors to Reata at Jamieson Ranch are treated to a hospitality experience like no other in the Napa Valley. The property's relaxed, ranch atmosphere and welcoming, knowledgeable staff ensure that guests are truly transported. Formerly part of General Mariano Vallejo's Rancho Suscol, Jamieson Ranch & Vineyards is to this day a working ranch, featuring vineyards, cattle grazing on the hillsides, sheep amidst the vines for weed control and an apiary, from which they source their estate honey.

Experience their wines in their striking tasting room, or take advantage of an al fresco wine tasting or food pairing on our Overlook Veranda or in their picturesque organic gardens. The winery’s convenient location at the gateway to the Napa Valley makes it an ideal first or last stop for your wine country itinerary.

Enjoy their latest releases of award winning wines in a specially tailored wine tasting experience. Tastings are offered daily 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For more information about this stunning winery, visit their website

Crosby Roamann

Contact: (707) 258 - 8599

Location: 45 Enterprise Court #6, Napa, California 94558

Crosby Roamann is a boutique winery with a chic industrial vibe located in the Crusher Wine District in the City of Napa. We produce 1,000 cases a year from vineyards up and down Napa Valley. Our tasting experience includes a guided tour of the winery with the winemaker, sampling wines from barrel as well as bottle. A small plate of artisanal cheese and charcuterie is provided. The winery, founded in 2006, is a collaboration of the husband and wife team Juliana and Sean W. McBride, and is named for the winemaker’s maternal grandparents. The tasting fee is $20/person. We look forward to meeting you at the winery.

For more information about the winery, visit their website


There are so many lovely places to stay in such a lovely area, from Bed & Breakfasts to 5 star resorts. Here are a few for your consideration.

Napa Inn Bed & Breakfast

Contact: 707-257-1444

Location: 1137 Warren Street, Napa, California 94559

The Napa Inn - A Napa Bed and Breakfast Wine Country Inn - Recommended by the NY Times: Two, adjacent, turn of the century Victorian buildings comprise the Napa Inn - located in a quiet setting, just steps to downtown Napa.

All of their 14 Napa Wine Country guest rooms and suites are individually decorated. Each has it's own private bathroom and fireplace. The Napa Inn observes Eco-friendly practices.

Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in their spa room or in the privacy of your guest room (specific rooms apply). 
A gourmet candlelight breakfast is served each morning in the Napa Inn dining room or on the garden patio. Enjoy evening wine and refreshments at this romantic Napa Valley Wine Country Inn. Coffee, teas and waters always available at Napa Inn.     

There is a wealth of activities to engage in when visiting the Napa Inn. They are happy to help you plan your stay, make dinner or tour reservations for you, and suggest the best wineries according to your distinctive tastes. 

Visit their website for more information about this lovely B & B. 

Candlelight Inn

Contact:  (707) 257-3717

Location: 1045 Easum Drive, Napa, California 94558

Perfectly situated on the border of Sonoma and Napa at the gateway to the Carneros AVA, we rest under the shade of our own Redwood grove on a tributary of the Napa River.

We take pride in the fact our guests have chosen to spend their time here with us, and accordingly we're always looking to go the extra mile to make the stay more memorable. As locals, we’re invested in positive growth in our community and make it a point to be well-versed in the dining, tasting, shopping and lifestyle options at hand.

Just a few minutes away from the Inn are two wineries: Crane Family Vineyards and Truchard Vineyards.

For more information, visit their website.

What is our favorite weekend getaway destination? Let us know by contacting us, and it might be featured in our next addition!