Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

102 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 Big Sur Big Sur River Inn Dip your feet in the river in one of those Adirondack chairs, post up on the outdoor deck or at the cozy bar inside. A tradition of Sunday music brings bands down to the river all summer long to serenade listeners. 46800 Highway 1, Big Sur. (831) 667-2700, Big Sur Taphouse Part sports bar, with its game-friendly big screens, part neighborhood pub, part resting spot along the PCH, Big Sur Taphouse is just a good spot to hang out for a while. It’s also a true locals’ gathering place. 47520 Highway 1, Big Sur. (831) 667-2197, Fernwood Tavern Fernwood draws an eclectic crowd. Locals, campers, travelers and artists all comfortably come together. There aren’t many places better for live music in the area. Or just grab a local draft beer and sip on the peaceful patio in the redwoods. 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. (831) 667-2422, Carmel Alvarado Street Brewery & Bistro Alvarado Street is in downtown Monterey, but this Carmel outpost features a few different offerings, including a number of sours on tap, plus some of the home brewery’s regular beers. It’s got an expansive outdoor patio as well. Mission between Ocean and 7th (Carmel Plaza), Carmel. (831) 293-8621, Bar Napoli There’s a solid wine list and classic cocktails. But picking from the specialty cocktail list is the right move. These clever creations wave on a tightrope as distractions and portents swirl around. In other words, they offer a lot of complementary and contrasting flavors while remaining balanced. Dolores and 7th, Carmel. (831) 626-7373 Not too many years ago, there were just a couple of places with a mixology-driven cocktail list, and only two local craft breweries. Now it’s easy to find clever specialty cocktails prepared by standout bartenders. For beer aficionados, there are close to 10 brewpubs, as well as local cider, a seltzer bar and one dedicated to the finest whiskey. So there’s a growing sophistication to area nightlife (and day drinking). Yet there remain cozy dives, beer joints—even an arcade serving beers and non-alcoholic drinks in cans. Many venues offer outdoor seating or large windows where you can gaze at some pretty stunning scenery while you sip. drinks Pearl Hour