Carmel Valley and Alameda, Bay Area
Looking to get away without the overnight stay? Checkout Carmel Valley and Alameda in the Bay Area.
This post showcases two different locales in the Bay Area: Carmel Valley Road with sun, snacks and some wineries in between and St. George Distillery in Alameda. The latter is for the 21 and over crowd, with a view of San Francisco that’s unobstructed and jaw-dropping on a clear day.
Carmel Valley Road
Right off Cabrillo highway and studded with wineries, shops, and restaurants the Carmel Valley Village area is a fun place to while away the afternoon.
Stop for lunch at the Corkscrew Cafe for wood-fired pizza or a grilled Portobello sandwich. Then pick yourself up with a wine flight (or tasting, as they like to call it!) at Georis which is conveniently located a few doors down. The serene setting will make you want to sit out the rest of the afternoon under the big tree in the center. But if you’re motivated to move along, there’s still plenty to see in the vicinity or within a short drive.
We opted for a short drive to Chateau Julien which was closed to the public for a private party. No matter. The beautifully manicured grounds make for a nice photo opportunity (as noted by the other person also loaded down with big camera and large lens!)
The next day we were on tap to meet friends for my favorite – dim sum – in Alameda. If you’ve never been (and live close) East Ocean is not to be missed. With the usual din of loud dishes and people plus good food passing by in a steady stream – you can’t help but feel more prepared for the day after a visit. I joked that I could sit there all day and order another round of food at which point my friends seemed stunned into silence!
St. George Spirits (down the road from Rosenblum winery) is located on the now defunct Alameda base. Although I admit I don’t love spirits – unless doused with a heavy amount of sugar – I do love seeing how things are made (find it fascinating!) A tour of the hanger along with explanation of the distilling process (15 pounds of bartlett pears for one bottle of eau de vie) is definitely worth the trek to Alameda. And if you are NOT the DD, you can taste a variety of spirits made on the premises.
Finally, it’s noteworthy to add that the tasting room has an unobstructed view of San Francisco. As you are mulling over “how DID 15 pounds of fruit end up in a rather slim bottle of eau de vie?” a quick glance at the amazing city view will remind you that maybe you just don’t – or can’t – care at that moment.
Carmel Valley and Alameda are worth the drive, assuming you start in the Bay Area! Enjoy!