It’s that time of year to talk cars and cocktails, as every August for 10 days, car connoisseurs travel to Monterey for “The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering.” Starting Friday, August 16th at Carmel’s Quail Lodge and Golf Club, the Santa Lucia Mountains serve as the playful backdrop to the premiere auto show. Here’s a cheat sheet for the auto obsessed, and where to play and stay in Carmel and Monterey, when you’re not dreaming of pressing pedal to metal in a top-down vintage convertible up the Cali coast.
Just what’s on display at this year’s Quail? Guests will enjoy exquisite motorcars on display and culinary pavilions, with the ease of onsite parking. Here’s a tease of what to see:
Traditional Classes: Post-War Sport, Post-War Racing, Supercars, The Great Ferraris, Custom Coachwork, Sports and Racing Motorcycles
Featured Themes for 2019: 100 Years of Bentley Motors; 25th Anniversary of the McLaren F1; A Tribute to the Electric Car Movement
STAY: Get in the heart of the action during a long weekend at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club. Book the premier King Suite and, if tennis or pickleball pique your interest, the property has some of the best courts in the country. Edgar’s Restaurant & Bar is headquarters for the car shows see-and-be-seen crowd. Order a classic martini and watch the sun dip behind the Santa Lucia Mountains.
PLAY: Kickstart your day with a beach run along Del Monte Beach (think: “Big Little Lies” scenes) near downtown Monterey, then spend a morning lounging at Lover’s Point Park. If wanting to navigate the area via two wheels, bike Pebble Beach’s scenic 17-Mile Drive, which snakes past The Lone Cypress Tree, Spanish Bay, and the Del Monte Forest.
DINE: Don’t miss the family-run Italian restaurant, Paluca Trattoria, located at the end of the historic wharf in downtown Monterey, while Monterey’s Fish House is a rustic local mainstay. Start your meal with bubbles and bivalves (the restaurant’s Oyster Bar is oh-so-tasty) and then order the catch of the day, fresh from the sea. If French fare is on order, try Bistro Moulin for Moules Frites and Gnocchi Aux Epinards by Executive Chef Didier Dutertre.
SIP: Give your personal bartender at Angel’s Share your tipple of choice, and—voila—a barrel-aged, handcrafted cocktail will be ferried across this stylish, speakeasy-esque bar.
STAY: The La Playa Carmel. A mansion constructed in 1905 and owned by the Ghiradelli family for more than a century, this grande dame of Carmel is steps from Carmel Beach. Walk through its meticulously landscaped gardens and then have a champagne breakfast in the library.
PLAY: Considered the top-rated course on the West Coast, Pebble Beach Golf Links is a must for the golf obsessed. As the host to the sixth U.S Open in 2019, this challenging course is a bucket-list tee-time check, and you can see how your skills measure up to the pros here, which gives a play-by-play of each hole.
DINE: Hot spots include Cultura Comida y Bebida, a Carmel-by-the-Sea go-to, and at Aubergine, the restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel. Executive Chef Justin Cogley’s tasting menu is inspired by source-to-fork fare and the restaurant is constantly lauded with James Beard Foundation Award nominations.
SIP: If an oenophile, an afternoon wine tasting at Albatross Ridge will get you revved before the car show—the vineyard is known for its exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.