Jerome's Carmel Valley Market.
Photo courtesy: Jerome's Carmel Valley Market
What makes an unforgettable picnic in Monterey County? Start with scenery — a beach, a hilltop, an oak-shaded riverbank. Then add irresistible food and wine. Here are five best-of-the-best peninsula picnic spots paired with five choice shops to fill up that wicker basket.
By Peter Fish
Compagno's Market and Deli
Delicious hot and cold sandwiches and a big, quirky selection of beers and soft drinks.
2000 Prescott Ave., Monterey; compagnos.com
San Carlos Beach Park
Lawns, picnic tables, and blissful views of Monterey Bay.
Reeside Avenue and Cannery Row, Monterey
Locals' fave in downtown, with to-go potpies, lasagna, and Monterey County wines.
242 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove; grovemarketgrocery.com
Lovers Point Park
Monterey cypresses and sweeping views make this the most romantic picnic spot in the world.
17th Street and Ocean View Boulevard, Pacific Grove
CARMEL AND PEBBLE BEACH
The Cheese Shop
From Cotswold to Emmentaler, there's a whole world of cheeses, plus crackers and wines in Carmel Plaza.
Junipero Street, Carmel-By-The-Sea; thecheeseshopinc.com
Nielsen Brothers Market
Step beneath the green-and-white awning and head to the deli counter for tri-tip sandwiches and an enormous wine selection.
7th Avenue and San Carlos Street, Carmel-By- The-Sea; nielsenmarket.com
On a road rich in magnificent views, one of the best — with picnic tables, too.
South of Pt. Joe, 17-Mile Drive
Carmel City Beach
Bring a blanket and picnic on the smooth white sand.
Foot of Ocean Avenue, Carmel
Jerome's Carmel Valley Market
Rustic-but-gourmet grocery off Carmel Valley Road with organic produce, sandwiches, and Carmel Valley wines.
2 Chambers Lane, Carmel Valley; jeromescarmelvalleymarket.com
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Cross the bridge over the burbling Carmel River and enter an idyllic world of oaks and wildflowers. Picnic on tables near the visitor center, or tuck lunch in a daypack and stroll the Lupine Loop.