Cool Stop on California’s Highway 101

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_287d
Just off Highway 101 between Castroville and Marina, California

If you are traveling on Highway 101 through the Monterey area and want a taste of the Central Coast, Pezzini’s is a great place to stop. It is easy to reach from the highway and return on your journey. This market offers ready made artichoke and other local produce treats.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2875
On the day I stopped there was also a food truck offering hot food.

You can also step out into the fields surrounding Pezzini’s to get a closer look at how artichokes and brussel sprouts grow.

On this day I bought an artichoke cupcake. I’m happy to report that it was very yummy!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_288a
Artichoke cupcake, yum, yum, yum.

Pezzini’s offers a unique tasting and shopping experience. I’m going to add it to my things to do when I go to the Monterey Peninsula with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Gianni’s Pizza.

Wineries of Central Otago

On the first day of my Otago Central Rail Trail adventure, Nick, my Off the Rails guide, shared his enthusiasm for the local wines. As we passed through Cromwell he pointed out a really large tree in Cromwell that all the teenagers in town used to “park up” (or “make out” in America). When the farmer planted his vineyard he kept the tree and named his winery The Wooing Tree.

Wooing Tree Winery
The Wooing Tree Vineyard in Cromwell, New Zealand.

We continued our drive along the Clutha River and stopped at a lookout for the hydroelectric plant. Looking toward the town of Clyde, Nick pointed out the actor Sam Neill’s vineyard and Two Paddocks winery. I felt like I let Nick down when I told him I was not much of a drinker.

He also gives guests a wine tour if they sign up for the 5 day tour with Off the Rails. Most of the area restaurants offer a selection of local wines and Central Otago boasts some very fine pinot noirs. You can find wine maps online to create your own tour.