DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s annual visit to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is always one of the most anticipated by nearly everyone in the sports car community – and with good reason.
Not only do teams and drivers have the opportunity to compete at one of North America’s most famous racetracks, complete with the renowned Corkscrew, but there are a multitude of activities in the Monterey Bay area of California to satisfy whims and tastes of all kinds.
Monterey has been attracting visitors from around the world since the explorers of the 1700s. From breathtaking coastal views to the restaurants and shops of Cannery Row, to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, the city has plenty to offer on a day or evening away from WeatherTech Raceway.
A short drive to the west of Monterey sits the towns of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. They’re connected by the famous 17 Mile Drive that hugs the Pacific coastline and provides memorable views of mansions, wildlife, cypress trees (including the iconic Lone Cypress) and some of the most famous golf courses anywhere, including Spyglass Hill, the Links at Spanish Bay and, of course, the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Even if golf doesn’t get you teed up, stop by the Pebble Beach gift shop and venture to the rear of the clubhouse for an amazing view of the famous 18th hole lined behind by the Pacific Ocean.
Just south of Pebble Beach is Carmel-by-the-Sea, the quaint seaside community that’s home to celebrities and its own wealth of charming shops and restaurants.
Northern California is known for producing fine wines and the Monterey area is at the heart of it. Spanish missionaries planted the first grapevines in Monterey County in the 18th century. Carmel-by-the-Sea features a number of wine-tasting rooms, offering the chance to pick up a favorite bottle and enjoy it at sunset on Carmel Beach. Further inland, the Carmel Valley and Salinas Valley each feature a number of award-winning wineries. (Tourist tip: When you find a winery you wish to visit, call ahead for seating reservations.)
This is but a small sampling of the many adventures available to make that trip to the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship complete and bring home life-lasting memories. For more information and ideas on what to do in Monterey, visit seemonterey.com