New: Kite Fest at Carmel Valley Ranch

The inaugural party, set for the first day in April, includes a host of old-fashioned pleasures.

LOOK UP: If you've ever called upon Carmel Valley Ranch, chances are pretty high that you raised your eyes, from time to time, to the horizon and the sky. You probably gazed upon those quintessential Carmel-pretty hills near the property, and watched a sunset or two. There are plenty of local birds in the area, too, making it a treat to see just who is flying by, and the bees? Well, the property is known for its bee-keeping and lovely lavender. But guests will be looking up for a different reason when the first day of April twirls and dips into view: kites. In fact, many kites will take to the great blue above the ranch, thanks to the hotel's...

INAUGURAL KITE FESTIVAL: It's a full day of old-fashioned, slow-it-right-down diversions, from watching kite pros from the Berkeley Kite Wranglers expertly wield their strings to constructing your own kite, and decorating it, too, at an on-site station. Once you need a break from the sky scene, there are are picnicky pleasures, like a water-balloon toss and the ol' three-legged race (the key is to discuss with your partner, in detail, how your gait will go ahead of time).

EXCELLENT EATS... with garden-esque flair and beverages will be for sale, as well as posh licks at the artisanal ice cream cart. But don't stay away from the sky ballet too long; the Berkeley Kite Wranglers will have some impressive kites in tow, including those that measure up and over 200 feet. Imagine seeing that fluttering hue with a backdrop of Carmel-style clouds and/or the soft azure so frequently seen above the region. If you can't wait to get your summer fun on, well, don't. Start on April 1, at Carmel Valley Ranch.

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