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Eat Like A Californian This January: Third-Annual California Restaurant Month Spans 33 Spectacular Destinations In 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Visit California invites visitors to sample and savor the Golden State's internationally renowned wine and food this January during California Restaurant Month. As one of the nation's most diverse and agriculturally bountiful states, diners can expect delicious dining opportunities across California in an unprecedented 33 destinations, including nine new destinations, making 2013 the largest California Restaurant Month to date.

" California is home to award-winning chefs who truly have a passion for creating with local ingredients," says Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. "Visitors this January can expect to taste the state's inspiring culinary culture as chefs roll out special menus using fresh, local ingredients.  California truly is one of the world's best places to dine; Restaurant Month allows visitors, and locals alike, to discover that."

Throughout January 2013, California restaurants are offering special restaurant week or month-long dining promotions that feature gourmet prix-fixe menus, wine-pairing opportunities and more as part of this Visit California-led promotion. The nine new destinations for 2013 are Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Downtown Long Beach, Manteca, Moorpark, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tuolumne County and Vacaville. A full list of participating destinations is available at www.DineinCA.com.

The Golden State's agricultural impact across America is enormous. The state's more than 81,700 farms and ranches produce nearly half of all American-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. California Restaurant Month shines a spotlight on this culinary cornucopia, providing visitors a taste of their favorite ingredients direct from the source. From the freshly-caught seafood at Southern California's coastal cafes to the 'just-picked' produce served in Northern California, find a full palate of experiences best experienced by dining and driving through the state. Culinary tourism is also big business. In 2011, visitors to the state spent $27.2 billion on food and beverages – more than any other spending segment – constituting 28 percent of all visitor spending (Source: Dean Runyan Associates).

"California Restaurant Month is a great way to start a New Year's resolution of eating healthy, with signature Golden State ingredients like olive oil, wine, avocados and almonds incorporated into restaurant month menus this January," says Beteta. "If visitors' New Year's resolutions are more focused on their financial health, they can save by skiing, surfing and dining all in one vacation!"

While California's cuisine is enticing year round, California Restaurant Month provides an even more compelling reason for travelers to act on their passion for wine and food. Visitors can add on to their culinary excursion with activities such as mountain thrills at one of the state's snowy winter resorts, sunning and surfing along 1,265 miles of coastline, or a little R&R at a destination spa resort.

California Restaurant Month 2013 destinations, and promotional dates, are as follows:

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