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Reasons to Visit Monterey County in the Fall

Reasons to Visit Monterey County in the Fall

Monterey Bay, a Fantastic Fall Destination

California is known for its iconic travel destinations, yet one hidden gem often overlooked is Monterey Bay, especially during the fall season. Offering a blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights, this coastal sanctuary provides a unique experience that stands out from the usual tourist hotspots.

Fall in Monterey is all about gorgeous surroundings, comfortable temperatures, majestic butterflies, plentiful recreational activities and exciting local events. As your local guide, we always recommend fall as a terrific time to explore and visit Monterey County cities, including Carmel, Pacific Grove, Carmel Valley and Pebble Beach. Read on to discover the compelling reasons why Monterey Bay should be your next fall vacation destination.

Ideal Weather, Autumn's Perfect Climate

Monterey County is among California's most scenic destinations at all times of the year. The region's fall landscapes, however, are remarkably breathtaking, with colorful leaves galore. Its fall weather is just as noteworthy. People who visit Monterey in the fall can experience the joys of the sun and gorgeous temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fall in Monterey is ideal for people who want to take in the beauty of nature. If you want to soak up the area's natural splendor and recreational activities such as cycling and hiking, this coastal area may be right up your alley.

Less Crowded, Perfect for a Peaceful Fall Escape

Tourist destinations are often packed during the summer months, but come fall, the crowds thin out. This means you'll have a more peaceful experience whether you're strolling along Cannery Row, visiting the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, sunbathing at Carmel Beach, or taking a scenic drive along the 17-Mile Drive.

Wildlife Wonderland

Whale Watching

Monterey Bay is a hotspot for marine life, and fall is one of the best times for whale watching. During this season, you can spot humpback whales, blue whales, and orcas as they migrate. Several tour operators offer whale-watching excursions that provide not only a chance to see these magnificent creatures but also educational insights into their behaviors and habitats.

Other popular fall outdoor activities include standup paddle boarding and kayaking.

Monarch Butterflies

If you're lucky enough to visit Monterey County in mid to late October, you may just be able to witness a majestic showing of Monarch butterflies. Countless Monarch butterflies pass through a eucalyptus grove in the coastal city of Pacific Grove each October. These butterflies stay close together while dangling from tree branches. This results in a display that's truly visually impressive. If you want to view nature at its finest, the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in the fall is without a doubt a must-see for you.

Golfing Paradise, a Fairway Fall Bliss

If you're a golf enthusiast, Monterey Bay is home to some of the world's most famous golf courses, including Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Fall is an excellent time to hit the links, thanks to the pleasant weather and lower rates compared to the peak season.

Savor Local Eateries and Wineries

Monterey Bay is not far from California's wine country, and the fall season is synonymous with harvest time. Local vineyards and wineries offer tours and tastings, allowing you to indulge in some of the finest wines. Don't forget to pair your wine with fresh, local seafood for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Art and History

Monterey Bay has a rich history and a vibrant arts scene. Visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History or take a walk through the Carmel Art District to soak in the local culture. The less crowded fall season provides a more intimate experience.

Exciting Fall Events

Fall events in Monterey County are a major draw for many visitors. If you love live music, you should head to the Monterey Jazz Festival, a 3-day festival, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. This beloved festival displays the talents of jazz greats and rising stars in the genre alike. The Monterey Jazz Festival isn't only a terrific event for people who adore live entertainment, either. It's also a terrific one for fans of amazing food.

The California International Airshow is another major 2-day fall event. If the idea of watching dazzling acrobatics high up in the air fills you with enthusiasm and excitement, you'll adore this Salinas Municipal Airport extravaganza.

If you're in the area on 1st week of October make sure to stop by the Butterfly Parade and Bazaar, a Monterey County tradition since the late thirties!

For the foodies and wine connoisseurs, Taste of Carmel features locally sourced gourmet food, the region's finest wines and live music. Big Sur Food & Wine Festival features a beautiful coastline drop while you taste and drink local blends and flavors. Make sure you check our complete calendar of events for even more choices!

Shopping Paradise

You can shop 'til you drop while in Monterey County. The Crossroads Carmel is a popular shopping center located in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It offers shoppers everything from souvenir shops to chic clothing boutiques. People who visit this shopping center can look for everything from charming home decorations to meaningful jewelry pieces.

If you want to enjoy shopping for hours, downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea is a wondrous choice. It features an abundance of stylish and small boutiques, including Carmel Plaza an immensely popular and enjoyable Carmel-by-the-Sea shopping spot.

Don't forget to make a stop at Monterey's Del Monte Shopping Center. This welcoming open-air mall is a hub for well-known brands and dining spots, making it an ideal location for a relaxed day of shopping and eating.

Start Planning Your Fall Trip Today

Fall in Monterey is a great opportunity for fun, leisure and relaxation. Whether you love marvelous natural settings, golfing, fantastic live entertainment, or anything in between you will enjoy your stay in Monterey. If you want your fall to be rewarding, you should begin planning your Monterey getaway right away!

For lodging and accommodations, we highly recommend Hofsas House in Carmel. Other options are included on our recommended hotels section.