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Reasons to Visit Monterey this Summer

Reasons to Visit Monterey this Summer

Explore Beautiful Monterey County This Summer

With the weather warming up and summer just around the corner, it's time to start planning your next vacation! If you're looking for a new destination that has something for everyone then make sure to put Monterey on the top of your list.

Summer in Monterey can truly be a wonderful and enchanting experience. The mild Mediterranean climate, idyllic beaches, extensive hiking trails, variety of restaurants and wineries make this coastal destination a very special one.

In this blog post we’ve compiled reasons why you should visit Monterey this summer. Check it out and start planning your trip now!

Attractions, Activities and Things to Do

Monterey County is home to a variety of attractions and activities available all year long including summer.

Experience Monterey Bay like never before through a magnificent whale watching tour. Tours are not limited to Gray, Blue and Humpback whales - you will have the chance to encounter dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, sunfish (Mola Mola) and other marine life!

With over 20 restaurants, shops and attractions for all ages, Monterey Old Fisherman's Wharf is always fun to visit whether for people watching or waterfront dining. 

Get close to marine creatures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, located at the end of famous Cannery Row. Enjoy fabulous live exhibits of sea otters, sea turtles, jelly fish, sharks, penguins, coastal birds and much more. Austino's Patisserie, just across the aquarium, is a great option to grab a bite while waiting in line or after your visit.

For art aficionados, you can view creative artwork at the renowned Monterey Museum of Art or at the various quaint art galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

If you like short fun walks, check out historic sites while strolling around the picturesque Monterey Old Town Historic District. The two-block area includes buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate the Spanish colonial era of the town, including the Old Customhouse. You'll also have the opportunity to walk by California's First Theater!

Tour Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast and enjoy a great view of the Pacific Grove's rocky coast.

Pebble Beach offers memorable Golf experience with courses overlooking the Pacific Ocean and fabulous scenery. Check out our recommended Golf courses for more information. You don't have to be a golfer though to enjoy Pebble Beach. Head to Spanish Bay and enjoy cocktails at its cozy patio. We love going there for sunset and watch the Bag Piper, a perfect spot for couples or families alike!

Monterey Bay's scenic shoreline stretches for miles and is home to some incredible beaches. If you're looking for a day trip with ample opportunity for swimming and sunbathing in addition to your usual restaurant lunch break then be sure not miss Lover's Point Beach in Pacific Grove. Carmel's white sand beach, at the end of Ocean Avenue, is another favorite of ours and a perfect spot for picnic.

Whether you want to drive or bike through Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive or visit the Fisherman's Wharf, there's never a shortage of things to see and do while visiting Monterey.

Fabulous Events

Monterey is a full of various summertime events and outdoor performances. Music lovers can drop by Carmel Plaza's Summer Live Music Series on Friday evenings all summer long. The Summer Live Music Series in Carmel-by-the-Sea is perfect for people who want to unwind in the fresh summer night air with excellent company, eats and entertainment.

The Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns makes a delightful event choice for people who want to experience a bit of Monterey County heritage and culture. This event has been a staple in the region for over a hundred years. If you want to take it easy and enjoy a beautiful lantern pageant, you'll surely have a blast at the Feast of Lanterns. Other happenings include a delightful pet parade where youngsters can have fun as well.

Monterey Car Week takes place in August and is an excellent option for people who are fascinated by classic vehicles and super cars. If you want to feast your eyes on some of the most beautiful and well-maintained cars, you can't miss the fun Monterey Car Week has to offer.

There are many other events taking place this summer, so make sure you check our complete calendar of events for more choices.

Great for Foodies

If you want to make the most of a Monterey summer, you can't ignore the county's amazing dining options. Cuisines include fresh seafood, contemporary American, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, French, Mediterranean, Japanese, Thai, and Chinese.

Savor amazing food while enjoying incredible ocean views along the sounds of crashing waves, our recommended list of best ocean views restaurants will come in handy. Check our "Eat & Drink" section for our complete list of local restaurants.

No trip to Monterey is complete without some good old clam chowder. If you want to savor clam chowder as you gaze at crystal blue waters, weather permitting of course, visit Old Fisherman's Grotto located in the action-packed Old Fisherman's Wharf. You can order your chowder in bread bowls, sizable bowls or cups and can even get your clam chowder served in a garlic butter toasted bread.

World Renowned Wines

Love vino? Well you're in the right place! Taste incredible Monterey wines at the various wine tasting rooms and wineries. Wine Tasting rooms spread across the county from Salinas, Carmel Valley, Carmel-by-the-Sea to Monterey. For ideas where you can enjoy a great sip, check our recommended wineries.

No One Will Be Left Out

No matter what your travel plans might be this summer - business trip, family visit or romantic getaway - if you're looking for a new destination that has something for everyone then make sure to put Monterey on the top of your list!

For lodging and accommodations, we highly recommend Hofsas House in Carmel. Other lodging options are included on our recommended hotels section. For additional activities and things to do, check our activities section.

Responsible Travel Code

Amid COVID-19 concerns, we ask you to embrace the California Responsible Travel Code below:

Roam Responsibly. I will explore California thoughtfully and responsibly, maintaining the utmost respect for everyone and everything I encounter.

Educate Myself. I will do my research before traveling across the state, familiarizing myself with local regulations and community concerns, which may have changed over time. This is especially important in rural communities with limited healthcare resources. 

Safety First. I will follow public health directives from government officials, including physical distancing measures. I will take all necessary steps to minimize health risks to myself and others and stay home if I’m sick.

Preserve California. I will protect and nurture the Golden State’s pristine outdoor spaces and cultural icons, by maintaining a light footprint at every turn and paying special attention to delicate ecosystems.

Embrace Community. I will support local businesses and do my part to ensure the long-term prosperity of the places I visit.

Celebrate Culture. I will immerse myself in California’s diverse local cultures and embrace the traditions and practices I encounter.

Teach Others. I will lead by example and share these practices with fellow travelers, acknowledging that we all share the responsibility to protect California.

Cities within the county include Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Salinas. Quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its charming galleries, white sand beaches, exquisite restaurants and wine tasting rooms. Pacific Grove is known for its one of a kind coastal recreational trail and magnificent Monarch butterflies. Salinas, a.k.a "Salad Bowl of the World" is a big agricultural destination where you can enjoy local fresh and organic produce.

Visitors who want to enjoy summer season in a memorable way should definitely visit Monterey County for soothing and quaint getaway.