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12 Reasons to Make Monterey, CA Your Next Vacation Destination

12 Reasons to Make Monterey, CA Your Next Vacation Destination

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 28 November 2017

Filled with all kinds of culture, good times, and beautiful nature, Monterey is a gorgeously rugged city that follows the California coast. If you’re wondering where you should spend your next vacation, you should certainly make your way down to Monterey Bay, California. Here are 12 reasons why!

Cannery Row

Probably the most well-known and famous road in Monterey and Monterey County, this historic and charming waterfront street is filled with Monterey fun. Delicious restaurants, luxury hotels, pubs, boutiques and more. It’s a tourist heavy spot but is an absolute must-see part of the town. The picturesque sights and things to do alone is enough convince anyone to vacation in Monterey time and time again.

The Fall Harvest

Monterey is as bountiful a location as it is beautiful. Known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” when the fall harvest hits, all sorts of seasonally gorgeous produce is accessible to all. The harvest also hits the local Monterey wineries, making it a perfect place for wine tasting.

The Golf Scene

If you’ve taken up the sport of golf, Monterey is the center point of some of the most legendary courses. Even the surrounding areas of Pebble Beach, Carmel, and more have prime golfing spots so you can always try something new and challenging when you visit. All together Monterey has a collected 26 courses, both public and private.

Philip Glass Festival

Composer Philip Glass brings the culture of Monterey to the Philip Glass Festival. Art, poetry, music, theater, and film are all present in this weekend festival. Culture lovers and art enthusiasts will love what Monterey has to offer as they immerse themselves in the event.

Whale Watching

Whale watching can be done up and down the California coast. However, Monterey is probably one of the best places to observe these giant sea mammals. Unlike many other locations in the state, whales can be seen with the naked eye from the shores in Monterey. The whales tend to be drawn to the below-sea-level Monterey Submarine Canyon, making it the perfect watching location. The best Monterey locations that offer guided tours are from either Old Fisherman’s Wharf or Moss Landing.

The Great Beer

While many people flock to Monterey for the award-winning wine, they stay for the craft beer. Within the last handful of years, Monterey jumped on the craft beer movement, and they’ve been excelling at it ever since. There are plenty of beer and alehouses, breweries, and bars that serve some of the best craft beer in the area. When Monterey takes on something new, like building a craft beer culture, it normally becomes the best at it.

The Scenic Drive Along the Monterey Peninsula

This byway takes you through one of the most scenic drives you might ever experience. This 17-mile long road will take you along the Monterey Peninsula, through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. Get ready to be mesmerized with sweeping Pacific views, gorgeous mansions and homes, and attractions like Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest. It’s the ultimate photo-op. 

The Authentic Italian Fare in Carmel

A short drive from Monterey is the tiny luxury town of Carmel. This small ocean paradise is packed with some of the most authentic Italian food outside of the motherland. Yes, the food is that good that it makes the trip to Monterey Country 100% worth it. One bite from any of these rustic Italian spots and you’ll be in marinara-dipped heaven.

The Art History

If you’ve missed the Philip Glass Festival, fear not. There is still so much art history to imbibe in the oceanside town. Famous painter, Thomas Kinkade lived and worked right along the Monterey shore. The iconic author, John Steinbeck, was born in Monterey County; he was known to dig up much of his inspiration from the area. Plus, Monterey is filled to the brim with art museums and galleries that you’ll never want to leave.

‘Make It Sustainable’ Weekend

If Monterey is going to be your next vacay spot, get down there during the Make It Sustainable culinary event. This celebration takes place in the infamous Monterey Bay Aquarium and is where visitors can learn all kinds of different ways to create delicious and environmentally conscious food. There are star chefs appearances, multiple dining options, and other fun activities during this progressive food festival.

It’s the Butterfly Capital of the World

Pacific Grove, located on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, is not only filled with beautiful Victorian beachside mansions but also with the graceful Monarch Butterfly. In the winter, at least. During the colder months, these orange and black-winged beauties migrate to the area after a 2,000 mile journey. These butterflies gather at the Pacific Grove Sanctuary from October until March. Visitors can walk through the peaceful sanctuary to marvel and learn about the butterflies.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Since the nature is so vast and rich in Monterey, naturally there is a gathering of films to share in its beauty. At the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, that’s exactly what happens. It’s put on by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and will not only entertain you, it will also open the door to the true beauty of Monterey that you’ll absolutely fall in love with.