The Best Bookstores in Monterey, California

Photo of Deanna Morgado
25 January 2018

Monterey Bay is well known for its literary aspects. This has resulted in a number of magical bookstores and shops sprinkled though the coastal town. Some, however, are just a bit more special. Here are some of the best bookstores in Monterey, California.

Old Monterey Book Co.

Book lovers will adore Old Monterey Book Co. for it’s quaint surroundings and piles of books that are waiting to be thumbed through. There’s a wide selection of both new, fresh books and some wonderfully aged ones. Stepping through Old Monterey Book Co.’s doors will make you think you’ve been sent to bibliophile’s dream land.

Old Monterey Book Co., 136 Bonifacio Place, Monterey, CA, USA +1 831 372 3111

Luminata Books and Gifts

Luminata Books and Gifts combines the wonder of books with a zen-minded atmosphere. The spiritual feel, along with the selection of interesting book sections, not to mention the sound of the Monterey Bay just outside, makes the shopping experience here lovely and peaceful. Luminata also holds special events such as book signings and psychic readings.

Luminata Books and Gifts, 631 Cass Street, Monterey, CA, USA +1 831 275 5133


Cafe, Coffee Shop, American
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The Bookworks, Pacific Grove
The Bookworks, Pacific Grove | Courtesy of Bookworks
At Bookworks you won’t have to worry about hunting down a good latte after buying your book–there’s a coffee shop right inside the bookstore! This spot is perfect for the cafe rats out there who can’t get enough of the “coffee and a good book” combo. There’s a sea of shelves in the bookstore just behind the cafe counter that’s perfect for browsing, skimming, and buying.

Carpe Diem Fine Books

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Fine books, indeed. This Monterey bookstore is great for those really enthusiastic about old, used, and historic books. Carpe Diem Fine Books have a specialized selection of books on California history and art. This bookstore also prides itself on having “a discriminating selection of out-of-print, signed and unusual books in all fields.” You don’t want to miss out on this place.

Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden

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Pilgrims Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Pilgrims Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden, Carmel-by-the-Sea | Courtesy of Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden
Just outside the heart of Monterey, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, is Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden. It doesn’t get much better than finding a great read and then wandering around a lovely garden. Just outside of Pilgrim’s is a beautiful and peaceful secret garden, open for customers to explore. There’s plenty of books to choose from on the shelves, although there is quite a heavier selection of the peaceful and tranquil titles.


Previously known as Book Worm, this coastal spot is full to the brim of hardcovers and paperbacks of all kinds of topics and genres. The books at Bookbuyers are certainly used but are always in perfect reading condition. Although the space itself is small, the bibliophilic atmosphere will exceed nearly any book lover’s standards.

Bookbuyers, 600 Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey, CA, USA +1 831 375 4208