Monterey sits in Monterey County, a beautiful coastal destination in California and a vibrant waterfront community that attracts travelers year round. The temperate climate and wealth of outdoor attractions make this California town the perfect place for day trips, weekend getaways and extended stay vacations. In fact, many San Francisco residents make their way to the coast of Monterey to enjoy a quiet weekend retreat and a variety of outdoor activities, and settle in at one of the charming bed and breakfast and other venues around the coast. It’s a popular road trip hotspot and within easy reach of many vineyards, groomed golf courses and event grounds. Monterey continues to be one of California’s most iconic West Coast experiences and may be an ideal setting for your next romantic getaway, family retreat or solo excursion.
Monterey was once the capital of California and its past dates back to 1770 when it was established as a settlement by Father Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Protola. The town served as the capital of the State of California from 1777 to 1879 under Spain and Mexico’s flags. It was also once known as Monte Rey and Montery. The port city remained a bustling coastal destination for several decades and was soon the home of several chapels, religious destinations and a Mission. The only existing presidio chapel in California sits in Monterey.
Monterey served as the original port of entry for all taxable goods in the State of California, and California’s Historic Landmark Number One was built here. The town served as the battle site for the Battle of Monterey during the Mexican-American War, and was also home to many California “firsts”. It was the home of the first brick house, theatre, public building, printing press and California’s first newspaper, “The Californian”. It also became known as a fishery destination but the fishery industry collapsed from overfishing within a few years. The arts and culture scene flourished here during the 19th and 20th centuries, and you can still find a variety of galleries and collections from former resident artists in the area today.
Today, Monterey has become an idyllic coastal destination for recreation and leisure activities, boating, natural attractions and relaxation. It attracts California residents and world travelers alike, and is a popular destination for enjoying water activities and exploring some of the untouched coastline of California. Whether you’re heading to Monterey Bay for a long weekend or a weeklong retreat, you’re sure to find a wealth of interesting things to do, enjoy and experience throughout Monterey on any given day.
Monterey Weather and Best Time to Visit
Monterey’s Mediterranean climate and pleasant weather year round makes it an attractive destination for a beach vacation year round. Highs only reach the low-70s during the summer months and hover around the lower 60s during the winter months. Summers are generally fairly cool and foggy, and you will encounter snow in some of the mountainous regions around the coast. Since the weather is fairly mild during the peak winter months, many people flock to the area from January through April to escape the colder climates in other parts of the country. Hotel and resort rates are typically higher than the average around the holiday season and during the late winter, and during spring break season. If you’re looking for some great deals on travel packages to Monterey, consider booking your trip during the middle of the summer or early fall months. Average highs from January through April hover around the lower 60s, while average highs in July through October stay in the lower 70s. Highs drop again to the mid- to lower-60s during November and December, the perfect time of year to enjoy the holiday lights and other festivities around the coast.
The city of Monterey is located right on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a federally-protected ocean that extends just over 270 miles out along the coast. It’s home to several endangered species and you can take an eco-tour of the coast to learn more about the native wildlife and endangered birds of the area. The easiest way to get around Monterey is by renting a car and taking a self-guided tour through the main town and outlying areas. Alvarado Street is where you’ll find many shops, attractions and unique points of interest. This street is located in Monterey’s downtown area and is also a great place to enjoy gourmet dining and great cocktails. You can also travel around the area fairly easily on the Monterey-Salinas Transit. The bus services area towns including Pacific Grove and Carmel, and is the perfect way to explore the hillside valleys along the “wine route”.
Monterey is a popular destination for foodies and wine enthusiasts, home to a wide range of specialty restaurants and numerous wineries. It’s also an attractive destination for families and you’ll find dozens of cultural attractions, museums and educational sites to explore throughout the area. Don’t miss the chance to attend a jazz or folk festival in the Monterey County Fairgrounds and enjoy live entertainment along the coast during your trip. Take a tour of the Carmel Mission, just one of the 21 Missions located on the coast of California. Take a sightseeing tour of the historic district to learn more about this area’s rich history.
Sailing and kayaking are both popular activities around Monterey Bay county, and you’ll find a wealth of activities to enjoy around the coastal trail and harbors. Consider taking a sailing trip around the bay to enjoy some of the scenic sites and enjoy a few hours of fishing or just relaxing on the boat.
Whether you’re traveling to Monterey for a weekend getaway or a quiet respite for a few days, you’ll always find a wealth of fun and interesting things to do around this beautiful California coastal destination. Take some time to learn about the historic attractions and sites around Monterey to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the region’s top hotspots.
The rocky cliffs and scenic sites around Monterey are perfect for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. Head to this coastal site to enjoy a variety of cultural attractions, natural landmarks and historic museums. The coast hosts special events and festivals throughout the year, and you?ll find plenty to do and enjoy around the rocky cliffs and golden sands of Monteray County on any given day.