Monterey County is the perfect spot to celebrate the holidays this season. From multiple tree lightings, holiday marketplaces to visits from Santa we have it all! But what truly makes Monterey County a unique holiday destination? We have boiled down to the top ten holiday events in Monterey County that are hard to come across elsewhere. For a full list of holiday events click here.

1. Salinas Holiday Parade of Lights

Sunday, November 27, 6pm- Get into the Christmas spirit at the Salinas Holiday Parade of Lights. This family and community-centric event is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. The lighted parade consists of marching bands, floats, dancers and classic cars. Come early and grab a spot along the parade route which goes up South Main Street and through Oldtown to the National Steinbeck Center.

2. Christmas at the Inns

Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30, 6pm-9pm- It’s the most wonderful time in Pacific Grove! One of the most popular holiday events in “America’s Last Hometown” takes place at the beloved inns and bed and breakfasts that Pacific Grove is known for. Each day eight different venues will open their doors and welcome guests into their cozy corners with live entertainment and tasty holiday snacks. A limited number of tickets are available. Admission is $20. Please call 831-373-3304 for tickets and more information.

3. Lighted Boat Parade

Sunday, December 4, 5:15pm- Fabulously decorated boats and yachts set sail on the Monterey Bay for an evening Lighted Boat Parade. Creatively decked out ships will leave the Coast Guard Pier and cruise past Cannery Row to Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. The parade also creates a bit of friendly competition as participants compete for the coveted award for Best Decorations.

4. Stillwell's Snow in the Park

Saturday, December 3, 10am-4pm- Pacific Grove brings a whole new meaning to a winter wonderland on the Monterey Bay! Today Caledonia Park in downtown Pacific Grove will be covered in snow and decorated for the holidays. Kids can build their own snowman or throw a few snowballs. If kids are playing nice Santa might even pay a visit.

5. 27th Annual Christmas in the Adobes

Thursday, December 8 and Saturday, December 10, 5—9pm- Celebrate the holidays 19th century style at the 27th Annual Christmas in the Adobes. Monterey’s twenty adobes will be lit up in holiday splendor with live entertainment, refreshments and volunteers in 19th century attire. There is no better way to tour these historic adobes all within a half-mile of each other. Docents will also be on hand to tell stories about the unique history and to answer questions about the rare architecture. Tickets are $20 for adults and $2 for children ages 6—17 (must be accompanied by a paying adult), and free for children ages 5 and under. Call the Custom House Museum at 831-649-7120 for additional information.

6. Jingle Bell Run with Santa

Saturday, December 10, 8am- Put on your Santa hat and sneakers and get ready to run (or walk) along Pacific Grove’s stunning coastline during the Jingle Bell Run. This 5K race benefits the Arthritis Foundation and begins at Lover’s Point Park. Have fun with Santa, tie jingle bells to your shoes and help raise funds to support the foundation.

7. Santa's Fly-In

Saturday, December 10, 10am- Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town in style! The famous couple flies in by helicopter direct from the North Pole to Carmel Valley Village Airfield. There they'll board their sleigh, lead a parade through Carmel Valley Village and end up at the Carmel Valley Youth Center for visits with youngsters.

8. Pebble Beach New Year's Championship

Friday, December 30 - Sunday, January 1, 2012- Ring in the New Year out at one of Pebble Beach’s golf courses. The Pebble Beach Golf Links and the Links at Spanish Bay play host to a 36-hole New Year’s Championship. The entry fee also includes a two nights stay at The Inn at Spanish Bay and discounts at the The Spa at Pebble Beach and at Pebble Beach retail stores. Participants will also receive tickets to the New Year's Eve Party at The Inn at Spanish Bay. For more information call (877) 853-5864.

9. First Night Monterey

Saturday, December 31- Looking for a family friendly New Year’s Eve event? Then look no further than First Night Monterey! Plenty of entertainment will be on hand with a plethora of art exhibits, live music, dance performances, great food and more. Over thirty venues in downtown Monterey hold performances throughout the afternoon and into the New Year. Admission Buttons are available the day of the event for $22 for adults and $15 for children. Children five and under are admitted free.

10. Rio Grill's Resolution Run

Sunday, January 1, 2012- Time to burn off all of those holiday cookies during Rio Grill’s Resolution Run. Kick off 2012 with this 6.5 mile foot race or a 3 mile family fun run. The gorgeous course begins at Crossroads Shopping Village in Carmel, and takes runners along trails and sandy beaches, all with views of the glorious Carmel coastline.