The Monterey Peninsula is always an excellent getaway for any traveler, and with fall on the horizon, the timing for a visit could not be any better. The fog thins out, along with the summer crowds, and the region feels as if it's our own unique treasure.
If you don't believe me you can ask any in-the-know traveler or local what's the best time of year to visit Monterey and they'd tell you "right about ... now!" Fall doesn't get much better than in Monterey County, where you can pair some of the season's best food, wine, and music events with classic outdoor adventures.
1. Indian Summer
There's a reason why locals call fall our "secret season." While most are mourning the loss of summer weather, Monterey is just getting started! September through November provide the area with some of its sunnier months with near perfect 70 degree temps.
Get outside and experience our comfortable climate with an activity on land or sea! There are plenty of hikes and bike trails to explore or take to the bay by kayak, stand-up paddle board or whale watching boat.
2. Less Crowds ... Everywhere!
Fall means back to school which means fewer crowds around the peninsula. Now is the time to enjoy popular activities and attractions without the masses including the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
3. Experience the Harvest
Known as the "Salad Bowl of the World" the harvest season is in full swing around Monterey County. Immerse yourself in the action with an AgVenture Tour where you can tour some of the Salinas Valley's produce fields and vineyards. The Farm in Speckles and Earthbound Farm in Carmel Valley are harvest hot spots with plenty of pumpkins and fall décor to choose from!
Don't skimp out on the "bounty from the county." Head to The Wharf Marketplace near Old Fisherman's Wharf and pick up some local fresh produce or sip the yields from the nearby vineyards. Pick up a Carmel Wine Walk Passport which gives you access to over ten different tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
4. Mark Your Calendar
There's no shortage of fall events in Monterey County. If you're looking for a heart-thumping auto race, an intriguing arts and crafts fair, or a delectable food and wine event we've got you covered.
Watch the Thunderbirds fly above Salinas as the California International Airshow takes flight September 30-October 1 while the Pirelli World Championship revs up their engines at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 12-15.
For a more relaxing time opt for Taste of Carmel on October 5, featuring locally sourced gourmet food and the region's finest wine at the Carmel Mission or don your finest lederhosen during the Monterey Bay Oktoberfest, September 16-17. For a full list of events click here.
5. Golfer's Paradise
Get your game on at one of the many legendary courses in Monterey, Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley and beyond. Not only is the weather nice but the tee times are much more plentiful. With 26 public and private courses (over 450 holes in all) set in one of the country's most breathtaking locations it is no wonder that visitors plan their entire vacation schedule around a single round of golf.