Travelers have a lot to look forward to in scenic Monterey County, California, including the return of much-missed events! Visitors can safely partake in a variety of unique and world famous events happening throughout the region, and they can reach the destination with ease thanks to new direct flights to Monterey Regional Airport from Seattle, Portland, Orange County and Burbank. From popular events like Monterey Car Week to those celebrating the agricultural bounty of the destination for Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival, now is the time to set out for a one-of-a-kind adventure along California’s central coast. Many of these will be hot ticket events, so be sure to plan ahead and reserve early.
Here is a list of 8 not-to-miss events taking place this summer and fall:
August 5-15, 2021
As one of the most anticipated automobile events in the world, car enthusiasts and collectors alike will gather in August to enjoy auto shows, auctions, auto memorabilia and more. The 2021 Monterey Car Week events kick off on August 6 with a classic car show in downtown Monterey and concludes with the 70th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach on August 15. A tradition going back over half a century, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is where the world's collector cars meet and compete. Only the 200 best collector cars in the world roll onto the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, and only a handful of those will receive official recognition for style, technical merit and historical accuracy. A full list of events, information and travel advisories is available here.
August 28-29, 2021
Watch as Sand City, California comes alive with over 100 artists and artisans embracing all forms of the arts. Visitors can enjoy the new we.Art installations that make up one of the most accessible outdoor public art galleries on the Monterey Peninsula. The celebration will feature open studios and musical entertainment on multiple stages.
September 3-6, 2021
Fairs have been held in Monterey County since 1935 and the destination will once again embark on this longstanding tradition in early September with the return of the Monterey County Fair to the fairgrounds. Come ready to partake in all the traditional fair fun with carnival rides and games, delicious food, art exhibits, livestock competitions and more.
September 23-26, 2021
Travelers should pack their most coveted belt buckle this September for the California Rodeo Salinas. As the largest rodeo in California, the event takes place at the Salinas Sports Complex and features action packed performances by more than 600 cowboys and cowgirls from across the U.S. Rodeo events include bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and more. Visitors can also enjoy
shopping, food and the always entertaining track acts.
September 24-26, 2021
After last year’s virtual programming, the Monterey Jazz Festival will return with a three-day in-person festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds to celebrate the legacy of jazz for its 64th year in Monterey. Featuring performances at the Jimmy Lyons Arena, the multiple GRAMMY-award winning lineup features Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, Pat Metheny Side
Eye, Christian Sands, Kandace Springs, Las Cafeteras, Miho Hazama and m-unit, and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra Directed by Gerald Clayton. Tickets go on sale in early July and the arena will be limited to 50% capacity.
October 7-10, 2021
Both amateurs and professional cyclists can take part in the world’s largest cycling festival taking place at Monterey’s WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca Recreation Area. Deemed a “Celebration of Cycling,” the festival’s Sea Otter Expo, the hub of the event, will feature free bike demos, stunt shows, live entertainment and special activities for kids. Other Expo hotspots include the international food
court, a beer and BBQ garden and the Sea Otter exposition area.
October 16, 2021
With over 80 beers from dozens of breweries, the Monterey Beer Festival welcomes attendees 21 years or older to taste an array of incredible beers from breweries around the world. Held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, the festival will also feature live music and local food vendors. Special VIP ticket holder benefits include early entry, access to a VIP area with separate restrooms, special beer tastings, complimentary snacks and entry to the main festival.
October 23-November 5, 2021
As California’s oldest music festival, the Carmel Bach Festival will once again celebrate the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The two-week festival will feature a wide array of concerts at the Sunset Cultural Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea with highlights including Bach’s Mass in B-Minor, Brandenburg Concerti, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia and the Chorale concert. While in town, be sure
to check out the latest additions to Carmel-by-the-Sea’s local dining scene including The Pocket, Toro, Le Souffle and Talbott Vineyards tasting room.
Direct flights to Monterey County are now available from Burbank, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Additional information regarding flights and booking options can be found on the Monterey Regional Airport website.
*All planned events are subject to change in accordance with state and local guidelines.