Photo courtesy of Velvet Landscapes

Itʻs the most magical time of the year - the holiday season is here! Give the gift of Monterey County with a unique Monterey County experience or shop at a local businesses to ensure your loved one feels the holiday joy! 

Give a Unique Monterey County Experience

Sometimes, the best thing we can give someone isn't a "thing" at all. Give the gift of one-of-a-kind adventures with these unique experiences around Monterey County.

Give your road trip partner the gift of driving along 17-mile drive in a classic car from Monterey Touring Vehicles. Car rentals span from the 1927 Bugatti to the 2008 Tesla. Rentals are available for half or full days.  

Or give the car lover in your life the ultimate track experience with a WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Season or Family pass, individual event ticket, VIP hospitality package, preferred parking, or a camping trip to the recreation area. All of these items make ideal holiday gifts and all are now available online at or by calling the Tickets and Accommodations Specialists at 831-242-8200.

Looking for an ocean-friendly gift for your loved ones this holiday season? Shop the Monterey Bay Aquarium online store or take a peek inside their newest store located on Cannery Row. Deck the halls with festive Aquarium ornaments, equip an eco-friendly kitchen, sparkle with ocean-friendly jewelry, or share the love with a gift membership. 

Present the gift of relaxation with a stay at Sanctuary Beach Resort. Fall asleep to the soothing waves on the shoreline of Marina State Beach in a private oceanfront cottage. Or surprise a loved one with a spa gift certificate from the Spa Aiyana at Carmel Valley Ranch where guests can relax, rejuvenate, and renew their body and mind.  

Elkhorn Slough Safari Nature Boat Tours has an amazing bookstore and gift shop that celebrates the science, nature, and beauty of the Monterey region. Find adorable stuffed animals, special deals on books, attire, cards, prints, and unique Monterey Bay souvenirs. You can also purchase a gift certificate for available tours.   

Shop Local Monterey County Gifts  

Gift the taste of Monterey County with Big Sur Salts, which shows the true representation of Big Sur with its color, taste, and aroma. Dahlkemper Farms Olive Oil is also a great gift. The olive oil is locally milled from home-grown Arbequina Olives in Carmel Valley. 

Have a foodie friend? Happy Girl Kitchen Co has assorted jams made from locally preserved fruits, or fresh locally harvested pickles. Monterey Bay Food Tours has an online marketplace that features a variety of different products from local food artisans. Try the Holy Granola or the Eddison & Melrose Blended Tea! Another great gift offers organic, vegan, and gluten-free popcorn! Whats Popp'n Popcorn has different flavors of popcorn such as kettle corn, churro, or creep'n jalapeno available at a few local farmers markets or you can order through their Instagram! 

For your loved ones that prioritize self-care, gift a facial serum, lip balm, or face cream from Valley Botanicals which is a natural, plant-based skincare line in Big Sur. Johnny Wicks candles are a great gift for those looking to get a scent of Monterey County in their home. These candles are hand-poured and use all-natural soy wax. Another great candle option is Everhart Candle Co. Woman and US Air Force veteran-owned, this shop sells a variety of seasonal and non-seasonal candles! Orders can be placed through their website. Looking to give a zero-waste gift? The Green Directive has environmentally-friendly products such as shampoo bars, bamboo utensils, and even dog toys!  

For those cowboys and cowgirls out there, gift them with a commemorative California Rodeo Salinas buckle or a cowboy logo pendant necklace. Or for your favorite art aficionado, visit The Haute Enchilada Art Gallery and browse assorted gifts such as jewelry, paintings, books, and more made by local artists. Know a plant lover? Give them a gift from Dirty Girl Plant Co which offers a variety of plants, pots, and supplies your plant lover will appreciate!  

Monterey County has a large and diverse variety of family-owned businesses. Shopping local not only helps families but it helps communities' flourish. Explore Monterey County's  Black-owned, Hispanic-owned, and AAPI-owned businesses and show your support by buying your loved one a unique gift or gift card!