Plan a vacation in Monterey County during the ideal time of year for your travel musts. Discover seasonal draws, including popular annual events, things to do and suggested places to stay. 

Use the jump-list below to help you plan and book an inspiring vacation. 

Spring Vacation (March, April, May)

Spring brings warmer temperatures and longer days to explore. The top places to see wildflowers are in full bloom, like Pacific Grove’s purple carpet, making nature walks especially bright & beautiful. Scenic drives along the coast on Highway 1 and Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive are a springtime must.  

Things to Do in the Spring

Places to Stay

Book a picturesque near the "purple carpet" wildflowers at one of the charming inns in Pacific Grove. Seven Gables Inn overlooks Lover’s Point Cove, and nearby Centrella Inn is an award-winning National Historic Landmark that encapsulates the town’s Victorian charm.

Summer Vacation (June, July, August)

Big Sur River Inn

Trade in your summer heat for the cool coastal breezes of Monterey Bay! Venture to Fort Ord National Monument & Los Padres National Forest to enjoy some well-deserved respite. Plus, nothing says summer like a California sunset at some local favorite places to watch the sunset. 

Things to Do in the Summer

Places to Stay

Stay at Monterey Hotel for special deals! When you book an overnight stay directly with this boutique hotel, you get 2 complimentary beer flights at Alvarado Street Brewery with their Beer & Stay Package. More great hotels in downtown Monterey include BLu Hotel Pacific and Hotel Abrego.

Fall Vacation (September, October, November)

PG Butterfly

Monterey County experiences a “second summer” during the fall, making this season the best time of the year for warm weather activities, like walking the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, lounging at the beaches and hiking. The fall also brings the very special migration of monarch butterflies to the Pacific Grove, also known as “Butterfly Town U.S.A.” These inspiring butterflies are on the rise can be seen at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.

Things to Do in Fall

  • Fall Annual Events
  • Support our local winegrape growers and vintners this California Farm & Farmers Month and California Wine Month by visiting wineries & tasting rooms and enjoying the fruits of their labors AKA drink more wine!  
  • Eat, drink and shop at Hispanic-owned businesses in Monterey County in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month  
  • Honor the cultural traditions, histories, contributions and ancestral sacred sites of the Esselen, Rumsen, Chalone, Sureño, Chunchunes and Guatcharrone peoples native to Monterey County in celebration of Native American Heritage Month and Indigenous Peoples Day (October 9). When visiting Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, know that this is a sacred place for the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County. The tribe has installed an interpretive sign at the Esselen district of Ecgeajan, where Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park now lives. Learn about this sacred ground by reading the informative sign and move about this space with respect by staying on designated trails

Places to Stay

Spend autumn in sun-kissed Carmel Valley at Hidden Valley Inn & Los Laureles Lodge. The drive in promises gorgeous valley & vineyard views, plus most of Carmel Valley’s wine tasting rooms are walking distance from each other at Carmel Valley Village.

Winter Vacation (December, January, February)

Humpback Whale Feeding by DouglasCroft

Though the weather cools down a bit during the winter in Monterey County, there is no snow! Need we say more? The cool, crisp air lends itself well to hiking at Pinnacles National Park, especially on some of the more strenuous (but rewarding!) trails. And of course, there’s no better way to warm up during the winter than with a piping hot bread bowl of the best clam chowder in Monterey County.

Things to Do in Winter

Places to Stay

Book a winter getaway with Inns of Monterey, a collection of five boutique hotels, including Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa, Spindrift Inn, Monterey Bay Inn, Victorian Inn and Wave Street Inn. All are in the city of Monterey, which is filled with holiday cheer during the holidays! Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and historic adobes throughout the city are festively decorated, with an ice-skating rink situated near the bay for family-fun.