Rain can sometimes put a bit of a damper on your day, but there's plenty to explore on a rainy day in Monterey County while still staying dry. Whether it's visiting a museum exhibit or simply enjoying the gorgeous, rainy views from a balcony window, here are some ways to enjoy a rainy day in Monterey County. 

1. Learn Something New 

Inside of the National Steinbeck Center.Duck for cover at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and learn about life under the sea. There are plenty of exhibits to explore like the three-story kelp forest or the sea otter exhibit where guests can see the otters playing along the surface and even explore the newest “Into the Deep” exhibit where visitors can see the largest collection of deep-sea animals in North America,

Scope out the latest works at the Monterey Museum of Art, or learn about the Monarch Butterflies at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. In Salinas, get lost in a good book at the National Steinbeck Center, or visit California Welcome Center Salinas located at 1A Station Place to see the exhibit, Postcards, Passengers, and Produce and learn how the Southern Pacific Company created the Salad Bowl of the World.  

Interested in learning more about Monterey County history? Visit the Carmel Valley History Center on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore its many wonderful exhibits, including its educational display on indigenous life. 

2. Wine Tasting in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Talbott Tasting Room

Grab your umbrella and sample local wine from some of the tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Whether it's an oaky Chardonnay or a smooth Pinot Noir, you are bound to find a new favorite, and lucky for you most of the tasting rooms are conveniently located within a one-mile radius!   

3. Find the Best Clam Chowder to Warm You Up

Old Fisherman's Grotto Clam Chowder

Nothing is better than a piping hot bowl of clam chowder from one of the many appetizing restaurants along Fisherman's Wharf. Be sure to taste your way down the wharf to some of our favorites: Crabby Jim's, Domenico's, Old Fisherman's Grotto and Paluca Trattoria. You can find more delicious places to get clam chowder in our round up of where to find the best clam chowder in Monterey County

After the chowder, warm up even more and see 10 places to grab a hot drink. 

4. Enjoy the Views from Inside

A Taste of Monterey

Photo Credit: A Taste of Monterey

Watch the excitement outdoors from a cozy indoor fireplace, a room with a view, or an indoor balcony. Book a stay at Carmel Valley Ranch where all the suites are all accommodated with a fireplace and a private balcony so that you can enjoy the warmth and a view of the Valley. Another great place to stay is Spindrift Inn where almost every room comes with its own fireplace and ocean view! 

Grab a seat near one of the panoramic windows at A Taste of Monterey along Cannery Row and embrace the stormy views of Monterey Bay. Did we mention that they serve over 95 wineries from Monterey County’s Wine Country? 

5. See a Show

People On Stage At The Golden State Theatre

Photo Courtesy: Golden State Theatre

Monterey County has one of the busiest performing arts calendars in all of California. Visit the Golden State Theatre in Monterey which hosts anything from a concert, lecture, musical, or film. In Carmel-by-the-Sea, you will find the Sunset Center which showcases a variety of world-class performances and live events. Or grab some popcorn and catch the newest movie at Century Theatres located at Del Monte Shopping Center

6. Find your Zen

Room With Ocean View At The Vista Blue Spa

Photo Courtesy: Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

The sound of rain may be relaxing enough, but spa treatments in Monterey will take you to the next level of Zen. Find bliss on the bay at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa's Vista Blue Spa. Located on the fifth-floor, the spa is equipped with a rooftop deck and fireplace, outdoor whirlpool tubs, and a full-service fitness center. 

Tucked away at The Spa at Bernardus, indulge in a stress-releasing environment and get pampered with a signature treatment including a facial or massage. You may also have the opportunity to use the eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna, and warming pool. 

For a truly pampering experience book a treatment at the luxurious Spa at Pebble Beach where the 22,000-square-foot space specializes in wraps, water treatments, and rejuvenating massages and facials. Other spa highlights include a full-service salon, an outdoor pool, and a sanctuary with a warming fire pit.

Spa Adeline is another great option while looking for a place to relax. This locally owned spa strives to connect elegance, energy, and spirituality. Visit them at one of their three locations: Spa Adeline at Hyatt Regency, Spa Adeline at Hyatt Carmel Highlands, and Spa Adeline at Quail Lodge.

Book a treatment at the Spa at Post Ranch Inn, where their massages focus on spiritual exploration and intuitive healing arts. 

Another way to find your zen is to book a class at Om Studios. Whether it be Pilates, Barre, or Yoga, you will leave feeling refreshed and recharged!

Looking for more? Visit our full spa itinerary

7. Have Some Family-Friendly Fun

High Scores ArcadePhoto Credit: High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum 

Round up the little ones and let them burn off some steam at MY Museum in downtown Monterey. Exhibits like MY Go-Fore Golf, MY Day at the Beach, MY Hospital, and MY Build a House allow kids to play in a fun and interactive space. 

Just a few doors down from the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row is Monterey County's newest attraction, Treasure Hunt: The Ride! Riders will go on an interactive tour beneath Cannery Row to discover the hideout where the famous Pirate Captain Hippolyte Bouchard and his crew of scallywags hid their treasure. Looking for more of a challenge? Get a team together to solve clues in a variety of themed rooms at Escape Room 831.  

Looking for some old-school fun? Check our High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum in downtown Monterey. There are over 160 games including Asteroids, Galaga, Pac-Man and so much more! 

If you are unable to go on an actual golf course, Links Club Golf gives a great alternative to practice your golf swing! Using high-tech simulators and PXG clubs, Links Golf Club gives space for you and your group to explore over 200 of the world's best golf courses, eat, drink, and have fun on a rainy day. 

8. Enjoy Local Coffee Shops

Alta Bakery & Cafe_FYWH

Step out of the rain and explore local coffee shops. Embrace the warm aroma of freshly brewed coffee, a fresh pastry, and enjoy the ambiance of each shop. Visit places like Alta Bakery & Cafe and Ad Astra Bread Co. in downtown Monterey, Captain + Stoker at one of their locations in Monterey or Pacific Grove, Counterpoint Coffee in Seaside, The Power Plant Coffee & Store in Moss Landing or The Beerded Bean in Salinas, and Hestia in King City. No matter where you go you will enjoy a combination of these distinctive coffee shops that make for a memorable and comforting journey through the local coffee culture of Monterey County.

Stay dry, and safe! Make sure to stay up to date on the most recent weather advisories and road conditions at Monterey County Travel Alerts.