Monterey, California, hosts excellent attractions all year round, whether you want to explore Cannery Row or visit the Kelp Forest at the Monterey Aquarium. However, there’s something unique about visiting the area in the fall. Cool and comfortable temperatures make it the perfect time to get outside and explore. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Monterey, CA, during the fall.
What to do
While it may be a little too cold for sunbathing and swimming at the area’s beaches, it’s the perfect time to take a stroll down them. Take a drive along the famous 17-Mile Drive or Highway 1. Then, pull over when the mood strikes to explore the area’s beautiful beaches.
While you may spot a whale any time of the year in Monterey, Humpback and Blue Whales are known to migrate in the area during the fall months. Take a boat tour to see these majestic mammals up close, or bring binoculars and try to spot them from the shore of the Monterey Submarine Canyon.
Visiting the Pacific Grove Butterfly Sanctuary is stunning in the fall. Monarch Butterflies descend on the sanctuary during the fall months for mating season, creating a dazzling display as thousands of butterflies land on the sanctuary’s eucalyptus plants. Visiting the sanctuary is free! There are guided tours and other events in the grove as well. Watch as the town of Pacific Grove welcomes the butterflies every year with the Butterfly Parade and Baazar, which happens the first Saturday in October.
Fall events in Monterey
Fall wouldn’t be complete without an authentic German Oktoberfest! Monterey’s Oktoberfest is a weekend-long outdoor festival held every year at the Barnyard in Carmel. The event hosts live music, dancing, and—of course—lots of German beers.
The Monterey History Festival also takes place in the fall. This festival celebrates the area’s culture with tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout Monterey. Several of the beautiful homes in the area open their doors for free house tours. There are also reenactments of the area’s historical moments.
For a spooky way to explore the area, visit the Point Sur Lighthouse for a Halloween ghost tour. The ghost tour starts at sunset and includes dinner, dessert, and drinks.
Where to eat
Clam chowder is the perfect dish for crisp fall evenings in Monterey. Grab a bowl at some of the local eateries along Fisherman’s Wharf—you may even get a free sample!
Old Monterey Cafe offers outdoor seating and views of Monterey Bay for breakfast and lunch. Visit for a delicious menu of omelets, breakfast platters, coffees, and more.
The Fish Hopper overlooks Monterey Bay and has a heated patio. They serve a variety of seafood dishes, from fish and chips to lobster tails.
Visiting Monterey, CA during the Fall
September is the warmest month of Monterey’s year, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s overnight. Then, daily highs slowly dip into the mid to high 60s in October and November. Layers are essential for dressing for a day of sightseeing in Monterey. Cooly, breezy mornings turn into warm and toasty afternoons. Plan accordingly and bring a few layers, so you don’t have to stop your day because of what you’re wearing.
Explore Monterey when you stay at Ramada Hotel
Fall is a great time to visit Monterey, CA. The Ramada Hotel in Monterey allows you to be in the heart of all the area’s attractions so you can explore them easily. Read more about things to do in the area on our blog!