The Monterey Peninsula is blessed with fairly constant, refreshingly cool weather and an average year-round high of 68 degrees and a low of 51 degrees. Though there are distinct high and low seasons, festivals and weekends draw visitors to Monterey all year, so advanced planning and reservations are always key.
From July through early September, peak season kicks into full swing with warmer temperatures and an influx of crowds. July brings average highs ranging from 52 to 66 degrees, and both the California Rodeo Salinas and the MotoGP World Championship, featuring elite motorcycle riders from around the world. Car aficionados love to visit in August, when the area’s Classic Car Week rolls into town. Highlights include the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which spotlights decades of iconic cars, and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where 200 of the best collector cars in the world show off on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach. September is typically the warmest month in Monterey, with an average high of 70 degrees; it’s also when the two-day Monterey Jazz Festival is held.
You can still sneak in a good deal if you visit Monterey during shoulder season, which can see Indian summer days from late September through October and sunny breaks in the weather from April through June. In fact, many Californians consider fall and spring the best times to visit for comfortably cool weather and fewer crowds. In the spring, several worthwhile events shine under the sometimes-fickle skies, including the breathtaking Big Sur International Marathon in April and the environmentally sustainable Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in May.
Low season falls from November through March, when temperatures dip and rainfall increases (January is the rainiest on average). This is still a fantastic time to see Monterey, with average highs ranging from 58 to 61, plus the best deals on accommodations. More festivals across the Monterey Peninsula also make the journey worthwhile: February’s historic AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament and April’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, a huge event featuring hundreds of wineries and chefs.