Top 10 Things to do For the Holidays in Monterey, CA


Monterey is one of the California’s most popular coastal cities. Residents enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay and the Santa Lucia Mountains. The quality of life makes it the perfect location for retirement.  During the end of year the surrounding areas come alive with festivities celebrating the holidays in good cheer. Hidden in this community are historical landmarks, traditional holiday events surrounded by the best regional wineries and local culinary delights.

Holiday Festivities

1. Monterey Peninsula, Sunset Center

The performing arts center presents live music, concerts, dance, theater, comedy, and family events. This holiday season enjoy a favorite rendition of The Nutcracker.  Thanks to technology Live Jazz at Lincoln Center is part of the Big Band Holidays venue.

2. Merry Carolers

Don’t miss the Christmas cheer on Alvarado Street every Saturday until Christmas between 12PM-3PM. It’s a free event open to the whole family.  Afterwards enjoy a stroll through Old Monterey.

3. First Night Monterey

Join the community and celebrate New Year’s at the mission of First Night Monterey.  The event is perfect for all ages with entertainment, food and artist displays.  Enjoy the music from classical, jazz, salsa and rock performing on indoor and outdoor stages.

4. Christmas in the Adobes

This is Monterey’s signature holiday event.  Each of the adobes is decorated with Christmas lights. Enjoy the season with live entertainment and holiday refreshments.

5. Monterey Wine Country

Less than one hour’s drive is the wine region.   California’s character wines are legendary around the world. Throughout the year wine tasting rooms offer vintage and new blend wines.

6. Monterey Bay Aquarium

During the first part of December, there’s a community open house.  Admission is free to residents.  You’ll need to present a photo ID and proof of residency.   If you miss the open house discount tickets are available.

7. Walking Old Monterey

Daily tours except on Monday.  Put on your walking shoes.  The tour starts from the Custom House Plaza at Fisherman’s Wharf.   The Custom House is a landmark as one of the oldest government building in California.

8. Point Pinos Lighthouse

Learn about the history of the lighthouse and experience what life was like in Monterey more than 150 years ago. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Visitors can tour the inside or walk the outside grounds.

9. Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail

The trails are sculpted for strolling or a brisk walk along the coast with amazing ocean views.  During low tides enjoy a walk on the beach.  There’s parking and easy access for bikes, wheel chairs and strollers. Dogs must be kept on leash.

10. Famous 17-Mile Drive

From Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach the coastline’s history is blended with landscapes of greenery, rocky edges and spectacular ocean views. Find a spot and enjoy the holidays in true California style.

Enjoy Monterey County

Retirement doesn’t get much better than in the area near Monterey.  Local residents look forward to seasonal events throughout the year. The surrounding communities are filled with landscape treasures and California’s history and architecture. Our Forest Hill Retirement Community is centrally located to all of these excursions in Pacific Grove.

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