You are here

December 20, 2016
Pfeiffer Beach in Monterey County


Sponsored by Monterey County

If you are looking to enjoy the holidays without having to shovel snow, then winter in Monterey is for you! It's always a great time to experience the bounty Monterey has to offer, but the winter months bring some of our best weather without the crowds. From whales and sea otters in the Pacific to the hiking trails in the Salinas Valley, there are plenty of activities to do that don't include having to pack your ski jacket!

Festive Events

There are over a dozen holiday happenings packed between late November and January that evoke the warm and fuzzy feelings this season was meant to create. Round up the troops and enjoy a Christmas dinner at a local restaurant, kick off 2017 at a New Year's Eve event or catch a celebrity at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Feb. 6-12.

Ring in the New Year at First Night Monterey where downtown Monterey is transformed into an all-day, family-friendly NYE bash. Kick off 2017 on the right foot with at the Rio Grill Resolution Run bright and early on Jan.1.

No Snow!

Need we say more? The air may be cool and crisp but it rarely dips below 45 degrees on the Monterey Peninsula, which is the perfect weather to tackle that hike you have been putting off. Fog is not usually an issue in the winter months and it's often our sunnier time of year.

Rain is hard to predict, but if you happen to be caught in a shower you are still sure to enjoy the accompanying clouds hugging the dramatic coastline. Here are "7 Fun Things to Do on Rainy Day in Monterey" just in case.

Fireplaces with a View

Cozy up next to someone special and enjoy a winter night snuggling by the fire. Whether you're looking for a scenic view, a people-watching view or a view made for two, you'll find the perfect fireplace just for you.

Make some new friends around a fire-pit at The Bench, overlooking the iconic 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

For a more intimate take, book a room at the Spindrift Inn on Cannery Row where several rooms come with their very own crackling wood fire and an ocean view. Click here for a full list of the "Best Fireplaces with a View."

Warm up with a Steamy Beverage

Several restaurants and cafés in Monterey County hope to warm you up from the inside out with one of their cozy concoctions, ranging from Mexican coffee and hot cocoa to traditional Irish coffee.

Sip in the legendary views of the Big Sur coastline at Nepenthe, where they brew up a legion of coffee drinks. The highlight is without a doubt the Keoki Coffee, made with specialty coffee, Kahlua, Créme de Cacao and brandy.

Indulge in luxury and a liquor libation at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Sit by the fire pits on the patio to admire the surf, the bagpiper and the sunset, or snuggle inside on overstuffed chairs by the fireplace. Every hot drink is done to perfection, from the traditional Irish coffee to the less traditional Nutty Scotsman to the utterly decadent (and delicious) Chocolate Raspberry Nutty Truffle, a must for every chocolate lover. Click here to view "Top 10 Places to Grab a Hot Drink."

Winter Whale Sightings

Monterey Bay is unique in that you can catch a whale watching tour just about every day of the year. Winter is a prime time to catch the action on the bay as gray whales begin their migration north and start appearing in early December. You'll even have the opportunity to see the usual residents like dolphins, sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions.

Formally celebrate the return of gray whales to the Monterey Bay during Whalefest MontereyOld Fisherman's Wharf and Custom House Plaza throw quite the migration party for these much loved creatures, Jan. 28-29, 2017. This two-day family fun festival hosts a variety of activities including live entertainment, face painting, educational exhibits, historic walking tours, chalk art, live music and much more.

For more information and additional activity suggestions, please visit

You may also like