Monterey is home to the acclaimed California Roots Music & Arts Festival. The Monterey County Fair & Event Center is a beautiful, oak tree-shaded outdoor historic venue heralded as the site of one of the first music festivals in the United States, the famous Monterey Pop Festival, and continues to be a fan favorite with its close proximity to tourist attractions, beaches and hotels.
Monterey County offers a plethora of unique experiences. People travel from around the world to experience everything Monterey has to offer -- wind along the breathtaking Big Sur coastline of Highway 1 (top road trip in the US), book an ocean view hotel on the beach, explore the shops and attractions of historic Cannery Row including the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium, sip handcrafted wines at tucked-away tasting rooms, play 18 holes at legendary golf courses, book a cruise in the bay to spot whales and dolphins, or pack a picnic and watch the sunset on one of our awe-inspiring beaches. The possibilities are endless.
To celebrate Monterey’s 250 year birthday and this year’s Cali Roots event, here are 11 reasons to visit the Monterey, California area with its rich history and natural beauty. Whether you are a first time visitor or a seasoned attendee, there is always something new to explore in Monterey.
1) Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world's richest marine regions. More than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.
2) Fisherman’s Wharf
A visit to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula just isn't complete without a rendezvous with Old Fisherman's Wharf. Experience a myriad of great restaurants, unique shops, and more.
Monterey is a big destination for beach lovers. Be sure to hit Marina State Beach for some surfing and fun in the sun and stop by Lovers Point to enjoy a serene picnic, too. The joys of Monterey's beaches in the spring are immeasurable. Other essential beaches in the county include Carmel Beach, McAbee Beach, Pfeiffer Beach, Salinas River State Beach and Fort Ord Dunes State Park Beach.
4) Whale Watching
Monterey is an ideal spot to do whale watching, but many other sea life can be spotted on tours from dolphins to sea otters.
5) Wine Tasting
Visitors can choose from 65 tasting rooms throughout Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley, Monterey and Salinas Valley.
Monterey’s neighboring coastal city Seaside has been seeing a renaissance over the last year. From new additions, including Other Brother Beer Company for beer lovers to the unique coffee shop-recording studio combo Counterpoint Coffee, Seaside is quickly becoming a trendy spot to explore.
From the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links to Del Monte Golf Course, the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi, Monterey County offers some of the finest fairways in the world. With 26 public and private courses set in one of the country's most breathtaking locations it is no wonder that visitors plan their entire vacation schedule around a single round of golf.
8) 17-Mile Scenic Drive
The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions, including the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees.
Monterey County offers museums dedicated to nearly every aspect of its rich history including agriculture, natural history, maritime, art, native inhabitants and more.
10) Cannery Row
This historic waterfront district attracts visitors worldwide with its unique shopping, popular restaurants, and amazing views. Named after John Steinbeck’s novel, the area includes the most luxurious hotels, boutiques & galleries, spas, premium wine tasting all with the breathtaking backdrop of the Monterey Bay coastline.
11) California Roots Music & Festival
The top tier national festival is the premier gathering for the progressive U.S. Reggae and roots music movement and culture, bringing the scene together over Memorial Day weekend (May 22-24) in beautiful Monterey, CA. The festival has been recognized for their commitment to creating an environmentally conscious event that benefits the surrounding community, educates and engages the attending fans, and provides a music festival model that is truly sustainable.
Friday, May 22
Nahko And Medicine For The People
Saturday, May 23
Sunday, May 24
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Sublime With Rome
Durand Jones & The Indications
Through The Roots
Artikal Sound System
The 11th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Dates: Friday, May 22, 2020 – Sunday May 24, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm PDT
Venue: Monterey County Fair and Event Center
Address: 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940
Age restrictions: All Ages