Special Events & Festivals
From the Monterey Blues Festival to the Monterey Reggaefest, Monterey County's line-up of music festivals makes for an invigorating getaway. In September, the annual Monterey Jazz Festival hits a chord as the world's longest continuously running jazz festival delivering and showcase for such artists as India.Arie, Sonny Rollins and Poncho Sanchez. Auto and arts enthusiasts can combine both passions at the annual Monterey Rock n' Rod Festival, while more classic pursuits can be had at the annual Carmel Bach Festival. For those set on a Bob Marley fix, the Monterey Reggaefest features 25 performances under the summer sun. There is something to please every music lover in Monterey County with festivals geared towards jazz, reggae, blues, swing and much more. See a list of music festivals events here.
Monterey County plays host to several world-class spectator sporting events each year, drawing visitors and competitors from all over the world. For golf fans, there's AT&T's star-studded celebrity golf tournament. If car racing is more your speed, check out the Indy cars and other racing events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Salinas plays host to an annual air show featuring military-precision flight squadrons and showcases bronco-bustin' cowboys at the rodeo. Finally, if sheer determination and human willpower is what you're after, check out the world-class runners puffing down 26 miles of Highway One in what's been consistently called the best marathon in North America. Click here for a list of exhilarating sporting events.
Food & Wine Events
Nearly every event on Monterey County's jam-packed calendar features a collection of culinary creations and wine celebrations reflective of the destination's people, culture and agriculture. A handful of events, though, are dedicated primarily to gastronomical pleasures. For die-hard foodies, Pebble Beach Food and Wine in April matches 200 acclaimed wineries with 60 celebrity chefs for a weekend of wine and beverage tastings, cooking demonstrations and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world. Learn the ins and outs of sustainable seafood at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's gourmet event, Cooking for Solutions. Ever tried artichoke ice cream? Here's your chance! Castroville is the Artichoke Center of the World and proudly celebrates its title at the annual Artichoke Festival every May. For a full list of foodie events click here.
Monterey County celebrates the arts through festivals, performances, tours and more. The Carmel Art Festival educates and inspires people of all ages about the visual arts. In addition to Plein Air and Sculpture in the Park events, the festival is host to the Carmel Youth Art Show, Quick Draw, Kids Art Day and more. The funky streets of Sand City shut down during the last weekend in August for the Sand City West End Celebration. Unique artwork is on display accompanied by live entertainment and food vendors. Last but not least, every December, the best cowboy poets and balladeers are featured at the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. This three-day event features a western art and gear sale, a Saturday night western dance, a "cowboy" church service, and a silent auction, among others. Click here for a list of art festivals throughout Monterey County.
It seems that something special and exciting is always going on in Monterey County; local community events such as Pacific Grove's Good Old Days, the Monterey County Fair, Festival of the Winds and Cherry's Jubilee gives every visitor a slice of hometown Americana. Community events showcase the local heritage and unique cultures that Monterey County has to offer, while giving locals and visitors a chance to come together as one. For a list of other events throughout the community click here.
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