Monterey in springtime, California sea lions

Summer is a great time of year for travelers visiting many places. Monterey, California is not necessarily one of those places that is best visited in summer.

Don’t get me wrong. We love our summer tourist season. The weather is the warmest of the year with low 70s much of the time.

The main problem for a tourist is the weather in Monterey can suck in summer for days on end. As California heats up and triple digit temperatures take over the valleys and deserts, the cool Pacific Ocean fog spreads across the California coastline along the central coast communities, often for days at a time.

March and April are one of my favorite times for being outside along the beaches and seashore of the California Central Coast.

First Week of Spring – Monterey Scene 1.

Here is a snapshot of Monterey, California from Thursday, March 21, 2013 – the second day of spring.


Marriott Monterey holds a prominent location in downtown Monterey with the tallest building around.


Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a tourst trap. The wharf has some good restaurants and souvenir shops. There are candy shops, restaurant bars with Happy Hour specials and free samples of clam chowder as you walk by restaurants.


Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California on a quiet off-season Thursday.

This is the location in Monterey where ships launch for ‘Whale Watching’ tours in Monterey Bay. Prices are around $30 to $50 adults; less for children.


Monterey Bay Whale Watch Center


Chris Whale Watching Tours.


Randy’s Fishing Trips.

Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey is a good location for seeing California brown pelicans, sometimes sea otters, harbor seals on the west side sunbathing on the rocks at low tide and California sea lions all the time.

This day there was an even rarer sighting on Fisherman’s Wharf.


Monterey Symphony set up pianos around Monterey for anyone to play. This was the second piano player I heard while walking through Monterey. This sight made me realize that while buskers play for free and tips at the entrance to Fisherman’s Wharf, there are no buskers on the wharf.

Private Property.

I usually come to Fisherman’s Wharf to see California sea lions up close.


There is a dock behind Randy’s where California sea lions gather.

Sea lion pups and moms at Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf.


The Monterey Custom House 1827 is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Monterey.


Monterey Custom House 1827 is where Commodore Sloat proclaimed Monterey and California the territory of the United States on July 7, 1846 following the launch of the Mexican American War ten weeks earlier.


Monterey Custom House Plaza holds frequent festivals year round.


West side of Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf where harbor seals are commonly seen basking on rocks at low tide.


  1. @Dan – This week is gorgeous on Monterey Peninsula. I am getting out for lots of photography. Visited Big Sur seashore today and going for Salinas Valley River Road and Carmel Valley Road wineries tomorrow.

    @Jana – Marriott is nice compared to many other Monterey hotels. It is a full scale Marriott hotel. Monterey has a fair share of small motels on Munras Avenue just south of downtown. The Marriott hotel location is central Monterey with downtown restaurants, bars, theater, adobe history walk and Fisherman’s Wharf nearby for walking access.

    Some people prefer the hotels next to the water. Pacific Grove is great for these hotels at a price far less than Carmel if you want to spend more time outside than in restaurants and shops.

    InterContinental Monterey is next to aquarium on Cannery Row. Right on the water, but developed and not beach.

    Best Western has an old property right on the beach at the north end of Monterey where you can step out into the sand. Just know the water is always cold in Monterey Bay. Not much swimming going on.

  2. @SEE – Pacific Grove in May is a coastal town awash in bright colors. Iceplant is actually an invasive species introduced to California for its ability to grow well in the sand. That sand cohesiveness property has made the plant widespread along the California coast over the past 200 years.

    Pacific Grove has an incredible bloom in May when the coastal iceplant flowers. It is a magic carpet of color.

    Here is a Loyalty Traveler piece from last May with Pacific Grove iceplant photos.

  3. Great pics ! Booking into Marriott the last week of May.
    Now we can get really excited about it !

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