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5 Best Loved Festivals in Carmel and on the Monterey Peninsula

Updated: May 6

The Monterey Peninsula anchors the northern portion of the Central California coast and comprises the cities of Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove, among others. It is most known for The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Carmel-by-the Sea Village, and Big Sur. The area is also home to many amazing festivals. Below are a few of my favorites worth experiencing this year. Enjoy!

Sea Otter Classic Cycling Festival - April 2024

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Located in Monterey, California, the Sea Otter Classic is the largest gathering of cycling and outdoor enthusiasts in North America and offers nearly every type of competitive bike racing and recreational tours imaginable. Riders zoom around the iconic Laguna Seca Raceway, traverse the beautiful rolling hills of Fort Ord National Monument or take in the gorgeous coastal views along the Pacific Ocean.

The Monterey Wine Festival – June 2024

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Professional chefs from the West Coast challenge themselves to make extraordinary chowders. In the Annual Monterey Wine Festival, restaurants come to pay homage to their own special & customer favorite chowders. Guests can sample these previous award-winning chowders, pick their own personal favorites and simply enjoy cuisine that has become synonymous with Monterey and coastal destinations. Wines that pair with chowders are also available and enhance the celebration even further.

Carmel Bach Festival – July 2024

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Carmel Bach Festival began in 1935 as a four-day series of concerts at the Sunset School Auditorium and the Carmel Mission Basilica. Over the years, it has grown and is currently a two-week series of concerts, recitals, master classes, lectures, and open rehearsals.

The Festival’s mission is to celebrate the works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas, and by meaningful community engagement throughout the year. Our Vision is to be a world class festival of music and ideas transcending the traditional boundaries of performance and presentation, both at the festival and in communities, and to provide fresh musical contexts that spark the imagination, stimulate the mind and enrich people's lives in multi-faceted ways.

Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance – August 2024

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Often said to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile, Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance began in tandem with the Pebble Beach Road Races of 1950. The Concours was a last minute addition – a social gathering meant to add style to the event. In 2022, the charitable event raised a record 2.8 million for charity, bringing their historic giving total to 35 million.

Monterey Jazz Festival - September 2024

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The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the world and is held on the 20-acre oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds. Since 1948, the non-profit Monterey Jazz Festival has been committed to celebrating America’s creativity and cultural heritage by presenting legendary jazz musicians, composers and young rising stars.

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