Top Choice Music in Monterey

Monterey Jazz Festival

One of the world’s longest-running jazz festivals (since 1958) showcases big-name headliners over a long spring weekend.
Art in Santa Cruz

Open Studio Art Tour

Step inside local artists’ creative workshops over three weekends in October. The arts council also sponsors 'First Friday' art exhibitions on the first Friday of each month, including access to artists' ateliers at…
Film in San Luis Obispo

SLO International Film Festival

This annual six-day celebration of film has been a mainstay of the SLO cultural calendar since 1993. Events and screenings are held around the greater San Luis Obispo County area, including in Paso Robles and Pismo …
Food & Drink in Gilroy

Gilroy Garlic Festival

The jam-packed Gilroy Garlic Festival is held over the last full weekend in July. Show up for the chow – garlicky fries, garlic-flavored ice cream and more – and cooking contests under the blazing-hot sun.
Food & Drink in Monterey

Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival

Head 15 miles north of Monterey for 3D ‘agro art’ sculptures, cooking demos, a farmers market and field tours. A recent addition is a wine-and-beer garden with tasty beverages from around the region.
Wine in Paso Robles

Wine Festival

Oenophiles come for Paso's premier Wine Festival in mid-May, but the Vintage Paso weekend, focusing on Zinfandel wines, in mid-March and the Harvest Wine Weekend in mid-October are just as much fun.
Outdoors in Morro Bay

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Bird-watchers flock here for guided hikes, kayaking tours and naturalist-led field trips, during which over 200 species can be spotted along the Pacific Flyway.
Food & Drink in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Excellent four-day gastronomy-focused festival sponsored by the prestigious Food & Wine magazine. Held in mid- to late-April.
Cultural in Santa Cruz

Woodies on the Wharf

Classic-car show features vintage surf-style station wagons on Santa Cruz's Municipal Wharf.
Film in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel International Film Festival

Live music and over 100 independent film screenings. Animation, documentaries, features and short films are all covered.