The Monterey Peninsula is an exciting location if you’re considering the best place to buy a vacation home because each of the cities have their own unique benefits while being so close to one another! There are a few factors that separate these cities. We’ll discuss those factors, and how they relate to each city outlined below.

Factors to Consider When Looking for Real Estate on the Monterey Peninsula

  • Weather
  • Amenities
  • Community
  • Value

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Monterey

Weather

Monterey weather can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood. There are areas in the sunbelt such as Aguajito and Deer Flats, oceanfront neighborhoods such as Del Monte Beach, and shade-covered areas such as Monte Vista. June 2018 averaged 58 degrees.

Amenities

Monterey is home to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and just a quick drive to Costco in Seaside. Alvarado street is great for restaurants, shopping and the Alvarado Farmer’s Market. Lighthouse also has some excellent eats such as Hula’s, La Bahia and Lala’s on Cannery Row.

Community

One thing I noticed when moving to Monterey is how happy everyone seems to be. Walking the trail from Fisherman’s Wharf to Pacific Grove, you’ll see couples holding hands or riding bikes with their kids, runners and athletes training, and individuals taking a moment to appreciate the incredible scenery. There is something for everyone in Monterey.

Value

The range of prices in Monterey from $350k condo’s to multi million dollar properties offers vacation home opportunities for a vast array of buyers.

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Carmel-by-the-Sea

best place to buy a vacation home

Mid Century charm in Carmel

Weather

If you’ve ever walked Carmel in the morning through the coffee shops and down to the beach, you know the magic that attracts buyers from all over the world. Mornings are brisk and can be sunny or foggy. Weather can be unpredictable on the central coast, but usually the fog goes away by around 11am.

Amenities

Living in Carmel allows you to be within walking distance of excellent restaurants, tasting rooms, shopping, art galleries, and more.

Community

Carmel is a dog friendly community. You’ll find folks walking around the streets of Carmel with their puppies and making new friends.

Value

The price per square foot in Carmel is generally much higher than other cities along the Monterey Peninsula, but the argument could be made that it is still undervalued when you compare the lifestyle with that of the Silicon Valley. The closer you get to the ocean, the more expensive the homes will be, but there are neighborhoods such as Carmel Woods that offer a bigger bang for your buck while still close to the action and maybe even some ocean views!

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Carmel Valley

best place to buy a vacation home

Relaxing at Quail

Weather

Carmel Valley is a vacation home destination for many due to the sunny weather when compared to other locations such as Carmel and Pacific Grove. In summer months temperatures can be in the 90’s and sometimes over 100 degrees! Sometimes, you’ll find it’s foggy or even sprinkling in Carmel, but sunny and beautiful in the valley.

Amenities

Carmel Valley residents can go to the Mid Valley shopping center to find Ace Hardware, a Chase Bank, gas station, a few restaurants, laundromat, and Safeway. There’s also an excellent masseuse in Mid Valley known as Skinovation!

A few miles further into the valley is the Carmel Valley Village with many great restaurants, tasting rooms, coffee shops, and a small grocery store.

Community

Carmel Valley is home to many vacation home owners as well as families with kids going through the Carmel School District – one of the highest ranked public schools in the nation. Many locals living in Monterey, Pebble Beach or Carmel eventually move to the valley for more space and sunlight.

Value

Lots in Carmel Valley are much larger, so if you love gardening or want more land, Carmel Valley would be a great fit. You’ll also find more pools in Carmel Valley and guest houses than anywhere else on the Monterey Peninsula.

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Carmel Highlands

Weather

Carmel Highlands can be very windy and chilly! For those who don’t mind, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular sunsets and ocean vistas that those living in other areas of the peninsula might not get to see as often.

Amenities

The Carmel Highlands are a little more remote, and residents come to Carmel to do their shopping and dining out. However, the Hyatt has a great restaurant with an outstanding view of the water and a rich history.

Community

Carmel Highlands residents vary between full time residents, vacation home owners, and even investors.

Value

We like to say that Carmel Highlands is the gateway to both Big Sur and Carmel. For those considering a purchase in Big Sur, but not quite sold on the remote lifestyle, the Highlands can be a great fit. Big Sur residents considering a Carmel purchase sometimes find that the Highlands is the right destination to maintain a sense of their Big Sur lifestyle without being so far away.

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Pacific Grove

Weather

Pacific Grove is undoubtedly the foggiest location on the Monterey Peninsula, and in fact – the foggiest city on the central coast. When the fog lifts, it can be the most charming and stunning city on the peninsula. I would highly recommend the beach at Lover’s Point on a sunny day to get the full experience.

Amenities

Pacific Grove has a Safeway off David as well as Trader Joe’s. Getting to Highway 1 requires taking the 68, so it takes a little longer to get to other cities along the peninsula.

Community

Pacific Grove is one of the most friendly cities on the peninsula. Most homes are close to each other due to the smaller lots, so it’s easy to make friends with your neighbors and meet other residents on walks. Walking around Pacific Grove is so much fun. The opportunities seem endless with intriguing shops and restaurants downtown, and beautiful vistas by the water.

Value

Pacific Grove is a value for vacation home buyers because of the proximity to the ocean without paying Carmel prices. It’s easy to fall in love with the scenery and charm of this little town.

Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home | Pebble Beach

best place to buy a vacation home

Spacious yards in Pebble Beach

Weather

Pebble Beach can be cold and foggy, or bright and sunny depending on the day and neighborhood you’re looking in.

Amenities

Like Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach requires taking Highway 68 in order to get to Highway 1, so it is a bit more remote than other areas on the peninsula. The winding roads through the various neighborhoods of Pebble Beach provide great views of the water and world class golf courses. Spanish Bay, one of my favorite places for a drink with a view, is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike.

Community

There are not many restaurants and amenities in Pebble Beach, but the lots are larger and offer more privacy. The 17 mile drive has many little beaches to take your kids or enjoy the sunset.

Value

Homes can range from sub $1M fixer uppers to waterfront estates worth 10’s of millions. Living in Pebble can be a golfer’s paradise with the various country clubs and courses available.

Conclusion

We hope this overview of various cities along the Monterey Peninsula helps you in your search for the best place to buy a vacation home! If you have any questions about neighborhoods or properties of interest, we are happy to help.

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