Autumn is a magical time in Monterey. As the seasons change, so does the landscape, transforming into a vibrant array of colors that paint the town in different hues.
Monterey County’s diverse landscape of coastal bluffs, rolling hills, and lush valleys provides a unique canvas for fall foliage. One of the most astounding places to experience the autumnal transformation is the Jacks Peak County Park. With over 8 miles of trails winding through forests of pine and oak, it’s a haven for those seeking the warm oranges and reds of the season.
Next is the Garrapata State Park. While the park is known for its stunning coastal views, the inland trails leading through redwood groves offer a spectacular display of fall colors.
Don’t miss a drive along the iconic 17-Mile Drive, which offers specific viewpoints to marvel at the autumn colors. Particularly, the stretch near Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill golf courses becomes a photographer’s delight with trees donning vibrant fall hues.
Take a stroll through the quaint town of Pacific Grove, often referred to as “Butterfly Town, USA” due to its annual influx of Monarch butterflies in the fall. The tree-lined streets and charming Victorian-era homes become even more enchanting with the changing colors of the leaves.
If you’re looking for more secluded spots to soak in the autumn colors, be sure to venture out to the lesser-known Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This location is an absolute treasure during fall with its wide variety of trees, including maples and oaks, that display a breathtaking palette of oranges, reds, and yellows.
For a unique experience, try a fall foliage canoe tour on the Elkhorn Slough. The calm waters of this marine sanctuary mirror the fall colors of the surrounding vegetation, creating a truly immersive autumn experience.
In addition to the vibrant foliage, fall in Monterey brings a rich harvest season. Visit the local farmer’s markets like the one at Alvarado Street or downtown Carmel. Here you can find seasonal produce like apples, pumpkins, and squashes, and even local autumn-themed crafts.
Whether it’s hiking through the changing woods, navigating the waters of a serene slough, or enjoying the local bounties at a farmer’s market, there’s something for everyone during this magical season in Monterey.