Monterey is a diverse and beautiful town and county located on the Central Coast of California, making it a good vantage point for a number of mindblowing annual migrations. Looking to shorebirds, the world’s largest mammals, and some adorable seals and sea lions, these are the best times of year for nature lovers to visit Monterey.
In the fall, travelers can take enjoy peak migration of wintering shorebirds arriving to Monterey in large quantities. This is the time of year you can see a number of wintering shorebirds including Townsend’s warblers, snowy plovers, golden eagles, and a variety of wintering ducks. This diverse and broad migration makes Monterey a popular birding destination in the autumn months.
We are grateful for the fact that whale watching is an enjoyable activity throughout a given year in Monterey. From the middle of December through around the middle of April, travelers can watch gray whales, dolphins, and killer whales passing through the bay and surrounding waters. The other half of the year features the migration of humpback whales, killer whales, and blue whales.
To learn more about how to see these magnificent creatures, check out our guide that covers Everything You Need To Know About Whale Watching in Monterey.
The winter season offers more for the nature lover visiting Monterey than its brilliant whale appearances. Baby seals are out and about in the winter months, and the always-adorable harbor seal pups are usually born between February and April. Head to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to check these cuties out alongside otters and sea lions.
The winter months are also the time of year to catch massive bunches of orange and black monarch butterflies fluttering throughout Monterey County. Pacific Grove is known as the butterfly capital of the country, and is home to countless sightings throughout the winter months, as well the annual Butterfly Parade.