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Retirement Living In Monterey County - California

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Area Description

Monterey County is situated on California's central coast with its northern border approximately 100 miles south of San Francisco and 45 minutes from San Jose, and its southern border about 200 miles north of Los Angeles. Situated between the Gabilan Mountains and Pacific Ocean, this postcard-worthy destination boasts 99 miles of pristine coastline and was voted one of the top ten wine destinations in the world. Monterey County has more than 40,000 acres of plush vineyards, championship golf courses, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Monterey Bay Aquarium on world-famous Cannery Row. The area is easily accessible by flying on one of more than 500 direct and one-stop flights into Monterey Regional Airport (MRY).

All year long, there are events and special activities for visitors to enjoy. Festivals abound throughout the year, and any day of the week can include wine tasting, adventure tours, horseback riding on the beach, hikes in the redwoods and new culinary experiences – the list is as endless, as the destination’s scenic beauty.

Includes Cities/Towns: Carmel, Carmel Valley, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Seaside.

Region Characteristics

Area Amenities

Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness


17-Mile Drive: www.pebblebeach.com. Scenic driving tour of Pebble Beach, scenic lookouts and famous golf courses. Entrance fee.

Big Sur: www.bigsurcalifornia.org. Scenic area of Monterey County encompassing a 90-mile stretch of breathtaking dramatic coastline from Carmel to Hearst Castle. Inns, restaurants, camping spots, beaches and hiking trails can be found along the iconic Highway 1.

Cannery Row: www.canneryrow.com. One of the most popular destinations in the Central Coast and named for Steinbeck’s novel, Cannery Row offers waterfront luxury hotels, boutiques, restaurants and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: www.carmelcalifornia.com. Charming village with boutique shops and 110 art galleries. Quirky laws including no street addresses, live music, neon lights or high heels without a permit still exist.

Fisherman’s Wharf: www.montereywharf.com. Popular attraction with seafood and chowder vendors, unique shops, restaurants, whale watching tours and sailing and fishing.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: www.montereybayaquarium.org. Featuring daily shows, feedings, tours and a dozen exhibits including Monterey Bay Habitats and new for 2016 - ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge.

Monterey Wine Country: www.montereywines.org. Monterey County is home to more than 175 vineyards, nearly 60 wineries and tasting rooms, and 42 varietals. There are wine tasting opportunities throughout the county including in Salinas, Carmel Valley, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey.

National Steinbeck Center: www.steinbeck.org. Museum devoted to the life and works of John Steinbeck.

Pinnacles National Park: The national park is a popular spot for outdoor activities ranging from hiking to birdwatching to stargazing to rock climbing. It is also a perfect outdoor classroom for lessons in geology, botany and biology. Pinnacles Campground offers tent, group and RV sites.


Beaches: Many public areas for walking, picnicking, surfing, snorkeling, kite flying and tide pool and sand dune exploration.

Biking: From the rugged challenges of mountain biking at Fort Ord Public Lands to the cliffs of Big Sur to the gentle, paved coastal Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, there's a ride in Monterey County for every level of cyclist.

Camping: The Los Padres National Forest, Pinnacles and many state beaches and parks offer campsites throughout Monterey County. RV camping is also available at select sites.

Fishing: Deep sea, surf and freshwater fishing are popular activities. Fishing regulations and license information can be obtained from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Flightseeing Tours: Explore scenic Monterey County from the sky by helicopter or plane.

Golf: Monterey County is a world class golf destination with 26 public and private golf courses playable year-round and in a variety of scenic settings.

Hiking: Monterey County’s parks and recreation areas feature various hiking trails for the day visitor and the backcountry traveler including trails along the coast and redwood forests.

Horseback Riding: Guided tours and beach and trail ride packages are available in Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Moss Landing and Pebble Beach. Those who have their own horses can also explore equestrian trails throughout Monterey County.

Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: Guided tours, lessons and rentals are available in Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach.

Sailing: Tours and charters leave from Monterey Harbor, giving visitors the opportunity to take in local wildlife like whales, seals, sea lions and otters and enjoy coastal views.

Skydiving: Available in Marina at the Monterey Municipal Airport. Jump from 18,000ft with views of Monterey Bay.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: With more than 6,000 sq miles of water and 276 miles of coastline, there are plenty of areas to snorkel or dive in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary including the Breakwater in Monterey, Lovers Point in Pacific Grove and Whaler's Cove in Point Lobos State Park.

Whale Watching: Many chartered whale watching tours are available from Fisherman’s Wharf and Moss Landing and can be enjoyed year-round. Sightings include: gray whales, humpbacks, blue whales, minke whales, fin whales, orcas, dolphins and more!

Cultural Activities


Art Galleries: From Moss Landing to Monterey to Big Sur, galleries and art studios are located throughout Monterey County including 110 galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Art festivals include the annual Carmel Art Festival and the Sand City West End Celebration.

Events: www.SeeMonterey.com. Nearly 300 special events take place in Monterey County annually including AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Classic Car Week, Monterey Jazz Festival, races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Big Sur Marathon and other food, wine, cultural and family festivals.

History: Discover Monterey’s rich historic heritage through guided and self-guided tours of 19th century buildings and landmarks, historic missions and museums.

Music and Theatre: Several live performance theaters offer a variety of productions year-round. Resident musical groups include the Monterey Symphony Orchestra, and the Carmel Bach Festival, California Roots Music and Art Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival are among popular music events. Monterey County will also be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017.

Public transportation

Whether you’re headed to work, school, shopping or meeting friends, Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) will take you there. MST provides bus service to the greater Monterey and Salinas areas as far south as Paso Robles and Big Sur and as far north as Santa Cruz and San Jose.

Medical Facilities

What Will The Climate And Weather Be Like If I Retire In Monterey County, California?


Average summer temperatures range from 50º F to 70ºF

Average winter temperatures range from 44º F to 61º F

September is on average the warmest month, and January on average is the coolest month
Average yearly rainfall in Monterey is 21.3 inches and falls primarily between November and March

Source: The Weather Channel

Monthly Temperature Ranges

 Month  Low  Avg  High
 Jan  40  50  61
 Feb  42  52  62
 Mar  44  54  64
 Apr  45  56  67
 May  48  59  70
 Jun  51  62  73
 Jul  53  64  75
 Aug  53  65  76
 Sep  52  64  76
 Oct  48  61  73
 Nov  44  55  66
 Dec  40  50  60

Monthly Average # of Hot and Cold Days

 Month  Days Greater Than 90 F°  Days Less Than 32 F°  Days Less Than 0 F°
 Jan  0  4  0
 Feb  0  2  0
 Mar  0  1  0
 Apr  1  0  0
 May  1  0  0
 Jun  2  0  0
 Jul  3  0  0
 Aug  3  0  0
 Sep  3  0  0
 Oct  2  0  0
 Nov  0  2  0
 Dec  0  4  0

Rain & Humidity

 Month  Rainfall  Rainy Days  Humidity
 Jan  4 "  10  40 %
 Feb  4 "  10  42 %
 Mar  3 "  9  43 %
 Apr  1 "  6  44 %
 May  1 "  3  46 %
 Jun  0 "  1  48 %
 Jul  0 "  1  51 %
 Aug  0 "  1  51 %
 Sep  0 "  1  49 %
 Oct  1 "  3  46 %
 Nov  2 "  6  42 %
 Dec  3 "  9  39 %


 Month  Snowfall  Snow On Ground Days  Snowy Days
 Jan  0 "  0  0
 Feb  0 "  0  0
 Mar  0 "  0  0
 Apr  0 "  0  0
 May  0 "  0  0
 Jun  0 "  0  0
 Jul  0 "  0  0
 Aug  0 "  0  0
 Sep  0 "  0  0
 Oct  0 "  0  0
 Nov  0 "  0  0
 Dec  0 "  0  0

Natural Disaster Areas

Cost of Living for Monterey County, CA

Monterey County, California cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc.:

Cost of Living




Political Party


Senior Housing Options

Senior Assistance in Monterey County, CA

Monterey County, California offers the following assistance for seniors:

What Job or Volunteer Opportunities Does Monterey County Offer For Retirees?

City of Monterey- Monterey volunteers actively assist city government in many different ways. What would our community be like without the Presidio Museum, after school homework help, healthy flowers and trees, youth soccer teams, or beach clean-ups? Volunteers make it happen so come join us! We have a wide range of opportunities from one-time to long-term positions in most City departments. We always welcome new ideas on ways to volunteer. This is a flexible program and you can give the time you feel is right. So if you enjoy helping the community and working with people, completing projects, being dependable, and can make a commitment of some of your time - volunteer! The City of Monterey is committed in providing volunteer opportunities to citizens who want to make a difference locally.

Monterey Bay Aquarium- For over 30 years our volunteers have helped visitors from around the world explore the wonders of Monterey Bay and beyond, sharing our mission to inspire conservation of the oceans. As mentors and teachers, volunteers are an essential part of the Aquarium community. They engage, inspire, and have a blast! Won't you join us?

Become a volunteer at the Monterey Museum of Art!Share your valuable time and skills through a variety of fun and rewarding opportunities. Meet new people, develop new skills, and support the arts. We look forward to working with you at the Museum! Monterey Museum of Art Docents assist visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the Museum’s collection by encouraging thought-provoking dialogue and by providing accurate, precise information. Docents help visitors develop interpretations of works by providing new ways of seeing and thinking about art. If you need a flexible volunteer schedule, join the behind-the-scenes fun and help out with events at the Museum. Opportunities include serving refreshments, greeting visitors and clerical support. Help keep MMA and La Mirada gardens beautiful. If you enjoy flowers and gardening, join the Museum’s beautification team.

Volunteer with the Monterey State Historic Park Association. The Monterey State Historic Park has an active volunteer program that not only assists with park operations, but also strengthens its partnership with the community. Over 125 registered volunteers support many aspects of the park's operation, including working as clerks at the Cooper Museum Store, instructing with children's educational programs two days a week, serving as docents at the Robert Louis Stevenson House, helping out at the park's several historic gardens, and performing as living history characters at special events. In return, park volunteers participate in special free educational programs, field trips and training.

There is various part time work available for seniors that range from working at one of our local visitor centers, golf courses and in the hospitality industry.

Additional Information

Visitor Information

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