Monterey Events in March

Festivals, Nightlife, and More Things to Do

Top Monterey events in March include concerts, festivals, and Saint Patrick's Day fun. You will find top things to do around the Monterey Bay including Carmel-by-the-Sea, Salinas, and Santa Cruz.

Monterey Events in March

My top picks include the California International Airshow, Jazz Bash by the Bay, and Relais & Chateaus GourmetFest. You will also find some fun nightlife ideas as well top ideas for your entire family.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Jazz Bash by the Bay

Dates: Friday, 3/1 to Sunday, 3/3; Evening only dance party on Thursday 2/28
Location: Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center

This annual Monterey event celebrates jazz, swing, blues, ragtime, and other musical genres. This year's event will feature more than 25 performances in several intimate settings all around Monterey.

This "Jazz Bash by the Bay", as it is known, brings in performers from all over the USA and will give you many opportunities to see the best of the best. If you are interested in learning more about the history of jazz, then you will want to check out the "Road Scholars" program which is a great way to get educated on this wonderful style of music.

This event is held at both the Monterey Conference Center and the Portola Hotel and Spa, which allow for an easy walk in between the 8 dance venues and 7 dance floors. So, make sure to bring your dancing shoes and get ready to tap your toes all day and night long! For those that love great music, great dancing, and great educational talks, this is going to be one of the best of the Monterey events in March.

>> Visit their site for more details

Golden State Theatre

Check out the top Monterey events in March at the Golden State Theatre.

ColorMeGreen & SpringFest!

ColorMeGreen and SpringFest are coming to Monterey for Saint Patrick's Day. They are both on the same day so you can do one, the other or both. Here are more details on each celebration.


Date: Saturday, 3/16
Location: Monterey County Fair & Event Center at 2004 Fairground Road
Time: 9 am to 12 noon
Price: Adult registration is $35. Free to anyone 9 years and under

The ColorMeGreen 5K Walk/Run is a blast for kids of all ages as this exciting race teaches kids of all ages about how to improve their health as they have lots of fun.

Walkers, and runners, will get covered by washable dye at numerous stations along the route, with the end result being colored green as they enter the Monterey County Fair & Event Center.

If you want to add a little bit more to your excitement, you can purchase additional dye packets to use and t-shirts to wear during this walk/run event.

Then, after you finish your ColorMeGreen 5k, you can enjoy SpringFest!

>> Grab your spot for the ColorMeGreen race


Date: Saturday, 3/16
Location: Monterey County Fair & Event Center: 2004 Fairground Road
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Price: Adult registration is $20. Free to anyone 9 years and under

This event is also at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center but is separate from the ColorMeGreen! 5k run. However, many people choose to do both as it is a great way to continue the fun and extend their visit to the beautiful city of Monterey.

SpringFest! is a local favorite. There are interactive games, educational exhibits, do-it-yourself craft booths, food booths, and so much more. For those of you with a sweet tooth, there is the always delicious cake walk. For the younger ones, that is a bounce house, paint wars, and so much more.

Note: The SpringFest! uses a cash card which can be redeemed at the a number of different events. You can purchase them online or at the SpringFest! when you purchase your ticket. You will also want to sign up in advance for the craft making event as they can sell out.

Being that the ColorMeRun and SpringFest! are at the same location, this is a perfect way to combine two of the most fun Monterey events in March.

>> Grab your tickets for SpringFest!

Best Places to Stay in the Monterey Bay Area

Monterey: You will find the largest selection of hotels in and around Monterey. Higher end picks include the Spindrift Inn and Portola Hotel and Spa. You will also find some more budget friendly options if you move a few additional blocks away from the waterfront. Find my top picks for all budgets here.

Carmel-By-The-Sea: This seaside town is a bit smaller, but still offers plenty of accommodations. You will find some great luxury hotels as well as several quaint bed and breakfasts. Here are my top picks for Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Pacific Grove: This small community sits just to the north west of Monterey. They offer several great places to stay including a couple of great bed and breakfast and some budget-friendly options. Find my top 5 picks here.

Are you ready to book? Make sure to check out the great deals below.

TripAdvisor: Compare prices, read recent guest reviews and find a wide selection of options.

Monterey Symphony at the Sunset Center

The Monterey Symphony offers several shows this March in Monterey. Here is a schedule of upcoming performances.

Relais & Chateaus GourmetFest

Date: Thursday, 3/14 to Sunday, 3/17
Location: Monterey County Fair & Event Center: 2004 Fairground Road
Price: Range from $125 - $595

The Relais & Chateaus GourmetFest is one of the best food and wine festivals in the area each year.

The festival begins with a welcome party on Thursday night with food from numerous Michelin starred chefs from around the world sharing their best. Many of the top wineries from around the world bring rare and hard wine for you to enjoy.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are full of incredible events including wine tastings, food demonstrations and expos, chocolate and truffle tastings, music and games, and other special events that you won't find anywhere else in the world.

There are also off-site tours and lunches for those that want to explore gorgeous Carmel-By-The-Sea where this event is being held.

>> Visit their site to pick up your tickets today

Santa Cruz Warriors

The Santa Cruz Warriors are in town this March. Here is a schedule of their home games. Click the links for ticketing information.

California International Airshow

Date: Saturday, 3/23 & Sunday, 3/24
Location: Salinas Municipal Airport at 37 Mortensen Avenue, Salinas
Time: Saturday, 3/23 at 9 am; Sunday, 3/24 at 11 am

If you like to fly, or just watch masters of the sky zoom around and amaze you, then this is an event that you do not want to miss!

Many of the best military pilots come from all over the globe to show you their best and compete with others to display their skills and earn bragging rights each year. Some of these include The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the Royal Air Force British, and the world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels. This is a one-of-a-kind of all the Monterey events in March.

Not only are there planes speeding all over the place, there are also over 100 planes on the ground, exhibits, and displays so you can learn more about the history of flight all day long. You will also love other special performances such as sky diving, jet trucks, and other exhibits that are sure to delight all who attend this amazing event.

>> Ticketing details and more information on their site

Intercontinental GT Challenge

Date: Friday, 3/29 & Saturday, 3/30
Location: WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca
Time: Friday and Saturday at 7 am

You will be sure to see some of the coolest looking, and fastest moving, cars from all over the world here as their drivers compete to win this incredible 8-hour race. This non-stop event features cars from Audi, Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz AMG, McLaren and others that will amaze and excite you as they cruise around the track.

Being that this is an all ages event, there are loads of kid-friendly activities. One of these is the paddock which is an area full of special one-of-a-kind cars that you will love. An added benefit is that kids aged 15 and under are free to enter the paddock area as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult.

Note: If you want to stay overnight at the raceway there are first come first served camping areas. They require General Admission tickets and are sold separately.

Shows at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz

The best nightlife in Santa Cruz is at the Catalyst. Click the links for ticketing details for their March shows.

Kids Day Downtown

Date: Sunday, 3/24
Location: Downtown Santa Cruz
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Price: Free

The downtown of beautiful Santa Cruz is home to Kids Day. It is not only for smaller kids, but for kids of all ages. This event includes exhibits, activities, games, art, yoga, face painting, martial arts, and so much more to do.

During this celebration there will be performances by different dance groups, specials on meals and drinks, places to play games and lots of buy one get one free specials on many of the downtown merchant's goods and services. This is one of the best Monterey events in March for everyone that likes to be young or just young at heart.

There will also be hands on crafts activities and exhibits by the Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery as well as the YMCA of the Redwoods among others during this 6-hour event.

>> More about this year's event

Santa Cruz Beer March

Date: Saturday, 3/30
Location: Downtown Santa Cruz at 1130 Pacific Avenue
Time: 1pm to 5 pm
Price: Early bird tickets: $30, Day of tickets: $35

Get ready to march to your own drummer, or beer, at this fun and entertaining event loaded with great bars and breweries in Santa Cruz. This beer march includes a complimentary glass and passport card so you can keep track of every location you visit throughout the day.

Food is not included in the price of the ticket, however many of bars and breweries will have food available to purchase. This event is only for people age 21 and over and there will be an I.D. check when you arrive to the event.

>> More details and ticketing information on their site

Carmel Jewish Film Festival

Date: Saturday, 3/2 to Sunday 3/17
Location: Numerous locations including Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel-By-The-Sea

This two-week festival is focused on social issues of today and helping people to understand their ability to influence and use power to change things. This festival focuses on Jewish themes from around the world, and from different periods in history, so that the culture and religion can be explored by Jewish and non-Jewish people.

There are also receptions and discussions related to the movies for more in-depth conversations. If you enjoy seeing one-of-a-kind films, and meeting the people who worked on them, then this is one of the great Monterey events in March to put on your calendar.

Make sure to check the schedule as the movies do not run everyday and you will most likely want to buy tickets in advance at this popular event.

>> Visit their site for details

Reuben Kadish: Classic and Surreal Traveling Exhibit

Date: 3/7 - 4/28
Location: Monterey Museum of Art at - Pacific Street at 559 Pacific Street in Monterey
Time: 11 am - 5 pm; Closed on Wednesdays

Reuben Kadish was an American twentieth century artist whose styles included mural painting, to sculpture, to graphic art and more. This exhibition explores his art in relation to atrocities of the 20th century, such as World War II, the escalating arms races throughout the world, and how domestic unrest is changing political systems.

His art has influenced many other famous artists such as Philip Guston and Jackson Pollock. If you are an art lover, this is one of the Monterey events in March that you will make sure to visit and spend a bit of time at to take in this retrospective of his work.

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Hi there! I'm Jill and I love writing about San Francisco travel as much as I love exploring my amazing city. Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

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