Monterey Events in March 2023: Festivals, Nightlife, and More Things to Do

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: March 2, 2023

Top Monterey events in March 2023 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.

My top picks include the Whalefest at the Monterey Wharf, Jazz Bash by the Bay, and Santa Cruz Warriors games. 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.

Monterey events in March

Jazz Bash by the Bay

Dates: 3/3 - 3/5

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

Whalefest at Monterey Fisherman's Wharf

Dates: 3/18 - 3/19

LocationMonterey Fisherman's Wharf

Stop by for the chance to see whales in the water and learn more about these fantastic mammals. The festival includes lectures and documentaries as well as musical and theatrical performances. The two-day event will also include live music, whale watching trips on the bay, and more.

This is one of the best Monterey events for anyone who wants to learn from world-renowned marine scientists, check out over 40 exhibits, and help support the local and national organizations that make sure to keep these animals safe and continue to fund research for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

One of the favorite exhibits is Dee, an inflatable 45-foot whale where attendees can walk inside it and learn what it is like to be inside a whale. If the weather is nice, you can also take whale watching tours, go sailing or see the Monterey Bay through glass bottom boats.

There are many restaurants and shops on the wharf for you to check out and enjoy. The Whalefest is free for all who attend and is an all ages event.

Golden State Theatre

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

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 options below.

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

VRBO: Another option is to rent an apartment, house, or a room around Monterey through VRBO.

Relais & Chateaux Gourmet Fest

Date: No event in 2023

Location: Monterey County Fair & Event Center: 2004 Fairground Road

Price: Range from $125 - $595

The Relais & Chateaux 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. This is where you can see some of the up-and-coming players who might make it onto the Golden State Warriors' team before anyone else. Here is a schedule of their home games. Click the links for ticketing information.

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.

Santa Cruz Beer March

Date: No event in 2023

Location: Downtown Santa Cruz at 1130 Pacific Avenue

Time: 1 pm 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

More Fun Events Nearby

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