USCG Station Monterey
100 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey, CA 93940
In Monterey, the summers are short, comfortable, dry, and mostly clear. The winters are long, cold, wet, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 44°F to 68°F and is rarely below 37°F or above 77°F.
The warm season lasts for 2.3 months, from August 15 to October 24, with an average daily high temperature above 66°F. The hottest day of the year is October 2, with an average high of 68°F and low of 54°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.6 months, from December 1 to March 22, with an average daily high temperature below 61°F. The coldest day of the year is January 3, with an average low of 44°F and high of 60°F.
The wetter season lasts 5.1 months, from November 6 to April 10, with a greater than 15% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 30% on February 20.
The drier season lasts 6.9 months, from April 10 to November 6. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on July 19.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Monterey is 27% higher than the California average, and 76% higher than the national average. The following categories are used when determining the cost of living index for any given city: health care (5%), transportation (9%), utilities (10%), groceries (13%), housing (30%), and goods/services (33%). Clearly, housing and goods/services make up the majority of the formula for calculating the cost of living index. Because of this, the general cost of living for any given area can be estimated by looking at the cost of everyday goods in that area. For those living in Monterey, CA, the average cost of goods and services is 11% higher than it is in California, and it is 22% higher than the national average.
Getting to Know the Area
Monterey is a city on California’s central coast and is well known for the abundance and diversity of its marine life – which includes sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bat rays, kelp forests, pelicans, dolphins and several species of whales. Only a few miles offshore is the Monterey Canyon – the largest and deepest underwater canyon off the Pacific coast of North America.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the best aquariums in the U.S. and its focus on education and conservation make it especially worthy of a visit. The aquarium is known for its location – right on the Monterey Bay, with views of sea otters and seals from the aquarium’s windows — as well as the sea otter exhibit, the giant kelp forest (reflecting what’s in the waters of the bay) and its special exhibitions that currently includes a show of cephalopods. With many interactive exhibits, it’s also a great place for children.
Cannery Row has a multicultural history of immigrants from Europe and Asia who came here to work in the canneries and fisheries. This area has become the center of Monterey’s tourism and there are plenty of tacky shops to prove it – but if you look deeper, you can see glimpses of its interesting past. A tour led by knowledgeable historian Tom Thomas is said to be the best way to get to know this area.
Monterey State Historic Park – it was here that the Spanish first landed in 1602. Later, Monterey became an important port and California’s capital. The Monterey State Historic Park is a complex of historic buildings (some of the oldest structures in California), gardens and walkways that span two miles – you can walk the historic park and all gardens are open daily, but the old adobe buildings can only be entered with a tour. You can combine this with a visit to the nearby wharf or a longer walk or bike ride to Cannery Row.
Asilomar State Beach is not well known to visitors but is one of the nicest places to walk on the peninsula. Walk along the water to explore tide pools and see ocean birds, seals, and surfers. Just before sunset is an especially nice time as the light changes so quickly over the ocean. Across the street from the beach is the Asilomar Conference Grounds, where you can walk the paths through the dunes and see the arts & crafts architecture of the conference buildings.
The village of Carmel-by-the-Sea has a quaint downtown of several square blocks that are filled with unique shops and boutiques. More shopping options can be found at the Carmel Plaza and nearby Barnyard.
Carmel is home to almost 100 beautiful art galleries in the space of one square mile. You can’t help but notice them as you walk the streets of downtown – save some time to pop into one or two and see this town’s appreciation for the arts reflected in the work shown in its galleries.
A drive down Highway 1 through Big Sur is an iconic California experience – and for good reason. Try a morning hike at Point Lobos and then a drive down to the Big Sur Roadhouse for lunch before continuing on with stops at McWay Falls or Garapata State Park.
The Monterey AVA has good wine and beautiful scenery. Carmel Valley has several nice wineries that will help you get to know this wine region. Try Bernardus Winery, Holman Ranch Vineyards, Cima Collina, and Joullian Vineyards – which are all within walking distance of each other.