Best Things to Do on the Central Coast This October

Looking to fill a couple hours of your day while on the Central Coast? With so many offerings in the area, weve curated five of the top events this month so you dont have to. Less researching and more enjoying your time in the area. Enjoy!

Featured Photo: Bryce Eggimann
Carmel Sandcastle Contest-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-800x450

Carmel Sandcastle Contest

Oct 2

This year marks the city-by-the-sea’s 60th installment of the beach bash that, as organizers like to say, proves building sandcastles is not child’s play. Dozens of groups craft artistic and/or architectural displays around the theme “Sixty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Awards range from the glorious Golden Shovel to the less coveted Sour Grapes. Bold designs made entirely of sand are the name of the game, and non-monetary bribery of judges is encouraged too.

More info: carmelcalifornia.com or 831.620.2020

Sea Otter Classic-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-credit Finisherpix.com-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Finisherpix.com

Sea Otter Classic

Oct 7 - 10

The biggest festival-competition of its ilk fills four days to overflowing with road races, off-road races, short races, long races, steep races and corkscrew races — plus insane stunts, live music, endless gear booths and tasty beer tents. Monterey’s expansive WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca gets in gear like nowhere else.

More info: seaotterclassic.com

Redwoods Lobster Feed-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-credit Danny Halvorson-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Danny Halvorson

Henry Cowell Redwoods Lobster Feed

Oct 9

Felton is flush with flavor for the 26th annual dinner that dishes a pound and a half of fresh Maine lobster to all comers with a fleet of sides, beverages and dessert. While live music from the Wild & Blue band floats through the forest and twinkling lights linger overhead, all proceeds benefit the redwood sanctuaries that are Henry Cowell and Big Basin State Parks. 

More info: mountainparks.org

Santa Cruz Open Farm Tours-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-800x450

Santa Cruz Open Farm Tours

Oct 9 - 10

Nine family-owned farms based in and around Santa Cruz welcome the community to learn what is involved in growing nourishing produce in one of the world’s most vibrant working agricultural landscapes. Apple juicing, tastings, U-picks and demos figure in, as does maximum learning about sustainable practices. 

More info: openfarmtours.com

Monterey Open Studios-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-Cindy Wilbur 'Twilight'-800x450
"Twilight" by Cindy Wilbur

Monterey County Artists Open Studio Tour

Oct 16 - 17 & 23 - 24

Here comes the progressive sequence that takes attendees where the magic happens — namely, into the workspaces, workshops, studios and exhibition spaces where many of the best local artists create. The 29th annual edition is self-guided and happens over the course of consecutive weekends.

More info: artshabitat.org

Carmel Bach Fest-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-800x450

Carmel Bach Festival

Oct 23 - Nov 5

Johann Sebastian Bach lives on in all sorts of classic and creative renditions across myriad Carmel and Pebble Beach venues. Handel’ Ode to St. Cecilia, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and Bach’s own Mass in B-Minor take headlining places in this year’s lineup, as does a tribute to esteemed and outgoing Artistic Director/Conductor Paul Goodwin.

More info: bachfestival.org

Banff International Film Festival-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-credit Riotheatre.com-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Banff Mountain Film Festival

Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Oct 24

It’s a virtual screening, but the adrenaline remains real. Viewers get the best from more than 400 entries, which translates to over-the-top action, environmental, and adventure films that stretch the boundaries of geography, believability and human achievement. Extreme would be an understatement.

More info: riotheatre.com

California International Airshow Salinas-Airshow USAF Thunderbirds-Central Coast-October-Things to Do-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of USAF Thunderbirds

California International Airshow Salinas

Oct 30 - 31

The annual sky-high affair brings all the oomph it always has and then some for its landmark 40th anniversary at Salinas Municipal Airport. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headline, joined by Greg Colyer Ace Maker T-33, Vicky Benzing Boeing Stearman, Jon Melby Fear Boss Pitts S-1-11B and Tom Larkin Mini Jet, among many more sky scratching performers. Prepare for liftoff.

More info: salinasairshow.com

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

You so deserve a vacation. 

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll make it easy for you.

Scroll to Top