Best Things to Do on the Monterey Peninsula This July

Looking for the coolest things to do on the Monterey Peninsula this month? Note the expansive Carmel Bach Fest is back, as is big-time rodeo in Salinas, endless beer tasting in Monterey and world-class racing in Laguna Seca. There’s so much going on there isn’t enough time to get to all of the city-sponsored Fourth of July festivities, with celebrations, parades and other gatherings happening in more than a half dozen municipalities.

We’ve done the deep research for you on the best things to do on the Monterey Peninsula including museums, cultural events, food tours, golfing, hikes and more. Speaking of food, we also have an extensive list of our best restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula, and if you’re planning a weekend, the the best places to stay

July on the Monterey Peninsula is nothing short of beautiful, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

Featured Photo: Salinas Rodeo
Santa Cruz Firecracker Run-Monterey Peninsula Things to Do July 2022-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Santa Cruz Firecracker Run

Santa Cruz Firecracker Run

July 4

The Independence Day tradition involves the 10K “Thrill of the Hill” in Pogonip Park; the 5K’s flat and fast course in the Harvey West Business Park Area; and a kids’ 1K. Everyone finishes in Harvey West Park for music, post-race brunch and awards.

More info: runsignup.com

Superbike Speedfest-Monterey Peninsula Things to Do July 2022-credit MotoAmerica-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest

July 7 - 9

WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca hosts insanely swift “Superbikes,” drawing audiences from around the world. And while the acceleration is stunning, so too is the precision steering, braking and shifting. Vroom has entered the room.

More info: motoamerica.com/laguna-seca

Photo: Courtesy of Pascal Bernardon

Hot Rods on the Green

July 8

Free to all spectators, the 16th annual event at Twin Lakes Church features cars, trucks, modern muscle cars, local food vendors, dragster showdowns, hula hoop contest, awards, raffles and all benefits Kingsmen Industrial Arts Scholarship Program.

More info: tlc.org/kingsmen

Bach Fest-Monterey Peninsula Thigns to Do July 2022-credit Larisa Birta-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Larisa Birta

Carmel Bach Festival

July 15 – 29

One of the crowning jewels of the summer festival season is also one of its most time-honored and deeply scheduled. Here come the orchestras, the trios, the soloists, the masterclasses and the masterful performers. More than three weeks of music, education and inspiration spill across a plethora of venues. Go for Baroque.  

More info: bachfestival.org

Photo: Courtesy of Melody Ayres-Griffiths

Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival

Dates TBD

The West Coast’s most ambitious celebration of Gaelic life hauls in authentic food vendors, whisky tastings, a beer garden, pipe bands, live acts, sheep and agility dog trials and more. The kilts cometh.

More info: montereycelticfest.com

California Rodeo Salinas-Monterey Peninsula Things to Do July 2022-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of California Rodeo Salinas

California Rodeo Salinas

July 20 - 23

Touring PRCA professional riders compete for big money and bigger belt buckles. Freestyle bullfighters do their dangerous dance. Live music proliferates, family events play in and everything from mutton busting to chuck wagon racing rounds out the extensive docket. 

More info: carodeo.com

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music-Monterey Peninsula Things to Do July 2022-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Cabrillo Music

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

July 30 – August 13

The Cabrillo Festival’s 61st anniversary season is upon us. Last year was a doozie, led by Grammy Award-winning Music Director and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, and doling out works by 12 American composers, nine composers in residence, a robust roster of soloists, three world premiere commissions, and seven West Coast premieres. Check back in for this year’s musical guests.

More info: cabrillomusic.org

Photo: Courtesy of Bence Boros

The Monterey Beer Festival

Between the profound people-watching (including frequent marriage ceremonies) and the suds exploration, MBF has earned its place in the pantheon of great beer parties. Twenty years in, it’s not old enough to legally drink, but all guests must be.

More info: montereybeerfestival.com

Event Venues

Looking to see what’s happening right now on the Monterey Peninsula? Our comprehensive list of venues across the city below will help you find what you need to know what’s going on.

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

You so deserve a vacation. 

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