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Your Ultimate Guide to Monterey Jazz Festival

Planning a trip to the Monterey Jazz Festival this year? We’ve got you covered!

Debuting in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival is one of the longest-running jazz festivals in the world. Featuring famous and soon-to-be-famous artists, musicians like Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, and B.B. King all played here. But live music is just the beginning! Activities like movement workshops for kids, student jam sessions, and even tai chi workshops take place throughout the day.

From sipping rare wines to exploring the gorgeous coastline, we’ve uncovered some of the must-dos in the area. Consider booking one of the many vacation rentals near Monterey County Fairgrounds on FlipKey so you can check everything off our list.

Where to Find Monterey Jazz Festival Vacation Rentals

Monterey is the place to be in September each year when the Monterey Jazz Festival rolls into town. Reserve a nearby vacation rental in advance so you can have the weekend’s festivities at your fingertips. Whether you find a place within walking distance to the festival, or choose a beachfront bungalow on Monterey Bay, renting a home for the event is sure to be less expensive than booking multiple (and costly!) hotel rooms for you and your group.

If you’re searching for more budget-friendly options, the neighboring city of San Jose is also a popular place to find rentals. You can make it to the show in under an hour and enjoy more space for less money.

Where to Eat During Monterey Jazz Festival

Alvarado Street Brewery

Monterey County is a foodie paradise with a bounty of local agriculture, viticulture, and sustainable seafood. Visitors can explore this Mecca via fork and knife, and also tour farm and field to experience the roots of Monterey County. Here are some of our favorites:

Cannery Row Brewing Company | 95 Prescott Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940

Cin-Cin | 368 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Jeninni | 542 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Alvarado Street Brewery | 426 Alvarado Street Monterey, CA 93940

Cantinetta Luca | Dolores Street between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Where to Drink During Monterey Jazz Festival

Folktale Winery & Vineyard

Monterey County was named as one of 2013’s “Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations” in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and for good reason. The cold, deep waters of Monterey Bay bring fog and moderate temperatures to the area throughout the growing season, and infuse every drop of Monterey County’s wine with an impressive style, flavor, and structure. There are plenty of options in the area, so head to one of these top Monterey wine bars and tasting rooms to sip a flawless vintage:

Caraccioli Cellars | Dolores between Ocean and 7th Streets, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Manzoni Wines | Paseo Courtyard w/s of San Carlos between Ocean & 7th Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Big Basin Vineyards | 14598 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

Folktale Winery & Vineyard | 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923

Fogarty Winery | 19501 Skyline Boulevard, Woodside, CA 94062

What to Do During Monterey Jazz Festival

When you’re not recovering from jazz fest activities in the comfort of your vacation rental, there’s lots to see and do in Monterey. Tour the historic homes of Monterey State Park or take the kids for an afternoon of play at the Youth Museum. Have a need for speed after all that smooth jazz? Feel the thrill of a live race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We recommend checking out the following attractions during your trip:

Monterey State Historic Park | 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Dali17 Museum | 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

MY Museum – Monterey County Youth Museum | 425 Washington Street, Monterey, CA 93940

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History | 165 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA, 93950

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca | 1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Salinas, CA 93908

Now get out there and start booking your trip to the Monterey Jazz Festival today!