Events Calendar

There's always something exciting happening in the Monterey Bay Area. Whether you are looking for live music or that latest in gourmet cuisine, you can find it within a short drive of Pajaro Dunes.

Year-Round Events


Tours most days each week -- Marine Mammal Research Tour


Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, End of Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 459-3800.  2:15 P.M. to 3:15 P.M.  Learn about the work of Scientists and their studies of dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals and harbor seals.

Open daily 9am to 5pm -- Tour 1st Saturday of each Month -- UCSC Arboretum Tours


Location: UCSC, 1176 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 427-2998. 11 A.M. Tour the Arboretum's world-class collectionswith a knowledgeable guide to see what is blooming.

2nd Sunday of each Month -- Downtown Santa Cruz Antioque Street Faire

Location: Lincoln Street between Pacific and Cedar, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 476-6940.  9 A.M. to 4 P.M. (weather permitting)  Vendor offer an eclectic blend of antiques and unique items.

Open Wednesday thur Sunday 9am to 5pm -- Saturdays and Sundays -- Docent  led Tour of Elkhorn Slough


Locations: Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA (831) 728-2822.  10 A.M. & 1 P.M. Meet at the reserve and then learn about the unique area on a guided tour.

Roaring Camp Railroads
Moonlight Steam Train Dinner Party July 9th, Augsut 13th, Septemaber 10th and October 8th.  Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA 831-335-4484.  Ride a steam train through Northern California's redwood rain forest at its dramatic best, and learn fascinating information about the ecology and seasonal changes of this unique environment.


Seasonal Events


January thru December -- Santa Cruz Winegrowers Association Passport Program


Various wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. (831) 685-8463

June 19th,  July 10th & 17th,  August 7th, 21st & 28th -- Art at the Beach


Esplanade Park, Capitola, Ca. (831) 475-7300.  Local artists will display their work, offer an opportunity to experienceart and purchase directly from the artist.

June Through October -- Mountain Winery Concerts


Location: In the hills overlooking vineyards and the city of Saratoga, CA.

Name artists performing all summer.

December Through March -- Guided Elephant Seal Walks
Location: Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Highway 1, Pescadero, CA  800-444-4445.  Winter is the prime season to view thousands of elephant seals, including pups, mothers and giant bulls. Ranger-led tours last 2.5 hours, covering 3 miles. Reservations required.                   


2015 Winter Events


January 9th -- Santa Cruz Fungus Fair
Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA.  Enjoy fabulous mushroom display, delicacies, month-watering cooking demonstrations, and bring mushroom for identification. 10 AM to 5 PM

January 18th -- 8th Annual Santa Cruz Chnocolate Festival


Location: Coconut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

February 9th to 15th -- AT&T Pro-Am Golf Tournament


Location: Pebble Beach, California, on 3 different golf courses.

February 21st  -- Annual Clam Chowder Cook-Off
Locations: 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.  Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. A Santa Cruz tradition featuring "supper" recipes, wacky chefs, nautical decor, and teams competing for best-tasting Boston or Manhattan Chowders.

2015 Spring Events

April 4th and 5th -- Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt
Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA (831) 335-4484. Kids take the steam train to Bear Mountain to hunt for thousands of Chocolate candy eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny in a redwood forest and win prizes.

May TBA -- 29th Annual Steinbeck Festival
National Steinbeck Center, 1 Main Street Salinas, CA 93901 (831) 775-4737. Four days of films, speakers, panels, theater, and bus or walking tours, all celebrating Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck

May 14th to 17th -- 17th Annual Carmel Art Festival
Devendorf Park Carmel. CA (831) 642-2503. Gallery events, lectures, receptions and demonstrations at 43 art galleries and a Plain Air Painting competition. Outdoor art show featuring bronze, glass, stone, marbles and acrylic sculpture.

May 30th and 31st -- Castroville Artichoke Festival
Castroville. CA(831) 633-2465. Sample the many unique flavors of the artichoke in ax atmosphere of pleasure, tasteful treats, musical entertainment, arts and crafts. Enter the AGRO-Art competition, too!

May 1st to 3rd -- Monterey Grand Prix


1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway Salinas, CA 93908 (831) 242-8201. 

Grand-Am Rolex Reserve, featuring whell to wheel and fender-bending action of more than 50 Daytona Prototypes and GT spoets cars.

May 23rd to 25th -- Annual Civil War Battles and Encampment
Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA (831) 335-4484. Visit encampments of Union & Confederate soldiers. See battles at one of the longest-running Civil War reenactments. 10 am-4 pm

May TBA -- Santa Cruz Blues Festival
Aptos Village Park Aptos, CA 95003 (831) 479-9814.  13th annual musical event with food, beer, wine. Fun for the entire family ix beautiful surroundings.

2015 Summer Events


TBA -- Vintners' Festival
Various wineries and restaurants in the Santa Cruz Mountains, (831) 479-WINE (9463) Weekend event includes attractions, such as tasting of special wines, food, music, art exhibits, winery tours. 11 am-5 pm.

June 21st -- Hats Off to Dad
Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA (831) 335-4484.  A lucky dad rides from Bear Mountain in the cab of each steam locomotive. Reservations recommended. 11 am-4 pm.

June TBA -- 37th Annual Monterey Wine Festival
Know as "America's original Wine Festival" the Monterey Wine & Fine Living Festival has continued to grow since 1976. More than just a showcase for great wine, the festival is a major educations forum for wine connoisseurs as well as members of the restaurant and foodservice industry.

June 26th to 28th -- 27th Monterey Bay Blues Festival
Monterey Fairgrounds Monterey, CA(831) 394-2652.  Three stages of matchless blues and R-and-B, presented by a festival dedicated to preserving this unique American art form. This year's festival features the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Ruth Brown, Billy Preston, Shemekia Copeland, and 45 more great acts during three days of music.

July 4 -- Aptos 4th of July Parade
Soquel Drive & State Park Driveptos, CA(831) 688-1467.  "World's Shortest Parade". Pancake breakfast before the parade. Party in the park afterwards with music. 7:30 am-4:30 pm.

July 4 -- Old Fashioned Family 4th of July
Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA (831) 335-4484.  Celebrate Independence Day 1880s style with gold panning, candle making, a toy frog flume, stream train & car rides. 12-3 pm.

July 16th to August 1st -- Carmel Bach Festival
Carmel, CA (831) 624-2046.  America's preeminent festival of Baroque music will celebrate its 68th season with 100 musicians from around the world, performing in venues including Sunset Center, Carmel Mission Basilica and the Church in the Forest, Pebble Beach, and All Saints Church.

July 16th to 19th -- California Salinas Rodeo
1034 N. Main Street, Salinas, CA 93902 (800)-771-8807 or (831) 775-3100. The California Rodeo Salinas promises edge-of-your-seat thrills for the entire family. Top pro competition in steer wrestling, bull riding, calf roping, are back bronco riding, and barrel racing. Enjoy parades, night shows and great food.

July 17th and 18th -- Superbike Would Championship


1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway Salinas, CA 93908 (831) 242-8201.  Racing at its best. Operated by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula.

July 24th to 26th -- Gilroy Garlic Festival
Gilroy, CA (408) 842-1625.  Gourmet garlic food fair with arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, children's area, three stages of musical entertainment and 65 food booths

July 2014 TBA -- Moss Landing Antique Fair
Downtown Moss Landing, CA (831) 633-4501 A community know for its many antique stores show their wares in the stores and on the streets.

July to September TBA -- Shakespeare Santa Cruz 2015 Season

UCSC Theater of Arts Center & Festival Grove Santa Cruz, CA (831) 459-2159    Nationally acclaimed festival. This year's season features "Twelfth Night", "The Winter's Tale", and "Engaged".

July TBA -- 50th Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 420-5260 (Box Office).  Hailed as the most distinguished ongoing festivals of New Music in the United States, celebrating it's 43rd season.

.August 1st and 2nd -- 21st Annual Monterey Bay Strawberry Festival
Downtown, Watsonville, CA (831) 728-6183.  Ripe strawberries take center stage at the weekend celebration featuring strawberry delights, foods, arts & crafts. 10 am-6 pm.

September 2nd to 7th -- 78th Monterey County Fair
Monterey County Fairgrounds Monterey, CA (831)372-5863.  The County Fair is always fun for all, with livestock exhibitions, a wine-tasting booth, amusement midway and delicious foods, plus great live entertainment.

August  13th to 16th -- 38th Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, CA (800) 327-SECA.  The Monterey Historics brings out the best of racing's past from rare pre-war racers adorned with nameplates like Bugatti and Alfa-Romeo to 70sand80s cars from Lola and
McLaren. This year's featured marquee is Chaparral, part of an overall tribute to "Great American Specials" that is paying homage to American ingenuity in the early days of big-time motor racing.

August 16th -- Concourse d' Elegance
Pebble Beach, CA (831) 622-1700.  This spectacular event exhibits some of the most unusual prewar and post war marques along with the latest in concept car designs, all in the beautiful setting of Pebble Beach. General Admission Tickets $125 in advance, $150 day of show.

2015 Fall Events

September 4th to 7th -- 63rd Annual Capitola Begonia Festival
Capitola Village Capitola, CA (831) 476-3566.  53rd annual event includes a Nautical Parade. Sand Sculptured Competition on Capitola Beach, Fishing Derby & more.

September 12th and 13th --  33rd Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival
Capitola Village, Capitola, CA, (831) 475-6522.  Art, wine, food and music. A magical way to say farewell to summer at the water's edge. 10 am-6 pm both days.

September TBA-- 116th Annual Santa Cruz County Fair
County Fairgrounds,  2601 East Lake Ave., off Hwy. 152, Watsonville, CA, (831) 724-5671.  Six days of fun and festivities, including a large carnival. Safe, FUN and affordable.

September 18th to 20th -- 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, CA (925) 275-9255.  Every year we ask: how can this longest-running jazz festival in the world get any hotter? And then the line-up of artists comes out, and we say: oh, that's how. In 2005, look for artists-in-residence Branford Marsalis and John Scofield, headliners like Tony Bennett, Sonny Rollins, the Pat Metheny Trio and Carla Bley Big Band featuring Steve Swallow, plus Lee Ritenour with Dave Grusin, Larry Carlton with Sapphire Blue, the Clifford Brown-Stan Getz All-Stars, and over 500 artists appearing on seven stages.

September TBA -- 34th Annual California International Air Show
Salinas, CA (831) 754-1983.  Prepare to be dazzled by fantastic flying exhibitions by high-flying jets and helicopters, aerobatics, skydiving, and much more.

October TBA -- 50th Golden Anniversary Watsonville Fly-In.


Location: Watsonville Airport, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 763-5600. Vintage aircraft, Air Show performers, War Birds, Fly-Bys, Airplane, Helicopers and Balloon rides. Specialty and gourmet food vendors.

October TBA -- 5th Annual Chile Cook Off


9:00 am to 10:00 am -- Preperation Period (no heat): 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Cooking period: 1:00 pm public tasting: 4:00 pm Winners announced.

Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Wineries' Passport Program -- Summer/Fall
Various wineries in Santa Cruz County (831) 479-WINE (9463).  A special opportunity to visit wineries that are not open to the public at other times. Meet the winemakers. 11 am-5 pm.