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.
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.
January thur 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.
2012 Fall Events
August 31st to September 2nd -- 47th Annual Watsonville Fly-In & Air Show
Watsonville Airport Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 763-5600. The largest three-day aviation event in No. California with classic, home built, military and experimental aircraft, and more.
August 31st to September 3rd -- 60th 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 8th and 9th -- 30th 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 11th to 16th -- 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 21st to 23rd -- 54th 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 7th to 9th -- American Le Mans Series Monterey
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, CA (800) 327-SECA. This great racing weekend includes a 4-hour main event which runs past dusk for true Le Mans style racing. The series features Le Mans prototypes and GT cars, many of which compete in the world-famous 24 Hours of LeMa
September 22nd and 23rd -- 32st 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.
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.
October 5th -- Annual Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza
Seacliff State Beach, Aptos, CA (831) 685-3317. A wonderful family event featuring over 50 game and food booths, live entertainment and a fireworks display.
2013 Winter Events
January 12th and 13th -- 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
February 4th to 10th -- A.T. and T. Pro-Am Golf Tournament
Location: Pebble Beach, California, on 3 different golf courses.
February 23rd -- 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.
2013 Spring Events
April TBA -- 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 2013 -- Santa Cruz Film Festival
Theaters throughout Santa Cruz. Call for details. (831) 459-7676. The nine-day festival provides eclectic film and music venues & educational panels and parties.
May 16th to 19th -- 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 TBA-- 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 TBA -- Ferrari Chjallenge
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 TBA -- 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.
2013 Summer Events
June 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 6th -- 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 8th and 9th -- 34th 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 22th to 24th -- 26th 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 14th to 28th -- 71st 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 19th to 22th -- 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 27th to 29th -- Red Bull S.S. Grand Prix
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 27th to 29th -- 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 2012-- 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 August July 24th to August 26 -- Shakespeare Santa Cruz 2012 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 28th to August 12th -- 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 4th & 5th -- 16th 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.
August 29th to September 3rd -- 76th 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 17th to 19th -– 37th 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 19th -- 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.