California never ceases to amaze while offering locals and tourists the best travel experience possible. California is home to the majestic Redwood National Park, beautiful beaches, and world-famous theme parks. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and the Sonoma Valley, where you can visit scenic wineries and try exquisite wines. California is filled with amazing experiences to be had, and among those is the nightlife in Monterey.
Whether you are with groups of friends, your siblings, old colleagues, or with your significant other, there is so much to discover when the sun sets and the night emerges in Monterey. From a great selection of seafood restaurants, to bars where you can enjoy a craft beer or flavourful wine, this is the place to be.
In this edition of our blog, we will look at the top 10 Monterey nightlife experiences you can have.
Best 10 Monterey NightLife
Monterey has always made it to the list of the top places to visit in California. Ideal for solo travelers, families, or a group of friends, Monterey has something for every type of traveler. During the day you can book a whale watching trip, an ocean adventure where you can commonly see humpback whales and blue whales, along with dolphins and sea lions. If venturing out into the ocean isn’t for you, but you still desire to see wildlife, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has more than 200 live animal exhibits!. These are some exciting options to do during the day, but don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the night. Below are some wonderful places for you to have a great night out.
Hula’s Island Grill
After having a fun-filled afternoon, what better way to start your evening than visiting one of the best-reviewed restaurants in Monterey, Hula’s Island Grill. Hulas serves a variety of island-style dishes with a bit of a Hawiian flare.
The top picks are the slow-roasted pork, the spicy jerk chicken, or the Korean style beef ribs. Alongside these, they offer a wide selection of burgers, fresh fish, tacos, and rice bowls. Not only does Hulas offer great food, but the atmosphere adds to the island experience. Filled with island decor and great music, this is a unique and enjoyable way to spend your night out in Monterey.
A.W. Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar
If you’re looking for a more moderately priced restaurant, with incredible seafood and casual atmosphere, then A.W. Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar is the place. As the title suggests, they offer a delectable selection of wine and cocktails, paired with a selection of seafood, grilled choices, and of course, oysters. This is the perfect place if you’re looking for a chill evening enjoying some drinks and seafood.
Britannia Arms Pub & Restaurant
Next up, you should make your way over to one of the go-to places of locals and tourists, Britannia Arms Pub & Restaurant. Relatively young, having opened its doors in 1999, this British-owned and operated pub offers a mixed kitchen of British and American favorites. Not only does it offer great food and drinks, but during the week they offer karaoke nights and have been voted the best place for karaoke 11 years in a row! On the weekends, local DJs and bands come here to play live music. While enjoying the drinks and music, you can watch your favorite sporting event on one of the many TVs. I think it’s clear what makes this a favorite spot for locals and tourists. While here in Monterey you can’t leave before at least spending one evening here.
What makes Cannery Row such a unique experience is that it is not just a single bar, restaurant, or club, but a street filled with these nightlife spots. No wonder it’s commonly named among the best Monterey nightlife areas that every traveler should visit.
Your trip around Monterey will never be complete without stepping into Cannery Row. It even has been featured in a novel by John Steinbeck. This street is alive 24/7, but as the night approaches, that is when this street truly flourishes, with the jazz bars and pubs opening to welcome tourists.
Cannery Row is where you can find Cooper’s Pub & Restaurant, Carmel Ridge Winery, San Carlos Beach Park, to name a few.
Partygoers who are not in the mood for the ecstatic vibes of the Monterey nightlife can stay at Piano Lounge, an intimate space where you can enjoy the live music, relax with your martini, and enjoy the mixed crowd of people. It will surely make you appreciate Monterey even more.
Piano Lounge’s ambiance is similar to walking into Harry’s Bar, that quaint destination for food lovers and drinkers in Venice, Italy. Make it a magical evening by enjoying the ambiance, the feel-good music, and your favorite drink.
Cibo Ristorante Italiano
If you do not feel like jiving with loud music and hanging out with the crowd and want to sit back and relax, Cibo Ristorante Italiano is perfect for you. It provides an intimate yet vibrant atmosphere, filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures, pictures, blown glass, and live jazz music. This atmosphere paired with the finest Italian cuisines, from gourmet pizzas to multi-course meals, has made it a go-to place among locals and tourists since the 1990s.
Their menu includes Salumi E Formaggio or a dish with Italian cured meats, artisanal cheeses, preserved lemon, marmalade, and house-made pickles. They also have Pomodoro Caprese laden with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, roasted tomato, pesto puree, vinaigrette, and balsamic reduction. You can also get a taste of Costoletta Di Vitello Ariana or the Italian dish consisting of veal, roasted Yukon potatoes, wilted spinach, red wine, and pomegranate reduction. These among many other exquisite Italian dishes make it a wonderful night out.
Trident Room isn’t a place that many people reading will be able to visit, but because of its rich history, we have to include it for those that can. If you’re currently active duty or a military retiree, you need to come spend an evening at this pub. Filled with a beautiful setting of dark wood and original stain-glass windows, the history of this pub dates back to 1880. Its walls and ceilings are covered in military memorabilia, and out front has a plaque detailing its history. It also has an elegant rose garden out back if you need to take a smoke. This is the perfect place for active duty and retirees to come and enjoy great beer, food, and to share stories.
The real heart of Monterey nightlife is at Alvarado Street. We all know that in every city there is an area that is the hotspot of its nightlife. In Monterey, that area is Alvarado Street.
It is where you can find the historic Brewery, the most well-known spot featuring their beer garden, fire pits, barbecue grills, and so much more. This street is also the place for exotic dishes that won’t be as commonly found from other restaurants on this list. From the soy-scented cookhouses with Cantonese stir-fries to British-styled pubs with ale on tap and hardwood seating. Alvarado Street gives a place to try out something new and to experience this nightlife hotspot.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
You can’t forget to check out the historic Old Fisherman’s Wharf when visiting Monterey. Imagine eating some seafood at Old Fisherman’s Wharf, while enjoying the views of the marine horizon. You’ll be ordering your food from the wooden-built pier, just like how seafarers and fisherman in history did before.
Several restaurants are located in this area. You can choose from the timber-fronted and vintage ambiance of Old Fisherman’s Grotto or the upscale cuisine offered at The Crab House, which also gives the added enjoyment of the beautiful views across the marina.
For those who want to get a taste of the local favorites, they can head over to Abalonetti Bar and Grill, where you can find their specialty, the Cali clam chowder, which you can’t leave without trying.
Last but not least, go check out the nightlife of Monterey at Pearl Street. It is a few minutes away from the bustling Alvarado Street, but if you are not a fan of noise-clad streets, this is the perfect destination for you. It is quieter since this is a largely residential area with local drinking areas and bars.
The Mexicana saloons will draw you in with their historic allure, the perfect setting to play a game of billiards. There are also gastro pubs with hearty burgers that will satisfy every food lover, along with many more venues north of Monterey’s Alvarado.
Where to Stay in Monterey
After experiencing the best nightlife Monterey has to offer, the night will unfortunately have to come to an end, and when you don’t have lodging, we have the perfect resource for you and every traveler to find the best place to stay.
Whether you are visiting Carmel Valley or Del Monte Avenue for the nightlife here in this city in California, you don’t want to waste too much time searching for the ideal accommodation and lodging during your stay here at Monterey. Visit RentalTrader.com, a platform that offers you a hassle-free way to search for lodging. Simply enter the destination on the search box, your check-in, and check-out date, and guest information as Rental Trader finds the best deals for you at the ideal price.
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