Seaside is an ocean-side community that overlooks the beautiful Monterey Bay on the Central Coast of California, approximately 115 miles south of San Francisco. Seaside’s great location gives visitors an opportunity to experience all of the amenities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. From wine tasting to whale watching…and everything in between. Explore the breathtaking beauty and abundant sea life of the Monterey Bay by hiking, biking, kayaking, parasailing, or scuba diving. For land lovers, there’s world-class golf at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Courses, eclectic restaurants and plenty of shopping, or just take a stroll down to Seaside Beach and wiggle your toes in the sand. Continue to read our Seaside California Travel Guide and start planning your vacation to beautiful Seaside! For a list of all the area beaches << Click Here >>.
Seaside California Weather (When to Visit)
The best time to visit Seaside is between April and May. Spring offers warmer temperatures, fewer crowds and food festivals dishing out delectable eats, including Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the Artichoke Festival in Castroville. Summer is the most popular time to visit the Monterey Peninsula, but it can still be chilly, so bring a sweater regardless of the season. Fall is another good time to visit, but the chance of rain increases starting in October. Seaside’s central California location subjects it to mild temperatures during the winter, with the average low reaching 48 degrees. Winter also brings lower hotel prices and the celebrity-heavy AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am event held in February, making Seaside an attractive destination year-round.
Best Seaside Area Beaches
This beach is an excellent spot to relax or walk at the edge of the water, but swimming here can be dangerous due to rip currents. The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail meanders through the dunes in this park. This bike trail continues south to downtown Monterey and north into the city of Marina.
Seaside Beach is the northernmost of three separate sections of Monterey State Beach. There is a lifeguard on staff during the summer months, but this section of the coast has strong rip currents so swimming is not advised.
Fort Ord Dunes State Park
This recently opened State Park has a 1,500 foot trail to 4 miles of ocean beach with beautiful views of Monterey Bay. From the parking area visitors may also take a stroll on the new boardwalk to a bluff top viewing platform.
Del Monte Beach
Del Monte Beach is a hidden gem known to Monterey Bay locals. It’s tucked away from the main streets and located on the back side of a coastal housing community. There is a boardwalk trail through the dunes with benches and picnic tables to rest on.
Carmel Beach has good surf and breathtaking sunsets. Evening sunsets are a community event at Carmel Beach; join the locals and bring a picnic meal and a bottle of wine while you watch the greatest show in Nature’s evening schedule.
Best Seaside Tours & Activities
Day Trip to Monterey and Carmel via California Coast
The California coastline is dramatic, iconic and rugged, but also difficult to enjoy when you’re trapped behind the wheel of a car rental. So take this day trip to Carmel and Monterey, and enjoy the cliffside and ocean views from the window seat of your coach. Learn more about the Monterey & Carmel Day Trip.
Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive – Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Drive down one of the most scenic roads in California on this full-day tour from San Francisco. Cruise along the coast-hugging Highway 1, passing the mansions of Pebble Beach on the iconic 17-Mile Drive. Enjoy free time to explore Monterey, where you can stroll down Steinbeck’s Cannery Row or visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Browse the ritzy boutiques of Carmel-by-the-Sea and get a glimpse of Silicon Valley’s tech campuses on the return drive to San Francisco. Learn more about the Monterey, Carmel an d 17-Mile Drive.
3-Day California Coast Tour: San Francisco to Los Angeles
Experience the spectacular scenery, wildlife, and culture of California’s coastline, on an epic, 3-day adventure from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Sit back and relax as your friendly guide handles the driving along coast-hugging Highway 1, stopping along the way to explore highlights like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Santa Cruz beaches, the sea cliffs of Bug Sur, luxurious 17-Mile Drive, jaw-dropping Hearst Castle, and downtown Santa Barbara. Finish the one-way journey with a train ride into the sprawling glamour of Los Angeles. Tour size is limited to eight people for a more intimate, small-group experience. Learn more about the 3-Day California Coast Tour.
Half-Day Whale Watching Tour From Monterey
Look for whales as they migrate through the waters of the Pacific Ocean off of California on this half-day whale-watching cruise from Monterey. Your naturalist guide shares commentary about the whales and their habitat as you search for gray whales (most common), humpback and blue whales, and other marine life such as dolphins and sea lions during your cruise. Get tips for great photo ops and learn all about the mighty creatures at one of California’s most famous whale-watching destinations. Learn more about this Half-Day Whale Watching Tour.
Carmel Small-Group Food and Wine Walking Tour
Explore the culinary delights of Carmel, just down the coast from Monterey, on this food and wine walking tour. With a knowledgeable foodie guide, you’ll learn about the history and gourmet culture of Carmel, an upscale enclave known for its charming architecture and cozy, small-town vibe, as you visit local eateries to sample locavore and ethnic dishes, chocolate, and wine. Limited to 16 people, this tour provides a small-group experience with personalized attention. Learn more about the Carmel Small-Group Food & Wine Walking Tour.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission
Discover the fascinating underwater world of one of the United States’ top aquariums with this Monterey Bay Aquarium ticket. With a prime location on California’s Pacific coast, this renowned marine center is home to a wide variety of ocean life, from mesmerizing jellyfish to adorable penguins, plus crowd favorites like sharks and rays. Enjoy all-day access to the many exhibits, where you can observe mysterious octopus, playful sea otters, creepy eels and more. Learn more about the Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission.
Best Seaside Restaurants
Gusto Handcrafted Pasta And Pizza $11 – 30
Gusto is a lively New Restaurant Specializing in Fresh Italian Pasta and Pizza. Bring your appetite, your kids and your neighbors to enjoy being part of the family! Denis’ zest for life is contagious and it is his goal to make your dining experience fun, memorable and delicious. Telephone: 831 899-5825 Web: Gusto Handcrafter Pasta and Pizza.
Googie Grill $11 – 30
“Googie” is a word that stops people in their tracks. It’s fresh, fun, and memorable! Think George Jetson, 1950’s bowling alleys and coffee shops and Disney’s Tomorrowland. Their menu includes old family recipes and classic plates with a modern twist. Customers go to Googie to enjoy delicious breakfast specialties, amazing sandwiches and burgers, cooked to perfection steak and fish, and homemade desserts. Telephone: 831 392-1520 Web: Googie Grill.
Stammtisch Restaurant $11 – 30
German Restaurant Stammtisch is one of the top restaurants in Seaside – just ask the critics and their regular customers. They combine culinary delights with style and personal flair to create a unique experience every time you visit them. They strive to make each visit satisfying and memorable. Telephone: 831 899-3070 Web: Stammtisch Restaurant.
The Oven Pizzaria $11 – 30
Using fresh, quality ingredients The Oven’s menu continues a tradition of New York style pizza, along with a signature San Francisco sourdough pizza. Locals and visitors of Monterey County can have their favorite slice of pizza pie, whether it’s thin crust East Coast style or West Coast style. Telephone: 831 899-1762 Web: The Oven Pizzaria.
Baan Thai Restaurant $11 – 30
This restaurant is a family-owned and operated establishment. Baan Thai means ‘Thai House’, a sign to their customers to expect authentic Thai cuisine and hospitality. They treat their guests like family, and want customers to feel cozy and at home. They prepare each entree with fresh ingredients to ensure the highest quality. Telephone: 831 394-2996 Web: Baan Thai Restaurant.
Best Seaside Bars
Post No Bills Craft Beer House
They offer a wide range of Craft Beer, and Ciders from all over the world. With 17 rotating taps, and over 300 bottles for consumption on or off premise. Telephone: 831 324-4667 Web: Post No Bills Craft Beer House.
Cuz’s Sportsman’s Club
A locals bar with three dart boards, pool table, and live music on Thursdays. Wednesday night hosts Monterey Bay Dart League matches. Tuesdays there pool and/or dart tournaments. Telephone: 831 394-2666 Web: Cuz’s Sportsman’s Club.
Carbones is a great bar, reminiscent of cheers. Sal the owner is friendly and kind and if you are new and or by yourself he will make you feel welcome and introduce you to other friendly customers/regulars. There is a nice fire pit outside. Dart boards inside and outside, pool table and Foosball table. Wednesday nights they have a luck of the draw darts tournament and good fun people participate. Telephone: 831 643-9169 Web: Carbone’s.
Crown & Anchor
They have the best selection of 20 British & International beers on tap plus California Craft beers. Their pub has an impressive selection of Single Malts, Irish Whiskeys and Small Batch Bourbons. In addition to the regular menu we offer Daily Specials, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Menu. Telephone: 831 649-6496 Web: Crown & Anchor.
Easy Street Billiards
Easy Street is an old school pool room with some modern touches. They strive to create a fun atmosphere. There are a number of games to play including pool, darts, & shuffleboard. They offer a large beer selection in both bottles and on tap, and happy hour is daily from 4-7. They also offer a good selection of food including, chicken strips, cheese sticks, jumbo dogs, corn dogs, nachos and much more. Telephone: 831 333-0825 Web: Easy Street Billiards.
Best Seaside Hotels
Old Monterey Inn
Delight in tastefully appointed rooms and suites boasting exquisite furnishings and thoughtful amenities. This award winning 4 Diamond AAA rated hotel has earned national acclaim and has been featured on the Today Show as a romantic rendezvous destination. Old Monterey Inn is an ideal venue for an intimate Monterey honeymoon retreat, or your dream Monterey wedding in the dazzling garden.
Portola Hotel & Spa
This waterfront hotel overlooking Monterey Bay boasts an ideal location near Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur, Carmel Valley, 17-Mile Drive, and the world-class Pebble Beach Golf Links. Enjoy the Spa on the Plaza, featuring a fitness center and the largest day spa in Monterey County. The Portola Hotel & Spa staff provide wine tastings in the lobby from nearby vineyards. There are 379 well-appointed guest rooms.
Holiday Inn Express at Monterey Bay
This property is a 5-minute walk from the beach. Located off Highway 1, this Seaside, California hotel features an outdoor pool and offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Each warmly decorated room includes a seating area and offers pay-per-view movies. Free access to the fitness room and hot tub is offered to all guests of this hotel. A breakfast bar is served each morning at the Monterey Bay Holiday Inn Express, featuring a variety of hot and cold items.
Sand Castle Inn
The Sand Castle Inn is located minutes away from the ocean and the heart of Monterey. With their newly remodeled 34 rooms, they offer amenities such as microwaves, refrigerators, cable, free wi-fi, irons, and hairdryers in each room, along with a continental breakfast. They provide parking and a guest laundry.
Monterey Tides, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
For unwinding and fine dining, relaxing and rejuvenating, sandcastles and sunset cocktails, your favorite California escape awaits at this beachy chic boutique hotel. Perched directly on the beachfront in Monterey, their glass-enclosed lobby instantly treats guests to intoxicating bay and ocean views. Feed your culinary cravings at on-site eateries Bar Sebastián and Vizcaino Waterfront Food + Drink, which both offer delicious cuisine and dramatic ocean scenes.