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Pros and cons of living in Monterey

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California attracts many people looking for new beginnings. The Monterey is one of the cities combining natural beauty with a rich culture that would make anyone want to live there. As one of the best movers in California, we’ve seen a growing interest in this coastal city. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Monterey, giving you a clear picture of what life here looks like.

Meet Monterey

Monterey is a small city with about 30,000 residents. Over the years, its population has remained fairly stable, with a tight-knit community feel. The population increased 9 out of 12 years between 2010 and 2022. The largest increase of 1.2% happened between 2019 and 2020. The ethnic diversity here is quite notable, with a significant portion of the population being of Hispanic or Latino origin. This diversity contributes to a rich cultural environment and a warm, welcoming vibe in the city that residents are proud of.

The lifestyle in Monterey is laid-back and friendly. The emphasis here is on enjoying life and taking it slow. This city’s size ensures that while you have access to essential amenities, you never feel lost in the crowd. This balance makes Monterey an attractive option for those seeking a slower pace of life without sacrificing cultural experiences.

Picture of Monterey
Before moving, you need to weigh out the pros and cons of living in Monterey

Pros of living in Monterey

If you’re already in love with the city that served as the idyllic setting for John Steinbeck’s classic novel Cannery Row but still wish to learn more about it, know there’s a lot to love here. It offers plenty of benefits that attract people from all over the states and beyond.

The scenic beauty of Monterey

The stunning coastlines in Monterey are major attractions. Let’s, of course, not forget that the city is home to some of California’s most beautiful beaches –Del Monte Beach. It has inviting sandy stretches and is easily accessible from downtown Monterey. It is perfect for sunbathing beach volleyball or leisurely walks. Asilomar State Beach, on the other hand, offers a more adventurous experience. It’s a favorite spot for surfers and nature photographers, capturing the wild, untamed spirit of the Pacific.

The Monterey Bay is a hub for kayaking, paddleboarding, and spotting marine wildlife. Witnessing sea otters play in the kelp or spotting dolphins in the distance adds to the charm of living in Monterey.

For those drawn to these natural wonders and contemplating a move, finding reliable and professional moving help in Monterey CA, is crucial. A local moving company will assist you in the transition and provide valuable advice on the best areas to settle, ensuring new residents can enjoy these spectacular views and beachside activities regularly.


Living in Monterey also offers the advantage of a safe community. The city is known for its relatively low crime rates, both in terms of violent and property crimes, making it a reassuring choice for families and individuals alike. Violent crime rates in Monterey are significantly lower than the national average, reflecting the city’s commitment to maintaining a peaceful and secure environment. Property crime rates, while present, are also lower compared to many other cities in California. The only type of property crime rate prevalent in Monterey is theft, which is more often seen in certain parts of the city. It is also more frequent during the tourist season.

This sense of safety is a crucial aspect of life in Monterey, contributing to the overall quality of life and making it an attractive place for those seeking a secure and tranquil living environment. The city’s effective law enforcement and community-focused safety initiatives play a crucial role in preserving this serene atmosphere.

Picture of people enjoying the pros and cons of living in Monterey
The crime rates are lower than average in Monterey

Rich marine life

Monterey’s marine life is a central aspect of its charm. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, a world-class facility, is home to over 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species. This biodiversity includes mesmerizing jellyfish, playful sea otters, and a variety of sharks. The Aquarium is not just an attraction. It plays a vital role in marine conservation. It is a beloved destination among families with kids. If you wish to take your children to visit the aquarium and other attractions, but cannot because of the moving-related obligations, you can always rely on your movers to do the heavy lifting and organize anything you find boring or too overwhelming. Leave the sorting of the moving supplies Monterey CA and other dull tasks to the pros, the fun shouldn’t wait!

The Sea Otter Program, for instance, has been crucial in studying and helping the once-endangered sea otter population.

Beyond the aquarium, Monterey’s waters are part of a larger National Marine Sanctuary. This sanctuary protects a vast range of marine life and habitats. Here, you can spot humpback whales, dolphins, and even migrating gray whales.

Monterey’s mild climate

Transitioning to life in Monterey, the mild climate is one of its most appealing features. The city enjoys comfortable temperatures year-round. Summers are cool, with average highs around 68°F (20°C), while winters are mild, rarely dropping below 44°F (7°C). This temperate climate is perfect for outdoor activities throughout the year.

For residents, this means less need for extreme weather gear and more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. As a moving company offering hauling services in Monterey CA, we have noticed that new residents often discard their gear for cooler weather before moving, getting ready to make the most of Monterey’s climate.

Cultural attractions and historic sites

Another pro of living in Monterey is its rich cultural offerings, which are deeply rooted in history. Notably, the aforementioned Cannery Row is a testament to this history. Once the heart of Monterey’s booming sardine canning industry, it was filled with bustling factories in the early 20th century. The sardine canning process, vital to the local economy, transformed Monterey into a thriving hub. Although the industry declined by the 1950s, Cannery Row today is a lively waterfront street where shops and restaurants show its industrious past, allowing visitors and residents alike to delve into the unique legacy of Monterey’s sardine canning era.

Here’s a quick list of must-visit cultural attractions in Monterey:

  • Monterey State Historic Park is a remarkable collection of historic buildings and houses, each narrating a different chapter of Monterey’s past. Walking through this park is like stepping back in time, with preserved structures that showcase various architectural styles and historical periods.
  • Colton Hall Museum, another cultural gem, is special in California’s history. It was here in 1849 that the state’s first constitution was carefully drafted, a pivotal moment in California’s journey to statehood. The museum now serves as a gateway to understanding the state’s early governance and societal foundations.
  • Pacific House Museum offers a deep dive into the area’s rich Native American and Spanish heritage. It houses artifacts and exhibits that shed light on the lives of the Ohlone people and the impact of Spanish colonization. The museum provides a comprehensive view of the cultural and historical influences that shaped the Monterey we know today, making it a must-visit for anyone keen on understanding the region’s complex past.

Each site offers a special glimpse into Monterey’s past, making it a fascinating place for history enthusiasts. Additionally, this city hosts various arts and cultural events throughout the year, adding to the pros of living in Monterey.

Picture of a flag and palm tree
Monterey is full of cultural attractions and sites

Monterey’s outdoor activities

In Monterey, outdoor activities are amazing and cater to various interests. The region’s natural beauty provides the perfect setting for multiple adventures. For example, hiking enthusiasts can explore trails in Garland Ranch Regional Park, offering stunning views and varied terrain. Also, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is perfect for biking and walking, stretching along the scenic coastline.

Here’s a list of popular outdoor activities in Monterey:

  • Hiking: With trails in Garland Ranch Regional Park and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
  • Biking: Along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: In the calm waters of Monterey Bay.
  • Whale Watching: Tours available to see migrating whales.
  • Golfing: At world-famous courses like Pebble Beach.

If you want to enjoy these activities rapidly after getting to the city, entrust your items to reputable white glove moving companies Monterey CA. They will get the best treatment possible!

Cons of living in Monterey

Nothing in this world is perfect, which also applies to any city that you might decide to move to. Monterey is no exception to this rule, no matter how idyllic it is.

High cost of living

However, when discussing the pros and cons of living in Monterey, the high cost is a significant con. Like many parts of California, Monterey has living expenses above the national average. The housing market, in particular, is a significant factor. The median home value in Monterey is around $1.135 million, significantly higher than the U.S. average. Renting is also costly, with average rents for a one-bedroom apartment hovering around $2,500 per month.

As local long distance movers in Monterey CA, we often see newcomers opt for renting rather than buying properties. This results in 65% of the population renting their homes.

Monterey’s job market

The job market in Monterey presents certain limitations, as does any job market. The economy is significantly driven by tourism, hospitality, and marine sciences. These sectors flourish, especially during peak tourist seasons, typically from late spring through early fall, offering numerous employment opportunities in hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. However, the seasonal nature of tourism means that job availability can fluctuate, leading to periods of reduced employment in the off-season.

With an average household income of around $85,000, higher than the national average, Monterey seems prosperous. However, this must be weighed against the higher cost of living in the area. Outside the booming seasons of tourism and hospitality, job prospects in other sectors can be limited, contributing to an unemployment rate slightly above the national average, currently at 4.8%. This seasonal variability in employment is a crucial factor for residents and potential movers to consider, as it significantly impacts the city’s financial stability and job security.

Picture of a person working in the hospitality industry
Tourism highly influences the job market.

Tourist crowns are often seen as a bad side

As a popular tourist destination, the city welcomes thousands of yearly visitors, especially during summer and holidays. This influx of tourists has a significant impact on the town. On one hand, it boosts the local economy; on the other, it leads to crowded beaches, parks, and attractions. For instance, Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf often get pretty crowded, impacting the daily life of residents.

The pros and cons of living in Monterey become evident during peak tourist seasons. Here’s how tourism affects locals:

  • Increased Traffic: Roads, especially near popular spots, can get congested.
  • Busy Public Spaces: Beaches and parks are more crowded.
  • Higher Prices: Some local businesses raise prices during peak tourist times.

Working with local movers in Monterey can help new residents plan their move during quieter times, avoiding the hustle of tourist seasons. But this means you need to weigh the pros and cons of moving during off-season, and constant the movers well in advance.

Monterey’s unique climate feature bothers some residents

Another aspect to consider is Monterey’s foggy weather, especially in summer. This fog, while creating a picturesque ambiance, can be a downside for those who prefer sunny weather. The fog typically rolls in during the evening and clears up by afternoon, affecting outdoor activities and visibility.

For those moving to Monterey, understanding this unique weather pattern is essential. Residential movers in Monterey often advise new residents on how to best prepare for this climate feature, ensuring a smooth transition to their new home.

Transportation challenges in Monterey

Transportation in Monterey presents its own set of challenges. The city’s public transportation options are somewhat limited, and owning a car is often necessary for convenience. People are so dependent on their cars that the average number of cars per household is 2. The monthly pass for Monterey-Salinas Transit is around $95, providing an affordable option for regular commuters. However, traffic congestion, particularly during tourist seasons and weekends, can be a concern.

Main transportation challenges include:

  • Limited Public Transportation: Fewer routes and frequencies compared to larger cities.
  • Traffic Congestion: Common during peak hours and tourist seasons.
  • Dependency on Cars: High car ownership rates due to limited public transit options.
Picture of cars stuck in a traffic jam
Traffic jams are a frequent occurrence in summer

Balancing the pros and cons of living in Monterey

Monterey offers natural beauty, cultural history, and community life at your fingertips. However, it’s essential to balance these attractions with the realities of high living costs, limited job opportunities, tourist crowds, foggy weather, and transportation challenges. Each factor plays a crucial role in the overall living. By weighing these pros and cons of living in Monterey, you can make an informed decision about moving to this beautiful coastal city. For those ready to make the move, understanding these aspects can lead to a more fulfilling experience.

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