Monterey Bay is one of those seasonal destinations that has its high points and low points in terms of what time of year one visits. WIthout a doubt the best time to go to Monterey weather wise is between May and October. It is this time of year that the days are longer and there is very little-if any rain. Crowds are heavy during this time and on sunny days the traffic in and around Cannery Row and Carmel By the Sea can be quite heavy. Sunday is usually the busiest days in the Monterey Bay Area and the 17 Mile Drive is heavy not only with heavy car traffic but heavy tour bus traffic from San Francisco. The prices tend to be higher by about 10% during this time of year as well.
Those looking for a more tamer crowds and cheaper hotel rates should check out the off season between October and April. However it should be noted that every few years the area is inundated with massive rain storms off the Pacific that can last weeks and often shut Highway One down for days due to rock slides. Beyond that the temps never drop below the 40s at night and the chance of snow, sleet or ice or non existent. Even during wicked storms the coastline maintains its spectacular beauty and is cool to photograph and view even if stuck in a rain suit or from the car.