Monterey's Merry Mirth Shines at Christmas on the Wharf

Caroling, lights, and ways to whimsy-up the season: Make for the ocean-close landmark for several sweet details this December.

Christmas on the Wharf

What to Know

  • Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey
  • Weekends, Friday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 19
  • Entertainment, a tree covered with sea-inspired ornaments, more

OTTERLY UPLIFTING: Taking a trip to Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey? Chances are good you'll be digging into some clam chowder, the kind of hearty stew that's served in a hollowed-out sourdough boule. You may be picking up a few postcards, the kind that display the Pacific Ocean, Cannery Row, or some of the centuries-old buildings found in the heart of the city. And leaning on some railing, all to wave at the otters that may or may not be waving at you? It's a time-honored tradition, one that is free, sweet, and prone to delighting any youngsters you have with you (as well as any otter fans of any age, so, yep, all of us). But if it is December, and the days are turning chillier, and you're seeking out pleasing Peninsula-based pleasures?

THE WATERSIDE ATTRACTION... is the place to stop for an hour or two. For Christmas on the Wharf will return to the picturesque area over three December weekends, starting on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Carolers in ye olden garb, magic shows, Santa stop-bys, and other cheerful sights will ho, ho, ho at the ocean-adjacent location. And that 23-foot tree? The ornaments that'll give the sizable symbol its glitter take their inspiration from an assortment of aquatic critters. Look for seasonal treats for purchase at a number of the destination's restaurants, and be sure to show with an unwrapped toy to donate near Santa's House. As for the day-to-day doings visitors usually find around Old Fisherman's Wharf? Those are on, too, from whale watching to fishing. Call it a Christmas-fun take on the season, with a salty dose of seaside flair.

IT'S FREE TO SEE, but do bring money for treats, souvenirs, whale outings, and such.

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