Music Festivals, Big Sur + Monterey
Concierge.com's insider take:
The famous annual Monterey Jazz Festival brings in jazz and blues luminaries from around the world the third weekend in September. Past performers have included Bonnie Raitt and Dave Brubeck (831-373-3366; www.montereyjazzfestival.org).
The Carmel Bach Festival, which has been running since 1935, draws international artists to venues throughout the area; for maximum atmosphere, attend a performance at the 18th-century Carmel Mission (831-624-2046; www.bachfestival.org). The music performed is—obviously—Bach-centric, but pieces by other 17th- and 18th-century luminaries such Mozart and Vivaldi are also included.