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We (mother/daughter team) will be in Monterey in early September 2009, right after Labor Day. We have not been to Monterey in 40+ years. We are having a hard time deciding what to pack and wear. We will be doing a variety of activities like, kayaking on the bay, a whale watching trip, going to the aquarium, shopping in Carmel, a coast tour, a Luau at the hotel, and some receptions. Are capris with sandals appropriate or is that too "summery"? Will short sleeve blouses work with long pants? or will be be cold? What are the average temperatures?
September is the most pleasant weather of the year in Monterey, but the temperature is still very variable over the course of the day/night. The key to dressing for the coast of California is "layers"--be prepared to add and subtract clothing as the day goes on. The nights/mornings tend to be foggy and chilly while the daytime is sunny and warm. It can be in the 80s during the afternoon but get down to the 50s at night, or even lower. Definitely bring more than just sandals and capris, because you'll freeze at night.
Short sleeves will be too cold for the evenings and mornings in September. You'll need a light jacket or a sweater. Don't underestimate the temperature variations on the California coast. Even LA in September is often too cool for short sleeves at night.