outdoor patio at Monterey regional airport
Source: Woody's Restaurant and Bar

Monterey Regional (MRY) Airport Observation Deck and Restaurant

Monterey Regional Airport (MRY/MKRY) located on California’s central coast has a open-to-the-public observation deck and restaurant that is located pre-security. This patio is situated on the upper level of the airport with views of the runways and Monterey Bay. The patio is attached to Woody's Restaurants & Bar which appears to serve a delicious variety of food and drink (menu) options.

Woody’s Restaurant & Bar operated by chef Tim Wood is open from 9:30 to 21:00 daily. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a weekend brunch. They also have cocktails, wine (including a lengthily list of local wines), and beer with a happy hour from 15:00 to 18:00 daily. One nice thing is that the restaurant will also validate parking ($15 minimum purchase, up to 2 hours). So you can grab a bite to eat and do some plane spotting (#avgeek) without having to pay for parking. There is also a pet relief area so you can bring your pets.

For those flying out of Monterey (MRY) this offers a great chance to grab some food  and drink before departing. Monterey (MRY) offers non-stop service to Dallas (DFW), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA) airports.

Many years ago airport observation decks were more common, but due to security concerns these became more rare. There are a handful of other airports with observation decks including Austin-Bergstrom (AUS), Denver International (DEN), John F. Kennedy International (JFK/T5) and San Francisco International (SFO).

Closing Thoughts

If I lived near this I would likely visit every single week. With views of the taxiways and runway this is a great AVGeek destination. Due to the size and limited operations at Monterey Regional (MRY) they do not have a dedicated lounge, so this patio will serve as a nice option until you connect to any of the destinations that do have lounge access.