Monterey Tourist Attractions
Monterey is beautifully situated on Monterey Bay; it also has an interesting history. From 1770 to 1822 it was the capital of Spanish California, at a time when Los Angeles, San Francisco and the present-day capital Sacramento had not even been founded.
After Mexico declared its independence from Spain, Monterey continued in the role of provincial capital for another 24 years; but soon afterwards its political importance began to wane.The town's fish canning industry collapsed decades ago when the sardine disappeared from the waters around Monterey; it has been left a notable literary memorial in the form of John Steinbeck's novel "Cannery Row". Today tourism is the economic mainstay. There are numerous good hotels, motels and restaurants, a complete list of which can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce, 380 Alvarado Street, tel. 408-649-3200.When to visitThe best time to visit the peninsula is in the period September to June, the three summer months being often marred by fog and low cloud. Rain can be expected in January and February.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a close up look at various forms of marine life, but particularly that of the Monterey Bay. The facility holds some 300,000 specimens in over 200 pools and galleries.
Cannery Row is a waterfront street that originally served as a fish packing area and now operates as a tourist attraction, with shops and restaurants, as well as a beach of golden sand.
Monterey Museum of Art
The Monterey Museum of Art has a large focus on California art and artists. There are two separate locations which comprise the Museum of Art. The Pacific Street location, simply called the Monterey Museum of Art - Pacific Street, is a rather austere looking building featuring eight galleries. Here you will find early American and California collections, including paintings, photography and contemporary art. There are works by such famous names as Ansel Adams, Armin Hansen, William Ritschel, and Edward Weston to name just a few.The second location, Monterey Museum of Art - La Mirada, is definitely a contrast to the Pacific location. Housed in a beautiful old mansion, the museum is surrounded by lush grounds and a lovely rose garden. This site displays changing exhibitions so check the museum calendar to see what is currently on display. The admission cost is basically two for the price of one, with one admission giving access to both locations.
Address: 559 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940-2805, United States
Opening hours: 11am-5pm; Sun: 1pm-4pm; Closed: Mon, Tue
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $5.00, Students $2.50, Military discount $2.50, Child 12 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
Typical Visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf is a pleasant place for walking with souvenir shops, candy shops, restaurants, and the general wharf type atmosphere. You will find artists available to do caricatures or face painting. It's a nice area to escape from the busy city and relax by the ocean for a while. This is by no means an all day excursion unless of course you sign up for a whale watching tour, glass bottom boat tour, or fishing trip. Most people come down here to window shop and enjoy a meal.On a calm day there are pleasant views out over the anchored yachts, as well as good views back to the city and rolling hills in behind. In addition to the pelicans the frequent the area, you can also see sea otters and seals swimming by the wharf.
Royal Presidio Chapel
Presidio of Monterey, now the home of the Defense Language Institute, has artifacts and dioramas on the history of Presidio Hill from the times of the Indians, Mexicans, Spaniards and Americans.The Royal Presidio Chapel is the only one still in existence in California, and in continuous use since 1795. Note the richly-decorated façade
San Carlos Cathedral
San Carlos Cathedral was established in 1770 for the mission but instead became the church of Spanish soldiers and settlers when the mission was moved to Carmel the following year. Also known as the Royal Presidio Chapel, the present church has been used continuously since 1795.
California's First Theatre (closed)
This old adobe was built in 1843 as a saloon and apartment house. Ninety years later the building again became the setting for theatrical productions. The building is undergoing renovation and restoration, it is open on a limited basis.
Dennis the Menace Playground
MY Museum is a hands-on museum with exhibits that include a theater, medical office, media center, fingerpainting, water blocks and a magnet table.
Monterey History and Maritime Museum
Monterey Path of History
The Monterey Path of History provides house tours of historic adobe buildings, including the interiors.
Address: 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940-2430, United States
Colton Hall Museum
Built in 1849, Colton Hall includes a school, museum and the Old Monterey Jail.
Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum
The Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum on Cannery Row in Monterey features wax figures from the history of the town.
More Monterey Pictures
Map of Monterey Attractions