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Historic Monterey

The history of Monterey is part of its charm. Throughout the county, the story of Monterey's rich heritage is writ large in its adobes, gardens, mission bells, and lighthouses. Monterey is the most historic city in California, and the allure of the area continues to enthrall writers, artists and retreat seekers. You can explore the history of Monterey County through guided or self-guided tours.
Check out the Monterey State Historic Park web site for details on Monterey's many historical attractions, or click here to read more about the history of the area.

Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row Living History Day

Sweet Thursday Talks
on Cannery Row

Historic Anniversaries
in Old Monterey

You can delve a little deeper into the history of Cannery Row by setting aside the third Thursday of each month for the special lectures given in Hopkins Marine Station's auditorium. Also, don't miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium's special exhibit, "Steinbeck and Ricketts: A Friendship Celebrated."

  • June 20Hear about shipwrecks and sea monsters in "Tales and Treasures of Old Monterey."

  • Talks begin at 6pm. More information on the web site at

If you're taking a long Independence Day weekend in Monterey, don't miss these special historical events. Click here for full details.

  • July 4Living History Day at the Cooper-Molera Adobe whisks modern-day visitors back to the 1840s, where they can chat with gardeners, soldiers, cooks and more as they go about their daily activities
  • July 6Quadricentennial Walk and Talk starts at the Maritime Museum in Custom House Plaza; it explores sites and stories associated with the landing of Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602.
  • July 7Sloat Landing Reenactment commemorates the arrival in Monterey Bay of Commodore Sloat, the Naval commander who took the Presidio and declared California an American territory.

Just Opened:
The historic Presidio of Monterey now offers visitors a glimpse into Monterey’s colorful and active past, at the newly opened Presidio of Monterey Museum. Displays and artifacts chronicle Monterey life from the Native American settlement, through Spanish, Mexican and American leadership. Open Thursday through Sunday, the museum is housed on the historic Presidio grounds overlooking Monterey Bay, now home to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Entrance to the museum is through Private Bolio Gate only.

Did You Know?
The Old Monterey Jail was built in 1854. Sitting behind Colton Hall, it served as the city jail until 1956. Its claim to fame: no one ever escaped during its history! Open daily.

Attractions: Historical Pages
Adobes/Path of History | Missions | Lighthouses
Literary Sites | Historical Festivals & Events