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Adobes / Path of History

Historical Monterey:
Adobes and the Path of History

Adobes | Path of History

Historical Sites

Monterey State Historic Park
20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940

Monterey County Historical Society
333 Boronda Road
Salinas, CA 93907


The adobes of Monterey are nestled in quiet gardens, almost invisible at times, save for the plaques identifying them, and the only way to see them properly is on foot. These charming relics date from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. The Monterey History and Art Association has lovingly restored these dwellings from Monterey's Mexican past: some have the original furnishings or furniture of the period, many have restored gardens. Various events lend the adobes a festive flair, especially the Annual "Christmas in the Adobes." Luminarias light the paths and the fragrance of mulled cider fills the air during this popular December tradition.

  • The Royal Presidio Chapel is the oldest structure in Monterey, constructed by the Spanish government in 1794.
  • The original part of the Robert Louis Stevenson House dates from the late 1830s. Here the author reportedly began his classic tale of adventure, Treasure Island. (Note: the house and grounds are currently closed for renovation.)
  • Colton Hall is the site of the first California Constitutional Convention in 1849.
  • California's First Theater was built in the 1840s by Jack Swan, an English sailor. Initially a saloon and apartments, the building became a theater after the 1st New York Volunteers stationed here put on plays. (Also currently closed for renovation.)
  • Larkin House is considered by some to be the finest example of Monterey Colonial architecture. Thomas Oliver Larkin built it in 1832 and adapted two architectural forms to the available redwood and adobe, creating a new style.
  • Custom House, at the entrance to Fisherman's Wharf, was a bustling trade center in the 1800s. Locally produced items were traded for foreign goods.
  • Pacific House has served many different purposes in its history. Since it was built in 1847, it's been a military supply storage site, a hotel, a church and a ballroom, among other things. It's now a history museum.
  • Cooper-Molera Adobe was home to three generations of Coopers. Built and remodeled many times between 1827 and 1900, it now houses a visitor center with a shop full of old-time treasures. Don't miss its historic garden.
  • Casa Soberanes is a Mexican Colonial renovated for the 20th century.

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    Path of History

    The Path of Historyis one of the great bargains on the Peninsula. This self-guided, two-mile tour of Old Montereymarked by yellow tiles set in the sidewalkexplores adobes, gardens and sites of interest. Maps are available for individuals and groups. Free guided tours depart daily from the Cooper Museum and from the Maritime Museumat the Custom House Plaza, where a free orientation film is shown every 20 minutes beginning at 10:10am. You can also visit the interiors of some of the adobes and other historic buildings.

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