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Historic & Literary Monterey

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April is National Poetry Month, but at the National Steinbeck Center and Hartnell College, the poetic spirit continues till October 12. That's how long Hartnell College's Steinbeck Chair, Lawson Fusao Inada, will be accepting submissions for the 10,000 Poems Project. Poets, novice or professional, may submit poems in any genre, any language, writing on any topic (although some may be inspired by the works of John Steinbeck himself!). There's no submission fee: just submit your original poem on the website at

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.

Historic & Literary Monterey

 Monterey California History 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.


Now in its fifth year, History Fest Monterey (October 6-15) is bigger and better than ever.

This week-long celebration of Monterey's history, from its earliest Native American days to the raucous days of old Cannery Row, takes in lectures and workshops, walking tours and live performances of music and dance, and much more. Among the highlights: tales of whaling days related in California's First Theatre, a Historic Home Tour (Oct 15), and living history demonstrations at Cooper Molera Adobe.

For more information, visit the website at, or call 831-646-3991.

Discover Military History

Open Mondays 10am-1pm, Thursdays-Saturdays 10am-4pm, and 1-4pm on Sundays, the museum is housed on the historic Presidio grounds overlooking Monterey Bay, now home to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Enter the Presidio via Artillery Street; there's free parking on Corporal Ewing Road near the museum.

Visit our new Bookstore
To learn more about Monterey’s fascinating history, or to find books by and about Monterey County writers, click here to visit our new Bookstore page»