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Monterey Museums & Historical Sites

Santa Cruz, California Hotels and Resorts

Monterey Museums & Historical Sites

Our guide to Monterey Museums and Historical Sites will help you explore Monterey's history.

Click here to search  Santa Cruz (30 miles south) or Half Moon Bay (75 miles north).
  

Monterey Museums

California Views Historical Photo Archives

469 Pacific St., Monterey,  (831) 373-3811
California Views was established November 29, 1970 and is located in historic Monterey, on the California Central Coast, this unique photo archive is the most comprehensive Historical Photo Collection of the Monterey Bay area.

Colton Hall Museum

351 Pacific St., Monterey  (831) 646-5640
Built to serve as a public school and town meeting hall, Colton Hall now offers visitors a re-creation of the meeting room where California's first Constitution was drafted in October 1849 and exhibits on early Monterey. Colton Hall is a landmark in the City of Monterey, once the capital of Alta California.

Maritime Museum of Monterey

5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey  (831) 372-2608

Monterey County Youth Museum

425 Washington St., Monterey  (831) 649-6444
This 8,500 square foot museum is packed with a variety of hands on exhibits, making each visit unique and exciting.

Monterey Museum of Art

559 Pacific St., Monterey  (831) 372-7591
The Museum’s important collection of early California paintings and works on paper celebrates the Monterey Peninsula’s legacy as an influential art colony.

Monterey State Historic Park

Memory Garden Custom House Plaza, Monterey  (831) 649-7118
Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of significant historic houses and buildings interspersed throughout Old Monterey. The inside of the Stevenson House, Larkin House, Cooper-Molera Adobe, and Casa Soberanes can ONLY be viewed with a State Park Guide. These four guided house tours, the Guided Walking Tour of Old Monterey, the Pacific House Museum and Custom House are all FREE.  Guided Walking Tours begin at the Pacific House Museum in Custom House Plaza – a great way to start your discovery of Monterey.

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History 

165 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, CA  (831) 648-5716

The Pacific Grove Museum is your living personal field guide to the California Central Coast. Explore the birds and wildlife, plants, geology and cultural richness that make this region unique in the world.

Presidio of Monterey Museum

Corporal Ewing Road, Bldg. 113, Monterey, CA 93944   (831) 646.3456
The Presidio of Monterey Museum exhibits lead visitors through Monterey's various stages of military development – from the indigenous period which highlights the area's native populations; through the Spanish and Mexican periods; and up to present day.

The Maritime Museum in Monterey

5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey (near Fisherman's Wharf). Call (831) 373-2469

The National Steinbeck Center

One Main Street Salinas, CA 93901 (831)775-4721
TThe Center is located in John Steinbeck's hometown of Salinas, a scenic 17-mile drive from Monterey, California in the heart of Steinbeck Country. The Museum offers three distinct visitor experiences in literature and history, agriculture and art, as well special events and educational programs.

The Stowitts Museum and Library

591 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove  (831) 655-4488

Monterey Area Historical Sites

Carmel Mission – Carmel

San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission: The Site of Carmel Mission Basilica and National Shrine of Blessed Junipero Serra

San Carlos Cathedral

San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey

500 Church St Monterey, CA  (831) 624-3600
San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey was founded by Father Junipero Serra on June 3, 1770, on the shores of Monterey Bay, as the cornerstone of his Mission. A year later, Fr. Serra moved the Mission to Carmel.

Monterey State Historic Park 

Historic Adobes, Monterey  (831) 649-7118

Please note that due to State budget cutbacks, many of the free tours are limited or canceled.  Please check with the State Parks for the latest information.

Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of significant historic houses and buildings interspersed throughout Old Monterey. The inside of the Stevenson House, Larkin House, Cooper-Molera Adobe, and Casa Soberanes can ONLY be viewed with a State Park Guide. These four guided house tours, the Guided Walking Tour of Old Monterey, the Pacific House Museum and Custom House are all FREE.  Guided Walking Tours begin at the Pacific House Museum in Custom House Plaza – a great way to start your discovery of Monterey.

Be sure to pick up a map for the walking tour at the Custom House near the Fisherman's Wharf

Point Sur State Historic Park

The park has an active US Coast Guard lightstation that sits 361 feet above the surf on a large volcanic rock. The facilities were established for the safety of seagoing vessels moving up and down the Big Sur coast.

Point Piños Lighthouse

Asilomar Avenue, just north of the intersection with Lighthouse Ave.    (831) 648-3176
Point Pinos is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Since February 1, 1855, its beacon has flashed nightly as a guide and warning to shipping off the rocky California coast.

Point Sur Lighthouse

Big Sur Area   (831) 625-4419
Historic buildings and spectacular views are found at Point Sur. 

 

What’s on Tap

Events

Monterey Festivals & Events:

 

Whale Watching – Dec. through May

 

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Monterey.

 

Attractions

Top Attractions:

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Aquarium is your window to marine life in the Monterey Bay!

Cannery Row

Historic Cannery Row is great destination for hotels, shopping, dining, and, oh, yes, the Aquarium!

Monterey Fishing

Fall is fishing and crabbing season!

Kayaking and SCUBA Diving

The rocky bottom around Monterey make it perfect for ocean adventures!

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May

Golfing

Pebble Beach…need I say more.

 

For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.

 

 

Advisories

Monterey’s Summer Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially on Highway 1 between Seaside and Monterey. Also, 68 between Highway 1 and 101 can be extremely slow. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to www.caltrans.com to learn about road conditions.

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.

Carmel Valley and Big Sur have major wildfires. Authorities expect them to burn through the end of August! Google for the latest news.