Cannery Row

Cannery Row

Monterey

Few places on earth can live up to their own mythology, but Monterey is a notable exception. No matter what you’ve heard or seen in feature films, nothing can prepare you for the jaw-dropping beauty along Monterey's fabled coast and village-like pedestrian thoroughfares. John Steinbeck was a frequent visitor, and drew considerable inspiration from area landmarks including Cannery Row, which he helped to immortalize in his novel of the same name. Today, restaurants, boutiques and attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium have helped make Monterey a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.

History

The first settlers of Monterey were Native Americans known as Rumsiens, and their artifacts are still often uncovered throughout the area. European settlers established a Royal Presidio and Mission in 1770. The San Carlos Cathedral, built in 1794, is the oldest building in the city.

Monterey also lays claim to the oldest government building in California, the Custom House, started in 1814 and expanded shortly after California became a Mexican territory in 1822. Commodore John Drake Sloat and his men claimed California for the United States in 1846 by raising the flag in Monterey Harbor. California became part of the United States in 1848, and in 1849 its constitution was written in historic Colton Hall, where city offices still exist today.

Things to Do in Monterey

Whether it's the landmark Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Monterey Museum of Art or one of our other fascinating museums, a Monterey whale watching excursion or a self-guided kayaking exploration of the bay, Monterey's activities can keep you busy from the moment you get up in the morning until you rest your head at night.    

History buffs can walk the Path of History to see the old buildings that remain from Monterey's period as California's capital, while wine fans can stroll among the city's tasting rooms. Avid shoppers can find antiques in New Monterey and unique boutiques on Cannery Row and among the historic buildings in Old Monterey. They'll also find upscale fashion and technology at the Del Monte Center, and beachcombers can find all kinds of treasures on Monterey's beautiful beaches.

View a sample itinerary for ideas on how to spend two days in Monterey. See the list of Monterey's top area attractions; if you want to know more, read in-depth information about Monterey's tourist activities.

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Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

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Monterey Highlights
Monterey County's scenic drives range from the legendary to the little-known, from Highway One to ... more
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is consistently ranked #1 in the United States for its innovative ... more
This is a great place to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey. ... more
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course best known for The Corkscrew and ... more
The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was founded in 1770, making ... more
Cannery Row houses an eclectic blend of specialty shops, local artists' galleries, more than 25 ... more
Home to museums, galleries and performing arts venues, Monterey County is a hub for artistic ... more
The antique restored adobes make Monterey the most historic city in California. ... more
Monterey County's shopping scene is full of great deals and extraordinary surprises, from fine art ... more
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Monterey Spotlight
 

Featured Events

May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
10
2015

Mother's Day Brunches in Monterey County

May. 10
Score some points with Mom this Mother's Day and treat her to a fabulous brunch in…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
15
2015

Monterey Rock n' Rod Festival

May. 15-May. 16
Featuring hundreds of 1975 and older classic and custom hot rods, street rods,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
May
30
2015

Artichoke Festival

May. 30-May. 31
In 2015 the Castroville Artichoke Festival will celebrate it's 56th year at the…more
Jun
6
2015

Monterey Wine Festival

Jun. 6-Jun. 7
With hundreds of wines offered for tasting, wine lovers will lfind an embarrassment…more
Jun
6
2015

Spartan Race

Jun. 6
Spartan RaceTM, the global leader in Obstacle Racing since 2005, was designed by…more
Jun
13
2015

Monterey Beer Festival

Jun. 13
The Monterey Beer Festival is celebrating its 14th year. Breweries from across…more
Jun
20
2015

Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

Jun. 20
The Art & Wine Celebration will showcase over 50 artists, local wines and…more
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