Colton Hall, Monterey

Colton Hall, Monterey

Monterey Adobes and the Path of History

The combination of Monterey State Historic Park and the antique adobes restored by the Monterey History and Art Association make Monterey the most historic city in California. 55 historic sites lay along Monterey's two-mile "Path of History," providing residents and visitors with a daily, living tie to California's heritage. The Path of History is one of the great bargains on the Peninsula. This self-guided tour of Old Monterey-marked by yellow tiles set in the sidewalk-explores adobes, gardens and sites of interest. Maps are available for individuals and groups.

Self-Guided Tour of the Path of History!

Take yourself on a tour of the Path of History with this informative map and cellphone tour. The map and tour point out important adobes and structures such as Colton Hall, Custom House Plaza, Pacific House and the Golden State Theatre.

Historic Events

Various events lend Monterey's historic adobes a festive flair. History Fest, held every October, brings reenactors from near and far to create living history experiences. Monterey History Fest includes a reenactment of the California Constitutional Convention in Colton Hall, the very spot where it took place; an authentic Mexican fandango, held in the Custom House just as some were in the 1800s; pirate reenactments; historic military encampments; open houses; and even a historic cemetery tour. Sloat's Landing Ceremony occurs the first Saturday in July. Sloat's Landing Ceremony celebrates Monterey's rich heritage and marks the date July 7, 1846 when Commodore John Drake Sloat declared California as part of the United States. The annual Christmas in the Adobes is a popular December tradition when luminarias light the paths and the fragrance of Mexican hot chocolate fills the air.

Notable Historic Buildings

  • The Royal Presidio Chapel is the oldest structure in Monterey, constructed by the Spanish government in 1794. It is the first architect-designed building in California.
  • The original portion of the Robert Louis Stevenson House dates from the late 1830s. Here the author reportedly began his classic tale of adventure, Treasure Island.
  • In 1849, Colton Hall hosted the first California Constitutional Convention.
  • California's First Theater was built in the 1840s by Jack Swan, an English sailor, as a saloon and apartments. The 1st New York Volunteers, an Army unit stationed in Monterey, put on their first play at the building in 1850, establishing it as Monterey's theatrical destination.
  • Larkin House was the first house built in the Monterey Colonial architectural style. Thomas Oliver Larkin built it in 1834, adapting traditional New England motifs to the available redwood and adobe.
  • The Custom House, Monterey State Historic Park, at the entrance to Fisherman's Wharf, is the oldest government building in California and is California State Historic Monument #1.
  • 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 in the 1820s and remodeled many times until 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 adobe structure furnished with handsomely preserved antique furniture, artwork and silver.
  • Casa Serrano has a special significance in California's early history because it served simultaneously as one of the first schools after the U.S. flag was flown over the Custom House in 1846. Open on Saturdays and free to the public.



Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land



County Map


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.


Fly direct from these five airports:
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McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

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Monterey Spotlight

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