Things to Do in Monterey

Monterey was made famous by author John Steinbeck and its top attraction Monterey Bay Aquarium. Former sardine warehouses now serve as entertainment districts – Cannery Row and Historic Monterey Harbor, the latter a departure point for whale watching cruises and sailing. Others things to do showcase the city’s heritage at Monterey State Historical Park with the Stevenson House and Garden, recreation - Monterey State Beach and the coastal bike trail, and art collections at Monterey Museum of Art’s two centers. Find many restaurants; hotels near Old Monterey highlight historic charm, while other lodging may have views of downtown, the wharf and bay.
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Monterey State Historical Park

20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, California
Historic Site
The park is comprised of historic buildings and gardens throughout Old Monterey, once the Mexican capital of Alta California.

The Pacific House has served many purposes since it was built in the mid-1800s. Its second floor is now the home of the Monterey Museum of the American Indian. The adobe Custom House, located across from Fisherman's Wharf, served the Mexican port. It is the oldest government building in the state of California.

Visitors are invited to explore this historic area or take any of a number of free, guided tours including: Casa Soberanes, nicknamed the House of the Blue Gate, features the 1840s home and garden; the Cooper-Molera Adobe with home, gardens and grounds; the Monterey colonial-style Larkin House; and the Stevenson House*. Walking tours, 45 minutes in length, depart from the Pacific House. (*see separate listing)
Hours & Admission
Pacific House: daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Thursday opens at 10:30 a.m.). Custom House: daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Friday opens at 10:30 a.m.). Historic gardens: daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free (park).
Guided, 45 minutes in length:

Casa Soberanes - Monday to Wednesday and Friday 11:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 12:00 noon. Free. Location: 336 Pacific St. at corner of Del Monte Ave.

Cooper-Molera Adobe - Friday to Wednesday 3:00 p.m., Sunday also at 12:00 noon. Meet at Cooper Museum Store. Free. Location: 525 Polk St. at Polk, Alvardo and Munras streets.

Larkin House - Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Meet in the side garden. Free. Location: 510 Calle Principal, corner of Pacific and Jefferson streets.

Stevenson House - Monday and Friday 2:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. Saturday 11: 30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. house open, docents available for questions. Free. Location: 530 Houston St.

Walking: Monday to Wednesday and Friday 10:30 a.m.
From Highway 1 south, take Pacific Grove/Del Monte Ave. exit (the third Del Monte exit) Follow Del Monte approx. 1.5 miles. Turn right into the Fisherman's Wharf parking lot.
Photo Courtesy: California State Parks
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