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About Monterey County

monterey-county, CA

Monterey is a scenic California coastal city that rises from the pristine Monterey Bay to pine forested hillsides with sweeping bay views. The city's natural beauty and historic sites make it a quality residential community and premier tourist destination. The city enjoys a humid, summer-like climate almost year round and plenty of sunshine for almost full years of warmth and good weather for outdoor activities.

 

Popular Attractions

Like most other major cities in California, Monterey is a cultural, diverse hub, filled with creativity and unique entertainment options for both visitors and locals to take advantage of. And if we are to take example from any of the other seaside cities in California and elsewhere, Monterey visitors can expect a long list of excellent local festivals, music, food and attractions. 

 

The city is the home of the Monterey Museum of Art, La Mirada and the Salvador Dali Museum. plus, there are several commercial galleries located in the historic district of Cannery Row, New Monterey and Customs House Plaza. Monterey is also the site of numerous waterfront arts and crafts festivals held in the Custom House Plaza at the top of Fisherman's Wharf.

 

Any who visits Monterey without exploring the aquarium? No one! The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world's richest marine regions. More than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species fill 34 major galleries, and with nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium truly is a window to the wonders of the ocean.

 

And of course, there's the Presidio of Monterey Museum that 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. Because of the important role of the military in Monterey between 1902 and today, the majority of the museum is dedicated to the development of the Presidio as a training base.

 

There's no shortage of attractions in the city of Monterey, all edged by the breathtaking coastline, fresh sea breezes and plenty of wide open spaces for hiking, biking and exploring. Some more great activities include: the California Legacy Tours, Cemetery Historic Tour, Colton Hall Museum, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Monterey Museum of Art. There's also the Monterey State Historic Park, Museum of Monterey, MY Museum (Monterey Youth Museum), Path of History and the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

 

Art Walk

Afternoon softens into dusk on a charming storefront-lined street as an air of anticipation builds - the day is far from over. It's an Art Walk evening, and local artists are displaying their works on the sidewalks and in shops and galleries while live music beckons from a neighboring corner. Once a month, Pacific Grove and Salinas offer a free Art Walk. Visitors and locals are invited to stroll through the historic downtown areas and enjoy fine art, light refreshments, music and wine tasting. What better way to greet old friends, make new acquaintances, discover original masterpieces, and create lasting memories? Pacific Grove's Wine, Art and Music Walk in downtown Pacific Grove and First Fridays in Oldtown Salinas is scheduled for the first Friday of every month.

 

Music

The Monterey Jazz Festival began in 1958, presenting such artists as Louie Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billie Holiday, and now claims to be "the longest running jazz festival in the world." The Monterey Pop Festival embodied the themes of San Francisco as a focal point for the counterculture and is generally regarded as one of the beginnings of the "Summer of Love" in 1967. It also became the template for future music festivals, notably the Woodstock Festival two years later. In 1986, the Monterey Blues Festival was created and has run continuously for over two decades.

 

The Great Outdoors

No visit to Monterey is complete without several days worth of adventuring through the natural terrain, and there's a number of ways to enjoy an outdoor excursion through the city. Many take to the trails for great biking and hiking, but there's also opportunities for birding, whale and wildlife watching, boat charters for sailing, fishing, diving and site-seeing. And of course, visitors can enjoy a lazy evening kayaking, the Lake El Estero Park Complex, Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, local beaches and scuba diving.

 

Campgrounds and Parks

The City of Monterey has some of the most beautiful and diverse parks and beaches in the world. From sandy or rocky shores, wetlands, pine forests to unique playgrounds, Monterey's open spaces provide a wealth of recreation and leisure activities. Many of Monterey’s 36 parks feature barbecue grills, sports fields, playground equipment and other amenities. For private parks, travelers can depend on surrounding cities such as Watonsville and Salinas.  

 

Places to Eat

For visitors to California, there's always going to be a long list of world-class food options, and the same is true for the beautiful coastal city of Monterey. Travelers can expect great eats at spots like Hula's Island Grill, Rosine's Restaurant, Montrio Bistro and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. And of course, there's a ton of popular seaside bars like The Crown & Anchor, Carbone's, Alfredo's Cantina and Bulldog Pub. Even for travelers who prefer anything but seafood, there's a plethora of options in this beautiful city, and plenty of variations on even some of the area's more popular dishes. 

 

Landmarks

The city of Monterey is known for its beautiful and historic landmarks, all steeped in the area's colonial past. Visitors can expect great sights at the breathtaking 17-Mile Drive, Cannery Row and the beautiful Old Fisherman's Wharf. Plus, places like The Cannery Row Monument, San Carlos Cathedral, Doc Rickett's Pacific Biological Laboratories, Perry House, Greene Mansion and The Old Monterey Jail are popular spots to visit. All of these places carry the beauty and sometimes the tragedy of Monterey and are interesting areas to visit. 

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