Explore Historic Monterey


The Explore Historic Monterey cell phone tours and brochure were made possible by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service.

Preserving History

Restored Pacific Biological Laboratories specimen tanks

Ed Ricketts’ Marine Specimen Tanks, 1928-1948

In October 2010, as part of a grant awarded to the City of Monterey by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, conservators stabilized and protected the concrete specimen tanks located in back of the Pacific Biological Laboratories building. Marine biologist Ed Ricketts used the tanks to store marine specimens for his research and in preparation for shipment to schools, universities and museums. The tanks were originally built by Vicente Rodriguez, the previous owner of the Lab site, who used them for his fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.

Featured News and Events
Historic Monterey's Annual History Fest October 4th - 5th, 2014

Historic Monterey's Annual History Fest October 4th - 5th, 2014

Festival showcases Monterey's important role in California's early history!

Find out about the weekend's activities here:

History Fest 2014 PDF 1 pg.pdf

Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

October 4 and November 8, 2014

Join us at the Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab) at 800 Cannery Row, Monterey, for free tours sponsored by the City of Monterey. All five sets of one-hour tours are on Saturdays, and our docents will present the history of the Lab, Ed Ricketts, his friendship with author John Steinbeck, and the PBL Club that was instrumental in founding the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Dates of tours:

October 4 and November 8, 2014

Tour times for each date are:

9:00-10:00 am, 10:30-11:30 am, 12:30-1:30 pm, 2:00-3:00 pm, 3:30-4:30 pm

Make your reservation by phoning the Colton Hall Museum, 831-646-5640 between 10 am - 4 pm daily. Deadline for tour reservations is the Friday before the scheduled tours. Please arrive at the Lab 10 minutes prior to the tour.

Parking available at the Cannery Row Garage at 601 Foam Street, and other areas, see link:


Due to the Lab's historic significance and space, 15 persons can be scheduled for each tour.

"Along the Way" - photographs by Susan Theodore

"Along the Way" - photographs by Susan Theodore

Now on display through October 19, 2014 at Alvarado Gallery, One Portola Plaza, MontereyExhibit

The City of Monterey, Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce the  Alvarado Gallery exhibit: Along the Way, Photographs by Susan Theodore. Susan first created photographs in Chicago neighborhoods and lakefront, trying to make visual sense of the streets, buildings and people she encountered. She began capturing images that resonated with her and sought to evoke memories and emotions in the viewer.

This exhibit offers images of Monterey she made over the past six years. Her work can be viewed online at:photographsbysusantheodore.com.

The exhibit currently on display through October 19, 2014 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.

Take our Pacific Biological Laboratories Museum (Ed Ricketts' Lab) Online Survey!

Deadline Extended: Survey Answers Due By September 25, 2014

The City of Monterey received a grant from the Thomas Doud, Sr. and Anita M. Doud Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County to create a museum interpretive plan for the Pacific Biological Laboratories, the home and laboratory of marine biologist Edward F.R. Ricketts, and subsequently, the clubhouse of the Pacific Biological Laboratory members. The City of Monterey has selected museum interpretive professionals to develop and produce the Pacific Biological Laboratories Museum Interpretive Plan.

To help in the development of the Museum Interpretive Plan, we are asking for your feedback and participation in the planning process through this brief survey

The Museum Interpretive Plan will identify opportunities to ensure that the PBL remains an authentic and immersive experience, while establishing a sustainable financial model. 

Go to SurveyMonkey at this link: