About Monterey

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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.

Typical Monterey scenes A small, livable city that prides itself on being a clean and safe place to live, Monterey is known for its sense of community and hospitality. Monterey's residents are culturally diverse, and the City's designation as the "language capital of the world" reflects the language skills of its residents.

Monterey at a Glance

Region California Central Coast
Residents 28,285
Parks 35
Beaches 3
Golf Courses 2
Sports Center 1
Community Centers 4
Trees 15 landmark trees, Tree City USA 30+ years
Libraries 2
Schools K-12, College, Graduate 10 +
Conference Center 1
Discovered and Named 1602
Founded 1770
First Incorporated 1850
Adopted Present Charter 1925
Elevation 0 to 683 feet
Land Area 8.62 square miles
Water Area 3.47 square miles
Average Mean Temperature 56.5º F
Miles of City Streets 106

Community Profile


Monterey is approximately 115 miles south of San Francisco and 350 miles north of Los Angeles. Monterey is on the central California coast, just minutes away from Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach.


Monterey was founded on June 3, 1770 and incorporated on May 30, 1850. Monterey served as California's first capital and hosted California's first Constitutional Convention in historic Colton Hall, where on October 13, 1849, our original state constitution was signed. In the 1930's and 40's, Monterey became the center of a thriving fishing industry and the sardine capital of the world. Today, a smaller commercial fishing fleet continues to operate from the City's harbor marina at Wharf 2.

Military Presence

Due to its strategic location, Monterey has historically been a key military outpost. While military needs have changed since the Presidio of Monterey was first established, the presence of the Defense Language Institute, the Naval Postgraduate School and Fleet Numerical continues Monterey's legacy of military tradition.

Form of Government

Monterey is a Charter City which operates under a City Council/City Manager governmental structure.


Monterey covers 8.62 square miles and has a population of 27,810; population increases to nearly 70,000 during the tourist season. Visit the Area Statistics tab for details.

Area Statistics

Monterey is a small residential city with a diverse population. Monterey's first residents were Native Americans and later Spanish explorers, Mexican settlers, American merchants, Japanese and Italian fisherman.

Population: 28,285
Median Age: 36.9
Source: US Census 2015 data

Median Household Income: $66,166
Education: 50.6% bachelor's degree or higher
Source: Housing Programs Office research


Labor Force:16,100
Employed: 14,800
Unemployed: 1,800
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%;
Source: State of California Employment Development Department 2011


Housing: 13,584
Own Home: 35.8%
Rentals: 64.2%
Source: US Census 2010 data

While housing costs tend to be slightly higher in Monterey than other areas, the City of Monterey also has several affordable housing programs which aim to meet the needs of low, moderate, and workforce-income level households.For more information regarding these programs, please contact Housing and Property Management at (831) 646-3995.

Additional Resources

Monterey County website
US Census Bureau
State of California website


Monterey's mild year-round climate and beautiful scenery attract tourists to the area throughout the year.

  • mild, temperate weather year round
  • cool summer months
  • warm "Indian Summer" weather in the fall
  • average summer temperature is 59.5 degrees
  • average yearly rainfall is 18.33 inches

Weather Resources