Our Mission: We share Monterey's stories, serving as a place of learning, inspiration and engagement with our history and heritage.

Monterey... a living museum

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’s 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 Jose (Joseph) Benito Rodriguez and Vicente Rodriguez, two (unrelated) partners in La Esperanza Fish Packing Company, for use in La Esperanza's fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.


Notice Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: If you are a person with a disability and require an accommodation to participate in a City program, service or activity, requests for accommodations may be made by calling (831) 646-5648 (voice), 7-1-1 (California Relay Service), or by email with at least 30 hours in advance to booker@monterey.org for cultural arts events, copeland@monterey.org for Museums and Cultural Arts Commission meetings or rygg@monterey.org for City tours. Copies of documents are available in alternative formats, upon request. We make every effort to adhere to 508 requirements as set forth by the W3C Accessibility Initiative. Ongoing validation testing is conducted using industry-recognized tools for coding and usability. Request for Accommodation/Complaint Procedure | Web Accessibility |

Featured News and Events

"Monterey - Timeless Beauty" - Exhibit Opening at Alvarado Gallery on Friday, September 20, 2019, 5:30 - 7 pm

Featured Exhibit by the Central Coast Art Association

The City of Monterey, Museums and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce the upcoming Alvarado Gallery exhibit "Monterey – Timeless Beauty" featuring the Central Coast Art Association, a non-profit founded in 1967 to promote interest in and appreciation of art on the Monterey Peninsula.

This exhibit will highlight nine artists whose artwork ranges from oils to watercolors, acrylics to mixed media and displays the timeless beauty of the Monterey Peninsula.  Each artist brings their individual visions of this area with vibrant colors and eclectic views.  Many are award-winning painters with local roots and knowledge of the history of Monterey.  Their ability to capture the special unseen areas of our Peninsula will delight and inspire you.  Roadsides, valleys, seascapes and architecture, their subject matter is diverse.

Please join us for an artist opening on Friday, September 20, 2019 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM with light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the artists.

The exhibit will be on display September 20, 2019 to November 25, 2019 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.

September 9, 1850 - California Admitted into the United States!

In 1849, delegates from the districts of the future state of California met in Colton Hall in the old California capital, Monterey, to debate and draft California’s first constitution.  They signed the constitution on October 13, 1849.  The bilingual constitution was approved on November 13 that year by a vote of 12,064 to 811. On September 9, 1850, California became the 31st state of the United States.

SAVE THE DATES! History Fest October 5-6 and 12-13, 2019

Civil War Encampment 10/5-6; Archives Crawl 10/12; Reenactment of California Constitutional Convention 10/13 and many more events!