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

2020 Schedule of Second Saturday Open Hours at the Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts's Lab)

1/11, 2/8, 3/14, 4/11, 5/9, 6/13, 7/11, 8/8, 9/12, 10/10 and 11/14. Reserve your space during the Open Hours by calling 831-646-5640.

PBL Volunteer Docent Mike Guardino inteprets the history of the lab to Monterey Bay Aquarium Teen Conservation Leaders.

"Monterey - Timeless Beauty" - Exhibit at Alvarado Gallery September 20 - November 25, 2019

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 show the 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 highlights 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.

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

The Conference Center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and may be open on weekends for scheduled events. Call (831) 646-3770 for weekend schedule information.