Named by the Spanish merchant and explorer Sebastian Vizcaíno in 1602, Monterey went from a Spanish military and administrative center to, in the mid-nineteenth century, a sleepy Mexican town. After the US took over, in 1846, it later became the site of the negotiating and writing of the state constitution, and soon became the first capital of California, before being superseded by Sacramento.
The compact center still features some of the best vernacular buildings of California's Spanish and Mexican past, most sitting within a few blocks of the waterfront. A loosely organized Path of History connects the numerous sites of Monterey State Historic Park, though most can't be entered unless you're part of a 45-minute guided walking tour (Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 10.30am; free; Tel:831/649-7118).
The best place to get a feel for life in old Monterey is the Larkin House, Pacific and Jefferson streets (45min tour; Tues, Wed, Sat & Sun 2pm; free), home of Thomas Larkin, the first and only American consul to Mexican California, who developed the now-common Monterey style of architecture. The house, the first two-story adobe in California, is filled with antiques and memorabilia, and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Larkin also helped organize the would-be state's constitutional convention, which took place just around the corner at Colton Hall (daily 10am–4pm; free; Web: www.monterey.org/museum ).
Tacky Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap loaded with disused wharves and canneries, some of them converted into boutiques and diners. At the foot of the wharf, the Custom House (Sat– Thurs 10am–4pm, Fri 10.30am–4pm; free) is the oldest governmental building on the West Coast, with portions variously built by Spain, Mexico, and the US, and now displaying ancient crates of seized coffee and liquor.
Heading north from the wharf, a bike path runs two miles to Pacific Grove along Cannery Row – named after John Steinbeck's literary portrait of the rough-and-ready workers of its seafood plants. Since abandoned, the canneries reopened in the 1970s as malls and restaurants, and now teem with tourists instead of fish (more info at Web: www.canneryrow.com ).
Beautiful and spacious rooms feature separate dressing area, refrigerators and coffee makers and all are non-smoking. Some include a fireplace and ocean ...
This is one of the best designed aquariums going. A unique feature is the two-story tank, home to a kelp forest in which swim sunfish, sharks, and the occasional ...
Since the very beginning, the Shake family has dedicated itself to preparing and serving only the finest cuisine, offering fresh seafood from the Monterey Bay and from around the world. We deal directly with the fisherman, buying through our own fish market, Peninsula Fish and Oyster Bar. We believe you can actually taste why a half-century of family tradition and commitment to excellence have earned Old Fisherman?s Grotto a worldwide reputations for quality dining.Fine dining, full bar & banquet facilities* Steaks* Seafood* Pasta* Vegetarian Meals* Child Menu* Full Service Bar over 200 wines to Choose From* House Specialties* Poultry* Local Salads* Clam Chowder* Combination Plates* ?READER?S CHOICE AWARD?* Best Clam Chowder 2004-2009* One of the Top 10 Seafood Restaurants as listed in The Monterey County Herald?s ?Go! Magazine? Monterey HeraldAMENITYOcean View Dining