Located on Monterey Bay in the center of California's Pacific Coast, Monterey offers an ideal vacation destination. This beautiful seaside community combines all the charm of small town America with an endless variety of recreational and cultural activities. The nearby wine country is world famous for its grape vineyards and excellent wine tasting. Monterey's rich history, such as California's Mission Trail, historic Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row, one of the world's best aquariums, a unique variety of shops and galleries and a wide selection of vacation rental homes, condos, and resorts combine to provide a truly unrivaled place for your next getaway.
Monterey offers a nature oriented outdoors getaway with a variety of places to stay including small cottages, bed and breakfast inns, hotels, and resorts. Choose an accommodation near any of Monterey's local attractions that offers comfort while making the most of the beautiful beaches and attractions at affordably priced rates.
The Carmel Mission Basilica has some of the most significant religious artifacts in California. The mission was built in 1770, and has an on-site museum that houses California's first library and is still home to a thriving Catholic community. Old Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Monterey is a great place to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Monterey. Cannery Row's reputation as Monterey's hot spot is well earned, with thirty restaurants, clubs and pubs that make it the place to be, as well as the place to meet. The hundreds of shops and activities cater to every interest, day and night. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is known throughout the world for its interactive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale.
Each June, The Monterey Bay Blues Festival, considered one of the premier Blues Festivals in the country, continues to attract and feature world-renowned blues artists as well as young budding artists of the future. Celebrate the splendor of harvest at Monterey Wine Country’s Great Wine Escape Weekend in November. The Great Wine Escape features Monterey County’s world-class wines and gastronomic delights. Celebrate Scottish and Irish traditions and culture during the annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival that takes place in July. The Festival features bagpiping and drumming, clans, British food, special entertainment and exciting competitions in Highland and Irish dancing, pipe bands and athletics. In August, four days are dedicated to the annual Steinbeck Festival with films, speakers, panels, theater, and bus or walking tours, all celebrating Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck.
The Pacific Ocean and Monterey in particular has a long history of attracting surfers to the local shores. Sport fishing is one of the favorite activities of visitors and residents of Monterey. Monterey Bay famed for its abundant sea habitat, including kelp seaweed forests, sea otters and sea lions. The large diversity of sealife draws thousands of scuba divers each year to Monterey, which is considered one of the best regions for the sport in California. Some of the local beaches are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.
Consistently named among the world's number one golf destinations in surveys by Golf Digest Magazine, Monterey County is home to some pretty spectacular fairways, including the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links. Tee up on your next visit and see why Monterey County is known as the Golf Capital of the World.
The town of Monterey was established in 1770 by Father Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolà, and served as the capital of California from 1777 to 1849, under the flags of Spain, Mexico and Argentina. Portola erected the Presidio of Monterey to defend the port against expected Russian invasion. It was also the site of the Battle of Monterey during the Mexican-American War. It was here that John D. Sloat, Commodore in the United States Navy, raised the U.S. flag over the Monterey Customs House and claimed California for the United States.
On October 13, 1849, Monterey became California's first capital when it became the 31st state of the Union. In the next decade, it was whaling that brought people to Monterey. Processing plants in Monterey rendered the whales to produce oil, and immigrants began to arrive from Asia and the sea gave up its wealth to the growing fishing industry. Eventually, the whaling industry disappeared, but the sardine industry arose in its place. All kinds of people came to work here. Many were rough and tough characters, like the ones immortalized by John Steinbeck in Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday.