Welcome to Monterey
Gorgeous historic seaside city with much to see and do.
Monterey is a historic seaside city on the beautiful Monterey Bay coastline. Monterey is a center for tourism and offers its residents an active lifestyle, even serving as California’s state capital when it was first claimed by the United States. A favored place of famous artists, Monterey was home to California’s first theater, newspaper, and numerous public facilities. Modern-day Monterey’s attractions are a mix of old and new, with many museums, galleries, great restaurants, and a world-class aquarium housed within its historic buildings and along the 19th century Fisherman’s Wharf.
Monterey’s real estate reflects its rich heritage, modern vibrancy, and beautiful setting. Homes range from restored properties constructed in the 1800s to modern condominiums and contemporary estates. Monterey has charming coastal cottages, stunning oceanview single-family homes, and lavish villas perched atop rolling hillsides.
What to Love
- Rich historic heritage
- Festivals and events
- Cannery Row
- Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
People & Lifestyle
Monterey has much to offer tourists and residents alike. From a selection of California’s finest restaurants to some of the Golden State’s most scenic vistas, this captivating community is a place you’ll never want to leave. The town is easy to navigate on foot or by bike, with many landmarks located along the ocean-hugging Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Monterey is quintessentially Californian with a sophistication and charm like nowhere else.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Monterey is a vibrant city with several areas devoted to dining and retail. The former sardine packing plants of Cannery Row
inspired a famous John Steinbeck novel, and the area has become a premier waterfront shopping destination in the decades since they closed. Here, you can pick up unique vintage items at Cannery Row Antique Mall
, sweet treats at Candy Factory, fashion items at California Classics
, gold and silver trinkets at Charms by the Bay
, and more than 50 types of olive oils and balsamics at Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar
Head southwest along the waterfront from Cannery Row to visit Old Fisherman’s Wharf
. Built in the 1870s, Old Fisherman’s Wharf has many shops and seafood restaurants that range from casual clam bars to fine dining hotspots with mesmerizing ocean views. Stores selling unique gifts and souvenirs along the Wharf include Harbor House
, and The Wharf’s General Store
Monterey’s downtown district covers multiple blocks running south from Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Standouts among the downtown area’s eclectic dining and entertainment options include Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill
for craft beers and gastropub eats.
Further south, the open-air Del Monte Shopping Center
on the Cabrillo Highway is the largest retail center on the Monterey Peninsula. The Del Monte Center is anchored by a Macy’s department store and Whole Foods Market. Del Monte’s dozens of other stores and restaurants include recognizable brands such as Lululemon
, and Williams-Sonoma
Things to Do
Monterey Jazz Festival
is one of the world’s most legendary music festivals. Held at the Monterey Fairgrounds every year since 1958, Monterey Jazz Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors and features more than 500 musicians across nine stages of live music. Another unique annual event at the fairgrounds is September’s Artichoke Festival
. The event features produce from local farms and wineries along with artichoke art contests, live music performances, and special events for children.
In August, Monterey Car Week
begins with classic cars lining Alvarado Street. Other events throughout the week include America’s largest automobile memorabilia expo, car auctions, and displays of some of the world’s rarest and most expensive vehicles. Taking place over the holidays, Christmas in the Adobes
is a fun festive celebration that sees many of Monterey’s historic adobes throw parties themed after the Alta California Spanish colonial period.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
on the Cannery Row oceanfront is a major attraction all year round. More than two million visitors flock to the aquarium each year to see more than 35,000 marine animals from over 550 different species.
Monterey is zoned to the Monterey Peninsula Unified Public School District. Highlights include:
La Mesa Elementary School, Public, K-5
Monterey High School, Public, 9-12
York School, Private (Co-educational), 8-12
Santa Catalina School, Private (All Girls), PK-12
California State University, College