Monterey, California is located along the Pacific coastline in the southern portion of the bay. It served as Alta California’s capital until 1846 as a Spanish and Mexican territory while offering the only entry port for taxable goods in the region. The location was not part of United States territory until 1846. Besides providing a port of entry, the city offered many firsts to California including a theatre, public library, and newspaper. Tourists have come to the region since the end of the 19th century with numerous famous persons making it their home. Monterey was also a well-to-do fishing area until overfishing caused the business to plunder in the fifties. The city sits next to a national marine sanctuary spanning over two-hundred seventy-six miles of Pacific coastline and protected areas can be found throughout the Monterey Bay. Winter temperatures average in the sixties with summer temperatures remaining around seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit. Heavier rainfall, starting in November, often lasts until April with an approximate average of nineteen inches.
An Arts Paradise
Monterey, well known as an arts community, contains various museums and venues designed for entertainment purposes. The Museum of Art, Thomas Kinkade National Archive, and the Harry A. Greene Mansion are a few cultural hot spots of the city. While not all Thomas Kinkade originals can be seen at the archive, several of his earlier creations along with contemporary pieces are available for viewing. The Greene Mansion, home to his works, provides a Moorish-Victorian style architecture that has been restored to reflect its 1886 appearance. Monterey holds many waterfront art festivals each year and countless artists have made it their home throughout the years including John Steinbeck. The area jazz festival, a tradition since 1958, has featured artists such as Billie Holiday and Louie Armstrong. Tourists are also provided with abundant live theatre options when staying at this destination.
Points of Interest
While the arts are a common theme of Monterey, the region offers a variety of alternative activities to travelers. The aquarium contains exhibits of area sea life with a large silver anchovy tank, see otters, and jellyfish consisting of the most noted displays. Visitors can spend a day at the State Historic Park located in the older downtown area commonly referred to as Old Monterey. Individuals have the chance to learn a little about the area or look upon stunning architectural structures in this portion of the city.
Dennis the Menace Park only ten minutes from the famous Fisherman’s Wharf is a large place for kids to let loose. The park consists of a real size train, bridges, a large pond, and paddling boat fun. Those wanting to get out on the water can spend the day sailing, relax on the beach, or explore a coastal trail. Bike or boat rentals are an option to any traveler wanting to add a little adventure to their vacation. Whale watching tours are another great opportunity for experiencing the raw nature of the region. Monterey is a versatile tourist destination that puts travelers next to a distinctive coastline surrounding a one of a kind natural paradise.