One historical landmark you will want to visit is the Colton Hall Museum. Originally built as a school and town hall, Colton Hall is now a public museum. It was in the Hall where the state of California drafted their first constitution in 1849. Next to the Colton Hall is the Old Monterey Jail, which served as the city jail until it was closed in 1956. During its over 100 years of service not one prisoner escaped from the fortress!
After visiting Colton Hall, travel over to the Maritime Museum of Monterey. This waterfront museum houses an extensive collection of art and historical artifacts from the city’s history. The Monterey Museum of Art is another art lover’s paradise!
Another must-see exhibit in Monterey is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Nine interactive exhibits allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most marvelous creatures. The giant octopus exhibit is sure to delight children and adults alike! Nature lovers will want to drive Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive, where they will spot birds, seals, and possible whales! The Point Lobos State Reserve offers hikers the chance to hike and explore miles of trails along the rocky coasts. This is also a great destination for photographers!
The Monterey State Historic Park allows visitors to visit ten historic buildings, and the place where the US flag was first officially raised in the state. Some of the buildings include the Custom House, a 1840s adobe structure, and California’s First Theatre, also built in the 1840s. Plan several hours to explore all these structures. The Historic Cannery Row walking tours allow families to take a step back in time to the turn of the twentieth century. Visit the old warehouses where women used to can the days catch of fish.
A must-see for children in the Monterey County Youth Museum, otherwise known as MY Museum. One of the most popular exhibits at the MY Museum is the creation station, where children can use recyclables to make special art projects. The Magnet Table allows children to explore the forces that create magnets. The Build a House exhibit allows children to build structures with brick and fabric squares. This is just a few of the many hands-on exhibits for children to explore.
In nearby Pacific Grove you can visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Exhibits allow visitors to explore the native plants, animals and other natural populations of Monterey County. The museum houses several temporary exhibits, which ensures each visit will be a new experience.
Of course, when visiting Monterey you are going to want to spend some time on the Pacific Ocean. Take a picnic lunch to one of the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Or go camping at Veteran’s Memorial Park, where you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of California’s forests. Whatever your destination, Monterey is sure to bring a smile to the face of every member of your family.