Walk this Way: Historic Sites in Downtown Monterey

Walk this Way: Historic Sites in Downtown Monterey

Did you know that Monterey was the first capital of California in 1776? AND, that our city has the largest collection of historic buildings in public ownership, west of Williamsburg, VA. It really is all right here in our fabulous City and being located in the heart of it all. The Portola Hotel & Spa is in walking distance to many of these historic buildings and adobes. From California’s First Theatre to the Pacific House Museum, walk your way through Monterey’s Path of History and discover more about days gone by.

Custom House Plaza

California’s First Theatre

Located just behind the Portola on Pacific Avenue, this adobe theater was built in 1846 by Jack Swan as a place for lodging for visiting sailors. In 1850 it was converted into a small theatre, in turn becoming the first of its kind in California. Though, now closed to the public, visitors can still walk around the exterior of the building.

California's First Theatre

Photo Credit: California Department of Parks and Recreation

Pacific House

Constructed in 1847, this adobe that was once used as a hotel, courthouse and even a tavern, is now home to a museum. Current exhibits feature American Indian art, pottery, baskets, and Native American art. The beautiful Memory Garden is located behind the adobe and is also open to the public (and is used as a garden venue for weddings and special events).

Pacific State Historic Park

Old Whaling Station

This enchanted adobe built in 1847 was originally home to David Wight and his family. The front walkway of the adobe was constructed out of whale vertebrae and is still mostly intact. The Old Whaling Station gardens and building are now a popular venue for weddings, receptions, and special events, with a portion of the proceeds received, going to charitable causes in the local area.

Old Whaling Station

Custom House

The oldest government building in California, with a variety of items on display, step back in time as you wander through this landmark. Docents are on site to help answer questions and guide visitors as they view a variety of displays and exhibits.

Custom House Plaza
Download an interactive walking map of Monterey’s Path of History by clicking here and discover the rich history of Downtown Monterey!

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