The seaside town of Monterey has a long, and colorful history dating back to 1542 when Spanish explorer, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo was the first explorer to see the bay which he named “La Bahia de los Pinos or Bay of Pines. In 1602, Sebastian Vizcaino renamed the beautiful bay, “Monte Rey Bay” in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain. It was here that the Royal Presidio and Mission, San Carlos de Borromeo de Monterey, were founded in the late 1700’s. Museums in Monterey, such as the Pacific House document the historic side of the city as is the Presidio of Monterey Museum, Colton Hall, another of Monterey’s historic and colorful buildings.
The first place you might want to explore in this interesting town is the wonderful, Fisherman’s wharf. Just before the pier entrance, you can stand for hours enjoying the antics of the harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. On the wharf you can enjoy fresh, scrumptious seafood, laugh at the creative acts of local street performers, gaze out into the beautiful bay or pick up souvenirs from the many pier side shops and vendors.
From the wharf, head over to Cannery Row to step back in time to the location of the old sardine canning industry made famous by John Steinbeck in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Today, while the old canning factories are gone, the area is still alive with restaurants, shops and hotels and fun things to do for both young and old. Wander a little further up the street and you will come to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with its wonderful collection of marine life and informational exhibits. Learn about the marine life of the bay and enjoy the antics of the sea creatures such as penguins, flamingos and every sort of exotic fish from reef dwellers to graceful jelly fish.
Just south of Monterey is the town of Carmel, California, home to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and Resort. This area is also home to the famous 17 mile drive which, known as one of the most scenic drives in the world, runs from the town of Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. Exploring this beautiful area can easily take up a whole day and provide breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
The climate in Monterey is temperate and mild all year long. Sea fog and rain can be present in some seasons of the year and nights can be chilly requiring a light jacket. The average summer temperature is 59.5 degrees with the average yearly rainfall of 18.33 inches per year. Monterey is a beautiful coastal town which attracts many visitors from around the world at all times of the year.