The City of Monterey was the first capital of California after the statehood. Visitors enjoy strolling along the pedestrian-friendly streets, absorbing the historical and cultural past. Monterey features an array of fine restaurants, boutiques, galleries, inns and recreational opportunities. The community plays host to a wide variety of festivals and world-class events, including Concours d'Elegance, The Monterey Jazz Festival, The Monterey Blues Festival, Cherries Jubilee, The Great Monterey Squid Festival and Monterey Wine Festival, as well as major automobile and motorcycle races at the nearby Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
Monterey County is a study in contrasts. Its dramatic coastline and fertile farmland, stunning beaches and sun-kissed valley make it one of the most spectacular and serene places on earth. From its Victorian houses to its vibrant wharf (it's still an active working seaport), Monterey offers the visitor a wealth of experiences. Artists and writers have painted, photographed and written about its breathtaking cliffs and agriculturally rich valleys—valleys that supply fresh vegetable and salad greens to the entire nation. Monterey abounds with a variety of fascinating sea and land creatures as well.
The Monterey Peninsula has always called to people who sought respite from the hectic life of the cities. In 1875, Pacific Grove was settled as a religious retreat, and by the mid-1880s, 17,000 visitors a year were enjoying the beauty and serenity of the Peninsula, often staying at the elegant Hotel Del Monte. The Del Monte Golf Course opened in 1897 and by 1908 guests could enjoy a 17-mile tour through the Del Monte Forest and along the coast. That dirt road became 17-Mile Drive.
Whether you come for our recreational activities from golf to scuba-diving, our arts and cultural events from the Carmel Bach Festival to the lively Festa Italia Monterey, or the matchless range of art galleries, fine restaurants and wineries, Monterey County has it all.