Explore Historic Monterey


The Explore Historic Monterey cell phone tours and brochure were made possible by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service.

Preserving History

Restored Pacific Biological Laboratories specimen tanks

Ed Ricketts’ Marine Specimen Tanks, 1928-1948

In October 2010, as part of a grant awarded to the City of Monterey by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, conservators stabilized and protected the concrete specimen tanks located in back of the Pacific Biological Laboratories building. Marine biologist Ed Ricketts used the tanks to store marine specimens for his research and in preparation for shipment to schools, universities and museums. The tanks were originally built by Vicente Rodriguez, the previous owner of the Lab site, who used them for his fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.

Featured News and Events
Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters' Association Signature Members Annual Exhibition

Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters' Association Signature Members Annual Exhibition

May 9 - August 4, 2014 Alvarado Gallery, Monterey Conference Center

The City of Monterey, Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce the current Alvarado Gallery exhibit: Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters’ Association Signature Members Annual Exhibition. The goal of this exhibit is to create a stimulating visual tour of Monterey County within an easy drive of the Monterey Conference Center, encouraging visitors and locals alike to explore the Monterey Peninsula. Enjoy these paintings which span an area bounded by Elkhorn Slough, Highway 68, Toro Park and Garrapata State Beach. Also highlighted are paintings depicting downtown Monterey, Cannery Row, Fishermen's Wharf, and coastal areas of Monterey and Pacific Grove.

The exhibit will be on display May 9, 2014 through August 4, 2014 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.
Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

Free Public Tours of Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

July 19, August 16 and October 4, 2014

Join us at the Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab) at 800 Cannery Row, Monterey, for free tours sponsored by the City of Monterey. All five sets of one-hour tours are on Saturdays, and our docents will present the history of the Lab, Ed Ricketts, his friendship with author John Steinbeck, and the PBL Club that was instrumental in founding the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Dates of tours:

July 19, August 16 and October 4

Tour times for each date are:

9:00-10:00 am, 10:30-11:30 am, 12:30-1:30 pm, 2:00-3:00 pm, 3:30-4:30 pm

Make your reservation by phoning the Colton Hall Museum, 831-646-5640 between 10 am - 4 pm daily. Deadline for tour reservations is the Friday before the scheduled tours. Please arrive at the Lab 10 minutes prior to the tour.

Due to the Lab's historic significance, 15 persons can be scheduled for each tour.