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Our Mission: We share Monterey's stories, serving as a place of learning, inspiration and engagement with our history and heritage.

Museums-Home-ArtPathRFeatured News
UPDATE May 1, 2023: Colton Hall Museum IS NOW OPEN THU - SUN, 10 AM to 4PM
The City of Monterey’s Museums & Cultural Arts Division is excited to announce the reopening of Colton Hall! Considered one of the most historic buildings in California, Colton Hall is the birthplace of the State of California.
Home of the California Constitutional Convention of 1849, visit the site where 48 delegates debated the decisions that made California a free state. See original documents, artifacts, and even walk on the same floor as the delegates. Located at 570 Pacific St., Monterey, Colton Hall Museum is located upstairs with an ADA accessible elevator and parking available in the rear. For questions, please call (831) 646-5648, or email

pomPresidio of Monterey Museum Re-Opened October 30, 2021
Thanks to the special efforts of the City of Monterey's Museums & Cultural Arts Chair Bill Wojtkowski, Artifacts Specialist Jordan Leininger, and a group of dedicated volunteers, the Presidio of Monterey Museum reopened its doors on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 10 a.m. after 595 days of closure. Museum hours will be Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no entrance fee. Located in the Lower Presidio Historic Park, the exhibits in this jewel of a museum lead visitors through Monterey's various stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area's native populations; through the Spanish and Mexican periods; and up to the present day. Because of the important role of the military in Monterey between 1902 and today, the majority of the exhibits are dedicated to the development of the Presidio as an army training base.

The Presidio Museum of Monterey is located in the Lower Presidio Historic Park, one of the least visited historic parks in the area. Hidden in plain sight, the park is situated above Lighthouse curve in downtown Monterey. Visit the park for its spectacular views of Monterey Bay and Harbor, and stop at the museum to learn why historians have called this area, "The most historically significant site on the West Coast." For more information please call (831) 646-5648, or email

Museums-Home-ArtPathLPacific Biological Lab Tour - SIGN UP FOR A TOUR
Take a journey through Monterey’s storied past with a tour of Pacific Biological Laboratories. The Lab is located at 800 Cannery Row, just a block from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Lab Docents share the big story of this unassuming building. Once a small family dwelling, it played a pivotal role in the life and work of marine biologist Ed Ricketts, his friendship and collaboration with author John Steinbeck, their circle of friends, and the "PBL Members" who bought the Lab in the mid-1950s and founded the Monterey Jazz Festival. Tours of the Lab are free of charge and last one hour. Advance reservations are required. Donations to help sustain the service are welcome.

Interpretation of the history of the Pacific Biological Laboratories may be suitable for children 10 years of age or older. The City of Monterey is committed to safe public attendance in its facilities. Protective face coverings are recommended for all, regardless of vaccination status, except for persons under two years old, and persons with a medical condition that prevents wearing a mask.

Explore Monterey's fascinating treasure of history

Discover Monterey's museums, and attractions, delve into the history and explore modern art.DISCOVER where California became a state.
through the original adobes and colorful gardens that are among the most historic structures in California.
the beauty of land and sea that made Monterey a destination for so many fisherman, artists, scientists, and writers.
how Pirates, Father Serra, Mexico and Spain all claimed Alta California.
fun and unique public art.
the diverse cultures and rick heritage that heralds Monterey as the most historical city in California!

discover. Explore. imagine.

Try one of our walking tours and other public attractions.
FIND TOURS (link coming soon)