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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.

Colton Hall Museum
570 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Museum hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Colton Hall Museum Event calendar
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 more information, please call (831) 646-5648, or email

pomPresidio of Monterey Museum 
Lower Presidio Park, Corporal Ewing Road, Bldg 113, Monterey, CA 93944
Museum hours are 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.

A new exhibit,
Extraordinary Valor: The Lost History of the Buffalo Soldiers in Monterey, opened in June 2023 at the Presidio of Monterey Museum. FULL NEWS RELEASE IN PDF

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

HPF-8020 3-11-45 PBL-2Pacific Biological Lab Tour
800 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940

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 the site of La Esparanza Fish Packing Company, and later the Pacific Biological Laboratories, 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. 

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.