Monterey State Historic Park in Downtown Monterey

Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of notable buildings right near Fishermans Wharf in Monterey. Exploring them is a fun way to spend an hour in the city, by walking around and visiting the dozen or so spots scattered around Downtown Monterey. The hours vary, and usually some are open and some aren’t. Even when they are not open, it is fun to see how well preserved these historical spots are. Here is all the information so you can check it out.


  • Free
  • Here is a map of many of the spots
  • This information is from my visit in 2018

Getting There

Monterey State Historic Park is located right next to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf. You can get to the park by heading west on Del Monte Ave from Highway 1, and on the right, you will see signs for Fisherman’s Wharf and a paid parking lot. I suggest parking here; then you can walk to the Monterey State Historic Park.

The Park

I recommend starting at the Customs House as that is a cool spot to explore that is often open.

The Customs House is the oldest government building in California as it was run by the Mexican government and presided over the port in the 1800s. It is also California National Historic Landmark #1, which is an interesting designation to visit as well.

The adobe building has three full rooms, with the central one being the largest. There was not a lot of information in here, but there were a bunch of artifacts and other interesting pieces that you could check out.

From here, walk through the garden and into the Custom’s House Plaza.

In the plaza, there is the museum which has a lot of information on the park, however, it was not open when we went. You can continue down the street to see a few more spots like these.

Monterey Hotel

The Monterey Hotel is an old Victorian hotel that I stayed at while I was in Monterey. It is a neat spot; you can read more about it here.

Casa Sanchez

Casa Sanchez was not open, but you can take a photo from the outside.


Still in use today, the theater is a fun to see, and it has an ornate exterior. If you want to see a few more spots, head over to Pacific St, and you can see the following places.

Casa Soberanes

With a fun blue door in the front, this is one of the more beautiful homes you can see in the area. The gardens are still kept up as well.

California’s First Theater

California’s first theater is not open anymore, but they are raising money to retrofit it. It claims to be the oldest theater in California, so that is cool.

Old Whaling Station

This old historic house has a beautiful garden and is open for a few hours each day.

First Brick House

Right next door to the old whaling station is the first brick house that was built in the area, after adobe stopped being the primary choice for house construction.

There are more places to explore in the park, but this is where we ended our tour. If you are hungry, I recommend heading over to Old Fishermans Grotto; it is an excellent spot for clam chowder. Let me know if I left anything off that you enjoy in the comments.

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