City Orientation Walk, Monterey (Self Guided)

Once (between 1777 and 1849) the capital of California, in recent history Monterey gained fame mostly as the set of John Steinbeck's novels, particularly Cannery Row, a one-time center of the city's sardine-packing industry, which the author immortalized in his eponymous book. Today, the area is a popular thoroughfare filled with gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars occupying the converted factories. Another major local attraction is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, featuring thousands of marine creatures and plants in underwater and interactive exhibits. Follow this orientation walk to explore these and other top attractions of Monterey.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Monterey (See other walking tours in Monterey)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
Author: nicole
1
Monterey Bay Aquarium

1) Monterey Bay Aquarium (must see)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was founded in 1984 and is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row of the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Monterey. It has an annual attendance of 1.8 million visitors. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing 623 separate named species on display. The aquarium benefits by a high circulation of fresh ocean water which is obtained through pipes which pump it in continuously from Monterey Bay.

The centerpiece of the Ocean's Edge Wing, is a 10 meter (33-foot) high 333,000-US-gallon (1,260,000 l; 277,000 imp gal) tank for viewing California coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp. Visitors are able to inspect the creatures of the kelp forest at several levels in the building. The largest tank in the aquarium is a 1,200,000-US-gallon (4,500,000 l; 1,000,000 imp gal) tank in the Open Sea galleries (formerly the Outer Bay), which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows.

Sealife on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of very few in the world to exhibit both bluefin and yellowfin tuna. For displaying jellyfish, it uses a Kreisel tank, which creates a circular flow to support and suspend the jellies. The aquarium does not house mammals other than otters.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Cannery Row

2) Cannery Row

Cannery Row is the waterside street in the New Monterey section of Monterey, California. It is a beautiful street near the Fisherman's Wharf. Cannery Row took his name after old sardine canning factories, which are no longer working. Instead there you can see a lot of shops, restaurants and bars.
3
Lower Presidio Historic Park

3) Lower Presidio Historic Park

This huge park looks like a natural sanctuary. It contains the presidio complex - government buildings and their annexes. The park has a few distinct areas - the green grass area, the presidio area, and the museum area. The museum within the park is a piece of history and it holds documents, books and other interesting exhibits. Many city holidays and reunions are spent here. Army festivals and contests are a real delight.
4
Monterey State Historic Park

4) Monterey State Historic Park (must see)

Monterey State Historic Park is one of the beautiful city's attractions. It is a historic state park situated in Monterey, California. You can visit not only a variety of historic homes built in the 1800s but also early adobe constructions. The old houses can be accessed daily and the admission to the park is free.
5
Fisherman's Wharf

5) Fisherman's Wharf (must see)

Fisherman's Wharf, or The Old Fisherman's Wharf, was used as an active wholesale fish market into the 1960s, and eventually became a tourist attraction as commercial fishing tapered off in the Monterey area. Fisherman's Wharf was built by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company in 1870 for the loading and unloading of passengers and goods. The wharf was also used by other commercial operations, and the city of Monterey took ownership in 1913. In 1923, while an unusually large shipment of sardines was being loaded on to the S.S. San Antonio, bad weather caused the ship to lean on the wharf, and 132 feet of the wharf collapsed. When the wharf was reconstructed, it was extended by 750 feet.

Fisherman's Wharf is lined with seafood restaurants ranging from casual, open-air clam bars, to formal indoor dining with views of the bay. Along with Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf is one of the few areas in Monterey that sells souvenirs, so the restaurants are interspersed with gift shops, jewelry stores, art galleries, and candy shops. Whale watching tours and fishing trips leave from the wharf, and sea lions often sleep on the pilings, buoys, and moored boats in the bay.At the entrance to the wharf is Custom House Plaza, the historical center of Monterey. Here you will find the Custom House, the first government building in California and the location where the United States took Monterey from Mexico in 1846.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Chris' Fishing Trips & Whale Watching

6) Chris' Fishing Trips & Whale Watching (must see)

Chris' Fishing Trips & Whale Watching is located near Fisherman's Wharf. It is a wonderful place for the lovers of fishing. If you want to relax in the open fresh sea air and view the process of deep-sea fishing you just have to climb aboard one of Chris' boats. You can also watch thousands of whales in the Monterey Bay.
7
Golden State Theatre

7) Golden State Theatre (must see)

This wonderful construction was opened in 1926. It has a very rare organ with an unusual history. It was very hard to bring it to Monterey, but later is was sold to a collector. The present organ is an exact copy of the original, and it is considered to be one of the best organs in the USA. So many stars of the past performed here: Morte Mortensen, and, later, Pauline Hellam, "Bud" Buttle, Danny Danzigger, Harold Wright, and Edward C. Hopkins. It is a rare occasion to hear, see and touch the music and cultural history of California right here in Monterey.
8
Colton Hall Museum

8) Colton Hall Museum (must see)

Colton Hall was built in the 1840s by Walter Colton, who came to Monterey as a chaplain on Commodore Stockton's vessel and remained to become Monterey's first alcalde (mayor) in the American Period.

Colton Hall was originally a public school and government meeting place. It also hosted California's first constitutional convention in 1849. California’s military governor called for a constitutional convention, to be held in Monterey’s Colton Hall. On September 1, delegates from ten districts arrived in Monterey to debate and write California’s first constitution. The California Constitution was ratified on October 13, voted on in November that year and sent to Congress in January 1850. San Jose was chosen as the seat for the first Legislature. (The official definition of a State Capital is where the Legislature sits; therefore Monterey never was the State Capitol.)

The Native Sons of the Golden West were instrumental in 1903 in securing a legislative appropriation for necessary repairs on Colton Hall. The most important public office building in Monterey County still in continuous use, Colton Hall has over the years housed Monterey's City Hall, a public school, the county court house, the sheriff's office, and Monterey's city police headquarters. Today the main floor still holds some city offices (including the city Planning Division and Building Safety Division), while the second floor is a museum.

Operation hours: Daily: 10 am - 4 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
San Carlos Cathedral

9) San Carlos Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, or Royal Presidio Chapel, is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and is the oldest continuously operating parish and the oldest stone building in California. It was built in 1794 making it the oldest (and smallest) serving cathedral along with St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the only existing presidio chapel in California and the only existing building in the original Monterey Presidio.

The church was founded by the Franciscan Father Junípero Serra as the chapel of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo on June 3, 1770. In May, 1771, the viceroy approved Serra's petition to relocate the mission away from the Presidio to its current location near the mouth of the Carmel River and the present-day town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The new mission was named Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.

When the mission was moved, the existing wood and adobe building became the San Jose Chapel for the Presidio of Monterey. Monterey became the capital of the Province of Californias in 1777 and the chapel was renamed the Royal Presidio Chapel. The original church was destroyed by fire in 1789 and was replaced by the present sandstone structure. It was completed in 1794 by Indian labor in the form of a Latin Cross. The Royal Presidio Chapel is the first stone building in California and reflects the exquisite Spanish Colonial style of the late 18th century.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Dennis the Menace Park

10) Dennis the Menace Park (must see)

Familiar with the Dennis the Menace movie? Great! This park might be the best part of your trip, especially if you have your precious children with you. Hours and hours of joy, sliding, train and maze fun - for the whole family. The entire park is oriented to please everyone, from toddlers to elders. Cherish the moments of open-air freedom. In the evenings this is a nice place for a romantic walk.
11
Del Monte Beach

11) Del Monte Beach (must see)

After a whole day filled with events, after long walks around Monterey, tired and hungry, we offer you the best thing to do for an evening - rest on the beach. The sand is great in Monterey city, and the ocean is calm and warm in the evenings. Local fast-food, small bars and tiny gift boutiques are placed at the gates. Locals come here for an evening walk, a little beach picnic, some sports and games and family reunions. Among them you will no longer be a visitor, but a real Monterey resident!

Walking Tours in Monterey, California

Create Your Own Walk in Monterey

Create Your Own Walk in Monterey

Creating your own self-guided walk in Monterey is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cultural Tour in Monterey

Cultural Tour in Monterey

A cultural tour helps us discover the city or the country from inside. Knowing historical events will give us a better picture of what kind of a nation we are visiting, what are its goals, what it has been fighting for. This guide will help you see what Monterey was in the times past, and what it is today. From colonial Spanish life to being the first capital of California, and on to the 21st...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Daily Life in Monterey Walking Tour

Daily Life in Monterey Walking Tour

Most of us seek extraordinary, wonderful and unusual places and things and traditions in the countries we visit. Of course, everything new is exciting and that satisfies our thirst for adventure. On the other hand, when we get tired of all the new things we have seen, there comes a time when you want to experience the real life, the daily life of the people who built and created the country. This...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Religious Buildings Self-Guided Tour

Religious Buildings Self-Guided Tour

Religious buildings all around the world are unique in a way. Catholic, protestant and orthodox churches or Muslim mosques - each place of worship has an individual facade, construction type and interiors. A church can say a lot about the history of the country or the city you visit. Of course, the church visitors will be glad to tell you more about the location. This guide will lead you to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Family Entertainment - Self-Guided Tour in Monterey

Family Entertainment - Self-Guided Tour in Monterey

The time spent with your loved ones - husband, wife, your children - is the most important and beautiful time spent ever. But it takes strength and intelligence to turn it into a real pleasure. In order to make your journey better, easier and more memorable we have created this guide for the city of Monterey. Have a great vacation with your family!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Museum Walking Tour in Monterey

Museum Walking Tour in Monterey

Usually, when we visit a city, we all flock to its unusual features, buildings, super malls and discos, gift shops and so on. But few of us understand the true meaning of a museum. Art or history, biology or army - all these theme based museums tell us a lot more about the character of the inhabitants, about their hobbies, or, about that particular country's traditions, rules and delights....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Monterey for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Monterey has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Monterey, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.