Monterey has a rich historical heritage with which few communities can compete. That’s part of its charm and part of its mystique. Throughout the county, the story of its intensely deep heritage is written out for all to see through its adobe structures, mission bells, gardens and lighthouses. Its allure and rich historical heritage enthralls writers, artists and retreat seekers alike.
You can explore its history, bask in its beauty and enjoy its charm through various guided and self-guided tours. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to find the history of Monterey to be both interesting and remarkable.
Monterey Walking Tours
You’ll discover historic Monterey up close and on foot with one of Monterey’s Original Walking Tours which is guided by a knowledgeable local resident. These one and one-half to two-hour tours are highly rated, having received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence six years in a row, and are entertaining and fun for all ages. During the Historic Monterey Walking Tour, you’ll hear stories concerning old buildings along the route and the people who lived in them. On the Cannery Row Walking Tour, you’ll experience the Monterey waterfront and Cannery Row when it was “the Sardine Capital of the World.” You’ll also see Ocean View Boulevard in light of its 1930s heyday, plus, you’ll visit the people and places John Steinbeck made famous. And you’re liable to spot a few sea otters as they frolic in the bay.
Monterey Bay Whale Watch Tour
View whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife on a Whale Watching Tour. Joshua Horwitz, the author of War of the Whales, lists the Monterey Bay Whale Watching Tour as one of the top five American whale watching tours and has this to say about Monterey Bay Whale Watch, “There are many whale-watching operations in Monterey Bay, but few can claim to be owned by marine biologists. The tours at Monterey Bay Whale Watch focus on learning about whales and their environment, as well as conserving their habitat and being respectful towards them as living beings … leaves you with an intensely deep respect and love for the animals you observe.”
There are two seasons for whale watching. Humpback whales, blue whales and dolphins are sighted in late spring, summer and fall. Gray whales and dolphins are sighted in the winter and early spring. Various tours are available, from morning, afternoon or evening to all day.
They also offer year-round pelagic seabird viewing trips in Monterey Bay. A 6000-foot deep canyon that runs down the middle of Monterey Bay, similar in size to the Grand Canyon, creates cold-water upwellings. These upwellings which are rich in nutrients foster a remarkable diversity of seabirds, along with the whales, dolphins and porpoises. This environment makes Monterey a worldwide pelagic birding destination.
Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome aboard the tour boats. However, for safety reasons, pregnant women are not permitted on these adventures.
Monterey Guided Wine Tours
Sammy, your destination planner and guide on a Monterey Guided Wine Tour has more than a decade of experience in the Monterey wine industry. During that time, Sammy has developed close connections and friendships that allow him to create an exclusive wine tasting excursion tailored to you and your group’s wine preferences.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty that only Monterey Peninsula and surrounding areas can offer as you are chauffeured to various vineyards in the area. And feel free to enjoy the wine, because Sammy is driving. Various wine tasting packages are available. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Double Key Treasure Hunts
Looking for a unique experience? With Double Key Treasure Hunts, you’ll encounter adventure and a challenge while touring many historic sights of Monterey. Beginning with a mysterious letter written by Anna Maria Costa, a fictional Double Key Secret Society Member, you’ll be whisked away on a journey into 1929 Monterey. By solving mysterious clues, you will unearth a real hidden treasure.
Monterey Movie Tours
For a “Blockbuster Scenic Tour,” Monterey Movie Tours delivers. This unique two-in-one tour offers, firstly, an award winning scenic tour of the Monterey Peninsula, including 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, highlighting the breathtaking scenery and fascinating history of the area. And, secondly, as you visit sites where various movies have been filmed, the scenes of those movies associated with that site are displayed on overhead monitors, providing a one-of-a-kind multimedia tour. Almost 200 movies have been filmed in the Monterey Bay area! Monterey Movie Tours winds through Pacific Grove, Monterey Bay, Cannery Row, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea with three photo opportunity stops along 17-Mile Drive and a shopping stop at the Lodge at Pebble Beach.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and often sell out early. Monterey Movie Tours take place aboard a luxury motor coach; however, it does not have a bathroom (2 bathroom stops are made) and the bus does not have handicap access. Once you have boarded, there is space to store walkers and collapsible wheelchairs if you are able to board without the handicap access.
Monterey Walking Path of History
If you have a little time on your hands and you’re feeling independent and adventurous, you can take a self-guided walking tour of Monterey’s Walking Path of History which includes 55 historic buildings and sites throughout the historic district and park.
Monterey served as the Spanish capital, and then later as the Mexican capital, of California between 1776 and 1848. The architectural influence of the buildings along the route and in the surrounding area clearly demonstrate Monterey’s Latin heritage. You’ll be delighted by the various, and evolving, architectural styles in the area including many adobe structures.
Begin your journey at Pacific House, located at 200-222 Calle Principal at Scott Street, which serves as a visitor center and museum for Monterey State Park. By following the yellow-tiled markers set in the sidewalk, you will view two miles of historic buildings and sites.
Enjoy a cell phone tour of ten historic buildings in the area by dialing (831) 998-9458, then providing a Stop Number when prompted. At each “stop,” you will hear a two-minute narration about each of the ten highlighted adobe structures in the downtown area.
We invite you to stop by Forest Hill, a full-service retirement community nestled on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, for a tour of our community. Established around an elegantly renovated historic hotel originally built in 1924, the stage is set for a community with architectural and classic appeal, plus beautiful landscaping and many outstanding amenities. While here, you’ll take in the breathtaking views our location offers of both Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean and get a whole new outlook on how rich life can be when living in our community. Please contact us to schedule your tour of Forest Hill Retirement Community or to request our guidebook. We look forward to spending time with you, sharing all that our thriving community has to offer.