Monterey was California's first capital, and the only one to have been under Mexican, Spanish, and U.S. rule. This city, which conjures up images of its colorful past, is located on the Central California Coast about 50 miles south of Santa Cruz, 116 miles south of San Francisco, and 335 miles north of Los Angeles. Monterey is situated in the southernmost portion of the Monterey Bay and it is a wonderful place to visit any time of year. It offers a diverse array of activities to suit everyone's needs. Monterey is a scenic city with a unique character and very rich history, teeming with incredible natural beauty, fascinating wildlife, excellent shopping and dining opportunities, numerous recreational activities, and a wealth of educational and entertaining attractions and activities.
There are many annual festivals and events throughout the year such as the world famous Monterey Jazz Festival, Blues and Reggae Festivals, classic car expositions, and a variety of ethnic festivals. Monterey has several world-class restaurants and hotels. Whether visiting attractions such as the Monterey Maritime Museum, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fishermen's Wharf, walking the Path of History, relaxing at one of the many exquisite beaches, kayaking, bicycling, shopping, eating, drinking, or just hanging out, there are an endless array of options for how to spend your time in Monterey.
The heart of Monterey is in the historic downtown. Along Alvarado Street one can find an assortment of shops, restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs, pubs, coffee shops, and juice bars. The area surrounding Alvarado Street is alive with history; in this area are a large number of notable adobes and other historic places of interest such as Fisherman's Wharf, the Custom House, and Colton Hall. Cannery Row, just a short walk away, is another must-see attraction in Monterey. Once home to a thriving sardine fishing and processing industry, it is now a vibrant tourist attraction offering shopping, dining, and a wealth of other activities.
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