Monterey, California State Historic Park and Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

If you are interested in this walking tour as an audio tour, our companion audio tour is now available on VoiceMap under Monterey Peninsula.   To use VoiceMap, you will need to download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.  The app is free, there is a cost for the tour. 


This Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour is a collaboration by Carmel Residents Association members Lynn Momboisse and Dale Byrne.  Happy Adventures!

On this walking tour, we will explore Monterey California Fisherman's Wharf and the surrounding area which include the Portola Plaza and Hotel, Custom House Plaza and Museum, the Pacific House Museum and gardens, First Brick House Museum and some of Old Monterey's historic buildings. 

Fisherman's Wharf 1946 (William L. Morgan photography - Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

During this tour we will be giving you an overview of early Monterey history, as well as the history of Fisherman's Wharf and Monterey's fishing industry.  You will have the opportunity to explore three free museums in the Monterey State Historic Park.  There will also be numerous opportunities for shopping or dining.  

Nicole Kidman on set in Monterey for Big Little Lies 2016 

If you are a fan of the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies, we will be showing you some of the areas where scenes were filmed for Season One, including the location of the inspiration of Blue Blues Cafe.  

For this tour, we suggest parking in the Monterey Waterfront Parking Lot at Fisherman's Wharf.  As of this writing the rate is $1 for every 1/2 hour maxing out at $15 per day.  The entrance is at Washington Street and Del Monte Avenue in Monterey. 

There is a white fishing boat with the name San Nicola painted on the side of the boat at the front entrance to the parking lot.  Enter the parking lot, pull a ticket and turn to your left.  Park as close as possible to the edge of the parking lot, the two story white stucco building, and Monterey Bay.  

From your car walk to your left to the Monterey History & Art Association Salvador Dali Museum also known as the Stanton Center. The name Stanton Center will be on the front of the building. This building faces the Custom House Plaza and Monterey Bay and is next to the parking area.

There will two anchors near the museum. One is adjacent to the Monterey Waterfront Parking Lot at Fisherman's Wharf, and the second is near the front door of the Monterey History & Art Association Salvador Dali Museum located at 5 Custom House Plaza in Monterey.   

This tour is under 2 miles and should take about 1 1/2 hours to walk.  However, if you go into any of the museums or do any shopping or dining along the way this will add to your tour time.  We encourage you to take that time explore the area and make your own adventures. So let's get going. 

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

You should be standing in front of the Stanton Center.  There's a large ship anchor in the front of the building which is a reminder of the time when this building housed the Monterey History & Maritime Museum. 

In 1970, Adele Knight donated her late husband Allen Knight's large maritime collection to the Monterey History & Art Association.  With Money from Virginia Stanton, a building was erected here on the wharf and opened in 1971 principally to house the Knight collection.  

Ship House Carmel-by-the-Sea

Allen Knight moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1918 when he was 17 years old.  He also served as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the 1940's and 50's.  On our walking tour, Carmel-by-the-Sea Fairy Tale Houses, we visit his home, the Ship House, as well as twelve Fairy Tale-style homes in Carmel. 

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

In 2016, this space became the Dali Museum.  It currently features over 500 works by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali who lived in Monterey and Pebble Beach between 1941 and 1948.  The works include a large collection of his lithographs as well as some of his original etchings, mixed media, sculptures and tapestries.  

This venture was made possible through a partnership between Pebble Beach businessman Dmitry Piterman, the owner of the collection, and the Monterey History & Art Association.  There is a cost to visit this museum and we recommend you consider visiting it when you conclude this tour.  

Now with the Stanton Center behind you, walk straight toward Monterey Bay and the rectangular shaped monument with the tall sculpture on top.  Make sure you watch out for bicyclists, as they share this path with pedestrians.   

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

The sleek sculpture on the top of this monument represents a pelican.  

The original pelican sculpture by Paul McReynolds was made of wood and gifted to the City of Monterey in 1960.  It was damaged beyond repair by vandals in 1987 and two years later reproduced in bronze.  This is what you see here today.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

The Brown Pelican is very common here at Fisherman's Wharf.  You will find them gliding in squadrons along the surf line, sunning on rocks, or hanging out on the pier near one of the fishing boats waiting for a handout.

Take some time to read the brief history of Monterey Bay on this monument.  The following is a recap up through Spanish rule. 

The indigenous people known as the Rumsen made their home here for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans.  Recorded history began here in 1542 when Juan Rodgriquez Cabrillo came upon this bay in front of you.  He named it "Bahia de los Pinos" or Point of the Pines. 

A Native of the Monterey Area - Jose Cardero (1791) Public Domain 

Sixty years later, in 1602, while searching for a safe harbor for Spanish galleons, Sebastian Vizcaino landed in Monterey Bay and claimed the land for Spain.

Gaspar de Portola Arrives in Monterey - Alexander F. Harmer (Public Domain) 

It would be 168 years before Spain would be back again in this bay.  In 1770, Gaspar de Portola and Father Junipero Serra teamed up and established the first European settlement in Monterey. 

The Mission of St. Carlos near Monterrey - John Sykes (1792) Public Domain 

This consisted of the Royal Presidio at Monterey and Mission San Carlos Borromeo.  

The Presidio of Monterrey - John Sykes (1792) Public Domain

Juan Batista de Anza brought soldiers and colonists to Monterey in 1776 and one year later on February 3rd, 1777, Monterey was declared the official capital of Alta California under Spanish rule.  Spain would rule over the area until 1821.  

We will cover more of Monterey history during this tour but for now we need to continue with our walking tour.

Face Monterey Bay, and with this monument behind you, walk straight ahead to the shoreline.  When you reach the iron railing, turn right and walk a short distance along the path to the first set of steps that leads to the parking lot off of the path.  Stop when you get to the steps. 

You should be standing at the beginning of the path that leads from the Custom House Plaza along the Wharf Parking Lot to the Municipal Wharf.  Turn and face the steps to the parking lot, the Monterey Marina will be behind you.   

In 2016 area was used to film numerous scenes of the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies Season One.  From this location, we will point out a few of those film locations. 

Now from this location, turn to your right.  You should be looking back toward the monument with the pelican sculpture.  Just to the left of this monument was the location of the kiss shared between Madeline Mackenzie played by Reese Witherspoon and Joseph Bachman played by Santiago Cabrera in the episode "Push Comes to Shove."

 Big Little Lies Season 1 Push Comes to Shove

The Wharf Parking lot just up the stairs in front of you was the scene of the car accident in episode "Once Bitten," where Madeline and Joseph are injured and then transported to the  Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula.  More scenes are filled at the hospital. 

Big Little Lies Season 1 Somebody's Dead

The walkway you are currently standing on was used regularly by Celeste Wright played by Nicole Kidman, Jane Chapman played by Shailene Woodley and Madeline when they walked to Blue Blues Cafe.  It was also used for their workout scene below.

Big Little Lies Season 1 Once Bitten -

Now turn toward the Marina and look diagonally across the bay to your left toward Fisherman's Wharf. 

Big Little Lies Season 1 (Blue Blues) Somebody's Dead  -

The building to the left of The Wharf's General Store is the location of Blue Blues Cafe.  Well actually it is the inspiration for the location of Blue Blues Cafe. The picture above shows the stars of Big Little Lies Season 1 at Blue Blues (Paluca Trattoria). We will be filling you in on that story when we visit Paluca Trattoria later in this tour. 

A large number of films, commercials and and television shows have been filed here on the Monterey Peninsula.  One of the organizations that make this possible is the Monterey County Film Commission.  They promote this area to businesses and the film industry, streamlining the process for filmmakers to take their projects from start to finish here.  More than $115 million has come into our local communities from these film productions since the film commission was created in 1987.    

In 2016 the film commission recruited local residents to work as extras on Big Little Lies.  My husband and I were two of those chosen.  We spent two weeks in the spring of that year on location around Monterey with the Big Little Lies crew. 

It was quite the experience.  All of the scenes mentioned earlier required hours of preparation and numerous takes  The car accident alone took all day to set up and one hour to film.  The scene finally wrapped just as the fog was rolling in over the marina.  

Now walk straight back in the direction you came from toward the monument with the pelican sculpture.  

Continue past the monument and walk to the stone planter with the large Monterey cypress tree.  It is in the center of the plaza between the Spanish-style building and the bay.  You will also see a bench near the planter.  

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

When you get to the stone planter look to your left.  There will be an opening in the white stucco wall.  This is the entrance to the Custom House Garden and is our next stop.  

Behind the wall, inside the Custom House Garden is an incredible display of cactus and succulents as well as varieties of aloe and agave.  This is the first of five gardens we will explore on this walk.  All are maintained by  Monterey's Historic Garden League and part of the Monterey Historic Park.

Inside the garden notice the cast iron rendering pot.  This was used for melting beef tallow to make candles and soap as well as to heat whale blubber for oil.    

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

Take your time and walk through the garden.  The path will curve to the right and end at the foot of the stairs to the Custom House.  This is the Spanish-style building with the tile roof to the right of the garden.  The Custom House is our next stop. 

Custom House 1897 waiting for train - (Photo by J.K. Oliver / Monterey Public Library)

The Custom House was built in 1827 to help process cargoes arriving in Alta California.  This Spanish Colonial-style rock and adobe structure is the oldest government building in California. 

Spanish rule ended in 1821, and by spring of 1822 news of Mexico's independence from Spain had reached Monterey.  From 1822 to 1846 while Monterey was under Mexican rule, Monterey Bay would be the primary port of entry for Alta California. 

During that time, no wharf existed, so all goods had to be unloaded from the anchored ships on to boats, rowed ashore and brought to the Custom House where the cargoes were appraised, and taxes and customs levied.  The reverse process was required to return each shipment back to their vessel. 

Today the Custom House is a museum, filled with items that would have been subject to customs and taxes during the Mexican period.  The museum is free and open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.  

Once you have explored the Custom House, exit and turn left.  Continue walking to the flag pole ahead of you. 

Next to the flag pole is the Historical Landmark No. 1.  This marker commemorates the Custom House as the first state historical landmark.

Painting Battle Of Monterey c 1855 - anonymous - Public Domain

Now we want to call your attention to the flag pole.  On July 7, 1846, U.S. military forces under Commander John Drake Sloat raised the American flag right here on this flag pole and claimed California for the United States of America.

Reenactment Sloat's Landing 

Every year on the Saturday closest to July 7th the Monterey History & Art Association stages a reenactment of Sloat's landing.  It is free and well worth attending.   

Reenactment Sloat's Landing 

With the Custom House and flagpole behind you and being mindful of any bicyclists heading across the path, walk toward Fisherman's Wharf.  Ahead in the cement there is a large circular bronze bas-relief in the ground.  This is the Sloat's Landing marker. 

In 1846, it was no secret that America wanted the 600,000 square miles of territory that was controlled by Mexico in California.  President James Polk gave Commander Sloat the order to seize Monterey if he learned that the United States was at war with Mexico. 

War between the United States and Mexico was declared on May 9, 1846.  This was all Sloat needed to set sail from Mexico to Monterey.  He arrived on July 2,1846 and met with the new American consul to Alta California, Thomas Larkin.  

The two evaluated the situation and on July 7, 1846, Sloat directed Captain Mervine to lead 250 sailors and marines to shore in an amphibious assault against the Customs House.  

The American's met no resistance. There was a short delay while a Mexican flag was first located then raised and subsequently lowered in surrender.  

California was claimed for the United States with this conciliatory statement: "I declare to the inhabitants of California that, although I come in arms and with a powerful force, I do not come among them as an enemy to California; on the contrary, I come as their best friend, as henceforward California will be a portion of the United States and its peaceable inhabitants will enjoy the same rights and privileges as the citizens of any other portion of that Territory."  It would be four more years until California would become the 31st state of the Union on September 9, 1850. 

Continue walking around the wooden Old Fisherman's Wharf sign.  Enter on to Fisherman's Wharf. You will pass Harbor House which will be on your left.  

Up ahead on your left is the Wharf Chocolate Factory.  This is another film location for Big Little Lies.  Jane took her son Ziggy, played by Iain Armitage, here tor a treat.  

Fisherman's Wharf Early Morning Deliveries

Today, Fisherman's wharf is highly commercialized and geared toward tourists. 

Christmas On Fisherman's Wharf - Photo credit: Cheryl Cowan

It's made up of just over 35 businesses, including seafood restaurants, coffee houses, candy stores, jewelry shops, as 
well as whale watching and deep sea fishing tour companies. 

During lunch and dinner hours, hawkers will be out in front of their restaurants offering tastes of their clam chowder as they attempt to entice visitors to dine in their establishment.  Feel free to accept a sample.  

On you right as you walk you will find Scales Seafood & Steaks restaurant. They have a sit down as well as quick service restaurant.  

Scales Seafood & Steaks is one of two restaurants on Fisherman's Wharf that are part of the Shake family restaurant empire that started in Monterey over 60 years ago by Sabu Shake Sr.  The second one, Old Fisherman's Grotto is up ahead on your left. There is a statue of Sabu Sr. wearing a white cowboy hat out in front.  

Sabu Shake, Sr. was originally from Karachi, Pakistan.  He moved to the Monterey area in 1954 and started as a dishwasher in a restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf before working his way up to cook.  

In 1958, he purchased his own restaurant which would become Old Fisherman's Grotto.  It now serves seafood, steaks and Italian cuisine.

Old Fisherman's Grotto was one of the first restaurants to be approved by Seafood Watch, a program started by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  It provides a sustainable seafood advisory list that assist consumers, chefs and business professionals to make informed seafood purchasing decisions.  Sabu and his wife have six sons.  Two of them, Sabu Jr. and Chris now run the restaurants.  

Continue walking down the wharf while I fill you in on why this wharf was originally built. 

Custom House Monterey 1846 - (Drawing by William A. Coulter - Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

By 1834 foreign commerce ships were arriving at the Custom House daily.  Without a dock all goods had to be unloaded  to small boats and brought ashore.  A very tedious process.  It was clear some kind of pier was needed.  In 1845, Thomas Larkin began construction of a stone landing place here. 

With more and more vessels continuing to arrive daily transporting goods as well as passengers, it was evident an even longer docking area was necessary.  In 1857, the Monterey Wharf Company extended the pier from Custom House out to reach the ships in the bay. 

View of Fisherman's Wharf and Booth Cannery 1909 - (Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

In 1868, the City of Monterey was granted title to the waterfront, and plans for a new and even larger wharf were developed.  Completed a year later, the city leased the wharf to various shipping companies, most notably the Pacific Coast Steamship Company which operated their ticket office at this end of the wharf.  

But shipping wasn't the only thing happening on Fisherman's Wharf.  In 1880, the fishing industry was also growing.  That year Monterey fishermen transported 900,000 pounds of fish from the bay to the wharf.  

In 1913, this pier became known as Fisherman's Wharf. 

Now back to the present. Coming up on your left is a charming jewelry shop.  After successfully running four separate jewelry stores on the wharf for 15 years, owners Joe and Mary Dalecce have combined them all into one, the Monterey Bay Silver Co.  You can watch the jeweler string pearls at the front of this store. 

Above the jewelry store notice the marquee for the Wharf Theater.  This was the creation of Angelo DiGirolamo and Bruce Ariss and opened in 1976.  At the time of this writing, the theater is under the management of Stacy Meheen.  The last show produced here was the musical Sweeney Todd in the summer of 2018.  

Next door is Water and Leaves which features organic tea, coffee, honey and snacks. They have a lovely patio off the back which offers a quiet area with a view of the bay.  

Just past Water and Leaves is a public restroom.  Though, if you dine in one of the restaurants on the wharf, most have restrooms for customers. 

Behind the restrooms look for the set of stairs that lead up to the Observation Deck above the Big Fish Grill.  Climb the stairs up to the Observation Deck and walk the perimeter.

Ruins of Crescent Brand Sardine Cannery

From the left side of the deck you can view Fisherman's Shoreline Park.  From this distance it is difficult to see, but at the shore line are cement ruins of the first cannery in Monterey jutting out from beach below Shoreline Park.  We will get an opportunity to have a closer look at these ruins later on this tour.  

Continue walking around the deck to your right. You may notice sail boats, house boats, paddle-boarders as well as a number of shore birds.  

On a clear day, from the back end of the deck, it is possible to see clear across to Santa Cruz which sits on the northern end of Monterey Bay.  On a foggy day, however, you may not even be able to see boats tied to the mooring buoys a few yards away.  

From the right side of the Observation deck you are looking at Highway 1 and the cities of Marina, Fort Ord, Seaside, Sand City and Monterey.  

Exit the Observation Deck by descending the stairs in front of you and continue walking back in the direction you came on Fisherman's Wharf. 

Along this portion of the wharf are a number of whale watching tour boats and sport fishing tour boats.   

There are two seasons for whale watching in Monterey Bay.  From mid-December through mid-April gray whales, dolphins and killer whales are migrating and may be spotted in the bay.  

From mid-April through mid-December we have humpbacks and blue whales.  

We took one of these trips a few years ago in July.  The picture above and below were taken by the docent on board during the tour. 

Just ahead on your left is an extension off of the main wharf. 

Just after the Glass Bottom Boat Tours, turn left on to this wooden pier. 

As you make your turn you will walk past a medal dock cleat that was used for securing vessels to the wharf.

Continue walking to the end of this portion of the pier to the bronze statue up ahead. 

This is called The Fisherman and was created by artist Jesse Corsaut.  It was placed here in 2005 and dedicated to those who made their living from the riches of the sea and the families they supported.    

The first people to take advantage of the rich marine treasures in Monterey Bay were the native Rumsien people.  Then the Chinese arrived in the 1850's and established the first commercial fishing industry in Monterey, taking abalone, cod, halibut, sardines, squid and shark from the bay. 

At the same time, the Portuguese whalers arrived, attracted by the large population of humpback and gray whales. 

Joining the Chinese and Portuguese were the Genovese fisherman who arrived in the 1890s. 

The Japanese arrived in 1895, and soon were leaders in the abalone trade, revolutionizing the techniques for abalone collection from free diving to helmet diving.  

Sicilian fishermen arrived in the early 1900's and adapted their lampara net for fishing in Monterey Bay.  They would soon be a dominating force in the salmon and sardine industry.  

Sport Fisherman with Salmon 1900 - (Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

Wealthy sport fishermen were attracted to the bay by the abundance of salmon. It would be the sport fishing as well as the rapidly growing fishing industry that would lead to canning companies from San Francisco and Sacramento moving their operations to Monterey on what is now Cannery Row.  

Though all the canneries are gone, the tradition of fishing in Monterey Bay is alive and well as can be seen from the commercial fishing boats on the bay and the amount of fresh fish available here on Fisherman's Wharf.  

Now walk past The Fisherman statue to the railing on this pier.  Look directly across the marina to the wharf in front of you. 

This is the Municipal Wharf II.  It doesn't get as much attention from the tourists, but it is very much a part of the backbone of Monterey's current fishing industry.  

By the 1920's Fisherman's Wharf had numerous wholesale and retail fish outlets, a marine service station, one restaurant and an abalone shell grinding business.  But, it was evident that Fisherman's Wharf, on its own, could not support the growing fishing industry.

Municipal Wharf II 1926 - (Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

Municipal Wharf II was completed in 1927 and opened for commercial business the same year.  

Municipal Wharf II is home to wholesale fish companies, restaurants, an abalone farm and the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club. 

Monterey Fish Company 

The Monterey Fish Company is the warehouse to your left on the end of Wharf II.  It is the oldest and last remaining privately held wholesale fish company. Established in 1941 by Salvatore Tringali, it is currently operated by his grandson, Sal.  On a good year, they will unload as much as 25 million pounds of seafood into their warehouse.  They distribute to local restaurants but also sell to the general public.  It is a great place to pick up fresh seafood and then prepare it at home.  

Photo taken from Municipal Wharf II (Monterey Fish Co. and Monterey Abalone Company)

Now take a look down the opposite end of Wharf II, to your right across the Monterey Marina. 

Photo taken from Municipal Wharf II

This is where you will find the Yacht Club and two great restaurants that are favorites with the locals and boat owners.  The Sandbar & Grill which appears to hang out over the water as it dangles from the wharf and the tiny yellow and red wooden restaurant, Loulou's Griddle in the Middle, which was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-in's and Dives.  

 Ladder leading down to Abalone Farm

Underneath the Municipal Wharf, the Monterey Abalone Company runs a commercial abalone farm.  You can't really see it, but in the dark, under the boards of the wharf, are networks of beams holding cages with between 150 and 6,000 abalone per cage, depending on the size.

Photo on wall of Monterey Abalone Company Depicting Farm

These enclosures protect this delicious marine snail from the sea otters, who consider it one of their favorite meals.  Monterey Abalone Company is one of only six sustainable aquaculture farms in California.

Abalone has been plentiful in Monterey Bay for years.  The first to capitalize on this sea creature were the native Rumsen people.  They  not only ate it, but used the shells to make jewelry and tools.  In the early 1900's, Mexicans and Europeans began to experiment with cooking abalone.  They attempted to boil it in vinegar and tenderize it with lye but it wasn't very appetizing.  

Then along came Pop Ernest.  Pop was a native of German.  He decided that abalone would be delicious if it was prepared like German wiener schnitzel.  After some experimentation he came up with the perfect recipe. 

Pop Ernest Restaurant Fisherman's Wharf - (Julian P. Graham photograph - Monterey Public Library California History Room)

Pop sliced the foot thin, pounded it with a wooden mallet, coated it with flour and egg and cooked the abalone in oil.  In 1908, Pop introduced this delicacy in his restaurant on Alvarado Street in Monterey.

Customers went wild over it and, with his success, he opened a restaurant on the edge of Monterey Harbor across from the Custom House.  His famous abalone steak was served there from 1919 to 1952.  The building then became the Monterey Yacht Club until it burned down in the early 1970s.        

Now turn around and walk back past The Fisherman statue and down the side pier past the Monterey Bay Whale Watch Center and turn left back on to the main portion of Fisherman's Wharf. 

Just as you turn back on to the main part of the wharf look to your left.  You will see a crabbing cage with the word Time Bandit written on one of the floats in the cage. 

You are standing between two legendary seafood restaurants on the wharf, Dominico's to your left and Cafe Fina to your right.  

Dominico's has been a locals favorite for over 35 years, and features sustainable seafood and fresh handmade pasta.  

Cafe Fina opened in 1989 and is also loved by locals.  In 2011, the owners of these restaurants, Sam and Dominic Mercurio had the pleasure of fishing on the crabbing boat the "Time Bandit" which was made famous on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.  

Now continue walking along the wharf heading back to the entrance of Fisherman's Wharf.

Just past the Wharf General Store turn left and pass Candy World to Paluca Trattoria. 

Paluca Trattoria is also known as the inspiration for Blue Blues coffee house which was featured in the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies. 

Sal Tedesco, host and chef of the Paluca Trattoria, was born in Sicily and grew up in Monterey as the son of a Sicilian fisherman.  Sal and his wife Ashley, who have owned the restaurant since 2000, were approached by the production department of HBO in 2016.  They were told that their restaurant had just what HBO was looking for.  It would be the perfect spot for the stars of their future miniseries to meet, catch up on things and caffeinate. 

The HBO series turned out to be Big Little Lies.  The series was based on Liane Moriarty's bestselling book of the same name and featured Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodly.  The screenplay was re-written to take place here in Monterey. 

What most people who are fans of the miniseries Big Little Lies don't know is, that instead of filming Blue Blues on location here on Fisherman's Wharf, the production team took measurements of the Paluca space and recreated it on a sound stage in Los Angeles. 

Just outside the front door of Paluca restaurant you will find a small framed sign with the photo of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley.  

Now turn and walk back in the direction you came from and turn left back on to the main portion of Fisherman's Wharf.  We're heading back to land. 

Exit the wharf by turning right after the pink Harbor House and continue walking straight past the Old Fisherman's Wharf sign. 

Up ahead you will see three yellow posts and a sign that reads Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.   

Walk past the yellow posts and enter the trail.  This is one of those places that is a pedestrian and biking path, so please make sure to watch out for bicyclists.  

Just after you enter the path, look to your left to find the bronze bust of Pietro Fernante. 

Pietro Fernante was born on the island of Sicily in 1867.  He arrived in Monterey in 1904 as an accomplished fisherman and adapted traditional Italian fishing gear and the lampara net for use in fishing sardines in Monterey Bay.  He quickly became a leader among the founders of the Monterey canning and fishing industry. 

Continue walking along the path and stay to the far right.  

Up ahead on your right is Fisherman's Shoreline Park and the Santa Rosalia statue. 

The bronze statue was dedicated in 1979 to the memory of the Sicilian Fisherman whose pioneering spirit at the beginning of the 20th century helped develop and create the sardine industry in Monterey. 

Around the base of this statue are three bronze bas-relief plaques featuring fishing boats, the felucca, a purse seiner and a Monterey clipper.  

Santa Rosalia is the patron Saint of the Italian fisherman of Monterey.  Her feast day is September 4th and every year, around this date, Monterey holds the Fiesta Italia on the Custom House Plaza. 

There is plenty of Italian food, music and dancing as well as a procession from the San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey down Alvarado Street to Fisherman's Wharf with a statue of Santa Rosalia.

Bishop Richard Garcia Diocese of Monterey Blessing the Fishing Boats

This is followed by a blessing of the fishing boats near The Fisherman's statue.

Now continue walking along the Monterey Recreational Coastal Trail staying to the far right out of the way of bicyclists.  

Coming up on your right will be a granite rock monument with a plaque.  This monument marks the site of the first cannery in Monterey.  It was established by F. E. Booth of the Sacramento River Packers' Association.  His cannery, Crescent Brand Sardine Cannery, was used chiefly for canning salmon.  

Ahead of you at the shoreline edge is what is left of the cement piers of the cannery. 

Keep walking straight along the Monterey Recreational Coastal Trail.  The area to your right is part of the nation's largest marine sanctuary, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  It contains a rich array of habitats, from wave-swept beaches and rocky shores to one of the deepest underwater canyons on the west coast.  

It abounds with life from tiny plants to huge blue whales.  The national marine sanctuary program strives to balance the needs of a growing population here in Monterey with the preservation of a healthy ocean. 

The last stop on the Monterey Recreational Coastal Trail we are going to view on this tour, is the Vizcaino-Serra Oak Mural.  It is up ahead on the wall to your left across the path. 

This mural was created in 2014 by artist Stephanie Rozzo.  The mural depicts the site of the giant coast live oak tree as it was first seen by the Spanish founders of Monterey.  It is also the approximate location of Sebastian Vizcaino's landing in December 1602. 

After landing, Vizciano, his men and three Carmelite Friars who were part of the expedition, celebrated the first Catholic Mass under that oak.  The tree was actually located in what is today the Lower Presidio Park which is just across the road behind this mural.  

Fr. Serra Celebrates Mass at Monterey (1877) - Leon Trousset (Public Domain)

In June 1770, Captain Gaspar de Portola rediscovered Monterey Bay by a land expedition.  At the same time, Fr. Junipero Serra arrived by sea aboard the ship the San Antonio.  Fr. Serra and Portola searched for and found what they believed was the same coast live oak described by Vizcaino, and celebrated Mass under its enormous limbs.  

The tree continued to thrive but finally lived out its natural life in 1904.  It was cut down and the trunk preserved and planted on the grounds of the San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey.  But it didn't do very well.  So what was left of the tree was moved to the Heritage Center, a small museum next to the San Carlos Cathedral and the Carmel Mission Museum.  

This is as far as we are walking on the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.  So turn around and walk back in the direction that you came.  Stay to the far right of the path and watch for bicyclists.  

The next part of our walking tour will be along part of Monterey's "Path of History" and past a few of Monterey's 55 historic buildings, some of which are adobes.  In fact, more old adobes have been preserved and restored in Monterey than anywhere else in California. 

The preservation of the adobes is due to the work of the Monterey History & Art Association.  Founded in 1931, it is the Association's primary objective to preserve the old adobe homes and significant buildings of the early Spanish, Mexican and American California. 

Coming up on your right just off the path will be a set of wooden steps.  They are between two mature cypress trees.  Take the stairs, these lead to the Heritage Harbor Center.  

As you walk straight you should see the 100 Building on your right.  Keep walking straight until you get to the plaza in the center of the building complex.  It will have a fountain and a few benches.  

Just past the fountain is the red First Brick House.  It was built by Gallant Duncan Dickinson and Amos Giles Lawrey. 

Gallant Duncan Dickinson and his family joined the Donner Party in Missouri in 1846.  Amos Giles Lawrey, a skilled brick maker, met Dickinson on that same journey. 

Fortunately, the Dickinson's and Lawrey's separated from the ill-fated Donner Party in Wyoming and made it safely to Sutter's Fort before the snow fell in the Sierras in the winter of 1846.

In April of the following year, after settling in Monterey, the Dickinson's purchased a piece of land for $29.  Lawrey, who was by then courting Dickinson's daughter, molded and fired the bricks to build the Dickinson home.  

The original plan was an L-shaped house, but before they could finish it, the Gold Rush of 1848 called the two men away to find their fortunes.  The house was never completed and remains as it was when they left for the gold fields. 

First Brick House 1847 - (Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

Gallant Dickinson did not make his fortune, but instead went into debt and the brick house was sold at auction in 1851 to Patrick Breen.  The Breen's rented the house to Captain John Davenport and his wife Ellen.  Davenport ran the Monterey Whaling Company, the first shore whaling operation on the Pacific Coast. 

In 1915, the house was sold to Juan and Maria Garcia for $10.  They operated a Spanish restaurant out of the back part of the house for many years.  

Replica of Mama Garcia's Kitchen First Brick House 

Her restaurant was renowned for her Mama Garcia's homemade enchiladas and tamales.  

Today, this house is preserved by the Monterey State Historic Park and there is a small museum set up inside with informational displays and replica of Mama Garcia's Kitchen.  

This museum is free and open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. 

Once you have explored the First Brick House Museum exit the house and turn left to the house next door, the Old Whaling Station.  

As you walk look at the sidewalk.  You will see gold circles embedded in the walkway that say Path of History in different languages.  These mark a two-mile path that winds its way through Old Monterey.  We'll be taking a small portion of this trail, so you may see more of these markers. 

The Old Whaling Station was build in 1847 by David Wright out of adobe brick.  It was constructed in a similar style to Wright's family home in Scotland.  Dickinson and Lawrey helped with the structure.  

Wright too was lured away to the gold fields in 1848 and never returned to live in Monterey. 

In 1855 the house was leased to Captain Davenport and his Monterey Whaling Company as its headquarters.  By this time, Davenport had two whaling boats that operated out of Monterey and he employed seventeen Portuguese seamen. 

Take a look at the paving materials that form the walkway in front of the door to the house.  

This is whale vertebrae cut into diamond shaped pavers.  Today, this historic site is owned by California State Department of Parks and Recreation and managed by the Junior League of Monterey.  The house is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.  If it is open go inside and have a look around. 

When you are done, exit the back door into the garden behind the house.  If it is not open then duck under the arched opening in the stone wall just to the left of the house.  The wall is covered in Spanish tile. 

This beautiful garden with brick patio and arbor, as well as the house is available to rent for weddings and other events.  But, for now, take a look at the old iron try pot behind the house.  

These pots were used during the 1800's to boil or "try out"  whale blubber.  Basically, whale blubber was cut into small pieces and boiled to make oil for lamps. 

Just to the left of the try pot is an arbor archway.  Walk under the arch and continue straight following the red brick path.  

After exiting the red brick path that leads from the Old Whaling Station you will find yourself on a gray pavement among more buildings belonging to the Heritage Harbor Center.  

Pass the 400 Building and keep following the Path of History markers. 

This will lead you to the intersection of Scott and Pacific Streets.  

At the corner turn right and cross Pacific Street toward the Heritage Harbor House parking garage.  

After crossing the street, turn left again and cross Scott to California's First Theater. 

This building was constructed between 1846 and 1847 by Jack Swan, a sailor of Scottish decent.  He used lumber salvaged from a shipwreck on Monterey Bay to build his home and the attached tavern. 

The place was known as "The House that Jack Built."  He added the adobe lodging house around 1847.   Later that same year, soldiers from the First New York Volunteer Regiment who were assigned to Monterey, convinced Swan to build a small stage on the property so that they could put on theatrical performances.  They charged an exorbitant $5 per person.   

California First Theater - (Monterey Public Library California History Room)

It is not known exactly what the first play performed in Swan's theater was but eventually, melodramas became the prevailing work of the theater.  As was mentioned, 1849 brought gold fever to Monterey and Swan as well as the actors left for the hills.  

For the next 35 years, Swan leased his building.  As one time this was leased to, yes you guessed it, John Davenport and his Monterey Whaling Company.  This is why you see the two whale ribs over the front door.  

In 1885 Swan, penniless, was back in the house that he built in Monterey.  He died in 1896 and the house sat abandoned until 1906 when the Hearst Foundation purchased the property and donated it to the State of California.  

California's First Theater 1934 (Library of Congress)

By 1920, the house had been completely restored and was opened to the public as a museum.  In 1937, the property was leased to Carmel impresario duo, Denny-Watrous Management. 

That same year, Denny and Watrous brought in the Troupers of the Gold Coast who staged the first melodramas in the theater since the 1850s.  The Troupers of the Gold Coast performed these melodramas for over 60 years.  Before they had their last show on New Year's Eve in 2000, I enjoyed a few performances by the Troupers on this stage. 

In 2013, Spectra Co. of Pomona stabilized the structure's main fireplace.  At the time of the writing, stabilization of the walls is underway.  The hope is that this building will someday be safe to occupy once again.  

Besides peeking in the windows, the gardens behind this building are the only areas currently open to the public.  

Take a look across Pacific Street.  You should see a white adobe wall with a sign that reads, Monterey State Historic Park.  

Walk to the corner and cross Pacific to the entrance to this park. 

At the entrance to the park are a set of stairs.  Take these stairs from the sidewalk down into the park to the granite fountain just ahead.

This is another garden in the Monterey State Historic Park.  This one is called the Casa de Oro Sensory Garden.  It was professionally designed and during the spring, when the garden is in full bloom, it is definitely a multi-sensory experience of sight and smell with Mexican Marigold, Matilija Poppy and Peruvian as well as Day lily on display.

Enjoy the park and continue walking straight through the park.  Up ahead to your left will be a public restroom.  Then descend a few steps in to the herb and ornamental garden.  

Once you have enjoyed this garden exit through the white  picket fence ahead and turn left.  

Just after exiting the garden to the left is the Casa de Oro.  The name over the door is Joseph Boston & Co.

This chalk rock structure was built in 1845 by Thomas Larkin.  Remember, he was the American Consul to Mexico who consulted with Commander John Drake Sloat in 1846 to claim California from Mexico for the USA. 

Larkin sold the building to Jose Abrego in 1850, the year California became a state.  Then, Joseph Boston leased the building from Abrego and turned it into a general store.  It was the first one of its kind in the area and offered everything the new frontier homemaker would need from grinding stones to brooms. 

Joseph installed an iron safe in the store which became the only place in town to securely store valuables such as the gold dust that was being brought in by miners returning from the Sierra's during the California Gold Rush. Locals began to call the building the Casa de Oro or House of Gold, which is what it is still known as today. 

The building was donated to the state of California in 1939 and the store is currently managed by the Historic Garden League. It is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.  If you have time and the store is open, go in.  They carry a nice selection of handcrafted locally sourced items.  And the old safe still stands behind the front counter. 

Once you have explored the store, exit and turn right back out on to the plaza.  

Just across from the fountain in the middle of the plaza is a gate that leads to the Pacific House Memory Garden.  If the gate is open and there is no event going on inside feel free to go on in and have a look around.  

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

The Pacific House Memory Garden lies on the backside of the grand two-story adobe Pacific House which was built by David Wright for Thomas Larkin in 1846.  We will learn more about this house later on this tour, as it is our last stop. 

For now we want to tell you about the garden.  Before it was designed by renowned American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. in 1927, this area was a walled horse corral.  

On Sunday's from the early 1800's until about 1850, the corral was used for the bull and bear fights, a favorite form of entertainment of the entire town.  

Bull & Bear - (Wikipedia)

A grizzle bear, which was very prevalent in the area at the time, would be caught and tethered with a rope to a large bull.  Eventually, one of the animals would become aggravated enough and attack the other.  The bull would use its horns to charge from below and the bear would swipe downward with its claws slashing at the bull.  Most of the time the bear would win by pinning the bull and killing it.  It is alleged that a San Francisco merchant coined the terms "bull" and "bear" stock market after watching a bull and bear fight.  

Bull & Bear - (Wikipedia)

Once you have enjoyed the garden with its fountain and four stately magnolias, exit back out in to the plaza in front of the gate.  

Across the way are two historic buildings.  The one with the orange awnings is the Duarte Store, built around 1865 in the Western False Front-style. 

Duarte  Fish Market -(Monterey Public Library, California History Room)

This building was originally located on Alvarado Street and in the early 1900's it served as the Duarte & Sons Fish Market, fishing supply store and boat rental operation.  At one time the Duarte's had a fleet of 20 boats.  After it was relocated to this site in 1922, it served as Luis Jan's dry goods store into the 1940's. 

Next door is the Thomas Cole House.  It was built in 1856 for the Thomas Cole family.  At one time it was a boarding house, and during the 1940's this was the headquarters for the National Chinese Political Party. 

Both the Duarte and Thomas Cole house are now occupied by Indian Summer Hookah Lounge Bar & Grill. 

Photo Credit: Cheryl Cowan

Continue walking straight.  When you come to Peter B's make and left and keep walking on the path.  

Peter B's Brewpub is located inside the Portola Hotel.  It is a local favorite for their award winning craft beers.  Their happy hour is daily from 4 pm to 6:30 pm.  

Up ahead is a sign that reads Fisherman's Wharf and Hotel Lobby.  The arrow for Fisherman's Wharf points to your left and the arrow for the Hotel Lobby to the right.  

Turn right and walk up three steps to the patio outside the hotel lobby.  The sign overhead will read Portola Hotel & Spa. 

This is one of Monterey's premiere hotels.  Besides Peter B's they have other restaurants on site, including The Club Room and Jacks Monterey as well as a Pete's Coffee. 

The Portola Hotel & Spa features over 60,000 square feet of event and meeting space and nearly 60,000 square feet of outdoor space overlook Monterey Bay.  They were also one of the first eco-friendly hotels in Central California achieving LEED certification and promoting sustainable practices throughout their hotel, restaurants and spa. 

Enter the doors in front of you, they lead to the tree-lined lobby of the hotel.  Exit the hotel through the front doors at the opposite end.  

As you come out into the front of the Portola Hotel & Spa please be mindful of the cars pulling into the roundabout in front of the hotel.  Stay on the sidewalk and walk to your left away from the front door.  

Once you are out of the front door area, take a look back at the Monterey Conference Center.  It is just to the right of the Portola Hotel and shares the circular driveway. 

The Conference Center originally opened in 1977 and was instrumental in the growth of hospitality and tourism in Monterey County.  In January of 2018 it re-opened after a $60 million renovation.  It is state-of-the-art with a meeting facility that has a capacity to hold 3,200 people. 

Now turn back around and continue walking.  This time head toward the statue of Gaspar de Portola.  

Portola, who had established the first Spanish settlements in Alta California at San Diego in 1769 and Monterey in 1770, served as the first governor of Alta California from 1769 to 1770. 

Continue walking past the statue and turn left into the Portola Hotel & Spa shopping plaza.  

In the plaza you will find Venture Gallery, a lovely art gallery owned and operated by local artists, Casual Island, which offers a wide selection of women's clothing and accessories as well as Solvino Wine Bar, Peet's Coffee, Crepes of Brittany and Candyland. 

Take some time to do any last minute shopping then continue walking straight. 

Once you pass Candyland, turn left. Then take the next right  You're heading to our last stop the Pacific House Museum. 

 The Pacific House was built in 1846 by David Wright on the property of American Consul to Mexico, Thomas Larkin.  Larkin, who was also an architect, designed the structure after his home, Larkin House located a few blocks away. 

It was built in the Monterey Colonial-style, with a long second floor balcony and exaggerated eaves designed to protect the adobe walls from the rain.

Originally this building was used by the United States military as an office and storage space.  Over the course of many decades it also served as a county Court House, a jail, tavern, hotel and even a newspaper office. 

In 1954, the property was given to California State Parks and it opened as a museum in 1957.  The need for extensive repairs closed the building from 1996 to 2000, after which the Pacific House Museum re-opened to the public with new interactive exhibits and displays covering the story of Monterey from the Native American time through the Spanish, Mexican and early American periods. 

If you have time you should check out the museum, it is free and open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. 

We have come to the end of this tour and are directly across from where we started at the Stanton Center. 

Until next time, Happy Adventures! 

All pictures by L. A. Momboisse unless listed above under the picture.