There’s more to Monterey than just beaches and wineries (although we do have some of the best around!). There are years of history here, dating back to the 19th century!
4 Historical Sites to See in Monterey County
The San Carlos Cathedral is California’s first church. It’s also California’s first and oldest stone building (completed in 1794 — whoa!).
Besides checking out this magnificent building, there’s a museum across from the church, open several days a week.
Another first for California, the Monterey Custom House is California’s first and oldest public building. All ships entering the state in the 1820’s were required to pay tariffs and fees here.
The Custom House is now apart of the Monterey State Historic Park and open for tours on the weekends.
3. Colton Hall
This building was named after Walter Colton, who co-founded California’s first newspaper, The Californian. But this building is way more than just named after him, it was also Monterey’s first school and the largest building at its time in 1849.
The museum is FREE here, so definitely check it out!
Now, this spot isn’t exactly in Monterey (it’s 5 miles south), but we still had to add it to the list. Although Carmel Mission was founded in Monterey, after a year it was decided that Carmel-by-the-Sea was a more appropriate location. The courtyard and gardens here are a sight to see, and don’t forget to check out the museum while you’re at it!
Read more: Scenic Day Trips in Monterey County