140 Reservation Rd
Marina, CA 93933
Phone: (831) 883-4000
Fax: (831) 883-4001
Arts & Museums
Want to see John Steinbeck sitting around and drinking with friends? Then come to this wax museum. You can get a glimpse at almost 450 years of Monterey history here. The museum stocks more than 100 realistic wax figures, depicting a number of scenes throughout time. See figures of old cannery workers, prostitutes and Indians. This is one of the newest attractions in Cannery Row and a great place to bring the entire family. Call the venue for more information about admission prices and more.
Everything that is crystal is here: laser etchings, light boxes, and a huge collection of Daniel Swarovski crystals. Swarovski fans from around the country flock to this gallery near the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. Also featured is a line of Mats Jonasson works and a selection of Steinbach crystal. The owner has an extensive website where you can order everything, but, do stop by the gallery if you are in Monterey.
This museum displays and documents the natural history of beautiful Monterey County. The bulk of its exhibits showcase the native geology, aboriginal populations, plants, and animals of the region. In addition to permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts special events including a celebrated annual Wild Flower Show. After a trip to the museum, check out another local attraction, the Point Pinos Lighthouse. Admission is free to both places.
This lighthouse, located in Monterey County, has been operating since 1855, making it the oldest operating one on the West Coast. Aside from its rich history, it offers spectacular views from its vantage point. The trek to get there is lovely, too, and well worth the huffing and puffing that some may experience if they are a little out of shape. While you are in the charming and beautiful town of Pacific Grove, visit the Museum of Natural History.
This modern museum is dedicated to the maritime past Monterey is known for. Built in 1991, this local museum is over 17,000 square feet, it contains numerous artifacts, a large ship photography exhibit, scrimshaws and other such historic items. Located adjacent to the Custom House Plaza, this waterfront museum is the perfect way to learn more about the seaside community of Monterey.
This is one of this beautiful city's many attractions. You can tour numerous historic period homes that date back to the 1800s as well as early adobe buildings. Each house is fully restored to its original condition and is decorated with authentic antiques to match. There are also sculpture gardens you can tour. Come experience a piece of regional and European colonial history. Admission to the park is free; see website for info on special SHP events such as the Monterey Living History Festival.
This space is housed in an old building that dates back to 1904 and usually has about ten major art openings per year. Art and ballet classes are offered throughout the year and there are eighteen different studios in the building, each one showcasing a different artist's work. The organization is committed to establishing a connection between the Pacific Grove community and the many upcoming artists from the surrounding area. Several other events take place here, from poetry readings to concerts and other exhibits.
This historic adobe establishment was constructed in 1847, and used over the years as a U.S. Army hotel, tavern, courthouse, and offices. The interactive displays and exhibits walk visitors through the exciting and rich history of Monterey when it was the capital of the Mexican and Spanish California.
Classic cars, weird martini glasses, delicatessen artifacts, and several other cheesy twists on pop art can be found at this haven of the graphic designer gone awry. The artist, Dan Koffman, has been through decades of graphic design and his works are collected by folks around the globe. Any fan of the humorous and unexpected in art will be delighted by this unusual gallery. Whether it is parodies of wine ads or send-ups of martini culture, something is here for every connoisseur of the absurdities of pop culture. A sense of humor is highly recommended.
At this hands-on museum, your kids will never be scolded or reminded not to touch anything,as the Monterey County Youth Museum was designed to encourage hands-on discovery. Children can come in and explore the many exhibits including Creation Station, The Grill, and other exhibits which allow the kids to dress up, become a chef, run their own business, or get a geography lesson. This is a great place for the entire family.
Way back in 1849, when Monterey was the first capital of California, this white stone building was used as a place to hold town meetings. It was also a public school, and later a jail was added to the building. The very first Constitution for California was drafted here (after a vitriolic debate). Now the place serves as a museum to educate visitors about Monterey's past. Admission is free, so come spend an afternoon and take in the history.
Located in the Monterey County town of Salinas, the lettuce capital of the world, this museum is a tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. A Bay Area native, Steinbeck attended Stanford University in Palo Alto after he graduated from Salinas High School in 1919. His most famous works include Tortilla Flat (1935) and the Pulitzer Prize winner The Grapes of Wrath (1939). His birthplace and childhood home, The Steinbeck House, is two blocks away from the museum. In the cultural center you can see Steinbeck's works, letters and photographs, hear lectures and take tours. It also hosts an annual Steinbeck Festival in honor of the author.