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Best Museums in Monterey

By: Cityseeker
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Monterey Museum of Art

This museum is actually located in two different places, not too far from one another and in the oldest neighborhood of Monterey. At its primary location in an old adobe, the museum recently exhibited works in Chinese ceramics and textiles, paintings of Monterey 1910-1950, and bronzes by Charles Russell. The other location in the Civic Center (corner of Via Mirada and Fremont Street) has exhibited charcoal drawings by Tobin Keller, masks from Mexico and archaic vessels from Asia. This is one small town museum worth visiting.

Monterey, CA, United States
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Museum of Monterey

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.

Monterey, CA, United States
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Colton Hall Museum

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.

Monterey, CA, United States
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Monterey State Historic Park

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.

Monterey, CA, United States
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National Steinbeck Center

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.

Salinas, CA, United States
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