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Museum of Monterey

Follow the story of this fascinating area from the first inhabitants 6000 years ago, to the days of Cannery Row and beyond.

The Museum of Monterey opened almost a century ago as a collection of model ships and maritime artifacts collected by one-time sailor Allen Knight. Today's museum maintains a strong emphasis on maritime history and the town’s links with the ocean. 

The story of Monterey’s past is told through thousands of local artifacts, photographs, papers and costumes. There’s also a collection of paintings and sculptures from local artists, both past and contemporary, including works by local sculptor Jo Mora, who is known for the impressive Miguel Cervantes Memorial in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 

Learn about the lives of the Rumsien and Ohlone Native American tribes, who first settled this area, and the coming of the Spanish explorers and missionaries who would change life here forever. There’s an interesting and extensive collection of scale-model boats and ships to explore. See the models of early Spanish and English merchant ships, as well as 20th-century U.S. naval vessels. There’s also a sardine fishing boat from when Monterey was considered the “sardine capital of the world.” 

For a glimpse of how American fashion has changed since the mid-19th-century, slip into the costume collection, which features early fishing costumes and immigrant attire. The array of early to mid-20th-century hats is particularly impressive. 

Head to the Casa Serano Adobe to admire the decorative arts and crafts of Monterey’s first families, including locally made Civil War–era furniture. 

The Museum of Monterey is located on the waterfront at Customs House Plaza in downtown Monterey. It’s open every day except Mondays in Summer, and Mondays and Tuesdays in winter. Entry is free during specified hours on the first Wednesday of every month. Check the museum’s website for the hours and for a schedule of events, talks and films.


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Lodging Near Maritime Museum

See all 334 Properties near Maritime Museum
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay $206
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 3,216 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Just 200 yards from Fisherman's Wharf, this resort borders Custom House Plaza, with the beach and sparkling bay just beyond; Cannery Row and the aquarium are a short walk away.

    Hotel Abrego $199
    Hotel Abrego

    Hotel Abrego

    755 Abrego Street, Monterey
       
      4.3
      of 5, from 2,097 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Offering friendly service and immaculate rooms, this hotel is 1 block from Historic Downtown Monterey, 5 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Conference Center, and 2 miles from the aquarium.

      Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa
      Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

      Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

      1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey
         
        4.0
        of 5, from 5,027 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        After undergoing a $60 million renovation, this 550-room hotel and conference center is situated on 22 acres next to the 18-hole championship Pebble Beach Resort's Del Monte Golf Course, 6 blocks from the beach and 1 mile from downtown Monterey.

        Monterey Bay Inn $219
        Monterey Bay Inn

        Monterey Bay Inn

        242 Cannery Row, Monterey
           
          4.6
          of 5, from 1,099 reviews
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Anchoring the quiet end of Cannery Row, this waterfront boutique hotel is perched above Monterey Bay, with Fisherman's Wharf a quarter-mile away, A Taste of Monterey winery a half-mile away, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium within a half-mile.

          Monterey Marriott $199
          Monterey Marriott

          Monterey Marriott

          350 Calle Principal, Monterey
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 881 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Connected to the Monterey Conference Center by a footbridge, this smoke-free downtown hotel is 3 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, and less than 2 miles from Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

            Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
            Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

            Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

            400 Cannery Row, Monterey
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 2,159 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa sits right on the bay in the center of town, a 15-minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf and 2.5 miles (4 km) from Point Pinos Lighthouse. Carmel, Pebble Beach, and 17-Mile Drive are within a 20-minute drive, and golfers can choose from over 20 courses in the county.

              The Monterey Hotel $130
              The Monterey Hotel

              The Monterey Hotel

              407 Calle Principal, Monterey
                 
                3.9
                of 5, from 1,676 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Old Monterey, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Golden State Theatre and Maritime Museum. Fisherman's Wharf and Dennis the Menace Park are also within 15 minutes.

                Hotel Pacific
                Hotel Pacific

                Hotel Pacific

                300 Pacific St, Monterey
                   
                  4.1
                  of 5, from 1,824 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Set on Monterey's "Path of History," this stylish inn is 2 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, a half-mile from downtown and Cannery Row, and 1 mile from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.