The City Museums of Monterey is a collection of establishments that tell the history and art of the region through a varied and interesting set of locations and mediums. The Colton Hall Museum is a historic building that once housed the town’s meeting hall.

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It was originally built as a public schoolhouse but now serves its visitors with a re-creation of the room in which California’s constitution was first drafted in October 1849. It is a landmark in its own right, but also provides some fascinating exhibits on the early history of Monterey.

The Presidio of Monterey Museum serves to shine a spotlight on the military history of the region. From the present day reaching all the way back to the indigenous population and the native presence in the area, it spans through the Spanish and Mexican influence and occupations. Through various exhibits and displays, the museum gives an in-depth look into the history of the site and its development in the modern day as a training base.

Making its home on the second floor of the Monterey Conference Center, the Alvarado Gallery seeks to champion the local arts and artists from the surrounding areas. Providing an exhibition space for established and fledgling artists alike, they usually put out a call for new artwork in the fall. A visit is sure to serve up some interesting artwork while also supporting the local and rich cultural heritage of the area.

Constructed in 1854, the Old Monterey Jail is a historic jailhouse that boasts the claim that no one ever escaped its thick granite walls from its inception until its retirement in 1956. It’s an astounding feat of architecture and design and is open to the public daily. Conveniently located right next door to the Colton Hall Museum, it makes for an interesting addition to a trip.

The Monterey Public Library is the largest in the area and provides a great selection of books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, audiobooks, DVDs, microforms, web services, and unique historical collections.

Address and Opening Hours

Colton Hall Museum

Colton Hall Museum is open Sunday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm; during the winter season this is reduced to 12:00pm to 3:00pm.

Colton Hall Museum, City Hall, Monterey, CA 93940, Phone: 831-646-5640

Presidio of Monterey Museum

The Presidio of Monterey Museum is open on Mondays from 10:00am to 1:00pm and from Thursday to Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm, on Sundays they open from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Presidio of Monterey Museum, Corporal Ewing Road, Bldg. 113, Monterey, CA 93944, website, Phone: 841-646-3456

Alvarado Gallery

The Monterey Conference Center is open from 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. However, it is currently closed for renovation work. Check the website for up-to-date information on the status of the project.

One Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940, website, Phone: 831-242-8743

Old Monterey Jail

The Old Monterey Jail is open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Colton Hall Museum, City Hall, Monterey, CA 93940, Phone: 831-646-5640

Monterey Public Library

The library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 12:00pm to 8:00pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm and on Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

625 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940, Phone: 831-646-3933

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