1038 Lighthouse Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: (831) 372-5960
Fax: (831) 655-1681
Arts & Museums
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Established back in 1970, this store houses Pat Hathways's extensive archive of historical photographs of Central California. The shop is a tiny little place with a few photos on the windows. The place also licenses out the photos for research or publication. You can inquire about that in person or by phone or email. This is the largest collection of its kind, and Mr. Hathaway is always looking for more. It is a great place to do research on Central California or the Monterey Bay Area. Admission is free.
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.