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Monterey County is located around Monterey Bay and the Pacific coastline in the central portion of California. It directly borders Santa Cruz County on the north and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The county seat of Monterey County is the city of Salinas, found in the Salinas River Valley. Monterey County has an aggregate population of 415,057 according to the 2010 census. Monterey County’s modern history stretches back to the beginning of California itself. The county was created in 1850 at the same time that statehood was granted to California. Monterey County takes its name from the eponymous Monterey Bay, which in turn was named after the County of Monterey and Viceroy of New Spain. Monterey County includes nearly four thousand square miles, making it substantially larger than some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. The majority of the population is concentrated around Salinas in the Salinas River Valley, although there are also a number of other large communities, including Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Monterey, Sand City, and Soledad. Monterey County is home to a number of nature preserves and national forests, including the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, the Ventana Wilderness, Pinnacles National Monument, and Los Padres National Forest. The county is served by Salinas Municipal Airport, Monterey Peninsula Airport, and Marina Municipal Airport. Public transportation is provided by Amtrak as well as Monterey-Salinas Transit. Notable publications in the Monterey County area include the Monterey County Herald, the Carmel Pine Cone, the Monterey County Weekly, and the Salinas Californian. Despite having a relatively average median income, Monterey County consistently had some of the highest housing prices in the United States until the collapse of the real estate bubble in 2008. Current prices remain well below the peak of the market, although they are no longer as low as they were at the nadir of the most recent cycle.
There are a number of nationally recognized historical sites in Monterey County, including the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Carmel Mission, the Robinson Jeffers House, Milpitas Ranchhouse, the Point Pinos Lighthouse, and the Royal Presidio Chapel. San Antonio de Padua Mission and the Stevenson House are also found within the county limits. There are roughly two dozen different school districts in Monterey County, including some rather large districts such as the North Monterey County Unified School District, Salinas City Elementary School District, and the Santa Rita Union Elementary School District. Notable residents of Monterey County over the years include Robert Louis Stevenson, Robinson Jeffers, and Nobel Prize laureate John Steinbeck. One of the best known attractions of Monterey County is the Pacific coastline, which includes State Route 1, the 17 Mile Drive, Big Sur, and the Monterey Peninsula. There are three notable museums in Monterey County – the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the National Steinbeck Center, and the Monterey County Youth Museum. Other prominent historical and cultural sites in Monterey County include the Golden State Theater, the Forest Theater, the Golden Bough Playhouse, Monterey State Historic Park, Mission San Carlos (the burial site of mission founder Junipero Serra), and Cannery Row. Golfers residing in Monterey County can enjoy Pebble Beach, the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links, and the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses. Those who enjoy the outdoors can hike, fish, and photograph in Pinnacles National Monument, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the Elkhorn Slough, and Lake El Estero.
Based on information from MLSListings MLS as of All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.
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