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A Little About Monterey

Monterey is a medium sized city found in the midst of Monterey County on the Pacific Coast of Central California. Monterey has a population of approximately thirty one thousand residents, although the population may have fluctuated somewhat since the last census was taken. Monterey is a part of the eponymous Monterey County and located on the Monterey Bay. Monterey is known as “The Cradle of History,” the “Language Capital of the World,” and “California’s First City.” The history of Monterey stretches back to the influence of the Rumsen Ohlone tribe, which controlled the region until the Spanish Empire took control of modern day California. The current settlement of Monterey began in 1770, when Father Junipero Serra and Governor Gaspar de Portola founded a mission on the site. Monterey was the territorial capital of California under Spain and Mexico until 1846, when the region was ceded to the United States. Monterey was the site of the Battle of Monterey during the Mexican American War, during which the community was officially claimed for America by Commodore John D. Sloat. Monterey was officially incorporated in 1889, and gradually gained popularity for its fishery and artistic community. The current mayor of Monterey is Chuck Della Sala, and the community’s representative in the State Assembly is Bill Monning. Some notable authors who have called the Monterey area home include John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, Robinson Jeffers, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Important painters who have resided in and around Monterey include Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Arthur Frank, and Xavier Martinez. The climate of Monterey is generally warm and moderate in the style of the Mediterranean, with the temperatures generally remaining in the fifties and sixties throughout the year.

Monterey is located on a federally protected wildlife preserve called the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is home to a number of endangered species including the California sea otter. The greater Monterey area is the natural habitat of a series of endangered birds, such as the California clapper rail, the Yuma clapper rail, and the California brown pelican. The best known media outlets in the region are the Monterey County Herald and a series of local radio and television stations. The Monterey region is home to a number of post secondary educational institutions, including the Defense Language Institute, the Naval Postgraduate School, the California State University, the Monterey College of Law, and Monterey Peninsula College. Transit options in Monterey are offered by the Monterey Peninsula Airport and the Monterey-Salinas Transit authority. Some notable attractions in Monterey include Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Monterey County Youth Museum, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Monterey is located within a short drive of a number of scenic and recreational sites, such as Carmel by the Sea, Lake El Estero, the 17 Mile Drive, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the National Steinbeck Center, and the Big Sur Coastline. Important historical landmarks in the Monterey area include the Cooper-Molera Adobe, Colton Hall, the old Custom House, Larkin House, and the Royal Presidio Chapel. Monterey covers a total area of almost twelve square miles, including more than three square miles of surface water. Some of the best beaches in the region are found in Monterey, including the beautiful Monterey State Beach Park.

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