Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Monterey State Historic Park


   Native Americans lived on the Monterey Peninsula for thousands of years before their population was decimated with the arrival of the Spanish in the 1770s. In 1775 Monterey became the capital of California under Spain, then Mexico, but lost the title after California won US statehood in 1850 and the capital was moved to San Jose. During the 25 years of Mexican rule Monterey was an important coastal port which necessitated the building of a custom house. The custom house is the oldest government building in California.


  The Monterey State Historic Park preserves the custom house and over a dozen other buildings that were constructed in the early to mid 1800s. Start at the Pacific House to get a walking tour map, inquire about house tours, and visit the museum.

   We visited the Pacific House and the Custom House. The first floor of the Pacific House can be accessed through the garden along a sandy path that is a bit soft. A video of the exhibits on the second floor is provided for visitors who can not climb the stairs. The Custom House is accessible. Cut across the yard to access the porch and the interior of the building. The gift shop has a step up. Four of the other buildings are designated as accessible but  we did not visit any of them. The sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition although some of the curb cuts are steep.



  Monterey has many parking options but the easiest for RV parking is the Coast Guard Pier lot.  This lot is close to the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail which goes north to Cannery Row and south to the state park. The sidewalk from the parking lot to the trail is steep so wheelchair users may need assistance.  Park   36.60264, -121.89392


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