Overlooking the bay on the Monterey Peninsula, the beautiful
city of Monterey was named in 1602 by Spanish explorer Sebastian
Vizcaíno. Monterey soon grew in both size and importance, and
became the Spanish military and administrative centre for their
lands in America. After passing into Mexican possession, it became
part of the USA along with the rest of California in 1846. From
this time, Monterey was briefly the state capital, before being
superseded by Sacramento.
Today, the compact centre still boasts a wealth of architecture
from its Spanish and Mexican past. Most of these charming buildings
are close to the scenic waterfront. During the 19th and 20th
centuries Monterey attracted many artists and writers, inspired by
the idyllic surroundings.