Where California was Born!
Downtown Monterey is a mecca of cultural and historical diversity which features a variety of dining options, retail stores, and entertainment. Its landscape combines the images of Monterey’s past and present by allowing its patrons to walk the streets once walked by great historical figures while experiencing the modern charm of the seaside town. While visiting downtown, visitors can enjoy a delicious meal, shop till they drop, or take a trip through time and experience the rich history downtown Monterey has to offer.
The main street of downtown Monterey is Alvarado Street, which is recognized as a “Main Street Community” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The street was named for Juan Bautista Alvarado who was the former governor of Alta California. Alvarado Street is adjacent to several historical buildings including Colton Hall, the Larkin House, the Cooper Molera Adobe, the Stevenson House, the Custom House, and California’s First Theater. These landmarks and others can be toured daily, most of which for free, or be seen on the Path of History which is marked by round, yellow tiles which are embedded in the sidewalk throughout the downtown area.
Old Monterey is the heart of Historic Downtown. Serving the needs of residents and visitors alike, we offer a well-marked Path of History as well as more than 460 shops, restaurants, hotels, and businesses offering personal and professional services.
Downtown is also home of the Old Monterey Marketplace, held on Alvarado Street (our city's historic main street) every Tuesday, rain or shine. Hours are 4pm-7pm, October through April, and 4pm-8pm, May through September. As a Certified Farmer's Market, it offers a deliciously tempting Baker's Alley, fresh organic produce, and dozens of unique arts and crafts vendors.
The Old Monterey Business Association (OMBA) is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing and promoting the economic vitality and community spirit of Old Monterey. A certified member of the National Main Street program since 1992, the OMBA produces a local dining guide, monthly Commercial Space Available listings and a Path of History brochure that guides both locals and visitors through a celebration of Monterey's exciting past.