Reflecting the cultural heritage of California's Central Coast, the Monterey Museum of Art offers permanent and rotating exhibits of early Californian art and contemporary American artists. The Museum's permanent collections and exhibitions include California paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography, Asian art, international folk art, and photographs by Ansel Adams. Visit www.montereyart.org.
Maritime Museum of Monterey -
Situated across from Fisherman's Wharf, the Maritime Museum illuminates Monterey's storied maritime past. This interactive museum showcases Monterey's seafaring heritage and the role this protected harbor played in early California history and as home to the US Navy. The collection displays 6,000 artifacts, over 50,000 photographs, and 6,000 books and papers. The 580 glass prisms of the historic Fresnel lens from Point Sur Lightstation illuminate the Museum's seven exhibit areas, from the Rumsien/Ohlone Indians and Spanish explorers, to the USS Macon and war in the Pacific, to Monterey's era as sardine capital of the world. Youngsters love the treasure hunts and gift shop with souvenirs for sailors at heart. Visit http://www.montereyhistory.org/maritime_museum.htm.
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History -
Exhibiting and interpreting the natural history of Monterey County, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History features permanent and rotating exhibits which interpret native plants, animals, geology, and aboriginal populations of Monterey County. Climb Sandy the Whale, a life-sized bronze gray whale sculpture in front of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Enjoy tours of Point Pinos Lighthouse - the oldest lighthouse in California - learn about the life cycle of one of Pacific Grove's most famous residents - the Monarch Butterfly - at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, and see native local animals in full life dioramas. A playful "kid's corner" lets youngsters pet a bobcat and take a quiz on local animals. Admission is free.
Carmel Mission Basilica -
Founded in 1770, Carmel Mission Basilica features significant religious artifacts and is home to a thriving Catholic community. Get a taste of mission life at the museum housing California's first library, a collection of tools, equipment and appliances used by the Spaniards and Native Americans. Tour the recreated Spartan cell where Father Serra once lived. Call 830-624-3600.
Mission San Antonio de Padua -
The Mission San Antonio is the third California mission, founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771. Still a parish church, this historic mission is a tranquil and beautiful place to picnic, with tables under shaded trees. Savor the peace and solitude at one of Calfiornia's most historic missions. Admission is $1. Call 831-385-4478.
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