Top 20 Monterey attractions

Custom House Monterey

Visit the oldest government building in California!

The Custom House Monterey was first constructed by the Mexicans in 1822, to collect import taxes for Alta California. Alta California was Mexican’s northernmost province, encompassing California, Nevada and Utah.  Under Mexican rule, Monterey was made the capital of Alta California.

The American flag was first raised here in 1846, declaring California part of the United States after the Mexican-American War, and adding 600,000 square miles of land to America.

5 things to do at Custom House Monterey

1. Learn how Monterey was once the first capital of California under Mexican rule, between 1822 to 1846.

2. Tour the small interior of the Custom House Monterey, then visit the gift shop. The Custom House has artifacts and displays to re-create its Mexican era.

3. Play on the small bocce ball court out the back, popular with tourists.

4. Sign up afor a walking tour of 55 historic buildings along the "Path of History" in Monterey State Historic Park. Guided and self guided tour information is available at the Custom House. Highlights include adobes like Casa del Oro, Casa Soberanes, Cooper-Molera Adobe, and the intepretative center at Pacific House Museum.

5. Visit the bustling Fishermans Wharf, directly across from the Custom House.

Know before you go 

  • Address: 1 Custom House Plaza, Monterey.
  • Restrooms:  The Custom House Monterey is near the entrance of the Commercial Wharf.
  • Parking:  Look for the “Historic Monterey Waterfront Parking” at 245 Washington Street.

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