Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, California audio tour: Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour

Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

This Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour is a collaboration by Lynn Momboisse and Dale Byrne.

On this walking tour we will explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the surrounding area which include the Portola Plaza, Custom House Plaza and Museum, the Pacific House Museum and gardens, First Brick House Museum and some of Old Monterey’s first historic buildings.

During this tour we will be giving you an overview of early Monterey history, as well as the history of Fisherman’s Wharf and Monterey’s fishing industry. You will have the opportunity to explore three free museums in the Monterey State Historic Park. There will also be numerous opportunities for shopping or dining. You will also view areas where some of the scenes were shot for Season One of the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies.

This tour begins at the Monterey History & Art Association Salvador Dali Museum also known as the Stanton Center, and ends at the Pacific House Museum just across the plaza from the Salvador Dali Museum. There is a fee if you would like to visit the Salvador Dali Museum. All the other museums along this walk are free.

This tour is under 2 miles and will take about 2 hours to walk. Though if you go into any of the museums or do any shopping or dining along the way this will add to your tour time. We encourage you to take that time if you have it, explore the area and make new adventures.
There are two public restrooms along this walk. One at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf near the Big Fish Grill and one in the garden behind Casa Oro which is near the Portola Hotel. There are two ATM’s located on each end of Fisherman’s Wharf. One by Candy World at the entrance and one at Big Fish Grill.

Tour Producer


Lynn Momboisse

Hi! My name is Lynn and I am a native of California and have resided in Northern California for most of my life. For many years I lived in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea where I co-authored the book Historic Homes and Inns of Carmel-by-the-Sea. My love of history and passion for discovering the beauty of the Golden State has led me to create a fun little blog titled "Adventures of a Home Town Tourist" where I recount many of my walking tours and hiking adventures throughout the world. I currently live in the majestic Sierra Foothills and will be exploring and writing about my adventures throughout this gorgeous country. And now I'll be able to further share my travels with you through the power of the new VoiceMap tour app. I can't wait for you to join me. Happy Adventures!

How VoiceMap Works

Focus on your surroundings, not the screen

VoiceMap’s audio tour app uses GPS to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. Just install it, then download your tour and go to the starting point to begin your walk, drive, cycle, train trip or even boat ride.

Follow a route with turn-by-turn-directions

Tours follow a route from a fixed starting point. This is how we provide turn-by-turn directions. It also helps publishers tell a story greater than the sum of its parts. But you can use Resume to pick up a tour from the closest location whenever you like.

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Take virtual tours anywhere

Just select Virtual mode in the VoiceMap app to listen to tours at home – or anywhere else. You’ll see the option after you download the tour. You can also listen to the whole tour here on the website.

Buy for less on and sync

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Use VoiceMap offline

The VoiceMap app works entirely offline if there’s no data connection, so you don’t have to pay roaming fees. Just download the tour over WiFi before you get started.

Major Landmarks

  • Fisherman's Wharf

  • Monterey Harbor and Marina

  • Monterey State Historic Park

  • Portola Hotel

  • Stanton Center

Directions to Starting Point

Park in the Monterey Waterfront Parking Lot at Fisherman’s Wharf. The current rate is $1 for each ½ hour or $15 maximum per day. The entrance is at Washington Street and Del Monte Avenue in Monterey. There is a white fishing boat named the San Nicola out in front of the entrance to the parking lot. Enter the parking lot, pull a ticket and turn to your left. Park as close as possible to the edge of the parking lot, the two story white stucco building, and the Monterey Bay.

From your car walk to your left to the Monterey History & Art Association Salvador Dali Museum also known as the Stanton Center. The name Stanton Center will be on the front of the building. This building faces the Custom House Plaza and the Monterey Bay and is next to the parking area. There will be two anchors near the museum. One is adjacent to the Monterey Waterfront Parking Lot at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the second is near the front entrance of the museum. The walking tour starting point will be by the anchor nearest the front door of the Monterey History & Art Association Salvador Dali Museum located at 5 Custom House Plaza in Monterey. There is a picture of the starting location on your phone at the first stop of our tour.

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Places to stop along the way

Casa de Oro, Custom House Museum, First Brick House, Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey Harbor and Marina, Monterey State Historic Park, Pacific House Museum, Portola Hotel, Stanton Center, Dali17 Museum

Best time of day

After 10 am as that is when most of the stores open.

Museum hours are as follows:
Custom House open daily 10 am to 4 pm (free)
Brick House open daily 10 am to 4 pm (free)
Casa de Oro open Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 3 pm (free)
Pacific House open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 4 pm (free)
Dali 17 Museum at the Stanton Center open daily 10 am to 7 pm (fee)


Though much of this tour is on sidewalks, some is on the Monterey Recreational Trail which is shared with bicyclists. Please be mindful and carefully look before crossing over a path or entering a path for oncoming bicyclists while walking this trail.

On this tour there will be numerous photo opportunities. Note that using the video setting on your phone will shut down the VoiceMap app and you will need to reload your tour. Also when using VoiceMap with ear buds, it is not necessary that you have your phone out of your bag, but we have found that having your phone in front of you during these tours helps visitors stay on track. In map mode, there will be a blue dot on the map showing your location at all times. If you venture off the course you may use the blue dot to assist your getting back on the tour path. The blue dot will show your position in relation to the tour as well as upcoming stops that will trigger related audio content.
And finally, if you do venture into any of the shops or museums or decide to take time in the middle of your tour for a meal break, you may pause your tour and restart it from your last location when you are ready to resume the tour.


Pros: the GPS aspect was really cool and made it feel like someone was walking around with you.
Cons: a historical tour shouldn’t spend 30% of the time on a silly HBO series that was occasionally filmed in the area, or highlight specific businesses. Also, the historical aspects were kinda whitewashed, and focused on unexciting civic leadership.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 10 months ago

Thank you for taking our tour and taking the time to write a comment. We appreciate your input. Happy Adventures Lynn

Posted by Lynn , 10 months ago

Thank you for your kind words. So glad you enjoyed your walk along the Wharf!

Posted by Lynn , 12 months ago

Great walking tour! Easy to follow. Fascinating info!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 12 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour