Monterey County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county were given to San Benito County in 1874, while the area was originally populated by Ohlone, Salinan & Esselen tribes. The bay was named by Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602 in honor of the Conde de Monterrey (or Count of Monterrey), then the Viceroy of New Spain. To learn more on the history of the County, visit the web page of the Monterey County Historical Society here.
The District of North Monterey County stretches from Marina to Watsonville, and Salinas to the Coast. There are lots of places to explore, below are a just a few examples.
Meandering seven miles inland from the coast in the center of the picturesque Monterey Bay, the Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of San Francisco Bay. This biologically rich estuary provides habitat for a diversity of resident and migratory birds, plants, marine mammals and fish, and has been identified as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Birding Conservancy. Learn more about the Slough.
Moss Landing is a quaint, historic fishing village located in the middle of California's Monterey Bay coastline. A truly hidden treasure loaded with enjoyable activities. Browse the galleries and shops, spend the day whale watching or walking the beach. There are beautiful and historic accommodations and the variety of restaurants is wonderful. Surfing is popular and there are special events held annually that should not be missed.
Castroville is a tiny agricultural town with a big heart. Just a few miles inland from the Monterey Bay and surrounded by robust fields of artichokes sits Castroville, known as the "Artichoke Center of the World." Explore fresh produce and all the local attractions! Each May, Castroville hails the violet-thistled veggie with a festival that attracts foodies, farmers and folks who like to celebrate! The Artichoke festival includes cooking demonstrations, wine tasting, a car show, and lots of arts and crafts vendors.