Location: The buildings are throughout central Monterey, with many part of the Monterey State Historic Park, headquartered at 20 Custom House Plaza. Maps are available there and at many of the stops as wells as major hotels, the Monterey Public Library and other sites. A good starting point is Pacific House Museum, the park's interpretive center.

Hours: Many of the buildings are open to the public and offer guided tours. Hours vary. More information on the sites and tours is available from the state parks office at 649-7118 or www.parks.ca.gov.

Think Monterey and you think Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the picturesque waterfront. But before all that was the old - really old -Monterey, the spot that figures so significantly into the Golden State's history that it's been called the place "where California was born."

Proof of that paternity can be found all over town - and conveniently the trail is marked. "The Path of History," denoted around Old Monterey with round, golden markers, takes visitors to government buildings, homes and public gathering spots that, taken together, connect the historic dots.


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Colton Hall, where the California Constitution was hammered out in 1849, is among the stops. Others include: Custom House, the oldest government building in California and first state historical landmark, where the Mexican government collected duties on the shipping trade; Royal Presidio Chapel (San Carlos Cathedral), the oldest continuously functioning church in California; the Pacific House, used at times for Army storage space, a hotel, courthouse, tavern and offices; California's First Theatre, where plays were staged beginning in 1850; the Whaling Station, former headquarters of the Old Monterey Whaling Co.; Cooper Molera Adobe and numerous other adobes that have been restored by the Monterey History and Art Association, California Department of Parks and Recreation, city of Monterey and countless volunteers.