The Monterey Peninsula is famous the world over for its spectacular natural beauty and exceptional golf, but there's so much more to entertain your group: Cannery Row, an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants, clubs, galleries and a Theatre; the world-renown Monterey Bay Aquarium; Fisherman's Wharf; History tours; Monterey Wine Country; Carmel by-the-Sea; Whale watching; Cuisine from continental to California and all kinds of aquatic activities.
The Monterey area offers more than 250 properties and 10,000 guest rooms. Accommodations range from full-service hotels and resorts to Bed & Breakfast Inns. The Monterey Meeting Connection, a formal association of the Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, Monterey Marriott and the Monterey Conference Center, offers over 700 rooms, so large groups can meet under one roof.
Monterey is easily accessible by air. The Monterey Regional Airport is located just 10 minutes from downtown, hotels and the Conference Center. There are four major airlines that provide over 50 arrival and departures per day.
Although downtown, Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row are steps from the Conference Center, rental cars, limousines and taxis are readily available. An extensive local transit system also serves the entire Peninsula. The Waterfront Area Visitor Express (WAVE) is a free seasonal (Memorial Day through Labor day) shuttle service serving the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other tourist destinations, with a stop directly in front of the Conference Center. There are a number of private ground operators available to provide buses for hotel shuttles, tours and excursions.
November through February is a great time to enjoy first-class accommodations at reduced winter rates.
Monterey enjoys an average temperature of 66 F (19 C).
Monterey is world-renown for golf, but there's more to the Peninsula than the pursuit of par. Monterey is one of California's most naturally beautiful and historically rich cities.
The Conference Center is adjacent to the original Presidio of Monterey, founded in 1776. And it's a short walk to historic Colton Hall, site of the signing of California's first constitution. Also within a five minute walk, you can enjoy all Monterey attractions along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, including Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, beaches, parks, historic sites and Downtown Monterey. Several local businesses offer bicycle, kayak, surfboard, paddle board, in-line skate, surrey (canopied quadricycles capable of seating up to six people) and Segway rentals along the path. Every mile offers scenic vistas and wildlife viewing, including harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, birds and sometimes even whales!
Nearby, you can enjoy Carmel with its coastal castles, storybook cottages, one-of-a-kind shops and white sand beach; Victorian Pacific Grove; the coves and crashing waves of Point Lobos State Park; Steinbeck Country and the National Steinbeck Center; the magnificent Big Sur coastline and Monterey Wine Country.
The Monterey Conference Center reflects the City of Monterey’s continued tradition of congenial hospitality, and has provided its citizens elegant facilities for meetings and cultural activities. The Center was constructed by the City of Monterey under contract to the Monterey Urban Renewal Agency for the purpose of giving impetus to the revitalization of downtown Monterey, providing facilities to meet the needs of medium size conferences, and to advance the recreational and cultural opportunities of the Community.
The $8,000,000 Center was financed by accumulated room tax funds, a $5,000,000 bond issue and $1,000,000 in general revenue sharing funds. The facility was designed by Architects: Von Bourg, Nakamura, Karney and Katsura, Architects of Oakland. Twelve separate prime contracts were awarded to assure quality control over the facility systems, fixtures, and furnishings. Carl W. Olson & Sons, Menlo Park, was the primary construction contractor.
Because of the Conference Center's proximity to the coast, and because it is located in a National Historic Landmark area, the construction plans were approved by the State and Regional Coastal Conservation Commissions, the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the State Historic Preservation Officer. Groundbreaking was held on January 20, 1975, and festive events opened the facility on April 30, 1977.
In order to minimize the size of the project, the adjacent Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay (formally known as the Doubletree Hotel), which was planned as a companion piece to revitalize downtown, shares a major ballroom under contract with the City; and portions of the Hotel are built on air rights above parts of the Conference Center. Operating costs of the Center are paid totally from revenues generated and hotel room tax revenue the City receives.