Historic Monterey – Photos for the Monthly Photo Challenge “The Changing Seasons”

I’m participating in a monthly photo challenge called “The Changing Seasons” to practice my photography.  My first entry were photos from author John Steinbeck’s hometown, of Oldtown Salinas.

This month, I’m focusing on the historic buildings and gardens in the “old” downtown area of Monterey, as I can see a more distinct change in seasons with the lovely (and secret) gardens in old Monterey.  These photographs were taken earlier this week.

Memory Garden Wisteria

Monterey is the most well-known city in Monterey County, here in the Central Coast of California.  Right now, there are not many tourist, but in another month or two, there will be a lot of visitors converging in this area.

Many people have heard of Monterey, perhaps because of the annual Monterey Jazz Festival, or the world-renowned Monterey Aquarium, and tourist destinations like Cannery Row (immortalized in John Steinbeck novels), and Fisherman’s Wharf.  The spectacular “Big Sur” coast, the Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay Golf Courses are also huge tourist draws for the county.

The Cannery Row area is in a newer part of town, called “New Monterey” and where most tourist visit, and because it leads to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Old Monterey Buildings Details 6Less visited is the older, downtown part of Monterey, which is actually very interesting with many historic buildings, all within easy walking distance of one another.Bouganvilleas

There are homes in the area that are National and California Historical Landmarks, and buildings that combine Spanish Colonial building methods with New England architectural features.

There are also Monterey Colonial style of architecture, which features two stories, porches, a hip roof, and adobe walls.  Some of the buildings are occupied as offices by the city (including one by the City Attorney).

Here are a few examples of the buildings and homes in the area…

Building details…

There are espaliered and pollarded trees in the city gardens and streets, which I photographed so I can see them with leaves and in bloom for the next visit…

Espalier example Historic Monterey Gardens 1


And finally, my favorite part, the gardens, with many plants in bloom, a feast for the eyes…


Eventually, I will learn more technical aspects of photography…for now though, I am just pointing and shooting, and enjoying the process.  It is also fun to play tourist in one’s “backyard” through this photo challenge.

To see entries for this challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman, or to participate, click here.

18 thoughts on “Historic Monterey – Photos for the Monthly Photo Challenge “The Changing Seasons”

    • It was in the cactus garden area — if that is the one you mean. Next time I visit I will look more closely at the source and end 🙂

      By the way, had no idea that you can make a comment on a specific photo as you did here for this post (on the lines converging), It is so helpful and I really appreciate that, Paula.

  1. I took my camera to some of the same sites, but you went during a much better time of the year. Those purple flowers weren’t there in that courtyard. I missed all of those flowers! They must have been dormant when I went…

    Terrific photos as always!

    • I think this is the best time to visit the gardens, Jane. It was beautiful and I had so much fun. And notice anything else… hardly anyone there! No tourist right now…I think I ran into 2 or 3 other people, so I could spend peaceful time enjoying the plants and clicking away.

      The purple flowers on the vine are called Wisteria, and they have a lovely scent. If you are in town and can visit, there are a few wisteria vines in that area. They have done a great job with maintaining the gardens, It is really gorgeous.

      I meant to go to the Larkin House garden, but it was closed by the time I arrived (btw, I posted some photos from there a couple of years ago, by the well — have you been there? There is a photo of your other fan in that post here, http://lolako.com/weekly-wordpress-challenge-resolved-to-capture-the-details/ )

      • No one was there when I went in January: dormant for people and plants! I’m not sure if I’ve been to the Larkin House garden…

        OMG…your sister is beautiful. Her husband is beautiful. They are beautiful. Why did you show me this picture!!!!!

        • Haha…see…there you go making me laugh again!

          So, yes, you must visit the Larkin House garden, it was really neat too, and those photos from my phone were from December (and I think I am succeeding in capturing the details now 🙂 )

    • Definitely will be a lot more burst of colors (and people) in the next few months, and the fruit trees should be interesting to see over the season.

      Thanks for coming up with this challenge, it is great whether one is an expert like you, or newbies in a quest to learn how to take better photographs.

  2. Ah, thank you for my winter California fix. I was lucky enough to visit CA during Feb/Mar for a few years, but not recently, and I enjoyed the sunshine and the flowers! I would have loved to have wandered around this part of Monterey as I adore old buildings and gardens. In fact I’m rather obsessed with gardens 😀 although it does look rather odd to see daffodils flowering along with wisteria AND strelitzia!
    Jude xx (visiting the seasonal changes challenge)

  3. Hey Jude 🙂 I appreciate the visit and your comments, otherwise, I would never have known that the flower I know as “Bird fo Paradise” is a “strelitzia”…and now I know that these plants are native to South Africa.

    Strelitzia can be seen in many places in my homeland, the Philippines. And all this time I thought they were native to Southeast Asia because the leaves are similar to banana plants. How interesting to learn the name and origin!

    Now if only you can tell me the other orange flower, and that puffball of yellow…

    Glad to give you a little bit of winter in California, as well. If you make it back here, I hope you will visit the Central California coast. I can truly say, it is my favorite place in all of California, for so many reasons.

    • Thank you Nicole. Seeing your stunning photos from all aspects of your travel and work inspires me so much, and next time I am in the Philippines my eyes will be focused on capturing so much more! This is good training 🙂

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