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Tour de Monterey & Carmel

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Monterey Bay Area History

Monterey Bay has great geologic and biological significance, with an incredible abundance of sea life just off shore in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which borders 276 miles of California’s spectacular coastline. There is a huge, deep undersea trench which creates an environment rich in every kind of sea-life imaginable, from plankton to sea otters to dolphins and whales. Monterey is also home to the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the gateway to the spectacular Big Sur area, where 5000 foot mountains tower above the roaring Pacific Ocean.

Monterey Bay was the site of the first Europeans to visit the land that became California. When Mexico gained its independence, it was the provincial capital of Alto California. When the territory was ceded to the U.S., the new state held its constitutional convention there. Several waves of industrial scale whaling and fishing exploited the bounty of the huge undersea trench offshore creating several booms and busts. Author John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath) grew up in Salinas and spent much of his creative effort writing about the Monterey area in his books Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row. Today, the area is a mixture of nature and culture, of historical past and vibrant present.

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