Old School

Enjoying the outdoors need not require breaking a sweat or getting wet, or even being in nature – sometimes it can be a more intellectual exercise. That is certainly the case in downtown Monterey and nearby Lower Presidio Historic Park and Cannery Row, where visitors and locals alike can check out some of the most historic sites in the entire West Coast on a virtual, cellphone tour which regales users with the historical significance of each location. Whether it’s Colton Hall, where the California Constitution was created and adopted in 1849; or at the Old Monterey Jail, from which no inmate ever escaped; or over in Lower Presidio Park, where there are numerous monuments, including one for privateer Hippolyte Bouchard, who raided Monterey in 1818; or the ruins of El Castillo, a Spanish fort built in 1794 – there are plenty of sites to explore in a day or more. Those wanting to take a tour – and one can do it from a couch, if so inclined – just need to dial the number and follow the prompts: each site, or piece of history within a site, has its own code. And best of all, it’s free. [DS]

Tours are available anytime, with locations in and around Monterey State Historic Park, 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. Call (831) 718-9123 and follow the prompts; a handy brochure with all the site codes can be found at files.monterey.org/Museums/Explore-Monterey-Cell-Phone-Toursv5.pdf

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