The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet (8 m) above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of Alta California, under both Spain and Mexico, from 1777 to 1846. The city is also noted for its rich history of resident artists beginning in the late 19th century and its historically famed fishery.
Monterey is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.
In prehistoric times the Rumsen Ohlone tribe, one of seven linguistically distinct Ohlone groups in California, inhabited the area known now as Monterey. They lived a subsistence life of hunting, fishing and gathering in what has been deduced as a biologically rich Monterey Peninsula. The most prominent archaeological resources extant there were shell middens, the garbage dumps of these early inhabitants. We can infer from midden contents that mussels and abalone were consumed by the Rumsen Ohlone as their chief marine staples. The principal archaeological sites that have been mapped are located between the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Naval Postgraduate School, within about 2000 feet (610 m) of the coastline.