What are special events?

Special Events allow for short-term use of State Park land and resources for activities outside of typical public use. This allows for members of the public to organize weddings and receptions, cultural festivals, private gatherings, community events, parades, athletic activities(and more!) at sites within Monterey State Historic State Park.

It is our goal to assist event organizers in planning safe and successful events while still preserving the unique resources and features of State Parks. Our dedicated Special Event Coordinator is available to help you through the Special Event permitting process. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or would like more information about Special Events at Monterey State Historic Park! 

*Please be aware that in some cases, you may have to also contact federal, county, or city agencies in addition to the state for your event.  


Memory Garden

Located at 20 Custom House Plaza in Monterey, the Memory Garden is a wonderful venue for private and community functions such as weddings, receptions /pages/575/images/Memory Garden (Pacific House).JPGand banquets. The garden was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. in 1927.  It is enclosed by an eight-foot adobe wall and has three access gates, two of which are wheelchair accessible.  The Monterey State Historic Park office and the historic Pacific House Museum are part of the Memory Garden enclosure.  A 15-foot diameter fountain is the central feature (photo at right) and Southern Magnolia trees provide shade.  The venue includes a historic flower garden, an arbor, and a 5 x 16 foot barbecue that can be used for cooking.  

Capacity: Luncheons and Dinner Receptions (tables and chairs only): 300 guests; Wedding Ceremony and Receptions (tables, chairs, heaters, props): 150 guests
Use Periods: Daylight and evening hours year round, music until 9 p.m. Events are not permitted on holidays or holiday weekends.
Electrical: Yes, outlets and lighting
Restrooms: A single, accessible, unisex restroom is in the garden with additional restrooms located a short distance away
Parking: State Parks does not provide parking. There is a parking garage nearby.

A:For weekday luncheons or expedited ceremonies.
Only Monday-Thursday. 5-hour rental. 2-hour setup, 2-hour event, 1 hour cleanup.
B: For expedited ceremonies and receptions.
8-Hour rental. 2-hour setup, 3 ½ hour event, 1 ½ hour cleanup.
C: For ceremonies and receptions.
10-hour rental. 2-hour setup, 5 ½ hour event, 1 ½ hour cleanup.
D: For ceremonies and receptions that require longer cleanup and setup time, or for longer total event time. Required for all events that require on-site assembly of furniture or structures.
14 hour rental. 4-hour setup, 7 ½ hour event, 2 ½ hour cleanup.

Memory Garden Monday through Thursday Rate*
A: $1,500
B: $2,000
C: $2,500
D: $3,350

Memory Garden Friday Rate*
B: $2,500
C: $2,950
D: $3,950

Memory Garden Saturday and Sunday Rate*
B: $3,000
C: $3,600
D: $4,800

Please note: In addition to the above rates there is a $150 processing fee and a refundable $1000 security deposit.

*Bocce ball courts can be added for an additional $300.

Memory Garden FAQs


How long can events last? Monday-Thursday, we offer 5, 8, 10, and 14 hour timeframes. Friday-Sunday, we only offer 8, 10, and 14 hour timeframes. All events must end by 9:00 p.m. No Exceptions. 5, 8, and 10 hour timeframes must end cleanup by 11:00. p.m. 14 hour timeframes must end cleanup by 11:30 p.m.

Contact Person: The contact person must remain on site for the whole event. This includes setup and breakdown. For weddings, the contact person cannot be the bride or groom, or any immediate family. In addition, the contact person cannot be intoxicated and must be able to address issues if they arise.

Where can guests park? Parking is not provided by State Parks, but there are a few options for parking. Guests can park either in the Wharf Parking lot or in downtown’s East or West parking garages.Click here for more information. 

What is your alcohol policy? Alcohol is allowed, but it must be served by a certified server who checks identification and monitors alcohol. Alcohol service ends one hour before event ends, and last call will be made thirty minutes before alcohol service ends. State Parks reserves the right to terminate events if attendees become overly intoxicated

What is your catering policy? Caterers are chosen from our preferred catering list.* No self-catering is allowed.

Do you provide tables and chairs? No, we only supply the venue. Tables and chairs are rented through our preferred rental company list.*

What happens in the event of rain? We do not allow the Memory Garden to be tented, and we do not have an indoor venue. However, we do allow freestanding umbrellas. Please check with your rental company to make sure they allow their tables and chairs in the rain.

Are candles allowed? No open flames are allowed; however, you can have candles in a votive or with a shade.

*Please contact the Special Events Coordinator at 831-649-7118 or Monterey.Events@parks.ca.gov to receive a Memory Garden packet.

Stevenson Garden

*Please note that the Stevenson Garden and other smaller gardens listed below are only available for small, expedited weddings.*

This garden, located behind the historic Stevenson House at 530 Houston Street in Monterey, is enclosed by an adobe wall and has three gates, two of which are wheelchair accessible.  The garden includes pathways and benches as well as a small gathering space adjacent to the historic two-story adobe building which is named for the author Robert Louis Stevenson.  The building, which has seen many uses, was a boarding house when Stevenson stayed here for a few months in the autumn of 1879 while courting his future wife, Fanny Osbourne.

Capacity: 75 guests
Use Periods: Daylight hours year round
Electrical: Limited
Restroom: Bathroom available
Parking: State Parks does not provide parking.  There is limited street parking nearby and a parking garage two blocks away.

Stevenson Garden rate:
Four (4) hours(Maximum): $500

Please note: In addition to the above rates there is a $150 processing fee and a refundable $500 deposit.

Small Gardens

*Small gardens are only avialable for small, expedited weddings.*

First Theatre GardenLocated at the corner of Pacific and Scott streets 
Casa Soberanes Garden – Located at the corner of Pacific and Del Monte
Larkin Garden – Located at 510 Calle Principal at the intersection with Jefferson 
Casa del Oro Garden – Located at the corner of Pacific and Scott streets across from First Theatre (this garden is not enclosed)

Except as noted above, these gardens are enclosed and located behind the historic adobes.

Capacity: 50 people
Use periods: Daylight hours year round
Electrical: Some electrical outlets
Restrooms: Available only at Casa del Oro
Parking: State Parks does not provide parking
Wheelchair accessible: Casa del Oro and Larkin

Small Garden rate:
Same as Stevenson Garden (see above).

Casa Del Oro Garden
Casa del Oro Garden
First Theatre Garden
First Theater Garden
Casa Soberanes Garden
Casa Soberanes Garden
Larkin Garden
Larkin House Garden

Bocce Courts

The Bocce Courts are available year-round for public use and located in the Upper Custom House Plaza. Members of the public may freely use the bocce court with their own equipment or may borrow a set of bocce balls from the Pacific House Museum, Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm.


The Bocce Court can also be rented for private use. It may be rented on its own, or may be rented as an add-on to a Memory Garden or Custom House Plaza event. 

Bocce Court Rental Fee: $50 non refundable processing fee, $250 refundable security deposit, $300 rental fee/day, cost of staff time (variable per event- ask for details) 
As an add-on to a Memory Garden Event: +$300 rental fee
As an add-on to a Custom House Plaza Event: +$325 rental fee

Custom House Plaza

The Custom House Plaza, overlooking Monterey Bay and nestled between historic structures and the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, consists of a large red-bricked plaza and planted lawn space. The Custom House Plaza can accommodate large receptions as well as public cultural festivals and family-friendly events. Maximum capacity will be determined based on the setup and activity of the proposed event, in compliance with Federal, State, County, and City regulations. 

New Custom House Plaza events must submit applications at least 6 months prior to their event date. Contact us to find out more!

Use Periods: Daylight and evening hours, year round, until 9 p.m. For events continuing after dark, sufficient lighting must be provided by the event organizer. Events are not permitted on holidays or holiday weekends. 
Electrical: Secure electrical boxes are available at regular intervals along the plaza walls.
Restrooms: Public restrooms are located a short distance away in the Casa del Oro garden. Note that event organizers must provide chemical restrooms for public plaza events. 
Parking: State Parks does not provide parking. There is a parking garage nearby. *The Events Coordinator can provide a map of nearby parking options. 

Old Whaling Station

We are currently not booking The Old Whaling Station indefinitely. Please check back for updates. 


Reservations may be made up to two years in advance of the event date. Once requested, a date will be tentatively held for 14 calendar days, and a non-refundable processing fee and refundable security deposit, as well as a signed terms and conditions and cancellation policy, will be due within 14 days in order to officially hold the date.
If the processing fee and security deposit are not received within 14 days, the event will be removed from the calendar.  Once the processing fee is paid, State Parks will request additional materials in order to complete the special event permit.  The special event will not be officially approved until all necessary paperwork has been received and a special event permit has been signed by the Sector Superintendent. 

Proof of liability insurance and compliance with California State Parks' terms and conditions is required for all events.

Contact Us
To easily request venue information packets and check the availability of dates, you can fill out and submit an inquiry here
For more information, or to request a special event application, contact our Special Events Coordinator at: 
Email: monterey.events@parks.ca.gov 
Special Events Office: (831) 649-7118
Special Events Cell: (831) 901-6372