Weddings and Receptions
Special Events at Monterey State Historic Park
In an effort to protect public health and safety as the state responds to COVID-19 and following guidelines under the direction of the Governor of California, State Parks will be halting the acceptance of any special event applications for a minimum of 30 days effective immediately. Please continue to check this website for updates. Thank you.
(Last updated on: 03/12/2020)
Located at 20 Custom House Plaza in Monterey, the Memory Garden is a wonderful venue for private and community functions such as weddings, receptions and 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: 500 guest maximum; 250 with tables, chairs, heaters and props
Use Periods: Daylight and evening hours year round, music until 9 p.m.
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.
Memory Garden Saturday, Sunday & holiday rate*
Eight (8) hours: $3,000
Ten (10) hours: $3,600
Memory Garden Friday rate*
Eight (8) hours: $2,500
Ten (10) hours: $2,950
Memory Garden Monday through Thursday rate*
Five (5) hours: $1,500
Eight (8) hours: $2,000
Ten (10) hours: $2,500
Please note: In addition to the above rates there is a $150 processing fee and a refundable $1000 deposit.
*Bocce Ball Courts can be added for an additional $300.
Memory Garden FAQs
What are the use periods? The Memory Garden is available to use during the hours of 8am to 9pm year round. Events must be cleaned up no later than 10pm.
How long can events last? Monday-Thursday, we offer 5, 8 or 10 hour timeframes. Friday-Sunday, we only offer 8 or 10 hour timeframes. All events must end by 9pm, with cleanup done by 10pm. NO EXCEPTIONS.
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 on the following link for more information: https://monterey.org/Services/Parking/Public-Garages-and-Lots.
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.
*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
Restroom: A single, unisex restroom is located in the garden
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 are only avialable for small, expedited weddings.*
First Theatre Garden – Located 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 and First Theatre
Parking: State Parks does not provide parking
Wheelchair accessible: Casa del Oro and Larkin
Small Garden rate:
Same as Stevenson Garden (see above).
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 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 requested date is not reserved until all 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.
For more information, or to request a special event application, please contact the Special Events office at (831) 649-7118 or via e-mail: email@example.com