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It was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California. The city had California's first theater, public building, public library, publicly funded school, printing press, and newspaper.The city and surrounding area have attracted artists since the late 19th century and many celebrated painters and writers have lived there. Among Monterey's notable present-day attractions are the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.The land party was met at Monterey by Junípero Serra who traveled by sea.Portolá erected the Presidio of Monterey to defend the port and, on June 3, 1770, Serra founded the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo inside the presidio enclosure.Portolá returned to Mexico, replaced in Monterey by Captain Pedro Fages, who had been third in command on the exploratory expeditions.Fages became the second governor of Alta California, serving from 1770 to 1774.On the return journey, they camped near one of Monterey's lagoons on November 27, still not convinced they had found the place Vizcaino had described.
Today it houses a small museum, while adjacent buildings serve as the seat of local government, and the Monterey post office (opened in 1849).
The fort resisted ineffectively, and after an hour of combat the Argentine flag flew over it.