Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean, along the central coast of California. The bay is south of San Francisco, between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey.
The Monterey Bay Area, or sometimes The Central Coast, are local colloquialisms sometimes used to describe the whole of the coastal communities of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.
The first European to discover Monterey Bay was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo on November 16, 1542 while sailing northward along the coast on a Spanish naval expedition. He originally named the bay Bahía de los Pinos, probably because of the forest of pine trees first encountered while rounding the peninsula at the southern end of the bay.
On December 10, 1595, Sebastián Rodríguez Cermeño crossed the bay and bestowed the name Bahía de San Pedro in honor of Saint Peter Martyr.
The present name for the bay was documented in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno, who had been tasked by the Spanish government to complete a detailed chart of the coast. He anchored in what is now the Monterey Harbor on December 16, and named it Puerto de Monterey, in honor of the Conde de Monterrey, then viceroy of New Spain. Monterrey is an alternate spelling of Monterrei, a municipality in the Galicia region of Spain from which the viceroy and his father (the Fourth Count of Monterrei) were from.
All other place names in the vicinity containing Monterey were so named because of their proximity to the bay. This includes the Presidio of Monterey, City of Monterey, County of Monterey and Monterey Canyon.
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