Monterey is a city located in Monterey County in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. The 2010 census recorded a population of 27,810. Monterey was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico. The city and surrounding area have attracted artists since the late 19th century and many celebrated painters and writers have lived there. Until the 1950s, there was an abundant fishery.