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If you’re looking for the romantically gritty, working-class fishing village of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, you won’t find it here. ↓

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Even though Monterey was the sardine capital of the Western Hemisphere during World War II, overfishing (among other theories) forced most of the canneries to close in the early ’50s.

Resigned to trawling for tourist dollars instead, the city converted its low-slung sardine factories along Cannery Row into a rather tacky array of boutiques, knickknack stores, yogurt shops, and the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium (a must-visit).

As you distance yourself from The Row, however, you’ll soon see that Monterey also has its share of plusses that help even the score: dazzling seacoast vistas, stately Victorians, historic architecture, and a number of quality lodgings and restaurants.

More important, Monterey is only minutes away from Pacific Grove, Carmel, Pebble Beach, and Big Sur, which makes it a great place to set up base while exploring the innumerable attractions lining the Monterey coast.

So much to see and do

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Historical Walking Tour
Maritime Museum of Monterey
Fisherman’s Wharf
Monterey Jazz Festival
Kayaking Monterey Bay
Pacific Grove
Coastal Walk
Point Pinos Lighthouse
Monarch Grove Sanctuary
Pacific Grove Art Center
American Tin Cannery Factory Outlets


Map of Monterey