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MONTEREY

Few places on earth can live up to their own mythology, but Monterey is a notable exception. No matter what you've heard or seen in feature films, nothing can prepare you for the jaw-dropping beauty along Monterey's fabled coast and village-like pedestrian thoroughfares. John Steinbeck was a frequent visitor, and drew considerable inspiration from area landmarks including Cannery Row, which he helped to immortalize in his novel of the same name. Today, restaurants, boutiques and attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium have helped make Monterey a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.

CANNERY ROW

In January 1958, the City of Monterey officially re-named Ocean View Avenue "Cannery Row" in honor of John Steinbeck and his novel that described a colorful past set amid the cannery culture of the time. Now, Cannery Row's buildings are updated, shinier versions of turn-of-the-century canneries. They house an eclectic blend of specialty shops, local artists' galleries, and more than 25 restaurants and world-class attractions that make Cannery Row a top tourist destination. Visit the Cannery Row website for more information.

Cannery Row Attractions

The main attraction on Cannery Row, and a favorite for visitors to the Central Coast, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium . Constantly surprising with new exhibits and programs, and with a steadfast dedication to marine education and conservation, the aquarium is consistently ranked among the top attractions in the world. Visit the new "Secret Lives of Seahorses" and recently updated children's "Splash Zone" exhibits while you're at Cannery Row.

Cannery Row Restaurants

Cannery Row's dining draws crowds with its complete spectrum of taste offerings. Enjoy area seafood favorites, legendary fine dining, and lively nightlife at Cannery Row restaurants. You can have a full Monterey County wine tasting tour in three blocks of Cannery Row at the tasting rooms for Pierce Ranch Vineyards and A Taste of Monterey Wine Visitors Center , which serves a broad range of Monterey County wines along with a breathtaking view of Monterey Bay.

Cannery Row Shopping

You won't want to go home empty handed after your visit from Cannery Row. Stop in at one of the lovely shops along the way for a special keepsake or souvenir. How about taking home a piece of art or designer jewelry from Z Folio Gallery or a vintage treasure from the Cannery Row Antique Mall?

Cannery Row Activities

It's easy to shed your car and go "green and marine" on Cannery Row. Take in the wonders of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by scuba diving with the starfish, kayaking with the sea otters and Adventures by the Sea or bike riding from beach to beach along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail on a bicycle rented from Bay Bikes.

OLD FISHERMAN'S WHARF

Old Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Monterey should be on the "must-do" list of every visitor to the area. This is a great place to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey.

Because neighboring Wharf 2 is the heart of the area's thriving fishing industry, you can usually watch the working trawlers unloading the catch of the day — just look for all of the seagulls hoping for a handout to know who's had a successful day on the Bay!

Stroll down the wharf with a cup of hot clam chowder, or stop by one of several restaurants featuring fresh Monterey Bay seafood. You can photograph sea lions and otters frolicking in the calm inner harbor waters, or if you're feeling more adventurous, take to the waters with a glass bottom boat tour, deep-sea fishing trip or whale watching tour.

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM

1 /5 886 Cannery Row , Monterey, CA 93940
Phone (831) 648-4800
Fax (831) 648-7960

Since its opening in 1984 on historic Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission has been to inspire conservation of the oceans. Recently named the #1 Aquarium in the World by the 2014 TripAdvisors Travelers Choice Award, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is known for its innovative exhibits and unsurpassed visitor experience.

With more than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species in nearly 200 exhibits filling 34 major galleries it is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world's richest marine regions. Also named the #1 family-friendly aquarium by Parents Magazine, the aquarium has grown to become one of the leading ocean conservation organizations in the world. Travelers can find more information about the aquarium's exhibits and the local marine environment, plus live web cams, a special events calendar, special discounts, behind-the-scenes tours and more at www.montereybayaquarium.org.

HISTORIC MONTEREY

There aren't too many places with the number of historic sites that are found in Monterey. The early California adobes downtown and the historic cannery buildings on the oceanfront of Cannery Row combine with the vibrant and colorful stories of immigrants, artists, writers and political figures to create a rich Californian tapestry.

A short film shown at the Museum of Monterey provides a good introduction to the history of the area.

Monterey Adobes

The Adobes of Monterey are nestled in quiet gardens, almost invisible at times, save for the plaques identifying them. The only way to see them properly is on foot. These charming relics date from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. The Monterey History and Art Association has lovingly restored these dwellings from Monterey's Mexican past: some have the original furnishings or furniture of the period, and many have restored gardens. Various events lend the adobes a festive flair, especially the annual Christmas in the Adobes, a popular December tradition when luminarias light the paths and the fragrance of Mexican hot chocolate fills the air.

The Path of History

The Path of History is one of the great bargains on the Peninsula. This self-guided, two-mile tour of Old Monterey — marked by yellow tiles set in the sidewalk — explores adobes, gardens and sites of interest. Maps are available for individuals and groups.

Free guided tours are held on most days, leading visitors to such sites as the Cooper Molera House and Garden, the Custom House, Larkin House, Casa Soberanes and more. You can also visit the interiors of some of the adobes and other historic buildings. See the latest information on these free guided tours on the California State Parks website , or stop by the Pacific House Museum on Custom House Plaza for a current schedule of guided and home tour hours.

Monterey History & Maritime Museum

Monterey's maritime past comes alive at the Museum of Monterey situated near Fisherman's Wharf in the Custom House Plaza, Monterey State Historic Park. This museum showcases Monterey's seafaring heritage, explaining the role Monterey's harbor played in early California history and as a home to the US Navy.

Cannery Row

Cannery Row 's early history was established, as its name implies, as a turn-of-the-20th century fishing harbor. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, sardines were caught in Monterey Bay and packaged by canneries along the waterfront of Monterey. Demand for sardines increased during World War I, and the industry experienced a boom.

During World War II, Monterey was called the "Sardine Capitol of the World," but within five years the fish were gone and the industry died. It was during this period that Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row , telling the story of a derelict neighborhood through the eyes of a mischievous band of vagrants. Cannery Row's heritage is well-preserved on modern-day Cannery Row, but the once-depressed street has been transformed into a neighborhood of shops, restaurants and oceanside hotels.

Monterey Museum of Art

The Monterey Museum of Art offers permanent and rotating exhibits featuring early Californian art and contemporary and traditional American artists. Visit both locations in Monterey at 559 Pacific Street or in the historic La Mirada adobe near Lake El Estero.

 

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