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  • Address: Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, USA
Cannery Row is a proudly tourist-friendly strip running along the atmospheric Monterey waterfront. Once home to a series of bustling commercial sardine canneries, the famous waterfront street changed its name of Ocean View Avenue to its longtime nickname, Cannery Row, in 1958 to honor the 1945 John Steinbeck novel of the same name.
 
The Basics
Today’s Cannery Row is very different from that of the “tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron…” described in Steinbeck’s novel. There has not been an active sardine industry here since 1973, and the street is now filled with boutiques, chain stores, hotels, and restaurants.
 
The Monterey waterfront is a popular place for visitors and locals to stroll, admire ocean views, snack on salt-water taffy, and access the coastal beaches. The area offshore is preserved as Monterey County’s Edward F. Ricketts State Marine Conservation Area, home to a large population of California sea lions. Signposts in the area display quotes from Steinbeck and insights into the history of the area, which visitors can delve into more deeply on a walking tour. If you're into sport fishing, you can launch expeditions from McAbee Beach and San Carlos Beach, which bookend the Cannery Row area. Scuba diving in the murky, frigid Pacific is made worth it by the rich biodiversity here, and San Carlos Beach is the most popular spot to launch.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Traffic and parking in the area can be very congested, especially in summer, so budget some extra time.
  • A popular and scenic way to reach Cannery Row is via 17-Mile Drive from Pacific Grove, which takes longer but skirts the scenic Pacific Coast.
 
How to Get There
If traveling by car on Highway 1, look for signs for Monterey Bay Aquarium, then park at one of the nearby parking garages or on the surrounding streets. During summer, visitors can park in downtown Monterey and hop on the free WAVE shuttle bus (which is clearly signposted) to reach the town’s attractions.
 
When to Get There
April and May bring mild temperatures without the heavy crowds of summer vacationers. The weather in central California is almost always mild, but rarely hot enough to lay out on a local beach in your bathing suit. The Central Coast is often host to various festivals, especially of the food-and-wine variety, so consider timing your trip with one of these.
 
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
Housed in the former Hovden Cannery, this blockbuster attraction draws visitors from all over the world. The organization is known for its focus on the habitats of Monterey Bay, and is one of the world’s only institutions to host a living kelp forest. Popular residents include the California moray eel, the giant Pacific octopus, the playful sea otters, and the beautiful jellyfish.

Tours & Tickets

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Monterey Bay and Carmel-by-the-Sea Day Tour from San Francisco, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey Bay and Carmel-by-the-Sea Day Tour from San Francisco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Enjoy two of the most beautiful California coastal cities on this amazing day trip. Travel by bus down the rugged Cali coast, also known as Pacific Coast ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
3-Hour Monterey, Cannery Row and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour, Monterey & Carmel, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

3-Hour Monterey, Cannery Row and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Explore Monterey Bay and the Central Coast in a GPS-guided Sea Car, cruising through town or along the Pacific on this 3-hour self-drive tour. Hop into your ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $173.96
Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV, San Francisco, Self-guided ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Ride down Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey & Carmel in a comfortable private SUV. See California with a Bay Area ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $895.00
Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium, San Francisco, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

This tour will start traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1. We will set foot on Monterey’s famous Cannery Row for a chance ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour, Monterey & Carmel, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Explore Monterey Bay and the Central Coast in a GPS-guided Sea Car, cruising through town or along the Pacific on a 1-hour tour. Hop into your own 2-seater ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $65.25
2-Hour Monterey and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour, Monterey & Carmel, Self-guided Tours & Rentals
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

2-Hour Monterey and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour

Fantastic ocean vistas at every turn. This is one of the best coast drives anywhere! Highlights include Monterey historical buildings, Fisherman's Wharf harbor ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $119.60
Monterey Bay Coastal Day Trip from San Francisco with Driver and Transportation, San Francisco, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey Bay Coastal Day Trip from San Francisco with Driver and Transportation

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Review

Take advantage of a unique VIP Monterey Bay tour from San Francisco. Get your own executive chauffeur who will arrive at your front door in a luxury sedan or ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $399.00
Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea Private Tour from San Francisco, San Francisco, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea Private Tour from San Francisco

Be whisked away by limousine along one of the most scenic roads in California during this full-day tour from the San Francisco Bay Area. Cruise along the ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $1,100.00

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