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Cannery Row

Monterey, CA
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Cannery Row, Monterey California

Description

Cannery Row is a colorful, fun place to walk around. There are plenty of restaurants and tourist shops, and pots brimming with flowers. You can stand by the railing and look out over the wide bay. Often there's live music playing in the plaza, though when we were there it was slightly cheesy and elevatorish. Below the plaza is a pretty yellow-sanded beach called McAbee Beach where kids can wade and play in the sand.
Made famous by John Steinbeck's novel, this area used to be filled with filth, sardine canneries, rough sailors, and prostitutes. But the sardines disappeared in 1948 due to overfishing. When John Steinbeck returned in the 1960s he wrote, "The beaches are clean where they once festered with fish guts and flies. The canneries that once put up a sickening stench are gone, their places filled with restaurants, antique shops, and the like. They fish for tourists now, not pilchards, and that species they are not likely to wipe out."
At night, head inland three blocks to Lighthouse Rd, and check out Carbone's, a dive bar filled with signs from the old days of Monterey when the streets were filled with sailors and street girls. Bikers like to stop at this bar, as do military guys from the Naval Postgraduate School nearby. It's a strange mix of people, a real dive bar. There's a fire pit in the back. Live bands play on the stage inside on Friday nights and there's usually someone on the dance floor. Try to come when the band Freesound are playing- they are out of this world- an older guy commented to me, "I haven't heard a guitar solo like that since when Jimi Hendrix was alive," and I agree!
At Cannery Row, you can visit Monterey Bay Aquarium- if you're wondering whether it's worth the money, it is! Monterey Aquarium is more than just an aquarium- it's another world beneath the sea, with the most amazing exhibits. The jellyfish exhibit will put you in awe of nature's beauty and sense of humor. From the aquarium you can walk to Lovers Point Park- this is such an intensely beautiful walk, and you can see seals in a little cove on your way. You can walk the bike path southeast to Fisherman's Wharf, a touristy, fun spot with water every shade of green and blue. Beside Fisherman's Wharf is Del Monte Beach, which can be bright and sunny or wild and wintery- there's no way to predict which one. For a colorful playground you'll never forget, check out famous Dennis the Menace Park.

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Photo Gallery

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Bikes parked along the railing above McAbee Beach.
Bikes parked along the railing above McAbee Beach.
An old cannery, now taken over by tourist shops, at Cannery Row.
An old cannery, now taken over by tourist shops, at Cannery Row.
View of Monterey Bay and kayakers from the balcony at Louie Linguine's Restaurant at Cannery Row.
View of Monterey Bay and kayakers from the balcony at Louie Linguine's Restaurant at Cannery Row.
McAbee Beach and its colorful waters, below Cannery Row.
McAbee Beach and its colorful waters, below Cannery Row.
Tourists enjoy little McAbee Beach and its views of the Monterey Bay.
Tourists enjoy little McAbee Beach and its views of the Monterey Bay.
Flower box on Cannery Row.
Flower box on Cannery Row.

Directions

There are plenty of signs to Monterey and then to Cannery Row. But here are directions all the way from the 101 northbound. Exit at Monterey Peninsula. Turn right on Sanborn. Follow it for 2 miles and then turn left on Main. Follow Hwy 68 for about 15 miles and exit at Monterey. Turn right on Fremont, right on Abrego, right on Washington, left on Lighthouse, right on Drake, turn left on Foam Street and park.
There are several places you can park, along Foam Street, two blocks back parallel to Cannery Row. A parking lot is on David Avenue between Wave and Foam Street. There is also a parking lot on Wave Street (one block back, parallel to Cannery Row), between Hoffman and Prescott. Parking is pricey, $7-15/day depending on weekday or weekend.
Carbone's Bar, 214 Lighthouse Ave, near Reeside Avenue, call (831) 643-9169. There's plenty of free parking along Lighthouse Ave.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


Sandy
12/27/2016 04:51
I love this place!

Rachel
10/17/2015 04:19
We're missing fall in Monterey- love that place!

Heidi
08/20/2010 16:30
beautiful bike shot! although all your photos are divine.. :)

Mark
12/05/2009 09:59
Very good site. Thanks!

Last Updated Fri, 28 Mar 2014 23:45:24 GMT