Made famous by John Steinbeck's 1945 novel Cannery Row, this was a loud industrial street mainly in the business of canning sardines. The commercial fishing activities ended in the early 20th century, and today Cannery Row is known as the hot spot with over thirty restaurants, clubs and pubs, all within walking distance. Hundreds of shops line the street as well art galleries, and the wonderful Aquarium is at the west end. Some of the buildings you see in the area were used in Steinbeck’s novel. If you are interested in the history of the area, there are various signs around Cannery row that you can stop and read. Shopping is not high on my list of things to do, but we did spend a little time walking around the area, stopping in a few of the shops. We also ate a couple of good meals here. My favorite thing, however, was the Aquarium. The photo was taken by my husband.
Landmarks at Cannery Row:
1 - American Tin Cannery Outlets
2 - Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
3 - 700 Cannery Row
4 - 711 Cannery Row
5 - Steinbeck Plaza One
6 - Steinbeck Plaza Two
7 - Bear Flag Building
8 - Spindrift Inn
9 - El Torito Mexican Restaurant
10 - The Chart House
11 - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
12 - Monterey Bay Inn
13 - Victorian Inn
14 - Otter Inn
15 - Edgewater/Warehouse
16 - Sardine Factory
Attractions on or near Cannery Row
Adventures by the Sea
Aquatic Fitness Swim & Snorkel
Beach Bear Company
Evolution Integrative Wellness Coaching
Oceans 18 Miniature Golf
Monterey Bay Aquarium
There is no shortage of lodging, dining, entertainment, events, indoor and outdoor & water activities.
Originally settled by Chinese immigrants in the 1850s, the 1900s brought the factories and canning industry to the area. The main fish here was sardines...massive overfishing during the Great Depression and World War II depleted the sardine population and ended the canning industry.
In 1945 local author John Steinbeck wrote the novel Cannery Row, describing the rough-and-tumble nature of Cannery Row at the time...oh how things have changed. The 50s and 60s brought an influx of restaurants then the aquarium and luxury hotels opened in the 80s bringing floods of tourists.
Today Cannery Row is still known for its wide variety of restaurants, some 20 just on Cannery Row's "restaurant row", while in the surrounding area (such as my favorites along Lighthouse Ave) are dozens more. Cannery Row also has five hotels and for shopping you can browse tourist junk alongside expensive boutiques. This area's tiny beaches (McAbee, Aeneas or Hidden Beach, and San Carlos) are havens for merrymakers such as kayakers, scuba divers, and perhaps a few families in the summer's warmer weather. Of Monterey County's 8.5 million annual visitors, some 4 to 8 million are said to visit Cannery Row.
My favorite part of Cannery Row is the jogging/biking path... just use caution. Unlike other areas where pedestrians have the right-of-way, here cars crossing the bike path are not required to stop (though most do).
Parking is limited, as it is throughout Monterey. Your best bet is to park a few blocks away and walk, or shell out the money for the parking garage. Many of the streets above Lighthouse Ave are only 3-4 blocks from Cannery Row and have free parking.
The big modern building between Bubba Gump's and the Aquarium along Cannery Row? That is the new Cannery Row The Clement Intercontinental Hotel. This area combines hotel rooms, retail space, and a parking garage along with public shore access, replacing some long empty lots.
As of Spring 2008, the Cannery Row IMAX theater is now open in the old (1917) Edgewater Cannery. The $9 million, 290-seat theater features a 65 foot tall screen and 40 high-def speakers.
Did you know? 70% of the real estate on Cannery Row is owned by the Cannery Row Company? It might as well be an outdoor shopping mall.
If you are a fan of John Steinbecks- I recommend that you visit Cannery Row, Monterey.
There is a museum, plaques and statue of the great writer here to commemorate his life and work. His book 'Cannery Row' was published in 1945.
Cannery Row (named 13 years after publication after Steinbecks famous book ) was the epicentre of the fishing & whaling industry, and Steinbecks book captures all the drama and pathos of the boom and bust cycle that the many immigrants had to endure.
For many years the area was forgotton and neglected- but the book revived interest. Today it is one of the most popular areas to visit in Monterey.. The area is a marine sanctuary and houses a large population of California sea lions. There are privately owned and operated fishing companies at Cannery Row, housed on piers located a short distance from the lively entertainment district frequented by tourists.
In the 1960s some cannery buildings burnt to the ground, signalling what could have been a death knell for this historical site. There was, with the re-opening of sardine cannery, a revival in the late 60's, and Cannery Row was transformed from a street of abandoned canneries into a welcoming waterfront where one could soak up the atmopsphere of a bygone era.
Even if you are NOT a Steinbeck fan- this is worth a visit. Have lunch on the dockside- there are an array of various resturants. We had a great lunch at Bubba Gump (recognise that
The Wax Museum: John Steinbeck sitting around and drinking with friends is worth a visit.There is 450 years worth of Monterey history here, with 100 realistic wax figures, depicting a number of scenes throughout time.- amongst them figures of old cannery workers, prostitutes and Indians. This is one of the newer attractions in Cannery Row and a great place to bring the family. Admission: $4.95 adults; $2.95 kids 7-12.
The Taste of Monterey is hidden in the back of the building in this pic (ocean side). Once you find it on the 2nd floor (tehre are signs leading you to it), you'll be amazed by the view. Behind the tasting bar are huge picture windows looking out on the bay. The staff is super-friendly and knowledgable.
The tastings are usually about 8 local wines that they choose, for $5 a person. But you get a $5 voucher towards a bottle of wine. Many bottles there are $10-$15. They change the list of wines every Friday.
And here's the real bargain: They'll also give you a list of local restaraunts that don't charge a corkage fee if you bring in a wine from their shop. So for as little as about $12, your whoe group can share a bottle of wine over dinner!
Reminiscent of the era of John Steinbeck, this former waterfront working district has been transformed from working canneries to a tourist attraction. Shops and restaurants have long replaced the old sweat shops. This is a nice place to stroll or to get a bite to eat. Enjoy the historic buildings. Just be wary of tourist traps.
The restaurants vary from elegant to casual. At the higher end you can experience elegant dining with a view of Monterey Bay while enjoying a nice combination of good food, good service, and great location. A casual experience can consist of a fun place to eat, in an interesting old building, with a friendly atmosphere.
Cannery Row is a historic street in Monterey. The name is the title of one of the novels written by famous writer John Steinbeck. The street offers great shopping opportunities as well as excellent seafood restaurants. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on this street as well. This street is great for a stroll.
We went to Cannery Row to the Aquarium. We found out that there was a motorcycle race and that was why we had trouble getting a hotel room, and Cannery Row was blocked off to cars for the race. We walked down there and had lunch
According to the internet: Events on Cannery Row are nothing short of spectacular and always free. The summer season kicks off with the annual Cannery Row Block Party, a lively family favorite with kids' games, food, music and entertainment. When motorcyclists roll into Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in July, more than 2,000 riders show off their bikes at Race Night on the Row. Cannery Row is the home of September's Cherry’s Jubilee, when gleaming classic cars line the street. The day after Thanksgiving, head down to Steinbeck Plaza for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and holiday festivities.
The only photos I have of it are from the early 60s
You cannot come to Monterey and not take a walk down the Wharf!
Gift shops and art galleries, boat rides and whale watching tours, live theatre and free parrott shows, restaurants and icecream. People having fun.
It was busy but not too crowded when we were there, in fact the restaurants seemed to be short of customers and most were offering free samples of their fish chowder, some even with a couple of chips/fries. It was a sunny, warm day with a fair breeze. None of the vendors hassled us even George with his parrot seemed happy for people to take photos, though I think anyone who held one for a photograpg was expected to make a donation.
We did not sample any of the gift shops or jewellers, but one particularly good chowder sample resulted in a very good light, lunchtime meal.
67 degrees, sun shining, breeze blowing, people and pets cruising the sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, clear blue water creeping up the soft sand what else could you ask for to realize the perfect day. Thats what i experienced here one day in august. Im sure its like that most of the time. If you ever make it out to Monterey dont miss out on Cannery row. Such a peaceful place with so many shops and restaurants. FInd yourself a nice restaurant with a balcony overlooking the bay and enjoy the view.....
Historic Cannery Row, once a raucous industrial street famous for canning sardines and for the haunts of characters in John Steinbeck's 1945 novel "Cannery Row," welcomes you to a fascinating world of seaside exploration, shopping, dining and activities on its ruggedly beautiful shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary--known all over the world as John Steinbeck's Cannery Row.
Cannery Row's reputation as the Monterey Peninsula's "hot spot" is well earned. Thirty restaurants, clubs and pubs--all within walking distance--make it the place to be, as well as the place to meet. A world-class aquarium and hundreds of shops and activities cater to every interest, day and night. A visit to the Monterey Peninsula isn't complete without a visit to canneries, beaches and back streets that still hold the nostalgia of a long-dead fish canning industry now alive with new vigor and excitement. From the finest accommodations to comfortable inns, Cannery Row invites you to stay a while and tidepool our beaches or kayak the spectacular Monterey Bay. There's something for everyone to enjoy on "America's Most Famous Street."
When we lived in the Monterey area, this was what Cannery Row looked like. There was no aquarium in Monterey at that time - that didn't open for some 20 years.
Apparently now there are outlet stores, restaurants, and associated parking lots, and the place has really been touristed up.
When you go - think of how it used to look.
In April 2008 the Cannery Row IMAX theater opened in the old Edgewater Cannery. The $9 million, 290-seat theater features a 65 foot tall screen and 40 high-definition speakers. They did a massive renovation on the inside of the old cannery, including lowering the floor to fit the screen. This theater is supposed to be only the second IMAX in the nation with a perfect aspect ratio. The end result is a beautiful new theater with blue carpets, clean dining areas, and even a waterfall that flows down the stair over your head! The IMAX will also include a café, restaurant and art gallery.
The Edgewater Cannery was constructed in 1917 by Frank E. Booth and was used as a processing plant and warehouse in the sardine reduction business. It formerly housed the Edgewater Family Fun Center that had a carousel built in Tonawanda, NY (near Buffalo) in 1905. In 2002 the Fun Center closed and the carousel was sold at auction to a private bidder for $161,150.... it is said the buyer installed it in his house.
Tickets range from about $8 to $15. In early 2008 the movies were Sea Monsters 3D, U2 3D, and Wild Ocean 3D.
Like the title states this is tourist focused area. Nice to visit with some visit with some wonderful history of the fishing industry. Many shops for souvenirs and large restaurants. Many of the restaurants will have someone standing outside with samples of the food and offering a free "chefs choice" appetizer. A bit touristy for me but I enjoyed the historical aspect. There is an aquarium at the south end that is very good.
People came to Monterey because of the whaling. When the whaling industry disappeared, the sardine industry started to rise such as John Steinbeck in Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. However, the sardine industry also could not survive. By the 1950s, Cannery Row was a ghost town of empty warehouses and canneries.
For more story and photos, check the website