Cannery Row is a cool place to visit-for a while. It's got some good restaurants, but too many tacky shops. It can be quite crowded too.
Unique Suggestions: Take the family to the Aquarium, then go for a chocolate float at the Ghiradelli chocolate store. I had a pretty good chocolate soda there-one of my favorite "comfort foods".
Fun Alternatives: Walk around downtown Monterey. It's got some good restaurants too-seafood, Japanese, Italian too. Monterey's also got an interesting history that you can check out. I wish I'd had more time there for that.
Monterey's also got two or three British-themed pubs. I like all three, but am not sure of the British connection there, if any. If you know, I'm certainly curious to hear it.
Both Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf are neat places to wander through for a little bit, just so you can say you saw it. Other than that, these areas are crowded and expensive. Fortunately, there are nice areas with shops and restaurants where you can enjoy Monterey.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to head this way, just walk through. Try to save your shopping and eating for other places.
Fun Alternatives: Two blocks up from Cannery Row is Lighthouse Avenue. This strip has great restaurants frequented by locals, for a fraction of the waterfront prices. The downtown area has some great eclectic shopping and, again, fantastic restaurants and bars. All these places are walking distance from Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf are both terrible tourist traps. All of the character has been lost and nothing remains but cheap t-shirts and tourist fodder. What a shame....
Unique Suggestions: See the aquarium only if you're too lazy to explore nearby tidepools yourself.
Same ol' thing. A bunch of stores and shops that obviously are only there for tourists and hold very little authenticity or valuable cultural significance.
Unique Suggestions: Hurry and get through it. :-) There is very little worth stopping to see here.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the aquarium and take the 17-mile drive. Much more worthwhile investment of time.
Places like the Hog's Breath Inn or the Mission Ranch are worth a visit unless you only go there to see Clint Eastwood.
The likelyhood that you see him is very slim.
Another area is Cannery Row, check it out and decide for yourself.
One more tourist attraction which I do not recommend is the 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach. I think the gate-fee is a rip-off and the real 17 mile drive was the drive from the Del Monte Hotel to Pebble Beach and not what the tourist gets to take.
You see more without a gatefee if you just drive along the ocean in Carmel or Pacific Grove.
This is just your typical touristy area. The scenery is nice and there are some neat stores mixed in with all the usualy toursit traps.
Unique Suggestions: Check out the website before you go to see what you want to visit. Go early to avoid the crowds.
Fun Alternatives: http://www.canneryrow.com/index.html
Directly on cannery row is nothing but tacky stores. I mean its fun for a couple hours but after that its dull, there are quite a few nice and unique shops along the recreation trail as well as a block or two up. bot say no to the row!
The Cannery Row is one whole district that is aimed for shopping, eating and dining! The former Sardine Canneries are now converted into assorted Shops, Stores, Restaurants, inns, hotels, bars and chocolate shops so that the area can be decribed as one big shopping mall. The Cannery Row Has two faces, one bustling center of tourism in Monterey and the other is that it is a cerified Tourist Trap heheh, prices here are on the high side since this is a major tourist area in the central coast of california and if you are an el cheapo, then just bring your own lunch box and coolers so that you don't need to spend on meals and be early as to park cheap at the parking meter slots.
Unique Suggestions: Again, bring your own meals and park at parking meters or walk a few blocks from cannery row to get free parking hehehe and don't buy souvenirs too.
Fun Alternatives: there is no alternative but the one I posted above hehehe