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Top Tours

 
1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour
"Pick up your 2-seater Sea Car at the Portola Hotel & Spa just a 5-minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. Simple to drive and park this zany scooter car allows you to zip around downtown streets and out to the coast to cruise along one of the most scenic drives in the United States. You can follow a designated itinerary or make up your own adventure.The 1-hour narrated tour Fisherman’s Wharf Cannery Row and Lovers Point park and beach. Enjoy sweeping ocean vistas through the convertible’s open top and soak up views of the harbor. You'll see sand dunes
From $65.00
 
Day Trip to Monterey Bay and Carmel from Oakland
"Your tour begins in with a morning departure to Monterey Bay. The first stop will be at the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium (admission not included) we will spend approx. 1 hour and 30 mins at one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. The aquarium's great exhibition offers visitors a rich educational resource and is a northern California attraction not to be missed. Later you will explore the historical value of the old Fisherman's Wharf which lies between merchant ships and cruise ships on the bay. Cannery Row factory will be another stop along the way. Along the 17-mile California coast you will travel on you will enjoy the view of the bay which has a reputation for its wildlife
From $75.00
 
Airplane Tour over Monterey Bay from Watsonville
"Board the airplane at Watsonville Airport and slip on your headphones to hear the live onboard narration from your professional pilot who customizes your tour and offers informative commentary throughout your 40-minute flight.Your pilot takes you along California’s central coastline. Snap photos of the expansive vista including the mountains of the Southern Coast Ranges and admire views of Carmel. Look for whales and other marine mammals as you soak up the spectacular landscape below including the Bixby Creek Bridge possibly the most photographed bridge on the entire Pacific Coast Highway."
From $99.00

Fisherman's Wharf Tips (25)

Fisherman's Warf

OK, this is pretty touristy, but I even met some locals there and it is a fun place to wander around. There are some wonderful restaurants here, and when we were visiting people were standing outside of their restaurant handing out free samples of their clam chowder to entice you into their establishment. You will also find a variety of shops, whale-watching tours, and at the end of the Warf you can watch the seal lions that frequent the area. When we were there we could hear them barking and roaring. Three laid on one float all afternoon. They hardly moved while we watch them, except for occasionally rubbing their faces against their companion or scratching with their hind tail fins. We also watched some swimming about in the water below us. You will also see birds in the area, so bring binoculars.

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KimberlyAnn
Jun 11, 2004

Touristy, but cute

Fisherman's Wharf was built in 1870 for the fishing industry in Monterey. The wharf has seen a lot of history,from being a major part of the sardine industry, to a favorite stomping ground of Steinbeck. Today the pier is still acts as a dock, but mainly to whale watching cruises, not to fishing boats. Overlooking the marina, you can watch the sea lions and birds who fill the area.

This wharf area has a definate tourist feel. Sort of like a boardwalk back East. A good number of restaurants and a few shops line the pier. The problem here are the crowds. We went back and walked along it after everything had closed up and it was a nice spot to look over the city at night. While this is a good place to see, keep it brief, there are other areas of the city worth more of your time.

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Lhenne1
Oct 11, 2006

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf has a combination of great views, wildlife, and history, along with a lot of tourist traps; if you want to hear about the touristy shops, below average restaurants, and crowds of people, check out my tip listed under Tourist Traps.

This is a great place to watch the sea lions in the late evening after most of the tourists have moved on. There are also some fishing boats that unload and clean their catch here while the birds watch. You will also get some great views of the marinas, Commercial Wharf, and the Bay.

The history of Fisherman's Wharf is much more interesting than the tourist junk! After Spanish, Mexican, and finally US rule, Monterey's first wharf was constructed in 1870 by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. The city purchased the wharf in 1916 and expanded it to include warehouses, seafood wholesalers & retailers, and its first tourist attraction--a restaurant! In 1923 a 123-foot section of the wharf broke during the loading of a ship, and the city rebuilt and expanded the wharf, adding the docking areas to the east where the whale watching boats dock today. Fisherman's Wharf really didn't become a tourist destination until after the sardine industry began to fail, but by the mid 1950s tourism was a booming business.

This wharf's official name is Municipal Wharf I, helping to explain why nearby commercial wharf is Municipal Wharf II, or sometimes just Wharf II.

The Monterey County Weekly "Best Of 2006 Readers' Picks" named Fisherman's Wharf as the best Place to People Watch in Monterey County!

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Ewingjr98
Apr 27, 2008

Old Fisherman's Wharf

Although this area was discovered in 1602 by the Viceroy of New Spain, Sebastian Viscaino a mariner merchant explorer. It wasn't till 1845 Thomas Larkin built the wharf for regular passenger and freight service. The sardine industry grew and due to the constant useage of other commerical franchises the City Council assume ownership of the pier in 1913 to keep it well taken care of. The pier over the decades had to be repaired many times and by the late 1950's the sardines were declining, so Fisherman's Wharf changed its venue to accomodate the tourist by adding restaurants, gift and candy shops, a theater, an aquarium, snack bars, boat rental businesses, fish markets, marine machine shops and a marine service station. Today, its one of its main tourist attractions.

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Yaqui
Dec 29, 2015
 
 
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The Fisherman Monument

This is located to the right of the Old Fisherman's Pier.

The plaque reads: We dedicate this monument, The Fisherman, by Artist Jesse Corsaut, to those who made a living from the riches of the sea, the families they supported and who, in turn, supported them. We appreciate their love of and respect for Monterey Bay, around which a unique culture developed and this community was created. Rosalie Ferrante and Chris Palma 11-13-05

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Yaqui
Dec 29, 2015

Eat some Clam Chowder

Fisherman's Wharf is an historic wharf in Monterey, California. It was used as an wholesale fish market up until the 1960s.It is now a tourist attraction as commercial fishing tapered off.

Fisherman's Wharf is lined with seafood restaurants ranging from casual, open-air clam bars, to formal indoor dining with views of the bay. Along with Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf is one of the few areas in Monterey that sells souvenirs, so the restaurants are interspersed with gift shops, jewelry stores, art galleries, and candy shops. Whale watching tours and fishing trips leave from the wharf, and Sea Lions often sleep on the pilings, buoys, and moored boats in the bay. It is accesable by foot only.

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krissyM
Nov 05, 2008

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf is a must see in Monterey. The shops, the restaurants, the sounds, the views, and the smlls: this is what Monterey is all about. The wharf is a pier extending out into the bat for about 1000 feet (approximately), and there are many small shops filled with touristy souvenir like items--shells, postcards, tshirts, etc.

Fisherman's Wharf was built in 1846 for many trading vessels bringing goods from around Cape Horn.  During  that time, Monterey California was the major port on the Pacific Ocean. In the following years,  the booming whale industry took over and dominated the pier. But it was the tiny sardines that made  Monterey an industry leader. Although, sardines did not have a monopoly on the wharf. Daily catches  of salmon, albacore, mackerel, rock cod, squid and shellfish were also abundant.

There are also a great number of restaurants on the wharf, and they are pretty much all seafood. There is a good website with a complete listing of wharf restaurants if you think you might want to dine out for seafood in Monterey (which I do recommend). Mike's Seafood and Rappa's are particularly well known.

You can also catch whale watching trips as well as fishing trips from here. Check the website for more info.

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wadekorzan
Jan 23, 2004

Fisherman's Wharf is touristy but pleasant enough

The wharf at Monterey has lost all of it original authenticity, so don't get your hopes up on a freshly caught fish dinner. The seafood at the restaurants are sometimes local, but they are part of the same global fish distribution system any fish monger would have along the coast. The souvenir shops are full of kitch--logo sweatshirts, sea shells, etc,--non of which are really produced locally, but are nevertheless Monterey Logo junk. A walk out to the end of the pier offers a view of the sea lions on the rocks beyond although it's also possible to walk around to see the animals up close. Whale watching tours leave every hour from the wharf, but see my "tourist traps" warning about this activity. Also, see my recommendation about restaurants here. There are quite a few to choose from and the menu outside can be deceptive. The restaurant business is competitive, so don't forget to ask for the window table before you step inside and commit yourself.

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atufft
Nov 26, 2005

Top 5 Monterey Writers

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Ewingjr98

"Watching the Sunset in Monterey..."
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Lhenne1

"City by the Sea"
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Yaqui

"Monterey, Ca~"
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rsilva

"Monterey - Beginning of the U.S. tour"
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KimberlyAnn

"Monterey and Its Beautiful Big Sur Country"
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Walking Tour of Monterey (2)

Continued from my previous Walking Tour of Monterey Tip where you were at Commercial Wharf.

9. Cross Del Monte Street and stop by El Estero Park, where the tourist information center sits in the old French Consulate. Also in this area is Dennis the Menace Park if you have kids.

10. Near the back corner of the park, along Fremont, is Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, the oldest cathedral in the US.

11. Heading back northeast into downtown, catch the Monterey Path of History Walking Tour making certain to stop at Colton Hall and the old jail.

12. Head into downtown along Alvarado Street. If you are hungry there is no better place in town to eat: Old Monterey Cafe for breakfast, the Britannia Arms for lunch (especially if there are sports on!), Turtle Bay Taqueria for lunch, and the Crown and Anchor or Mucky Duck for dinner.

13. Swing by Customs House Plaza and visit some of the small gardens just north as you stroll toward Pacific Street. Ensure you see California's First Theater and it hidden garden to the rear.

14. At Pacific turn right and head to the Lower Presidio Historic Park where you will see the Father Serra Monument and enjoy a spectacular view over the Bay.

15. Out the other side of the Presidio Park puts you on Lighthouse Ave, just a few streets above Cannery Row. This stretch has several good restaurants and bars as you head back to the parking garage.

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Ewingjr98
Nov 10, 2006

Check out the Seals!

I think the highlight of fisherman's wharf is the seal's lounging out on a dock, waiting for fisherman to through the scraps of their daily catch into the bay. Great fun to watch. Some just lounge on the dock while others swim in group and are very playful.

The pier also has a number of restaurants and souvenir stores. A fun activity for an afternoon or evening. Their is not enough to spend the entire day here.

There is parking available for a fee but we parked on a nearby street and walked for free.

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blueskyjohn
May 04, 2013

Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

It's always a pleasure to take some time while visiting Monterey to stroll through the Historic Fisherman's Wharf area. Touristy shops, candy stores, seafood restaurants and lots more can be found here.

There is also a marina where several fishing trips leave from. The Glass Bottom Boat ride is only $10/pp for about a 25 mintue ride around the harbor and is great fun for all ages. Isabella's, Domenico's and Cafe Fina are 3 of our favorite places to eat while visiting Fisherman's Wharf.

You can also purchase fresh seafood and sample clam chowder from the restaurant vendors. Pelicans, sea gulls and harbor seals are also fun to watch here.

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orcoastgirl
Nov 14, 2006

Boat cruise

A visit to Monterey is just not complete without a boat cruise. I happened to miss the whale migration. But on a good day, you'll see plenty of marine mammals, birds, fish, and other wildlife. At least you'll see the top of the kelp forest, growing in Monterey Bay. Have plenty of film on hand!

The tour that I took was called Bay Watch Cruises. As luck would have it, no one else showed up, as the big tourist season was over. So I had my own private one-on-one tour.

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Tom_Fields
Oct 23, 2005

Things to Do Near Fisherman's Wharf

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17 Mile Drive

17 mile drive is a gated drive around the ocean in the Pebble beach area. it costs about 10 dollars per car and although beautiful doesn't really contain anything ( other than the golf courses) that...
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Maritime Museum

I noticed a show Trancendental Visions are the website. It turned out to be a Day of the Dead show. Then I realized that the show was a virtual show. Pretty cool! I thought this kind of stuff only...
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Whale Watching

We had such an outstanding trip with the Monterey Bay Whale Watch! Our trip lasted for 3 hours and the boat ride alone was fun, not to mention the whale! And did we see whales! Besure to read about...
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Dennis the Menace Park

It's not often you find a playground that is as much fun for adults as it is for the kids. The Dennis the Menace Park in El Estero Lake. The playground was designed by Hank Ketcham, creator of the...
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Cannery Row

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail runs along what use to be old Southern Pacific railroad tracks that serviced Cannery Row. Lots of folks including ourselves walking along and enjoying the sights...
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Monterey Bay Aquarium

Recognized as one of the best aquarium's in the US. This is a must see on any visit to Monterey. The Aquarium sits bayside with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. right outside the door is the natural...
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