Insider's Guide to Monterey & Carmel

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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  • Address: Cannery Row
In 1958, Monterey’s most famous waterfront street changed its official name from Ocean View Avenue to its long-time nickname Cannery Row in honor of the 1945 John Steinbeck novel of the same name.

Today’s Cannery Row is a far cry 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 a cannery here since 1973 and the street is now filled with shops, from boutiques to chain stores, hotels and restaurants -- and usually populated by more tourists than locals.

It is a wonderful place for strolling, admiring ocean views, snacking on salt-water taffy, gaining easy beach access and watching the many characters that gravitate here. The world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at the northern end of Cannery Row, housed in what was once a sardine cannery. Signposts along the way display quotes from Steinbeck and insights into the history of the area.

Practical Info:

Cannery Row is easily walkable. Visitors traveling by car on the Highway 1 should look for signs for Monterey Bay Aquarium, then park at one of the nearby parking garages or on the surrounding streets. During the 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.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour: Monterey Coastal Sights by Bike

Discover the shimmering waters, dramatic coastline and relaxed vibe of Monterey on this 4-hour bike tour. Ride your comfortable bike past the white sands of ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $200.00

Monterey Independent Bike Tour

Explore Monterey’s gorgeous coastline by bike at your own pace! See top Monterey Peninsula attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach and ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: 24 hours (approx.)

From USD $36.00

Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive Day Trip from San Francisco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 680 Reviews

Cruise along California's spectacular coastline on a relaxing day trip from San Francisco. You'll follow Highway 1 to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula home of ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.50
$85.00 Save $25.50

2-Day Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach Tour from San Francisco

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Embark on a scenic 2-day adventure to Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach from San Francisco. Travel along Highway 1 through Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz and see ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $220.00

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