Made famous by author, John Stienbeck, Monterey's Cannery Row is the largest entertainment hub in the Monterey Bay area that offers a portfolio of activities that are fun for families, the solo backpack traveler or the nature seeking visitor. Indeed, this swath of land between the coast and Lighthouse Avenue is teeming with activities that will delight, educate and thrill. Located on the south bank of Monterey Bay, Cannery Row was once a thriving fish processing district where sardines caught from the adjacent Monterey Bay were packaged in cans where they were shipped throughout North America-hence its name as Cannery Row. Today the warehouses that once housed the canneries have been either torn down or converted into shops and plazas. The biggest renovation and rebuild of a cannery is now home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Throughout Cannery Row there are countless dining options, three prestigious resort style hotels, the Culinary Center of Monterey and several observation points to observe the many boats arriving and departing Monterey Bay as well as to observe the scuba divers exploring the coast.
The main street that runs through Cannery Row is named simply named "Cannery Row" and is the main artery of-Cannery Row. There is no Ave, Street or Drive behind it-just Cannery Row. Cannery Row runs parallel to the shore. Shops and restaurants extend up to Wave Street from the Cannery Row drive. At the very end of Cannery Row where it makes a sharp turn to the south and becomes David Avenue is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
As mentioned, once a cannery, the Monterey Bay Aquarium can't be missed as it stands tall at the end of the street. If in Monterey for just a short time or on a tight schedule when visiting Cannery Row, it is highly recommended if nothing else visit the aquarium. With several exhibits and almost four story tall tanks where the native fish of the Pacific off the coast of Monterey swim free amongst beautiful kelp forests, the aquarium will leave any visitor feeling peaceful, educated and enthralled. On either side of Cannery Row are luxury hotel and spa resorts, shops and restaurants.
Cannery Row is broken up into a series of shopping plazas that are on either side of Cannery Row the street and along Wave Avenue. The more popular ones are the 700 and 711 Cannery Row (immediately to the east of the aquarium and Intercontinental Clement Hotel), Monterey Canning Company Warehouse (this one stands out like a sore thumb on Cannery Row with its red wooden building and bold white letter pronouncing it the Monterey Canning Company and Steinbek Plaza. Overall the shopping opportunities in Cannery Row range from chocolate shops and bakeries to jewelry, art galleries, cigar shops, apparel and of course a few souvenir shops for those looking to pick up mementos from their visit to Monterey.
700 Cannery Row, just east of the Aquarium and Clement Intercontinental and is adjacent to Bubba Gumps Shrimp Restaurant. Two of its biggest draws are the For Garlic Lovers store and a collection of wine tasting lounges. The wine tasting venues are A Taste of Monterey, Bargetto Wine Tasting Room, Baywood Cellars and Scheid Vineyards Wine Lounge. For Garlic Lovers the store has every garlic product you can imagine. From dozens of garlic dips to even garlic jellies, this is a garlic heaven for those that have a palette for this strong herb. There are several tasting stations that allow visitors to try a variety of garlic dips and spreads before purchasing. Windows on the walls allow natural sunlight in to illuminate the garlic inventory while providing amazing views of Monterey Bay. Each of the wine tasting lounges are operated by a various wine owners on the Central Coast as well as wine connisoirs. They provide a relaxed and warm environment to enjoy a wide selection of wines while enjoying the views of Monterey Bay and the crowds of Cannery Row outside. Often Cannery Row can be cold and misty and these wine tasting hideouts are the perfect spot to enjoy warmth and conversation when coming from the aquarium or strolling the streets of the row.
711 Cannery Row can't be missed, it is the big red wooden looking structure that was once home to Monterey Canning Company (and who's big white letter remain on the building). It is directly across the street from 700 Cannery Row and is home to your basic retail needs (like Starbucks and a bakery) but also has some other interesting stores as well. American Revival company is in this building and houses a variety of antique items from eras past that include souviners, movie posters, art and post cards. The store has gained a reputation for selling solid antique type items that can't be found anywhere else. Another retailer at 711 Cannery Row worth checking out is the Monterey Candle Gallery. The Monterey Candle Gallery specializes in hundreds of types of hand made candles that come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Dining on Cannery Row
Cannery Row offers a variety of dining options that mostly cater to families, although there are a few spots that target those travelers sophisticated pallets. Bubba Gumps is probably the most prominent restaurant located in the center of Cannery Row near the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Bubba Gumps is good for those on a budget or with families looking for something somewhat fast and filling. Louie Linguini provides a good venue for families as well offering up seafood pasta and pizza at a good rate. The restaurant is located on the second floor and gives every diner views of Monterey Bay. Throughout Cannery Row are various pubs that offer a cozy break from the touring and being outside-these pubs are even cozier in the winter when its colder and in the summer when a thick marine haze lingers on the coast.