Monterey Cannery Row: The Top Restaurants, Shopping, Hotels & John Steinbeck's Influence on This Popular Entertainment District

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: January 12, 2023

Monterey Cannery Row is a shopping and entertainment area in the cute, bay side town of Monterey, CA. It's also home to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, several beautiful art galleries and comfortable hotels.

This famous district sits right on the water where you can go kayaking, swimming or just hang out on the beach. You can also sip on local wines as you enjoy the views of Monterey Bay.

This area of town originally housed a vibrant fish canning industry with a focus on sardines. The first fish cannery opened here in 1908. The industry thrived through World War I and II. Shortly after World War II, the overfished sardines disappeared, and the industry collapsed.

Just a few years later, John Steinbeck published the book called Cannery Row. It romanticizes Monterey's Ocean View Avenue and the fishing industry in the area.

After the release of his book, many people came to visit so they could experience it for themselves. Soon after, they renamed Ocean View Avenue to Cannery Row.

Many credit Steinbeck and his book with saving the area from falling into disrepair after the canning industry collapsed.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Where to Go Shopping on Cannery Row

One of the biggest draws is the shopping. Within a four to five block area, you will find almost 100 stores. They feature everything from jewelry to gourmet food.

The shops along Cannery Row in Monterey CAThe shops along Cannery Row in Monterey CA

Here are just a few of the top shops you will find here (all shops listed with ATC are in the American Tin Cannery at 125 Ocean View Boulevard).

All other address are right on Cannery Row.

Apparel & Accessories

  • California Classics (750)
  • Famous Footwear (ATC)
  • Pacific Coast Clothing & Gifts Company (685)
  • Pendleton Outlet (ATC)
  • Sharky's Shirts (685)
  • Sockshop (649 & ATC)
  • Sunglass Hut (750)

Art Galleries

  • CulturArts (700)
  • Thomas Kinkade of Monterey (400)

Gifts and Mementos

  • Fine Art Turkish Grand Bazaar (685)
  • La Dolce Vita Home & Garden Ideas (660)
  • Mackerel Jack's Trading Company (799)

Gourmet Food

  • Carmel Honey Company (700)
  • Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar (751)


  • Kochiya Pearls & Gems (700)
  • Steinbeck Jewelers (711)
  • Super Silver (700)
  • Z Folio Gallery (750)

Other Shops

  • As Seen on TV (700)
  • Five and Dime General Store (685)
  • It's Sugar (751)

Traveling between San Francisco and Monterey? My guide offers seven great ways to get between these two popular Northern California destinations. 

Antique Mall

Just steps from Cannery Row is one of the largest Antique Malls on the Central Coast. The mall is 21,000 square feet with more than 100 antique dealers. You will find it at 471 Wave Street on the southern end of the district.

Head over to the mall to wheel and deal for the best price every day from 11 am to 6pm.

All Cannery Row Attractions

In addition to shopping, you will also find several attractions and ways to stay entertained.

Penguins playing around at the Monterey Bay AquariumPenguins playing around at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

McAbee Beach: Relax on the cool sands, take a dip in the water or go kayaking at McAbee Beach, on Cannery Row between McClellan and Prescott

Monterey Mirror Maze & Lazer Challenge: Help solve the criminal mystery that looms over Monterey Cannery Row during the Lazer Challenge or bend your mind as you walk through the colorful and challenging Mirror Maze.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Watch the penguins play, enjoy the continuous movement of the Deep Sea and interact with 45-new family friendly exhibits at this world-renowned aquarium.

Paper Wing Theatre & Supper Club: This evening options offers fine dinner and a show. They offer shows most nights of the week and they include options such as live music, comedy, and more.

Where to Taste the Local Wines

One of my favorite things to do at Monterey Cannery Row is to sample some of the local wines.

Wine tasting at A Taste of Monterey on Cannery RowThe view from the wine tasting area at A Taste of Monterey

A Taste of Monterey: Enjoy wines from one of almost 100 local wineries, catch views of the Monterey Bay as you sample the wines from the tasting room, you can also grab a seat in the bistro and enjoy some food while you taste, 700 Cannery Row (near the back on the building on the second floor).

Bargetto Wine Tasting Room: Taste handcrafted wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains, sample their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Merlot wines, 700 Suite G Cannery Row

The Wine Experience: If you've ever wanted to be a wine maker, this is your place! You can taste, blend, make your own label, and more here and all at great prices. Have fun with your friends as you learn about wines and take home a bottle of memories that you'll never forget. 381 Cannery Row

Click here to find even more places to go wine tasting in Monterey and the surrounding communities.

The Best Cannery Row Restaurants

On Monterey Cannery Row, you will find restaurants that range from casual, family friendly places such as Johnny Rockets to high-end restaurants with a view such as the C Restaurant & Bar in the InterContinental Hotel.

The pulled pork sandwich at the Cannery Row Brewery in Monterey, CAThe pulled pork sandwich at a local Monterey restaurant

These are just a few of my favorites.

  • A Taste of Monterey: This is another favorite as you can sample the local wines while you enjoy your meal. They have some of the best views of Monterey Bay and offer everything from artisan cheeses to flat bread pizzas. 700 Cannery Row, in the back of the building on the top floor.
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Company: If you want something a little more casual or are traveling with kids, then this is a great option for you. This is the original Bubba Gumps location. They offer fresh seafood with some great views of Monterey Bay. They also offer outdoor seating and are open late. The downside is that they are often busy, so prepare to wait for a while for a table. 720 Cannery Row
  • Chart House: Another great option is the Chart House. This seafood restaurant sits right on the bay and has amazing food. You will also find a great selection of steaks on their menu. 
  • The Sardine Factory: This is one of the best places for seafood in Monterey. This award-winning restaurant offers a delicious menu with dishes such as Lobster Ravioli, Pan Seared Sole and Seared Wild Salmon. Other featured dishes include Portobelo Mushroom Ravioli, 8 oz. Boneless Beef Short Ribs and Pulled Muscovy Duck with Fresh Pappardelle Pasta. They also have one of the best wine lists in the US. 701 Wave Street

My Favorite Cannery Row Hotels

Cannery Row is home to several highly rated hotels. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row: 443 Wave Street, 2.5 Stars

Low Season: Start at $182

High Season: Start at $230

>> Find reviews from guests and book your room at the Holiday Inn Express.

Victorian Inn - Best Western Plus: 487 Foam Street, 3 Stars

Low Season: Start at $180

High Season: Start at $269

>> Read guest reviews about Victorian Inn and book your rooms.

Spindrift Inn: 652 Cannery Row, 3.5 Stars

Low Season: Start at $175

High Season: Start at $300

>> Find the best rates and read guest reviews for your stay at Spindrift Inn.

Monterey Bay Inn: 242 Cannery Row, 3.5 Stars

Low Season: Start at $165

High Season: Start at $375

>> Read guest reviews about the Monterey Bay Inn and book your rooms.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa: 400 Cannery Row, 4 Stars

Low Season: Start at $200

High Season: Start at $500

>> Learn more about the Monterey Plaza and reserve your rooms.

InterContinental The Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel: 750 Cannery Row, 4 Stars

Low Season: Start at $230

High Season: Start at $350

>> Find rooms and rate for the InterContinental The Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

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