This Cannery Row favorite has a colorful outdoor bar, award-winning clam chowder, and table views of Monterey Bay.
Fish Hopper: 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA. 831.373.8543
At this Caribbean-infused favorite, dig into one of the famous globe-trotting Fisherman’s Bowls, which feature mahi mahi for Hawaii, catfish for the Bayou, and shrimp for Baja—each drizzled with a ginger sesame vinaigrette.
Stop by this hole-in-the-wall fast casual seafood restaurant on a day trip to Santa Cruz or to eat like a local. Be sure to try their famous fried artichokes with your meal for the complete experience.
For over half a century, Old Fisherman’s Grotto has been one of the go-to Monterey Bay restaurants for lobster, crab and, in particular, its award-winning Monterey-style clam chowder. Oceanfront tables right on the wharf overlook the boat-filled marina.
Hidden underneath Municipal Wharf #2, Sandbar and Grill is one of the best kept secrets of Monterey. This no frills restaurant is famous for its crab and bacon sandwich, as well as bite size, fried “sand dabs,” its signature breaded flounder. .
Originally just a small local fish market, this local purveyor began preparing and serving their fresh seafood to their loyal customers. Today, this family-owned restaurant and market, has expanded to three locations in Monterey Bay.
From Mexican folk art to antique jewelry and the finest beachwear, there’s so much to take home from a trip to the Central Coast of California. In addition to all of the shops to explore around Monterey Bay, there are a number of equally enticing options in nearby Carmel, where international retailers like Anthropologie and Cole Haan are located. Here’s Sanctuary Beach Resort’s guide to the best shopping in Monterey.
This collection of over 50 shops and restaurants features jewelry stores, art galleries, and upscale brands like Louis Vuitton and J. Jill. The outdoor plaza is a relaxing place to spend an afternoon shopping.
Carmel Plaza: Ocean Avenue & Mission St., Carmel, CA. 831.624.1385
The mall at Crossroads Carmel features the storied Long’s drug store, a Safeway grocery, and over 70 shops and restaurants to browse.
Shopping in Monterey is centered around Alvarado Street, with its collection of shops ranging from fashion boutiques to tobacconists, cafes and bars. Quaint adobe storefronts line a bustling stretch two blocks inland from the water and world famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Bring some of the beach home from Coastal Home Furniture Gallery, or treat yourself to a pair of fine sandals or heels at Hedi’s Shoes.
Alvarado Street. Monterey, CA
Del Monte Center
Another favorite option for Monterey outlets, Del Monte is a destination for big name brands. Stock up for a seaside picnic at Whole Foods or find your fashion essentials at Macy’s here.
Located about 15 miles north of Monterey, this quaint fishing village is well stocked with fashion and art boutiques housed in historic cottages. Moss Landing is an excellent day trip for boutique and thrifty shoppers.
This up-and-coming business district connects Downtown Monterey and Pacific Grove with a hip collection of antique shops, surf shops and used book and record stores. The neighborhood’s Cannery Row district draws crowds for its art galleries and shops, candy, and local goods proprietors like California Classics.
Impressive collections of early Californian, nineteenth-century Asian and contemporary West Coast art (plus a few Rockwell Kent lithographs), make the Monterey Museum of Art one of the Central Coast’s top museums. The Spanish Revival-style building also hosts visiting exhibitions.
Over local 175 vineyards and nearly 35 wineries make the region’s wine industry just as important to local culture as the museums in Monterey, CA. Try more than 40 varietals of grapes during your visit to one of the famous vineyards in Carmel and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Popular choices include Carmel Ridge Winery in Carmel and its award-winning tasting room on Cannery Row, as well as the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard for its European grapes and sweeping views rolling hills and fields. The region in general is known for producing some of the world’s best pinot noir.
Monterey is a golfer’s paradise, and has multiple courses that visitors can enjoy nearby. The famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, with its oceanfront views Carmel Bay, is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful courses—Golf Digest named it the number one golf course in the country. Other local clubs include Monterey Pines, Pacific Grove, and Laguna Seca Golf Ranch.
This 18-mile trail is one of the best places to hike and bike in California. It follows an old railroad line that connected the fishing factories of Monterey with San Francisco. Hugging the coastline for much of its route, the recreational trail is a great way to explore the city and see the waterfront.
John Steinbeck made Monterey’s sardine canning district famous in his 1945 novel Cannery Row. Seven decades later, the canneries are gone and the neighborhood has evolved into the city’s most popular shopping and dining destination. At the northern end, along the water, the Monterey Bay Aquarium welcomes over two million visitors a year.
Cannery Row. 649 Cannery Row. Monterey, CA. 831.372.8901
Over two million people visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium each year, making it by far the most popular museum in Monterey. It’s home to over 600 species of fish, and houses a live kelp forest. Don’t miss the jellyfish exhibit—the fluid creatures are backlit to show off their colors and mesmerising shapes.
California’s Congressional Congress met here in 1849 to draft the soon-to-be state’s first constitution in 1849. The former schoolhouse and later town hall has been restored to its mid-nineteenth century design, letting visitors experience the building as the state’s early politicians did.
Colton Hall. 570 Pacific St. Monterey, CA. 831.646.5648
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is effectively an outdoor museum in Monterey, protecting 276 miles of coastline and a whopping 4,600 square nautical miles of ocean. See blue whales, elephant seals, orcas, and dolphins within the sanctuary’s kelp forests (the country’s largest), open waters and deep-ocean environments. Visitors can go on kayak, whale-watching, diving and fishing expeditions from Monterey to explore the “Serengeti of the Sea.”
This beloved wooden pier is decked out with craft and gift shops, fish markets, and seafood restaurants—here’s the place to find world famous Monterey-style clam chowder. Many fishing and water sport charters leave from here as well.
Located just an hour south of Sanctuary Beach Resort, Big Sur is one of the country’s most breathtaking natural attractions. The seaside cliffs offer visitors hikes with sweeping views of the coast line. Keep an eye out for otters when gazing into the sea along the gorgeous State Route 1.
A collection of volcanic crags and caves, Pinnacles National Park is a popular rock climbing and day hike destination just an hour inland from Sanctuary Beach Resort. At least thirteen bat species live within the park’s caves.
It’s always a good idea to plan a family vacation to the central coast of California, and if you’re stuck on a destination, Monterey is your answer. From stellar accommodations to one-of-a-kind attractions, there are plenty of great places to take your kids in Monterey. These are a few of our favorites: Monterey Bay Aquarium The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most famous aquariums on the west coast....