There are a variety of Things To Do In Monterey, California. These activities and attractions include visiting Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and John Steinbeck’s Museum. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in the area. Whether you want to spend a day exploring the area or you want to explore Monterey’s rich history, the city offers a variety of options.
If you’re looking for a historical waterfront district in Monterey, California, you might want to consider visiting Cannery Row. This waterfront street, which is in the Pacific Grove and New Monterey sections of Monterey, is historically known as the site of the sardine canning industry. The last cannery closed in 1973.
Before the canneries reopened, the town was home to a bustling fishing industry. During the early part of the 1900s, the Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad plied the bay for visitors. This railroad, which eventually became the Southern Pacific Railroad, began shuttle service between San Francisco and Monterey. The railroad lasted until 1971.
Another popular destination along Cannery Row is the Cannery Row Wine Market. This food and wine marketplace is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and features locally sourced food and wines. It is housed in an old 1918 sardine cannery and features the wines of 95 different Monterey County wineries.
Cannery Row is also home to many artists. Its vacant lots were home to several cannery workers’ homes. This area now boasts restaurants and hotels, along with public paths leading to the water. You can stroll down Cannery Row and enjoy a day in the city.
The sardine population was nearly depleted by the late 1940s, which put a damper on the city’s economy. Fortunately, the story of Cannery Row helped bring visitors to the town once again. In the 1960s, the author John Steinbeck published the first of two novels about the town, and the town’s economy continued to thrive.
The Pacific Biological Laboratories is another historic site on Cannery Row. It was once the laboratory of famous marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who was fictionalized in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. The lab is only open a few times a year, but the site has a hidden deck where visitors can enjoy the views. This overlook is much less crowded than the other viewpoints in the area.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Old Fisherman’s Wharf is an enchanting waterfront area that is surrounded by gorgeous coastal views. This picturesque area also features award-winning restaurants and shopping. You can also enjoy whale-watching tours, fishing trips, bay cruises, and art galleries.
Built in 1846, Old Fisherman’s Wharf originally served fishing vessels, commercial ships, and passenger ships. It was a bustling port until the end of WWII, when the sardine industry began to decline. In the late 20th century, however, the area was transformed into a popular tourist destination.
Today, Old Fisherman’s Wharf is the focal point of Monterey’s waterfront activities. It is a cultural hub that has a fascinating history. The wharf was originally built in the 1840s by Thomas O. Larkin, who used a rocky tongue of land north of the Custom House to build the wharf. He constructed it with rock-filled cribwork and finished it in 1846.
You can find award-winning Italian cuisine and sustainable seafood at the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. There are also plenty of restaurants where you can sample clam chowder. Many restaurants also provide free samples for passersby. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for the first time, you can enjoy Old Fisherman’s Wharf and its beautiful waterfront.
John Steinbeck’s Museum
If you have ever read one of John Steinbeck’s books, you may have been enchanted by the Monterey landscape. Located in the Salinas Valley, Monterey County is lush and full of life. For Steinbeck, Monterey was a place where people lived and grew in harmony with the natural environment. In addition, it was a place where he could see lizards basking in the morning sun among the leaves, and felt the warmth of the Santa Lucias and Gabilans as he wrote his books.
Visitors can also enjoy the museum’s Wax Museum, which is based on a scene from one of Steinbeck’s novels. The museum’s wax figures aren’t the trendy kind of celebrities, but they are real historical figures. The museum also features chronological dioramas that span 500 years of California history. Many of the scenes from the books have been recreated in this museum.
The museum is also home to an open air lobby and large stained glass windows. The windows cast blue patterns on the wood flooring. Inside, there are lots of items pertaining to Steinbeck, including first-edition copies and dime novels. A large gift shop offers a variety of Steinbeck books and a life-sized statue of Steinbeck holding a book.
The National Steinbeck Center, which is only a few blocks from the home where Steinbeck was born, contains a museum and working restaurant. The museum was founded in 1998 and encourages the preservation of Steinbeck’s works. It also features one of the largest Steinbeck archives in the U.S.
Among the many exhibits at the National Steinbeck Center are hands-on displays and innovative graphics. You’ll also find personal memorabilia from Steinbeck’s life. The museum also recently opened a new gallery devoted to farming, and this is the perfect place to discover the human element of farming throughout history.
Colton Hall Museum
The Colton Hall Museum is located in the heart of Monterey, CA. This historical landmark was the home to 48 delegates to the California Constitutional Convention in 1849. Today, the museum preserves the assembly hall in its original state, as it was during the six weeks of the convention. This museum also hosts various educational programs and events. It is supported through ticket sales, donations, and fundraising events.
The building is reportedly haunted by the spirits of those who suffered here. Some say the spirits of prisoners and prison guards are still hanging around. Other visitors have felt the presence of unseen spirits. Visitors and tour docents have also reported hearing footstep sounds on the porch balcony.
The building was originally built for city government and community use, but Colton had a vision of building a grand multi-purpose building that could serve many purposes. It could be a school, a museum, an office building, and a venue for community events. Colton was dedicated to finding the funds needed to build the building, and he tapped into his political power.
The Colton Hall Museum is located in Monterey, California. It is home to more than 300 works of art. The collection includes the works of many famous artists. The museum also has a collection of rare books and documents. It is a great place to visit if you are visiting the area.
The Colton Hall Museum is one of the oldest and most comprehensive museums in Monterey. It is located near the Old Monterey Jail, which was closed from 1854 to 1956. Nearby are several charming Victorian B&Bs and horse ranches. Other attractions in the region include Fort Ord National Monument and Marina State Beach.
Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Fort Ord Dunes State Park is located near the Monterey Bay in the city of Seaside. The park is a ninety-nine acre coastal dunes park with a boardwalk and hiking trails. Visitors can explore the park’s military history and explore the many educational exhibits.
Despite the park’s few facilities, Fort Ord draws about 100,000 visitors each year. The state park is currently undergoing a project to add a new campground. This plan also calls for a community building with interpretive displays and an indoor/outdoor fireplace.
A 200-foot wildlife corridor is also part of the project. It will help minimize the impact on the surrounding landscape. Currently, the park contains 12 existing storage bunkers. Of these, one will be converted into a museum, while the other will be used for park operations.
The park offers a four-mile ocean beach and several miles of trails for walking and bicycling. The beach is runnable and has good firm sand. However, the grade can become steep and turn into a “shelf” based on the tides. The best conditions for running are during low tide.