This past Saturday, before Super Bowl Sunday, I traveled to Monterey, California and what a gorgeous Saturday it was!
While I shared with you my photos from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (which was the location of Hovden Cannery), part of the trip that I wanted to experience was at Cannery Row.
Cannery Row is the waterfront street located right next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Back in the early 1990’s, the location was a hot spot for sardine canning factories. And during World War II, it was one of the most unsafe, cold and non-regulated hourly jobs to have.
But unfortunately, after World War II, the sardines suddenly disappeared from Monterey Bay and brought economic disaster to Cannery Row.
But in order to keep Cannery Row from disappearing, it came down to two prominent Monterey restaurant managers (who had ties to the fishing industry) to ensure the place would continue and pay tribute to the many cultures that made the location famous.
And in 1976, the Cannery Row company was born and many locations were revived to a popular tourist destination for the State of California.
In Cannery Row, right at Steinbeck Plaza!, you will be greeted by a bust of American author, John Steinbeck.
The author known for “Of Mice and Men”, “East of Eden” and “The Grapes of Wrath” had written “Cannery Row” in 1945. The novel gives a good idea of the setting of Monterey, California during the Great Depression.
Behind the John Steinbeck statue is the “Cannery Row Monument” which was unveiled in February 2014. Sculpted by local Carmel artist Steven Whyte and cost $1 million (covered by private donations), on top of the rock is author John Steinbeck, marine biologist Ed Ricketts and other characters who represent the immigrants that worked in the canning industry. Including those who were involved i n the revival of the tourism industry at Cannery Row: Ted Balestreri, George Zarounian, Hary Davidian, and Bert Cutino.
Strolling through Cannery Row, you will see a bust of Kalisa Moore, the “Queen of Cannery Row” and was the owner of the closed “La Ida Restaurant” (which is now occupied by Austino’s Patisserie) which John Steinbeck used to visit.
The restaurant was a major destination for tourists to experience since 1968 (especially in the ’70s, which attracted artists and writers) featuring Mediterranean food, many music acts and was known for its belly dancing. But for many, it was the owner Kalisa Moore that many people wanted to meet. For more on Kalisa Moore, please read this excellent article from Monterey County Now.
Cannery Row also has the popular Bubba Gump restaurant, the first Bubba Gump restaurant in the nation.
The famous Sardine Factory restaurant which has been around since 1968 and well-known for its wine list.
Standing by the Cannery Row monument, you have El Torito restaurant on the right, The Fish Hopper to your left overlooking the ocean.
If you are looking for a great hotel right near Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium, I recommend the InterContinental Clement Monterey.
But if you are looking for a wonderful travel destination near California’s Central Coast with awesome restaurants, great atmosphere and just gorgeous ocean landscapes, give Monterey a try! You won’t be disappointed.