Immortalized in John Steinbeck's novel, Cannery Row is the most popular vacation destination on California's Central Coast. Set on the Monterey Bay, this historic 2-mile waterfront dining and shopping destination features over 150 unique stores, waterfront restaurants, lively bars, cafés, a factory outlet, attractions, recreations, interesting art galleries and exciting nightlife - all amidst breathtaking views of the Bay. Experience past and present architecture, mouthwatering cuisine and exciting family attractions as Cannery Row celebrates the enduring spirit of this legendary lane. Visit www.canneryrow.com.
Monterey Bay -
Monterey Bay is a lively port for exploration, fun and adventure. Venture into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the world's largest protected ocean habitat, and encounter a world of diverse sea and land life. Dive lush kelp forests, kayak waterways shared with dolphins and seals, meet playful sea otters, sail through indigo waters, and glide with the gray whales. Explore the underworld mysteries of the Bay at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and marvel at an 87-foot whale skeleton on display.
Monterey Bay Aquarium -
The largest aquarium in the country, Monterey Bay Aquarium is internationally hailed for its interactive marine life exhibits. Explore the deep wonders of Monterey Bay, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org for more information.
Fisherman's Wharf -
Located on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula, the Old Fisherman's Wharf is a festive waterfront attraction in downtown Monterey with a myriad of unique shops, wonderful restaurants, seafood, theaters, kiosks, and whale watching, fishing, and bay cruises and the sights and sounds of Monterey's pasts.
Stroll down the Wharf with a cup of clam chowder or stop by one of the waterfront restaurants for fresh Monterey Bay seafood, steaks and Caribbean cuisine. Photograph the sea lions and otters frolicking in the calm harbor waters, take a glass bottom boat tour, deep-sea fishing trip or a whale watching cruise.
Monterey Path of History -
Walk along the Monterey Path of History that encircles downtown Monterey's tree-lined area filled with shops, theaters, cafés, bars, and restaurants. The rich history of Monterey is illustrated in its adobes, mission bells, gardens and lighthouses. Discover Monterey landmarks such as Cooper-Molera Adobe, Custom House, and The House of the Blue Gate. Head to Alvarado Street for the Tuesday farmer's market and arts and crafts fair.
Point Pinos Lighthouse -
Located where the pines meet the water's edge in Pacific Grove on the northern tip of the Monterey Peninsula, Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1855, its beacon has flashed nightly to guide and warn ships off the rocky California coast. Visit http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/lighthouse/default.htm.
Monterey Conference Center -
Situated on the largest marine sanctuary in the US, Monterey Conference Center features 58,000 square feet over three levels of outstanding meeting space including an exhibit hall, ballroom, a 494-foot Steinbeck Forum theater, elegant banquet facilities, a luxurious high-style boardroom, breakout space, galleries, and beautiful outside patios and terraces. The conference center is surrounded by wonderful restaurants, shopping and thrilling attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium. Visit www.montereyconferencecenter.com.
Monarch Grove Sanctuary -
Witness the winter phenomenon of thousands of Monarch butterflies clustering in pines and eucalyptus trees in the pine forest of Pacific Grove. Beginning in late-October, the majestic Monarchs migrate to "Butterfly Town, U.S.A." to spend the winter in the California sunshine. Visit Pacific Grove's Butterfly Trees to marvel at the spectacle. The Pacific Grove School District's annual Butterfly Parade celebrates the yearly return of the Monarch. Visit www.ci.pg.ca.us/monarchs/default.htm.
Monterey County Fairgrounds & Exposition Park -
Monterey Fairgrounds is home to the annual Monterey County Fair each August, featuring carnival rides, 4-H livestock competitions and auctions, live music, entertainment and traditional fair exhibits. The Fairgrounds host popular festivals throughout the year, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Blues Festival, World Music Fest, and the Book Fair. Visit www.montereycountyfair.com.
Coming to the nearby Monterey County Fairgrounds: 5/12 Monterey Street Food Fest noon-6 at the fairgrounds
National Steinbeck Center -
Located in Salinas, the National Steinbeck Center displays works of literary art created by Monterey County's favorite native son, Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Journey through Steinbeck's world of literature and philosophy through interactive, multisensory exhibits, priceless artifacts, entertaining displays, educational programs and research archives and themed theaters that lead you into the heart of Steinbeck's novels - Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Cannery Row. Enjoy rotating art and cultural exhibits, the Museum Store and the Valley of the World Agricultural History and Education Center, which share stories of the Salinas Valley where Steinbeck drew his inspiration and observations of the human condition. Visit www.steinbeck.org.
Monterey Wine Country -
A dramatic meeting of land and sea, Monterey is one of the world's perfect wine growing destinations and the largest wine region of California. From Carmel Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands in the north to San Bernabe and San Antonio Valley in the south, Monterey County is a slice of wine heaven with 40,000 acres of 9 diverse winegrowing appellations - Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe - and 85 vintners producing almost every vinifera. The charming tasting rooms of Bernardus, Chateau Julien, Talbott and Galante vineyards in Carmel Valley provide a relaxed atmosphere for tasting wines and learning about the winemaking process. Drive to Riverland Vineyard, Smith & Hook/Hahn Estates and Chalone Vineyards. In November the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association hosts the Annual Great Wine Escape Weekend, featuring wine and food tasting, winery tours, and winemaker dinners. Visit www.montereywines.org.
Santa Cruz Boardwalk -
Overlooking the mile-long beach between Monterey and San Francisco, the famed Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a vacation hot spot for classic rides and beach vibes. This historic seaside amusement park features more than 30 carnival rides, games, arcades, miniature golf, a climbing wall, a motion theater, and laser tag. Enjoy the adrenaline rush of the Giant Dipper - one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the country - and experience ocean-view thrills on coasters such as Fireball and Cliff Hanger. Visit www.rwsplash.com.
Hearst Castle -
A magnificent historic treasure, the enchanting hilltop castle of William Randolph Hearst is one of the world's largest estates and a California Historical Monument. Located on 127 acres in San Simeon, on top of a hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Hearst Castle offers guided tours of the majestic estate's 165 rooms, unique artifacts, wine cellars, Renaissance art, ornate swimming pools, and spectacular gardens and walkways. Explore the palace's breathtaking main house, "Casa Grande," and three guest houses of Mediterranean Revival style and witness the amazing European and Mediterranean art collection. Visit the William Randolph Hearst exhibit in the Visitor Center for an insightful look into the Castle and its architect, or walk up to the observation deck to view The Enchanted Hill. Visit www.hearstcastle.org.
Holiday Inn Express Monterey / Cannery Row Hotel - California (CA)Located at