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Exploring a coastal treasure called home by John Steinbeck and world-class golfers

Monterey, California, is a beautiful beach community about two hours south of San Francisco. Nearby attractions like Big Sur and Cannery Row have put the town on the map, but those aren't the only reasons visitors flock to this coastal community.

Cannery Row
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this legendary industrial area has been transformed into an amazing shopping and dining hotspot. The district was made famous by author John Steinbeck in his 1945 novel, Cannery Row. The story outlined the history of the area and delved into the lives local characters.

Today, visitors can buy a nice piece of white fish at any of the 25 ocean view restaurants that line the street. Specialty shops dot the landscape along with local artists' galleries, making this a destination you'll never forget.

While you're on Cannery Row, you can't miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which features more than 35,000 creatures in nearly 200 galleries.

Old Fisherman's Wharf
Even though Cannery Row no longer brings in the catch of the day, that activity is still alive and well in Monterey. Wharf #2, just down the road from Cannery Row in Downtown Monterey, is still a part of the area's very active and thriving fishing industry. Visitors can stroll down the Old Fisherman's Wharf and watch trawlers bring in their catches.

You'll want to make sure you have your camera, because sea lions and otters wait to greet you. If you'd like to get a closer look at the sea life, take a glass-bottom boat tour of the harbor, go out into the open waters on a whale watching trip or catch your own on a deep-sea-fishing trip.

Monterey is one of the largest wine producing regions in California. The Franciscan Friars first introduced wine grapes to the Monterey area over 200 years ago and quickly realized that Monterey has the perfect climate for setting up vineyards. The 42 varietals of grapes that grow in Monterey County are used by 85 wineries on over 40,000 acres. This bounty of grapes makes some pretty fine wine. You can stop by any of the wineries and have fun tasting all the different vintages. Get a map of all the wineries from the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. Cheers!

Now that you've had lunch and shopped 'til you dropped, it's time to relax on the beach. Hope you bought a bottle of wine, because you can take it with you to watch the sun set over the ocean at beautiful McAbee Beach.

For More Information:
Monterey County
Convention & Visitors Bureau

California Travel and Tourism Commission