It was a great pleasure for me to visit the Cannery Row district in Monterey, California.
Cannery Row is lined with old-time sardine fisheries, where the fish were caught in mass quantities and canned or processed into oil and fishmeal. It was immortalized by the novelist John Steinbeck in 1945 in his novel of the same name, which depicted the livelihood of locals during the Great Depression.
As a result, Cannery Row became the official name of the town’s main street (formerly known as Ocean View Avenue) in January 1958 to honor the author and his famous novel.
As part of a family winter road trip with my wife and four-year-old son, I marked the map to visit the sleepy old fisherman town that I became fond of when Steinbeck first captured my interest in high school.
We drove into town late morning and found Monterey friendly and easygoing. Nowadays, tourism drives the local economy instead of fishing and canning, which hit their peak in the ‘30s and ‘40s. We paused at a roadside coffee house that offered a panoramic view of the bay framed by pine trees and giant sequoias.
We toured the town, then stopped by a local restaurant for a fresh seafood lunch – the catch of the day. After lunch, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was just a short walk to the south end of Cannery Row.