Whether you’re visiting Monterey Bay for a romantic getaway or you’re bringing your whole family, there’s so much to see and do. Relaxing, enjoying amazing wine and food, and views that will you have you begging to come back.

5 must do cannery row experiences

I spent only 3 days in Monterey Bay and I’m still asking my husband for a return trip. There’s plenty of opportunities for romance, and plenty of activities for families. Here are 5 things you definitely can’t miss when you visit Cannery Row in Monterey Bay.

  • The sea life in Monterey Bay

Seals in Monterey Bay, CA

Walking along the dock at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey Bay, I nearly walked right by this guy sunning himself on the rocks nearby. They’re like chameleons, blending in so well with the mossy boulders, but there he was. 

Monterey Bay is the only place in the world where you’ll find five species of seals and sea-lions, and you might even be lucky enough to see an otter. Watching them eat is interesting as they’ll often pick a crab out of the water or hiding near the rocks and they smash them on their belly or on the rocks to crack open the crab shells.

While we were kayaking, our guide told us that they’ll sometimes try to get into the kayaks, or at the very least observe kayakers and follow them on their trek, because they’re so curious.

  • Kayaking In Monterey Bay

Kayaking in Monterey Bay, CA

I have never been in a kayak a day in my life, but since kayaking in Monterey Bay, getting back on the water is something I’ve thought about often. Right near the water is a fun rental place called Adventures By The Sea.

You can rent a kayaks, bikes, or paddle boards, and our guide was patient, showing us how to kayak, telling us about the local sea life, and the preservation efforts of the National Marine Sanctuary.

Kayaking on Cannery Row in Monterey Bay

The educational bit aside, there is something so amazing about sitting in a boat in the middle of the bay and seeing the way the town was developed from old, dilapidated cannery buildings to a continually developing, beautiful tourist town.

  • Shopping Along Cannery Row

Shopping along Cannery Row

From saltwater taffy to fresh seafood, from unique jewelry to unique socks, Cannery Row has the best one-stop-shop and sightseeing opportunities in Monterey Bay. You could spend an entire day on Cannery Row shopping!

One of my favorite things about vacationing is shopping! Explore items from local artists, purchase local wine, or enjoy a fine cigar along Cannery Row in Monterey Bay!

  • Local Wine Tasting Is Best In Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay wine tasting

When you visit Monterey Bay, CA, you have to make a stop at Taste Of Monterey. They’re the reason I had 6 bottles of local wine shipped to my door. We sat drinking wines from local wineries, shared tasting plates of cheese, crackers, and hors d’oeuvres and watched the ocean from our table.

Wine tasting on Cannery Row

Did you know that Monterey County was named as one of 2013’s “Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations” in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine? The cold, deep waters of Monterey Bay along with the moderate temperatures the area experiences throughout the growing season make the grapes in the area unmatched. In fact, areas like Napa Valley – known for their fine wines – buy grapes from the Monterey Bay area!

  • The Freshest Seafood On Cannery Row

Oceanview dining in Monterey Bay

There are so many great places to eat in Monterey Bay and a few of the great restaurants have amazing views of the ocean while you’re dining. The Fish Hopper was one of my favorite places and if you’re lucky enough to get your table at the end of the restaurant where it literally sits over a dock, you won’t be sorry.


Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen is a great place for seafood and has great views of the ocean and, of course, you’ll want to visit the original Bubba Gump Shrimp Co – it was the very first one!

Sightseeing on Cannery Row


About Author

Dusty is the editor of As Mom Sees It, a family lifestyle and travel site. She is a wife and mother of two in Ohio.

Dusty has been featured on ABC, on Mom Talk Radio and in iBlog Magazine. Her creations have been featured on Craftgawker, DIY Weddings, and in 2013, As Mom Sees It was named one of the Top 50 New Product Review Sites by Cision.

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