A visit to California, whether it’s your first time or you’re a frequent visitor, must include a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway 1. Avoid the stress of renting a car and planning it out with a tour to Monterey Bay and Cannery Row!
A full-day trip starts off in San Francisco, and travels down the scenic West coast on one of the most iconic roads in the world. Take in the scenic vistas made famous from films with an expert guide and commentary. Bring your camera! The tour makes several must-see photogenic stops along the way so you don’t miss a thing, including several historic and charming surf towns.
One of the stops includes Carmel-by-the-Sea, a picturesque coastal town where Clint Eastwood was once the mayor. Carmel prides itself for its artistic community, but is also known for its unusual town laws. Did you know you need a permit to wear high heels? A fascinating history and beautiful views await you in Carmel.
Ever been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Your ticket includes admission to this public aquarium located in a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row. The aquarium sees an annual two million visitors, and boasts displays of 30,000 creatures, and more than 600 species of plants and animals. It was the first aquarium in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp, a centerpiece of the exhibit. It is also one of the only ones to exhibit both bluefin and yellowfin tuna, and successfully care for the ocean sunfish in captivity. They also have a successful Sea Otter Program, where they rescue and rehabilitate sea otters, the only mammals in the aquarium. This is a must-visit if you’re travelling with children!
Besides for the aquarium, there is plenty else to see on Cannery Row, the waterfront street of New Monterey. Historically, the street hosted several now-defunct sardine canning factories, the last of which closed in 1973 due to the collapse of the local fishing economy in the mid-1950s. Before the collapse, it was one of the most productive fisheries in the world due to the upwelling of the nutrient-rich cold Pacific Ocean water. The buildings have now been creatively reappropriated into shops, restaurants and hotels. It was the setting of John Steinbeck’s famous 1945 novel, Cannery Row, and the subsequent eponymous 1982 movie starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger. It was also mentioned in Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”. Walking around you’re likely to see some of Cannery Row’s most famous residents: the California sea lion. Don’t worry about timing – this tour is designed so you can explore at your leisure. The stop in Cannery Row is four hours, perfect for shopping, dining and exploring!
This affordable and fun tour picks up and drops off from many central San Francisco hotels. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable, so you can enjoy yourself no matter how hot it is outside. Traveling in a group? There are buses available with capacities of 28, 39, 47, and 56 seats, so this is an excellent option for a trip with friends, extended family or business groups. Find out more about Cannery Row tours!