I've been to Monterey a few times now and we always end up here on Cannery Row. We usually come here to show others who have not yet been, but to be bluntly honest its too touristy. I get that businesses need to make money and it's great that there are a lot of mom and pop shops, but $40 for a sweater and $90 for a bottle of wine are pushing it. Now making an about-face on my previous comment , there are a lot of great shops and restaurants here in this short 2 1/2 blocks. Don't just buy what you see in the first shop, circle the whole area first and then go back because some shops are cheaper than others for the exact same thing. Don't forget to go one block north, there are shops there too and have cheaper nick knacks.
Parking: The meters are check and re-checked. You will notice that parking enforcement will be making their rounds chalking tires. Usually after 730pm you rarely see them checking so you can relax a bit because they stop checking after 9pm i think. There are parking garages and lots which charge a flat rate ($10-30) depending on the season. If you plan on staying here all day then that's your best bet.
Food: We usually go to the Bubba Gumps because we cant decide on where to eat so we go to our familiar place. We have also eaten at Louie Linguini which was pretty good our last trip here. There are a few Pubs, an el torito and a few more upscale dining choices like Chart house. It's up to you...they are all pretty good. For dessert don't forget to stop at Ghirardelli for some ice cream and chocolate ($8-12).
At the end of the street is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, if you plan on staying for more than 1 day the 2 day pass is the best deal which you can get from your hotel if they participate in the deal, if not then a one day adult pass will set you back $35, Kids $21.
Don't be scared away by this review...check the place out, but have a plan B in case you end your visit here early.
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