With so many outdoor activities in Monterey, CA, you're sure to spend entire days exploring the beautiful and historic sites in the area. One of the best ways to explore the city is by taking self-guided Monterey CA walking tours. Various local companies offer maps and guides that will explain the cultural and historical significance of the sites you pass while exploring Monterey on foot. Here are our top places to take a self-guided Monterey walking tour!
An Introduction to Monterey
Monterey was the capital of California between the late 1700s and through the mid-1800s. After that, Monterey became the country’s sardine-packing capital, and that's what put Monterey on the map. Novelists like John Steinbeck detailed the lives of cannery packers in his book, "Cannery Row." Fans of Steinbeck's novels traveled to the area to explore the settings detailed in the book. Monterey became famous as the picturesque setting of this classic novel. Less than a ten-minute walk away from Cannery Row is another world-famous attraction, the Monterey Bay aquarium. The aquarium is home to thousands of marine animals and plants. The aquarium has a variety of exhibits visitors can spend the day exploring.
Cannery Row was a small fishing village and quickly became the country's sardine packing industry’s epicenter. After the industry collapsed, the town rejuvenated the area into a well-visited tourist hub. Cannery Row is a pedestrian-friendly street stuffed with restaurants, souvenir shops, boutiques, and bars in the old factories.
When you take a walk around Cannery Row, you'll discover the life of real-life marine biologist Ed Ricketts, a mentor to John Steinbeck and the foundation for one of the book's main characters. As you explore Cannery Row, you'll discover some of the settings detailed in the book. These settings include San Carlos Beach, Monterey Plaza Hotel, the InterContinental Hotel, and the Steinbeck Plaza. Stroll along the trail and approach the intersection (the crosswalk is covered in blue waves). You'll discover a railroad crossing and a bronze statue of Ed Ricketts across the street and to the left. The statue is a monument to Ricketts' life and marks the scene of the tragic train accident that took his life in May 1948. The railroad tracks were removed and were replaced by the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail, but the railroad crossing sign remains to honor Ricketts, his impact on Steinbeck, and Monterey, CA in general.
Fisherman's Wharf is another excellent place for Monterey CA walking tours. The Municipal Wharf II is a working commercial fishing pier. Take a walk in the early morning hours, and you'll see many fishing boats arriving at the pier with the day's fresh catches. Sample some of the freshest fish around at the wharf's many seafood restaurants later in the day. There are two restaurants, a British pub, five wholesale fish markets, and an abalone farm on the wharf. You can also see luxury yachts that belong to the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club as you walk around.
The downtown Monterey area has many attractions that are very close to one another and are easily within walking distance. Take a walking tour of the area's museums, including the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, art galleries, cultural museums, and historic homes as you walk around.
See the sights at Ramada Hotel in Monterey
Once you've completed your Monterey CA walking tours, relax and rest up for your next adventure at Ramada Monterey. Want to learn more about other fun things to see and do in Monterey? Our blog has tons of articles to help you get the most out of your trip!