Morning in Monterey, California: Stunning Sunrise, Steinbeck Monument, and Cannery Row

After spending less than twenty four glorious hours in San Francisco, we had arrived in Monterey in time for a late dinner the night before.  While we only had one night to spend here, we thoroughly enjoyed this little beach town.


When your three year old is still on east coast time, he gets up at 5:15 am in Monterey, California. Sneaking out so as not to wake the rest of the family, we walked out into the brisk cool morning, crossed the street from our hotel onto a very nice jogging and bike walkway, and were greeted with this stunningsunrise! This is quite a sunrise for my very first west coast sunrise! WOW!

After enjoying the sunrise, my little guy and I made our way down to Cannery Row. It was early so most of the shops weren’t open yet, but it was peaceful taking an early morning stroll.  


I didn’t know much about the history of Monterey prior to my visit.  During WW1 Monterey became the home of a booming fish canning industry primarily canning sardines.

 “Cannery Row’s wartime production grew from 75,000 cases in 1915 to 1.4 million in 1918”(click text for source)


Very unfortunate there wasn’t time for visiting any of the tasting rooms, but it is a road trip and we have a long drive today.  Too bad!

Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room

There were so many amazing views and beautiful scenes to capture. After the rest of the family woke up and joined us, we toured on foot the rest of cannery row and spent several minutes viewing sea lions and seals before heading back to our hotel and down the road to our next exciting coastal vista!

Despite numerous recommendations to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we unfortunately had a long drive ahead of us and our schedule did not allow for it. Instead, we spent the morning walking around the town taking in the sights and snapping some beautiful photos.


Though we only had a few hours in this quaint seaside village town, we made the most of our morning.  The crisp spring air accompanied by the beautiful sunrises, the playful sea lions, and the sounds of the ocean splashing on the rocks made it perfectly clear why John Steinbeck would choose such a location as a back drop for a novel.  It was just like a scene from a book! 


Planning a longer stay in Monterey? Check out these articles to help you plan. 

Amanda Bowers


At VeraVise Outdoor Living, our family has been living & playing in the Great Smoky Mountains and Appalachian region for more than 35 years.

20 thoughts on “Morning in Monterey, California: Stunning Sunrise, Steinbeck Monument, and Cannery Row”

  1. Gorgeous photos – I loved Monterey when we visited California. We stayed just outside the city and spent most of our day there at the aquarium (which is amazing if you get chance to go back) but it is a lovely city to explore. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  2. That is one happy three-year-old, especially so early in the morning! I live closer to SF and keep saying that I’ll get down to Monterey (especially for the aquarium), it looks like a beautiful place with plenty to do! #CityTripping

  3. You’re going to have to find a way back to Monterrey. The aquarium really is fantastic, and there is plenty to do and see in the area. (Even without the wine trail!) And it’s all gorgeous! Your sunrise photos are beautiful, as are the coastal views. You’re making us want to go back again! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. When we drove the Pacific Coast, we skipped Monterrey due to time constraints. Now I feel I should have stopped! At least for a beautiful sunset. Love your pictures! #weekendwanderlust

  5. What a beautiful sunrise. I never intentionally get up for the sunrise, but when I’m up for it, I am always delighted and tell myself that I should watch the sunrise more often.

  6. Sunrise is the best time of day for photography if you can get up out the door that early. I guess having a little guy on east coast time will certainly help! You’ve captured some beautiful shots of Monterey. Thanks for linking in to #wkendtravelinspiration

  7. Great that you had a sunny day for Monterey. There certainly is plenty to do in Monterey and I missed some of the places you saw. I did enjoy the aquarium when I was there.

  8. Aw your California sunrise pictures are making me a bit homesick! Sadly, I’ve never been to Monterey, but we are planning a big Cali road trip for next year and it’s on my itinerary! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  9. I didn’t get to spend much time in Monterrey either, so I need to go back! I went and did whale watching and that was amazing. I want to go back and visit the aquarium and the tasting rooms. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  10. It is hard to beat the beauty of Monterey and its bay. In my opinion, it is one of the most spectacular places in California. At least, your son helped you to get those lovely morning shots. And, strolling the Cannery Row area seems like a good idea. I can get very crowded after midday. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  11. I cannot wait to get back out west! and yes, my kids always get up early even here (530 east coast time!) so we will be up for sunrises in Cali Im sure. And I agree with Corey, BIG LITTLE LIES all the way!

  12. This is going to sound really shallow given your John Steinback references, but I just started watching Big Little Lies and that’s all I can think of when reading this post! Haha. But seriously, Monterey is such a beautiful town (I lived in Cali for a few years) and those sunrise photos you captured are simply stunning. #theweeklypostcard

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