After walking around Cannery Row and visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we headed over to The Sardine Factory to get some dinner. We arrived just in time for their prix fixe menu special, so we headed on in.
More pictures of sardines! I really had no idea that the sardine industry was so big here until we came to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Apparently after World War II, the sardine population in Monterey Bay collapsed from overfishing. They then had to convert the old canning factories and fisherman’s wharf to a tourist area like it is today.
After the Jellies Experience we headed downstairs and waited for the Kelp Forest feeding demonstration. A volunteer diver fed the fish and explained the ecosystem found in and around kelp forests. She even answered questions from the audience. She sounded like Darth Vadar… it was fun.
The last time I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium was with my family over 15 years ago so I was very excited that we had time to stop by on this trip. The weather was cool, crisp, and salty. We arrived there early and there was already a line to get in, along with lots of groups of children on field trips.
Cannery Row is a waterfront district in Monterey Bay filled with many shops and restaurants. It was made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row about the locals that lived there during the Great Depression.
We arrived there nice and early, and within a minute of parking this seagull landed on top of our car and stared at us. I knew this was going to be a good day :D Hindsight, we should have shooed him off in fear of him pooping everywhere. Thank goodness, by the time we came back, the car was still poop free. Phew.
At the beginning of Monterey Municipal Wharf there is a restaurant that is tucked under the pier, called Sandbar and Grill. It was pretty busy so we decided to try it out. Inside, it was very small but had a cozy feel that I loved.
Calamari, Tender Pieces Pounded thin and Fried Golden. The BEST calamari we’ve ever eaten. They were so tender and crispy. Since then, all other calamari we’ve eaten have now been compared to this standard. We still reminisce about how delicious they were… lol