Location: Cannery Row, the street, runs from Reeside to David avenues on Monterey's waterfront
Today's Cannery Row is a popular tourist attraction, a district more than a single street, filled with restaurants and shops and home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But when we think of Cannery Row in the realm of "seven wonders," we're probably envisioning the days of Steinbeck and sardines.
Cannery Row wasn't even called Cannery Row until 1958, some 13 years after John Steinbeck gave it that name in his classic novel. The street that fronts Monterey's bay was appropriately -- at least at one time - named Ocean View Avenue (and still is in Pacific Grove). But the growth of Monterey's fishing industry changed the atmosphere - and the air - of the place.
The street's first cannery opened in 1902 and others followed down the row, as catches and demand grew, especially in war time. Steinbeck fictionalized the Cannery Row of the 1930s, weaving in the characters who ran the grocery store, provided the nightlife and inhabited the flophouses. And he introduced the world to Doc and his wonderful Western Biological Laboratory. Cannery Row was, Steinbeck wrote, "a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.
Within a few years of the book's 1945 publication, the sardine run was over, the once seemingly endless supply of fish depleted. But the street still had the aura created by the author and developers responded by remaking the area into a tourist destination.
Tucked in among the shops and restaurants, visitors can find remnants of the row from Steinbeck's day. The most notable include the lab operated by the real Doc, Ed Ricketts, in an unobtrusive spot at 800 Cannery Row, and Kalisa's La Ida Cafe, once a bordello, at 851 Cannery Row.