Fisherman's Wharf

Take a whale tour, admire the ocean views from seafood restaurants and browse the souvenirs for sale in this thriving marina.

Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular waterfront area that played a major role in the development of Monterey. After serving as a busy port toward the end of the 19th century, it is today a diverse district that draws crowds with its seafood restaurants, lively bars and souvenir shops. Admire the excellent views of the ocean in this old-world harbor.

Snap photos of the elegant Custom House that marks the entrance to the wharf. Dating back to 1827, the adobe structure has a Spanish-colonial style and marks the place where the American flag was hoisted in 1846 to declare California part of the United States. Visit the Museum of Monterey beside the house to learn about the intriguing marine history of the region.

Stroll along the main walkway of the wharf with your family, making stops at various stores. The wharf contains a mixture of restaurants, jewelry stores, gift shops and art galleries. Bring the kids to the colorful candy shops.

In addition to being an entertainment hub, the wharf still serves as a port offering ocean tours. Embark on a fishing trip or take a whale-watching tour for a closer look at these majestic creatures. Rent a boat for sailing on scenic Monterey Bay. Sea lions lazily sun themselves here on buoys and moored boats.

Return at dusk and watch the sunset over the wharf. Enjoy a romantic view of the water while you dine on fish fries and seafood options at one of the restaurants.

After the collapse of the sardine industry in the 1940s, the wharf shifted its focus from fishing to leisure. Note that many locals refer to this area as the Old Fisherman’s Wharf to differentiate it from Municipal Wharf II.

Enter the wharf for free. It is mostly pedestrianized and open at all times to the public.

Fisherman’s Wharf is on the harbor in the central part of Monterey. Take a bus to a nearby stop or ride the free trolley service. The wharf is south of San Carlos Beach Park and west of Monterey Beach House.

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