During the early 20th century, the local fishing industry thrived under the hard work of Sicilian and Japanese immigrants. Canneries lined Ocean View Avenue (later renamed "Cannery Row" in commemoration of John Steinbeck's novel), and Monterey became known as the "Sardine Capital of the World." By the 1950s, however, the overfished waters of the Monterey Bay could not yield enough sardines to keep the canneries in business, and the industry collapsed.
Today, the peninsula's primary industry is tourism, and it's easy to see why business is booming. The area boasts an active arts community, first-class restaurants and resorts, a range of outdoor activities from surfing to golf, and plenty of unique shops and galleries, all set against the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
One of my favorite old Victorian buildings along Ocean View Boulevard; today, many of the town's historic properties serve as bed-and-breakfast inns
The Pacific Grove farmers market takes over the main street every Monday; "P.G." (as the locals call it) is known for its small-town charm and hospitality
Built in 1855, Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the West Coast