Looking for the best places to go shopping in Monterey City in California? While it's best known for outdoor experiences, its fishery business, and an abundance of historical sites and vineyards, beyond the sightseeing you'll find great shopping destinations for goods such as fresh local produces, rare books and vinyl, as well as world-renowned vintage wear.

    Most stores are independently owned and run, giving you handmade selections instead of the cliché souvenirs you’ll find in larger cities. Come explore our list below as we bring you through what to buy and where to get your shopping done when you visit Monterey.

    1

    Cannery Row

    Shop, feast, and stay along this historic seafood cannery row

    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    Cannery Row was formerly known as the Ocean View Avenue. It was renamed in 1958 following the successful publication of John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row, in which the author wrote of this former seafood cannery waterfront.

    Today, this tourist attraction is a hot spot for all your souvenir shopping needs, hotels, and restaurants. They are mostly housed in repurposed factories, providing Cannery Row with a rustic outlook wherever you turn. During your visit, be sure to drop by Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar to bring home some high-quality olive oils and balsamic vinegar. Wine lovers may also want to visit A Taste of Monterey to sip on wines from over 95 local wineries while looking out the vast views of Monterey Bay.

    Location: Monterey, CA 93940, USA

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    photo by Amadscientist (CC BY 3.0) modified

    2

    Pebble Beach

    Shop and unwind at the exclusive community-based beach

    • Shoppers
    • Photo
    • Luxury

    Best known for its array of holiday homes, Pebble Beach is a tourist destination just 15 minutes away from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. Golf enthusiasts will be able to pick up exclusive golf accessories and apparels before booking a game at any of the 8 golf courses in the area.

    Selections of handmade accessories, indulgent bath products, and art can also be found in the shops around Pebble Beach. It is, however, good to note that price tags of goods at Pebble Beach may be steeper than the usual tourist spots. You’ll also have to pay an entrance fee to enter the Pebble Beach area.

    Location: Del Monte Forest, CA, USA

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    3

    Northridge Mall

    Pop by Monterey County’s largest shopping mall

    • Shoppers

    Northridge Mall is the largest and only indoor shopping mall in Salinas, Monterey County. Regularly visited by locals, this mall spans 2 floors, with a wide variety of shopping and dining establishments.

    Big-name choices include boutiques such as H&M and Macy’s while visitors who prefer getting personalized gifts could opt to drop by the Build-A-Bear Workshop to make their own cuddly friend. For patrons looking to while away a couple of hours and be entertained, Northridge Mall has a 14-screen cinema on its 1st floor.

    Location: 796 Northridge Dr, Salinas, CA 93906, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 831-449-7226

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    4

    Old Fisherman’s Wharf

    Visit Monterey’s most popular fish market turned tourist attraction

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    The Old fisherman's Wharf was once a popular wholesale fish market in Monterey. Today, this must-visit attraction features rows of restaurants and souvenir stores. Only a handful of vehicles can enter the surrounding of The Old Fisherman's Wharf, providing pedestrians with a peace of mind while walking down the streets.

    While visiting, it’s recommended to try a bowl of the iconic clam chowder at any of the family-owned dining establishments. Most stores offer incredible ocean views, making The Old Fisherman’s Wharf a great spot to catch the sunset. If you're a candy lover, the Wharf Wonka Chocolate Factory – right in the heart of The Old Fisherman’s Wharf – will satisfy your sweet tooth.

    Location: #1 Old, Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940, USA

    Phone: +1 831-238-0777

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    5

    The Old Farmer’s Market

    An international market hub in the heart of Old Monterey Marketplace

    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Budget

    The Old Farmer’s Market in Old Monterey Marketplace has been an iconic shopping spot since 1991. Welcoming both local and international vendors, the market takes place every Tuesday along Alvarado Street. Within this 3-block-long space, you'll find various fresh local produce including certified organic goods, handicrafts, and much more. Home cooks and bakers often set up stalls at the market as well, so you’ll be able to try different types of foods during your visit.

    The Old Farmer’s Market is usually open come rain or shine, though lesser vendors would open on wet days. On special occasions such as Christmas, you’ll even get to catch carollers serenading visitors at the market.

    Location: 2414, 300 Alvarado St, Monterey, CA 93940, USA

    Open: May–September: Tuesday from 4 pm to 8 pm. October–April: Tuesday from 4 pm to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 831-655-2607

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    6

    Cat’s Meow

    Walk through Monterey’s only vintage clothing store

    • Shoppers

    Step back in time at Cat’s Meow, Monterey’s only vintage clothing store. Set along Lighthouse Avenue, this corner store is painted with a pop of blue, so you won’t miss it among the row of shops down the road. Cat’s Meow is best known for their rare collections of vintage wear for men and women, as well as assorted jewellery, bags, and accessories at reasonable prices.

    Cat's Meow also offers personal image consultation by appointment. With so much to offer through its doors, it's no wonder the store is so well-loved by the locals, tourists, theatre producers, photographers, and event planners across Monterey.

    Location: 601 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 831-393-2287

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    7

    Luminata Books & Gifts

    Books and gifts for the heart, body, and soul

    • Shoppers

    Luminata Books & Gifts is owned by popular self-help author Emory Michael and his wife, Mia Michael. It’s located just 10 minutes away from Monterey Bay on foot, and locals often stop by for psychic readings, book signings, and spiritual classes and workshops.

    Inside, you’ll find an array of new and used books especially geared towards for self-help, as well as gifts like crystals and zen windchimes. If you’re looking for a specific book that isn’t readily available, do speak to the friendly staff available as Luminata Books & Gifts also prides themselves in quick special-order fulfilments.

    Location: 631 Cass St, Monterey, CA 93940, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 831-333-1110

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    8

    Recycled Records

    Find vintage music equipment

    • Shoppers

    Recycled Records is a music lover’s paradise by Lighthouse Avenue, offering refurbished turntables and stereo equipment, old vinyl records, new and used CDs, as well as cassettes at reasonable prices. The store also accepts trade-ins and minor equipment repairs. Inside, you’ll be greeted by an eccentric décor of unusable vinyl records on the ceiling and walls.

    Recycled Records is located across the road from Cat’s Meow, Monterey’s only vintage clothing store, and is easily recognisable from its vintage vinyl logo on its storefront.

    Location: 604 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 6.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 831-375-5454

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    9

    Carmel Plaza

    An open-air shopping plaza with independent names

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    Carmel Plaza is a small shopping plaza that’s home to many independent stores at Carmel-By-The-Sea. It also has eateries, boutiques, salons, and even wine tasting rooms at the southern end of the plaza. For cheese lovers, The Cheese Shop comes highly recommended by locals and tourists who have previously visited, citing its international selections as one of the best in Monterey County.

    The shopping plaza boasts an open-air concept, so visits on rainy days are not recommended. On the ground floor of the plaza, you'll see several fire pits that keep the plaza cosy and warm, especially in winter.

    Location: Ocean Avenue & Mission Street, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (restaurant opening hours vary)

    Phone: +1 831-624-0138

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    photo by Sylvain Leprovost (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    The Barnyard Shopping Village

    Open-air shopping and dining

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    The Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel-By-The-Sea is an outdoor shopping village that’s known for its beautiful landscaping and alfresco vibes. The shopping village houses both high end and affordable independent brands under 1 roof. Its dining establishments come highly recommended for their outdoor seating, especially in the summer.

    The Barnyard Shopping Village may not be convenient for patrons with strollers and wheelchairs as there are many slopes and stairs throughout the building. On weekends, you can enjoy live music by local talents on the ground floor. The gardens are well illuminated by the lights come nightfall.

    Location: 3663 The Barnyard, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 831-624-8886

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    Elie Lam | Contributing Writer

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