Monterey sits on the edge of the Monterey Bay, above the Monterey Canyon, one of the largest underwater canyons in the world. The upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water from the bottom of the canyon contributes to the wealth of marine life. The Bay used to provide an abundant fishery until the 1950s, when the commercial fishing business collapsed due to overfishing. Since then, the historic Cannery Row, the setting of John Steinbeck novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, has been transformed into a tourist attraction. One of the former sardine canning factories now houses the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world. The Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibits concentrate on the ecosystem of the Monterey Bay (now protected by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary). The Kelp exhibit, a 33-feet-high aquarium, was the first to successfully grow a kelp forest. The Outer Bay exhibit, a one million gallon aquarium which features one of the largest windows in the world, kept in captivity a Great White Shark a prolonged period, but she was released in 2005 after killing two other sharks in the exhibit. However, what many visitors find most fascinating is the aquarium extensive collection of beautifully presented jellies. Besides the marine attractions, Monterey was the first capital of California (before it moved to San Jose) and as such boasts a number of historical buildings of significance.
[CLICK on any picture to see a larger image and details, to add to selection, to order, and to download wallpaper.]