One of my favorite books is John Steinbeck's Cannery Row because it chronicles the lives of this eclectic community and shows how everyone is intertwined. Even though everyone in the book has their flaw, they're deep down good people and that's what makes everyone so lovable. After hearing about Sophie going there, I asked my parents if we could go on one of our days up in Berkeley and they agreed. First of all, the drive down is gorgeous beyond belief and I wish I had time to stop off and hike everywhere. Second of all, I will save that for a day when I am older and have adventurous friends. Anyways, we got to Cannery Row around 11:00AM and it was really foggy outside, but nice to look at. A lot of the old fish canneries were still there too.
The whole area is cute to walk around, but it's super touristy with tacky restaurants everywhere, trying to lure you in. If I had more time that day, I would've loved to have gone kayaking amongst the sea otters. See the little dots in the photo? Those are sea otters! Not only am I really good at kayaking, but I heard the otters were very friendly and would paw at your kayak. I'll definitely have to try that one day.
If you read Cannery Row, you'll probably like the rest of the photos. Here is Pacific Biological Laboratories, which is the basis for Doc's Western Biological in the book. Doc was actually based off of one of Steinbeck's good friends, Edward F. Ricketts. Ricketts owned Pacific Biological Laboratories and was a biologist that wrote on everything from Buddhism to Bach.
Wing Chong's was the inspiration for Lee Chong's in the book, which is kind of obvious due to the fact that the names are so similar. Wing Chong's was a real store, even though it went out of business awhile ago, but it's still there and other shops have filled it. I can't remember which stores, but I think mostly touristy shops with t-shirts and such.
Although it's no longer a whorehouse, since Cannery Row is a family friendly area, the Bear Flag Restaurant is still there. In the book, Bear Flag Restaurant is owned by a lady named Dora, but in real life, it's owned by a woman named Flora. See? Not much of a name change here either. Personally, after visiting, I think Cannery Row is a dedication to the people of Cannery Row, even the bums, because Steinbeck loved them all so much. That's why all the characters are good people because Steinbeck saw them that way and he didn't see all the bad parts. At least, that's what I think.