Readers' Poll

60 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 shopping and services points too for being close to the Rec Trail, the primary two-wheel artery in the county. Good spot, good vibes, let’s roll. Best Surf Shop On the Beach Surf Shop 693 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey (831) 646-9283, onthebeachsurfshop. com A perennial winner in this category— for more than two decades—this shop is not actually on the beach. But it’s close, just a stone’s throw away from Cannery Row, one of Steinbeck’s primary haunts. Why do locals love it so much? For one, the employees exude friendliness, and tell it to you straight. Trying to learn to surf? They’ll point you in the right direction for a board and everything else you’ll need. Looking for a new wetsuit? They’ve got you covered with whatever you need, whether that’s to keep you warm in chilly local ocean waters or in an aqua fitness class in a local pool. Best Golf Shop Pebble Beach Pro Shop 1700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach (800) 877-0597, It is said that humans are never satisfied. People who have something want something more. For instance, that set of Pings you prized just a few years ago are now in a corner as you proudly tote your Mizuno JPX 923 irons and that Callaway Paradym driver. That’s where Pebble Beach Pro Shop comes in handy. They have the best new equipment (as well as tried and true favorites) in stock. And after making your purchase, you can step up to the first tee and let rip. That’s why Steinbeck said that wanting more “is one of the greatest talents the species has.” He made no promises about your driver. Best Antique Shop Cannery Row Antique Mall 471 Wave St., Monterey (831) 655-0264, canneryrowantiquemall. com Stroll through history at Cannery Row Antique Mall, boasting one of the last historic buildings from the Steinbeck era. He would have seen this building. Same with Ed Ricketts, as well as the folks that became Dora, Mack and the boys. Take your time strolling through the many intricate stalls from vendors, sprawling across 21,000 square feet of antique fishing floats, vintage maps and advertisements, and plenty of local memorabilia. No wonder this place has been voted the area’s Best Antique Shop for several years running. Best Thrift Shop Goodwill Central Coast Seven locations in Monterey County (831) 423-8611, How to best beat fast fashion? Check out Goodwill. How to find the singular dress that nobody else will be wearing? Check out Goodwill. There’s the thrill of the hunt, of course—but there’s also the satisfaction of doing something good for the planet, and also for people. That’s because Goodwill is first and foremost about workforce development. The 16 stores in a three-county region (Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo) exist for a singular purpose: to give people jobs. The revenue from what you buy goes back into training people and helping them succeed in the workplace. That’s a mission Steinbeck would’ve surely approved. Best Vintage Clothing Store Yellow Brick Road Benefit Shop 26388 A Carmel Rancho Lane., Carmel (831) 626-8480, Shopping at vintage stores has long been a beloved pastime for fashion lovers on a budget. And despite inflation and the proliferation of luxury second-hand shops, it is not impossible to walk into this cozy store and get an outsanding (and one-of-a-kind) outfit for the price of half a tank of gas. College crewnecks from the 1990s, tour T-shirts from bands that have long since played their final set and fannypacks galore can be found here. What is out of style to some is classic fashion when worn right. Best Surf Shop | On the Beach Surf Shop