Monterey is a sleepy small town on the California coastline, just south of San Francisco. It used to thrive as the center of the sardine-packing industry, but nowadays the legendary Cannery Row lives on as home to gift shops and overpriced cafés.
Many parts of the town are unfortunately touristy, but stray away from the main street and you can still find a piece of authentic Americana. And if not, you can always buy yourself a nice keychain from the gift shop and get a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. That might be an even more authentic piece of American culture.