Wild Things Animal Ranch, Salinas Valley

Wild Things Animal Ranch, Salinas Valley

Family Adventures

The most successful family vacations keep one essential component in mind: the grown-ups in the group have to feel as engaged, as excited, and as happy as the young ones - and vice versa. Monterey County's edu-vacation offerings like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Steinbeck Center, Carmel Mission and MY Museum are all loaded with activities that appeal to children as well as the child at heart.

Activities for Young Children

Monterey has so many intriguing options, your most difficult moment will be deciding what to do each morning. There's MY Museum, a real hands-on place where kids can make a TV program or run a country store, and the adventure playground of Dennis the Menace Park (created for the city by the creator of Dennis, Hank Ketcham).

Children can learn about marine wildlife at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, weave in-and-out of the Monterey Mirror Maze, then play ‘eye-spy' during a drive through Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive, home to shoreline birds, harbor and elephant seals, and more. Kids can even have an encounter with a kangaroo, elephant or monkey at Wild Things. You may never hear them say ‘are we there yet?' again - at least until you leave Monterey.

Thrills For The Whole Family

Pack your sunblock and don your sneakers. Monterey County has outdoor activities to thrill the whole family. Dip your toe in with a kayak tour on Monterey Bay, a surrey ride on the Monterey County Coastal Recreation Trail, a segway tour along Cannery Row or a ghost tour trolley ride through Oldtown Monterey. Crank up the adventure with a hike on rugged Big Sur's trails or a family surfing lesson on Carmel Beach. Turn on the full adrenalin kick with a whale watching sail on Monterey Bay or a thrilling motor race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Great Shopping Compromise

Children can be reluctant shoppers. To coax a little cooperation, choose a destination that makes browsing as much fun as possible: Cannery Row. The old canneries are now packed with a dazzling array of shops, galleries and places to eat. You can reward patience while you do some bayside wine tasting at the end of Steinbeck Plaza by sampling every known flavor of saltwater taffy, or honor their good humor while you try on sportswear and silver jewelry in the American Tin Cannery with a kite or wind toy.

Who knows? You might even pique their curiosity about how the Row got its name: buy them a copy of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row to read on the way home.

Lay of the Land

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Lay of the Land

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County Map

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Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

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Featured Events

Sep
23
2014

First Tee Open at Pebble Beach

Sep. 23-Sep. 28
This competition, broadcast on The Golf Channel, earns money for The First Tee, a…more
Sep
27
2014

California International Airshow

Sep. 27-Sep. 28
The California International Airshow Salinas returns to the Salinas Municipal…more
Oct
2
2014

Taste of Carmel

Oct. 2-Oct. 5
The Taste of Carmel on October 2-5,2014 will have a new look this year. It will…more
Oct
3
2014

Monterey HistoryFest

Oct. 3-Oct. 5
The Monterey History Fest has grown into a festival that offers a variety of…more
Oct
4
2014

Monterey Beach SportsFest

Oct. 4-Oct. 5
The Monterey Beach Sportsfest is a celebration of wellness both for people and for…more
Oct
5
2014

Pacific Grove Historic Homes Tour

Oct. 5
A tour of prime and selected historic homes, the PG Lighthouse, and selected civic…more
Oct
10
2014

2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs

Oct. 10-Oct. 12
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has crowned Club Racing National Champions in…more
Oct
11
2014

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

Oct. 11
Join us for what has become a growing celebration of the Salinas Valley Lifestyle.…more
Oct
15
2014

Carmel International Film Festival

Oct. 15-Oct. 19
The Carmel International Film Festival will screen at least 50 independent films…more
Oct
18
2014

Celebrate Harvest 2014

Oct. 18
Celebrate the fruits of harvest and raise scholarship funds for the children of our…more
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Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

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Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
Apr 16, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

See Monterey

Carmel Food Tours
Save 10% on each ticket purchased when you use the code MCCVB
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