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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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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Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Apr
5
2015

Easter Brunches in Monterey County

Apr. 5
Looking for a way to celebrate Easter weekend in Monterey County? Overwhelmed with…more
Apr
9
2015

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Apr. 9-Apr. 12
Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West…more
Apr
11
2015

Pacific Grove Good Old Days

Apr. 11-Apr. 12
Come to "America's Last Hometown" for an old-fashioned celebration with…more
Apr
16
2015

Sea Otter Classic

Apr. 16-Apr. 19
A four-day "Celebration of Cycling," the Sea Otter Classic is regarded as…more
Apr
26
2015

Big Sur International Marathon

Apr. 26
The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world -…more
May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
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Activities

Feb 25, 2015
- Mar 31, 2015

Free Sailing Tour of the Monterey Bay

Martine Inn
Book a two night stay at the Martine Inn and receive two free tickets for a one-hour…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…
Nov 18, 2014
- Apr 1, 2015

Surf and Turf Package

Tradewinds Carmel
Enjoy a relaxing night in a luxurious King or Queen/Queen room. Spend the Day…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…
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