Salinas, just 20 miles from Monterey's coastline, provides a unique look into the rich agricultural history of Monterey County. The ancestral home of John Steinbeck, Salinas makes for the perfect inland escape blending the county’s rich history and booming agriculture industry. Plan to spend some time exploring the gems that makes this historic town so iconic.
Start your day with some fresh produce at The Farm in Salinas Valley. This local gem is the perfect spot to spend your morning admiring the sprawling fields, checking out the animals, and buying fresh produce. During the summer months, hop on a basic tour to get an overview of farming in the Salinas Valley, with the special opportunity to pick and sample fresh produce right off the vine.
After departing The Farm full of organic produce (or freshly baked pie!), head down to the Salinas City Center to check out the National Steinbeck Center. Discover everything Steinbeck through interactive exhibits in seven themed theaters showcasing East of Eden, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and other Steinbeck favorites.
Check in and refresh in the comfort of your own canvas-walled suite and listen the roar of the king of the jungle at Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast. Located on the Monterey Zoo property, these unforgettable accommodations combine the luxury of a hotel suite with a wild adventure unlike any other.
Keep the nighttime adventure going – make sure to check out the lineup at historic Fox Theater in Old Town Salinas, with live music and comedy sure to impress. Sit back and admire the beautifully restored art deco venue before dancing or laughing the night away.
Wake up to a continental breakfast delivered to your tent, then spend the day touring the Monterey Zoo. With tours ranging from one hour to all day – many involving full contact with the animals – you can personalize the tour to make it your dream California safari adventure. But make sure to save some time to drive down River Road on the famous wine trail.
Unwind from your wild adventure and head down the famous River Road Wine Trail and stop by Odonata Winery's Tasting Room. Meaning “dragonfly” in Latin, Odonata’s tucked-away tasting room makes for the perfect spot to spend the afternoon enjoying a glass of wine among both the barrels and the vines. Treat yourself to a tasting that may be poured by the winemaker himself.
Next stop on the River Road tour is Wrath Wines. Here, sample small-batch site-driven Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc from estate vineyard and properties in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Salinas Valley while you take in the beauty of the rolling hills.
Make your way down the trail to Hahn Winery. Situated in the Smith Vineyard, the Hahn Tasting Room is the perfect escape to relax on the deck while soaking in the endless view and sampling a selection of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir varietals. Or, hop on a guided ATV tour for a behind-the-scenes tour of the 1,200-acre estate.
Finally, relax at Scheid Vineyard’s Salinas Valley “home” location. Sample one of the two different wine flights and relax on the a spacious outdoor deck, in the demonstration vineyard, or while inviting some friendly competition on the bocce ball court before calling it a day.
If you prefer a guided experience, Behind the Scenes Wine Tours will pick you up from your accommodations and provide a customized wine tour of the Salinas Valley so you don’t have to worry about the drive. Packages include luxury shuttle service, complimentary wine tastings, cheese trays and more.