South Monterey County Cities

King City, Salinas Valley and Soledad

South Monterey County offers wide open spaces, lush scenery and the agricultural bounty of the entire region. Campers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will fall in love with Los Padres National ForestSan Lorenzo Park in King City and Lake San Antonio south of King City. Southern Monterey County is also home to Pinnacles National Park in Soledad, a California gem not-to-be-missed. Hiking trails throughout the park offer spectacular views of rock formations, sweeping vistas, and opportunities to view the protected California Condor in its natural habitat.

Traveling with kids? Get up close and personal with wild, exotic animals from around the world in a beautiful natural setting at the Monterey Zoo. Plus, you can spend the night at Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast for an unforgettable family adventure!

Salinas Valley, also known as the "Salad Bowl of the World," has a rich heritage of agriculture, growing much of our nation's produce and a healthy local food supply of more than 150 crops, including lettuce, strawberries, artichokes, wine grapes and more. Stop by the Agricultural and Rural Life Museum in King City to learn about the history of South Monterey County's agriculture.

For history buffs, two of California’s most historic establishments, the San Antonio de Padua Mission and Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad (the Soledad Mission) are also located in South Monterey County.

Things To See and Do

California Welcome Center Salinas

Learn about the vibrant history of the destination and find things to do at the California Welcome Center located at the historic Southern Pacific Freight Depot in Downtown Salinas. Once a bustling hub, the Southern Pacific Railroad brought fresh Salinas Valley produce to all corners of the U.S. through this freight depot. This is how Monterey County came to be known as the "Salad Bowl of the World"!

The Welcome Center and other visitor services are always happy to answer questions and provide recommendations.

Food and Drink

The riches of Salinas Valley are showcased daily at local restaurants and farmers' markets throughout the region, including seasonal dishes that showcase Monterey County's best produce. If you're hungry, make a stop at The Cork & Plough while you're in South Monterey County.

Indulge in bold wines paired with the bountiful landscapes of the South County at Salinas Valley wineries along the Monterey Wine Trail. Read our Salinas Valley itinerary for some ideas of how to spend your wine country vacation.


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