The Monterey Bay Equestrian Center offers a full range of exhilarating horseback rides, whether you’re in the mood for a romantic horse-drawn carriage or a ride along the beach. The center has been around since 1981 and their horseback ride on the beach is one of their most popular offerings. You’ll be able to explore the shoreline along Monterey Bay and take in the stunning views. All rides are individually tailored to the requests and abilities of the rider, no matter if you’re a beginner or more advanced. Rides can last anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half; be sure to bring along your camera because you’ll want to capture the beauty you’ll be surrounded by.
19805 Pesante Road, Salinas, CA 93907, Phone: 831-663-5712
Located a few miles away from downtown Salinas, Toro County Park first opened to the public in 1971. Spanning nearly 5,000 acres, the park has been a haven for the thousands of residents and visitors that head there each year. The pastoral setting is the perfect place to spend the day outdoors with your family; you can even take a picnic along. There are so many facilities for outdoor enthusiasts such as a playground, two softball fields, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and over twenty miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Some of the wildlife that you may come across while at the park include golden eagles, deer, and coyotes.
501 Monterey-Salinas Highway 68, Salinas, CA 93908, Phone: 831-755-4895
Get up close with amazing wild animals from all around the world at the Monterey Zoo. Its natural setting is home to an array of exotic animals and meeting them is sure to be an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Some of the animals you’ll get to see as you adventure through the zoo are African lions, Bengal tigers, black bears, African elephants, zebras, camels, alpacas, and more. For a more unique visit, schedule one of the zoo’s tour packages; popular options include their Daily Tour which is an hour-long, guided walk through the exhibits and the Pachyderm Tour which gives you a chance to socialize with the elephants and even give them a bath.
400 River Road, Salinas, CA 93908, Phone: 831-455-1901
Experience the birthplace and childhood home of Nobel Prize recipient and author John Steinbeck at The Steinbeck House. The Queen Anne style Victorian home was built in 1897 and was purchased by the Steinbeck family in 1900. Now, the site is home to a charming restaurant where visitors can enjoy a delicious lunch in the rooms where the famed novelist grew up. Information-filled tours are available throughout the week; during the tour you’ll be able to see many personal artifacts as well as period furnishings. Afterwards, head to the exciting Best Cellar gift shop to take back interesting and unique souvenirs including vintage Steinbeck books.