Explore the Salinas Valley

The historic, culturally and naturally rich Salinas Valley has a new adventure to be had at every turn. From food and wine enthusiasts, to history buffs, and foodies, there is something for everyone. Here are some itineraries to follow for a day of fun in Salinas Valley:

Pinnacles National Park Hiking Round

Action and Adventure

• Wake up bright and early to hike or rock climb at Pinnacles National Park. Pinnacles is the latest addition to the National Park system. The dramatic landscape created by the ancient volcano, Neemash, is the perfect backdrop for your adventures. For you wine lovers, the historic Chalone AVA is right next to the Pinnacles. 
• Pick up lunch featuring classic Salinas Valley food for a picnic in the sun before making your way to wineries for wine tasting. The sweeping views of the Salinas Valley from the lawn at Smith Family Wines is the perfect setting for an outdoor picnic and wine tasting. 
• Stop at any of the wineries on the beautiful drive along River Road into Salinas to dine at Patria for a delicious dinner paired with a glass of Monterey wine!

John Steinbeck Salinas Valley History Round

History and Culture

• The rich historical background of the Salinas Valley is sure to captivate you. Start off your morning with a visit to Steinbeck Center at the head of Main Street in downtown Salinas. Steinbeck was a local award winning author whose novels such as the Cannery Row are a testament to the historical roots of Monterey County.
• Stop by Luigi’s to grab some Italian food to go before heading over to the Soledad Mission. Established by the Spanish in 1791, this was the 13th mission of the California Historic Mission Trail which played a huge part in shaping California history. 
• Finish off the afternoon with some wine tasting and be sure to stop at Wrath Wines where the owner was inspired to start his own winemaking operations from Italian food and wine he encountered in his studies as an archaeologist.

Food Wine Farm To Table Round

Food and Wine

• Monterey County is a true farm-to-table experience! Few places on Earth can rival the agricultural significance of the Salinas Valley, also known as the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Begin your day at The Farm in Salinas where you can experience a behind the scenes look at the agriculture industry in the Salinas Valley.
• Make your way to the Cork and Plough in King City where you can pick up a delicious farm-to-table lunch to go. Enjoy on the picnic tables overlooking the vineyards and the Salinas Valley at Hahn Family Wines.
• Once you finish lunch, hop on an ATV for a tour of Hahn’s vineyards to get an intimate look at the history of their vineyards.
• On your way down River Road, be sure to stop at Pessagno and Puma Road tasting rooms whose families are active in both winemaking and growing produce in the Salinas Valley.