Although there’s never a loss of things to do at Carmel Valley Ranch, this centrally-located resort is close to lots of other places to play in the area—the Aquarium, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and even Big Sur is just a short drive down the coast. Here are some fun things to do in Carmel Valley if you do decide to explore off property.
Carmel Beach / Scenic Drive
Carmel Beach is locally renowned for good surf and excellent dog-walking conditions, as well as breathtaking sunsets.
On Carmel Bay, the mile-long beach features a bird sanctuary in a lagoon (just before the Carmel River empties into the sea) featuring a wide variety of waterfowl and song birds. River Beach also boasts breathtaking views of Point Lobos.
17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses and mansions.
Shopping in Downtown
Carmel shopping is metropolitan style, though wholly unique in setting. The most discriminating shopper is sure to find something of great appeal in one of the town’s stone-paved alleyways or curlicue-roofed shops.
Wine Tasting in Carmel
There are 12 tasting rooms in Downtown Carmel alone.
Monterey and Pacific Grove
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Dedicated to marine research and conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is known throughout the world for its interactive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale.
Kayaking in Monterey Bay
A kayaking trip can give families stories to share that last for years to come. Whether it's seeing wildlife up close or seeing Cannery Row from the water, kayaking is a great way to spend time with your family and to see things from a different angle.
Old Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Monterey should be on the "must-do" list of every visitor to the area. This is a great place to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey.
Walk or bike Monterey Bay coastal recreation trail
The waterfront Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail stretches 18 miles, from Castroville in the north to Pacific Grove in the south. This popular paved path hugs the coast, following the same route as the old Southern Pacific Railway.
Lovers Point Park is located at the foot of 17th Street in Pacific Grove, and is a landscaped community park of 4.4 acres. It is used for picnicking, fishing, swimming, water sports, and surfing.
Monarch Grove Sanctuary
If you're fortunate enough to be in Pacific Grove during the fall or winter, you will be witness to one of nature's most incredible spectacles: the annual migration of the Monarch butterflies.
California is one of the only places in the world where visitors can see whales year-round, and there's no better place for whale watching than Monterey.
Carmel Valley Village for Wine Tasting
Specializing in Pinot and Chardonnay Carmel Valley village has been described as what Napa used to be like. Charming rustic tasting rooms abound and the warm inland location keeps the weather delightful year round.
Just down the road from the 2.5-acre backyard garden and roadside stand where Earthbound Farm began, the Farm Stand offers fresh organic produce, organic flowers as well as delicious organic food, gourmet groceries and unique gifts.
Hiking in Garland Park
Dog-friendly Garland Ranch Regional Park in Carmel Valley is a popular spot for leisure hiking. Breathtaking views lie around every corner of this 4,462-acre park, with trails varying from easy to strenuous. The Ranch is adjacent to Garland Park and you can access the park directly from our property.
Point Sur Lighthouse
Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean from the spectacular Big Sur Coast, the Point Sur Light station stands as a silent sentinel to a by-gone era. Point Sur, a National Historic Landmark, is the only complete turn-of-the-century light station open to the public in California.
Pfeiffer State Park
Pfeiffer State Park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.
Andrew Molera State Park
Andrew Molera state park is still relatively undeveloped and offers visitors great hiking and beachcombing as well as miles of trails that wind through meadows, beaches and hilltops.
Hike Soberanes Canyon
Rocky Ridge Trail quickly leaves Highway 1 behind and offers far-reaching views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the sea. A grand loop of the state park can be made by returning to the trailhead via redwood-lined Soberanes Canyon.