Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

AT PLAY footbridges) through majestic redwood canyons. 8.5 miles east of Highway 1 on Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. (831) 372-3196, Garrapata State Park Garrapata’s 3,000 acres encompass scenic shorelines, deep canyons and steep mountains. The Soberanes Canyon Trail is lined with redwoods and offers a rewarding hike without the exertion. The full loop trail remains closed, but another option is an easy coastal loop with beautiful scenery on the west side of Highway 1. 10 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, Big Sur. (831) 624-4909, Jacks Peak County Park This accessible park, named after pioneering real estate mogul David Jacks, boasts 10 miles of trails, as well as unsurpassed views of Monterey Bay and Carmel. This is a great family park with easy day hikes, picnic grounds and a self-guided nature trail. 25020 Jacks Peak Park Road, Monterey. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park This South Coast state park encompasses 4,000 acres stretching from the Pacific coastline to the 3,000-foot peaks of the Santa Lucia range. Hikers revel in redwood groves, river walks and views of McWay Falls as they empty into the Pacific Ocean; note there is no beach access here. Two coveted campsites are available by reservation. 52801 Highway 1, Big Sur. (831) 667-1112, Los Padres National Forest Almost half of the 2-million-acre forest that overlays the Coast Range is wilderness. Translation: superb hiking and backpacking (though be prepared for trails to be impassable or closed due to past wildfires). There are ranger stations on both sides of the mountains, one in Big Sur, 32 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, another at 406 S. Mildred Ave. in King City. Be prepared for a serious wilderness experience and no cell service before you go. (831) 242-0619, Manzanita County Park The eponymous trees at this park dot a colorful relic of native scrub oak vegetation in North County, where most of the surrounding terrain has become farmland. Beyond the athletic fields, trails offer expansive views of the Monterey Bay and the region’s hilly topography. 17100 Castroville Blvd., Prunedale. (831) 755-4899, Palo Corona Regional Park The newest park in the area is evidence of creative conservation partnerships throughout its history, most recently with the acquisition of the former Rancho Cañada Golf Course, 190 acres that are still in the process of “rewilding.” Walk along the peaceful Carmel River, or ascend 850 feet to a rewarding view from Inspiration Point. 4860 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. (831) 372-3196, 39 Book now at Lighthouse 599 Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey 831.241.6616 Wave Street 765 Wave Street, Suite A2, Monterey 831.324.0513 Birthday Parties ARCADE LOUNGE ESCAPE ROOMS SKEE BALL HOOPS 685 Cannery Row, 3rd Floor, Monterey 831.241.6616 ■ OSCARSPLAYGROUND.COM Looking for Fun for the Whole Family? EscapeRoom_2-3v_VG23_gk.indd 1 6/7/23 11:33 AM