Carmel Valley Things to Do

  • Local honey at The Quail & Olive
    Local honey at The Quail & Olive
    by MCPR
  • Things to Do
    by Ewingjr98
  • Things to Do
    by Ewingjr98

Most Recent Things to Do in Carmel Valley

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    Wines, Olive Oil, and Horses at Holman Ranch

    by mmeisner Written Jul 30, 2013
    The tasting room at Holman Ranch
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    One of the most unique wineries in the area is Holman Ranch. At its core, this place is a ranch, complete with horse stables, archery fields, and sprawling vineyards that stretch across its 19 acres. When we visited, they had recently opened a tasting room for visitors, and were pouring a selection of their estate-crafted wines. They produce a few different kinds that include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Rose of Pinot. As they explained, the warm days and cool nights make for ideal conditions to produce great wines. A cool marine layer flows in from the coast, and makes for ideal conditions to grow Pinot Noir. They grow a range of Burgandy clones on the property, and farm each block with a focus on the needs of each variety.

    Standout wines included their Pinot Noir, which was ripe, with round flavors that lingered across the palate with a lengthy finish. They also poured some crisp and refreshing whites, including a Pinot Gris that displayed beautiful notes of grapefruit and lemon curd with a nice acidity. Aside from the wines, they are known for the estate-grown olive oil they produce. They use organic practices, and grow a variety of different olive trees in the shaded portion of their land, which they harvest in December by hand.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Wine Tasting
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  • Olive oil tasting in Carmel

    by MCPR Written Feb 19, 2013
    The Quail & Olive
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    The trickling fountain greets you when you enter The Quail & Olive, located in The Village at Carmel Valley, CA. A large table sits under an awning and is used for special events and tastings. But on a quiet day, you can take your time tasting more than a dozen varieties of California grown extra virgin olive oils, specialty oils, vinegars and honey. At each fusti, there is a recipe card and the helpful and knowledgeable staff can guide in your selections as well as pack and ship gifts in their custom boxes. Owned and operated by local Cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Brabeck, you can get the straight scoop about the heart and vascular health qualities of olive oil, or some background on each variety in terms of where it is grown, tasting notes, storage and use. For regular customers, when they bring back a Quail & Olive bottle, they get a buck off their refill.

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    Garland Ranch Regional Park

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    About 10 miles from Carmel, right along Carmel Valley Road, you will find beautiful and expansive Garland Ranch Regional Park. This 4500 park ranges in elevation from 200 feet along the beautiful Carmel River to about 2000 feet at Snively's Ridge overlooking the entire valley. The park is maintained and operated by Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District as well as volunteer docents who man the small visitors center near the main entrance and parking area.

    We spent perhaps two hours hiking here in April 2008. We arrived around 11am and parked along Carmel Valley Road, then we crossed the beautiful Carmel River where a woman and her dog were playing in the water. We began hiking south along the flat and wide Lupine Loop for less than a half mile before making a slight detour on the Mesa Trail to check out the Rumsen Grinding Rock which was used by local natives to grind acorns into flour. Our next stop was just 5-10 minutes away at the Siesta Point Overlook, where we relaxed on a bench and had a picnic lunch. Then we moved on along the Cliff Trail hoping to see the waterfall in the small stream that was unfortunately dry. We ended our trip by heading over to the visitors center via Sycamore Trail and Lupine Loop, back across the flat, open former ranch lands. The visitors center was closed, but there were plenty of brochures about native plants and animals, park maps, and mountain lion and rattlesnake warnings.

    The park has numerous other historical, recreational, and nature opportunities for visitors. History buffs might enjoy the old barns, corrals, and homesteads of the old Garland Ranch. People seeking recreational opportunities other than hiking the 50 miles of trails might enjoy the more limited number of trails open to horses and bikes, as well as the athletic fields located near the town of Carmel Valley. Nature opportunities include the Buckeye Nature Trail, the Fern, Stock, Veeder, and Mesa Ponds, as well as the variety of plant and animal life through the park.

    Besides the main parking area along Carmel Valley Road, visitors can access the park from Via Las Encinas Road, East Garzas Road, Paso Hondo Road, De Los Helichos Road, and Hitchcock Canyon Road (via Southbank Road and Esquiline Road). Water for people, horses, and dogs is available throughout the park.

    The Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District has been in existence since 1972, and its mission is to preserve open space in the area around Big Sur, Monterey and Carmel. Since its inception the parks district has secured 20,000 acres of land in 24 parks and open spaces all preserved for environmental and recreational reasons. The parks district is funded by a 1/2 percent allocation of the property tax collected in the region (comes to about $5 for the district for every $100,000 of property value). Since 2004 residents have paid an additional $19 per household per year to increase the scope of this open space preservation.

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  • Horseback riding

    by fotobrad Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Visit Holman Ranch, just up Holman Road from the Carmel Valley Village. Call ahead to arrange a one or two hour trail ride. You will climb up to ridges to experience some of the finest scenery on the West Coast. And the horses are great too.

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    Wine tour

    by Lhenne1 Written Sep 25, 2008

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    Girls' day of wine tasting.
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    There is an abundance on vineyards in Carmel Valley. A weekend trip may be able to take advantage of all of them, but I can't guarantee it. You can stay at a hotel in Carmel Valley, or take one of the wine tours from Carmel-By-The-Sea and Monterey (I suggest the MST Carmel Valley-Grapevine Express).

    Grab some info about a select few, or just wander through town and stop when you feel like it. Below are the names and websites for some of the tasting rooms/vineyards. Parsonage is my favorite.

    Parsonage Village Vineyard & Winery www.parsonagewine.com
    Georis Winery www.georiswine.com
    Chateau Sinnet www.chateausinnet.com
    Joullian Vineyards Tasting www.joullian.com
    Heller Estate www.hellerestate.com
    Bernardus Winery www.bernardus.com
    Talbott Vineyards Tasting Room www.talbottvineyards.com
    Joyce Vineyards www.chateauchristinawines.com
    Chateau Julien Winery www.chateaujulien.com
    Ventana Vineyards www.ventanawines.com

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    • Wine Tasting
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    Kim3 International Furnishings

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 24, 2008

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    Kim3 is an amazing acre or two of great antiques and rare modern Asian furniture, sculpture, pottery, art, and even full-scale pavilions. I was amazed at the collection, particularly in the outdoor area that includes $26,000 Indonesian pavilions, $8,000 Buddha statue heads, several hundred dollar pots from all over Asia, elephants from India, and much more. Inside I was awestruck by $15,000 Chinese cabinets alongside paintings, screens, doors, pillars, and who knows what else! The entire collection had to have been worth millions of dollars, and seemed odd for a small off-the-beaten-path place like Carmel Valley. Definitely a must-seen location in town!

    Kim3 started in Beverly Hills in the 1990s and now has three stores: here in Carmel Valley, Santa Barbara, and Beverly Hills. The Carmel Valley location opened in 1998 and doubled in size in 2006 to include their "lotus garden"--the collection of pavilions and outdoor pots, sculptures, and more.

    Their amazing products come from Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, France, China, Thailand, Bali, the Philippines, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, India, and Tibet.

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    Carmel Valley Community Park

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 24, 2008

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    Located in the heart of Carmel Valley Village is the Carmel Valley Community Park. This well-groomed park is a favorite of local dog owners. They have nice barbecue facilities, children's playground and a swimming pool. The path around the park is lined with memorial plaques in memory of local residents. They also have ample parking and clean public restroom.

    The main parking area is near the flagpole between Ford Road and Pilot Road, but there are other entrances, particularly near the community pool at Woodside Drive.

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    Laureles Grade Road

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 24, 2008

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    Laureles Grade Road or County Route G20 is a scenic shortcut between the town of Carmel Valley and Highway 68. The total route is just six miles, but the road climbs about 1000 feet in elevation and offers some stunning views. From the Carmel Valley side you have a few nice overlooks of the valley out to the Ocean to the west. From the Highway 68 side you will have a few great views toward Salinas in the northeast.

    Use caution... there are several spots with no guardrails and steep drop offs, many blind turns, alot of high-speed traffic, and most if not all of the pull offs are on the southbound (Hwy 68 to Carmel Valley) side of the road with very few on the return trip without crossing oncoming traffic.

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    Carmel Valley Road

    by Ewingjr98 Written Apr 26, 2008

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    The other day I was heading from Monterey to Soledad, so I looked on a map...about 45 miles and the route via Carmel Valley looked about the same as the route via Salinas on 68 and 101. Boy was I wrong...instead of taking about an hour, the drive took more than two hours along the narrow, twisty farm roads from Carmel Valley to Soledad. This area is so desolate, there are signs warning motorists that there are no gas stations for the next 41 miles. Along the drive I saw deer, turkeys, and redneck houses that were straight out of West Virginia. Nice drive, but no fun if you're in a rush to get somewhere.

    Of course, the lower stretch of Carmel Valley Road between Carmel and the town of Carmel Valley is much different. Here you will find expensive mansions, golf courses, equestrian centers, wineries and wine tasting rooms, numerous shops and restaurants, and the large Garland Ranch Regional Park.

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  • Book Some Time At Tassajara Hot Springs

    by jedlegalroadwarrior Written May 23, 2007

    Not for the faint of heart! You must book reservations at this Zen retreat in the deep wilderness. You must have a vehicle that can withstand the dirt roads, but once you are out there, you can bathe nude in the river, swin in the pools, soak in the sulphur hot springs or meditate 'til the cows come home.

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    • Religious Travel

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  • Hike Garland Park

    by jedlegalroadwarrior Written May 23, 2007

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    One of the single best "close in" activities in Carmel Valley is to hike the expansive Garland Regional Park. There are plenty of flat paths as well as long, precipitous trails veering off in all directions. This is your single best bet to see a variety of flora and fauna and enjoy the tranquility of nature trails. There is even a small nature museum. This is THE place to walk your dog, ride a horse or amble for hours.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Horse Riding

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    Wine Tasting at Chateau Julien

    by orcoastgirl Written Feb 10, 2007

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    Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley
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    This is the first winery you will come to when you enter Carmel Valley from Carmel Proper. It is a very nice place to wine taste and they have won several awards for their wines. You can taste in the main lobby area or take your tasting out to the small, enclosed patio area there. They are famous for their Chardonnay which is excellent. The grounds are very pretty, we visited in the Spring when the tulips were blooming all around the property.

    Don't miss this place for some really good local white wines in a beautiful setting in Carmel Valley.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Wine Tasting

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Carmel Valley Things to Do

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