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Vision Quest

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VISION QUEST RANCH

A bit about us, our Founder, and Josef.

In 1994, Charlie Sammut purchased the Vision Quest Ranch that would one day serve as his home and a home to the animals he worked with in the film and television industry. In 2006, the addition of a Safari Style B&B was added to the ranch in an effort to further share his animals and their conservation message with those who visited. In 2012, a transition began as Charlie hoped to exit the entertainment industry and make education and conservation his true goals. By 2019, what was formally Wild Things A.R., Inc. became the Monterey Zoological Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit zoological property and home to 100+ exotic animals ranging from spiders to African rhinos. In 2020, Monterey Zoological Society became proudly accredited by the Zoological Association of America. The Vision Quest Ranch Safari B&B and Vision Quest Ranch Event Venue help support the animals by offering exciting alternative means of overnighting and entertaining in Monterey County while providing a unique, educational and conservation minded adventure for animal enthusiasts.

Sketch of VQR bungalow

OUR FOUNDER

Charile sammut, founder/president of both vision quest ranch and monterey zoological society, charlie is the heart and soul behind vision quest ranch and monterey zoo. his love for animals was evident early on in his life – early pets included boas, pythons, sharks, alligators as well as dogs, cats, rats and horses – but back then even charlie couldn’t have guessed how his life’s work would unfold. as a young man, he worked in law enforcement. one arrest led to an unexpected turn of events. the suspect told the young officer about a pet cougar in his garage who would now be in need of a new home. charlie couldn’t say no. that was the first exotic animal in his life, but not his last. before long charlie acquired a lion cub, an animal that would change his life. josef was not your ordinary lion. he had a calm and sweet temperament unusual for an african lion. he was so exceptional that a trainer in the film industry asked if charlie would allow josef to participate in a dryfus fund commercial to be filmed at the grand canyon, arizona. josef was a hit and went on to star in many commercials and hollywood films, including the lion king. charlie calls josef the single most important influence in his life. what started out as a hobby and a business has now became a passion for charlie and his wife, lisa, to educate people about animals and how to preserve the places they call home., remembering josef.

"Josef " was born on 8/1/86 at the West Coast Game Park in Bandon, Oregon. He came into Charlie's life in January of 1987 at the age of 5 months old. Little did Charlie know just how big an impact Josef would have on his life or his career. Josef was in fact, the true founder of Charlie’s first animal business,  Wild Things A.R. Inc, for Josef was the sole reason to even start the company.

Josef joined the film industry when there were very few male lions available that were safe and able to achieve the wants and desires of the industry. He was and always will be, our  biggest STAR!  At 500 lbs. with an absolutely gorgeous extended mane, Josef worked full contact with children and adults alike. He also worked in close proximity to other animals. He was undisputedly, one of the Best and Safest working  male lions in the history of the entertainment industry!

Some of Josef's credits included :  TV's Tarzan, The Lion King, Naked Gun 3, "George of the Jungle",  Meet the Deedles,  The Postman, MGM, Animal Planet's - Wild on the Set, BORN  FREE  the series,  Dreyfus fund, music videos for many artists to include Janet and Michael Jackson, countless still photo appearances and much more!

Josef in Africa

In 2000,  per a promise Charlie made Josef many years earlier, Josef was completely retired from entertainment and allowed to enjoy his retirements at Vision Quest Ranch. He went for his walks with Charlie, played loose on the ranch and visited with those lucky enough to be around when it was happening. Regardless of circumstances, Charlie turned down all commercial work for Josef in an attempt to keep a promise. 

In 2006, Josef began showing the unfortunate signs of old age. His walks were shortened to accommodate his aching joints and his diet was enhanced with herbs and medications as needed to help him remain as comfortable as possible in his old age. Towards the end of June and into July of 2008, Josef's health was failing more and more requiring Charlie to hand feed and water him daily but his spirits seemed calm and relaxed. He was just old and in need of help, help Charlie was more than happy to provide an old friend and Josef seemed more than happy to receive from the same.

On July 7th, 2008, Charlie found Josef sleeping in the sun of his paddock as he normally did but this time, Josef wouldn't wake up. It was time and Charlie was faced with making the decision he had dreaded for so long. It was time to say good-bye to a best friend, a partner and a true soul mate.

Those who knew Josef well have all contacted us with the exact same message, "our lives were blessed and made better for having met such a special being." In the industry, several company owners have had special relationships with very special male  lions but no-one seems to have ever had two in one lifetime. Charlie realizes this but he also realizes how many have never even had one and he feels truly blessed for having had Josef. Because Josef started Wild Things, it seemed only fitting that be buried at the entrance of Vision Quest Ranch. Never before in the history of the ranch has it ever been completely closed to the public. On this day, the gates were closed, locked and manned by volunteers for the entire day. A beautiful memorial bench shaped like a sleeping male lion was placed next to Josef's grave where his friends, family and Charlie can sit and visit with him for as Charlie has stated on several other such sad occasions, "I believe ~  in another place, a better place, a place where I will join Josef and my many other friends who left before me ~ a place where we will be reunited and never separated again." 

Josef is and will always remain the identity of Vision Quest Ranch and Monterey Zoo. His silhouette will be forever present throughout the zoo and his memory will all define everything we do for animals. 

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African Safari in Salinas! - Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

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  • Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

African Safari in Salinas!

My family stayed at Vision Quest Bed and Breakfast for one night in June and we loved it. Depending on the activities you choose to do the schedule is back to back events. Here was ours; 1230: Checked into resort. 1-2pm: Tour of the Monterey Zoo (free if you are a guest). At the end of the tour we paid a little extra to be able to feed the elephants. Awesome. 2:30: Got our room. 2:30-3:30: Lunch off property 3:30-4pm: The staff bring two different animals to your bungalow 4:30-6pm: Family did the Crunch Time and Butches Bed Time (extra fee, but worth it) 6-11pm: sit on desk and listen to the wild animals and look at the stars. Following morning around 9am, a couple of elephants brought breakfast to our bungalow. Kids loved being able to feed them, after they drop off our breakfast. The Vision Quest is an awesome experience for families and children. I can’t think of a place where your family can get so close to wild animals in a safe environment. All of the staff were awesome. You can tell they have a sincere love for the animals and do a great job of taking care of the creatures as well as the guest. Shady at the desk was fantastic, and Jenna who gave us our tour was also incredible. When you check in there is a small gift shop. There are eight bungalows. They... My family stayed at Vision Quest Bed and Breakfast for one night in June and we loved it. Depending on the activities you choose to do the schedule is back to back events. Here was ours; 1230: Checked into resort. 1-2pm: Tour of the Monterey Zoo (free if you are a guest). At the end of the tour we paid a little extra to be able to feed the elephants. Awesome. 2:30: Got our room. 2:30-3:30: Lunch off property 3:30-4pm: The staff bring two different animals to your bungalow 4:30-6pm: Family did the Crunch Time and Butches Bed Time (extra fee, but worth it) 6-11pm: sit on desk and listen to the wild animals and look at the stars. Following morning around 9am, a couple of elephants brought breakfast to our bungalow. Kids loved being able to feed them, after they drop off our breakfast. The Vision Quest is an awesome experience for families and children. I can’t think of a place where your family can get so close to wild animals in a safe environment. All of the staff were awesome. You can tell they have a sincere love for the animals and do a great job of taking care of the creatures as well as the guest. Shady at the desk was fantastic, and Jenna who gave us our tour was also incredible. When you check in there is a small gift shop. There are eight bungalows. They each have a different theme, and some are closer to the animal enclosure than others. We stayed in the #5 Zebra bungalow and thought it was perfect. Before booking a bungalow make sure to review the location, theme, and number of people permitted in that room. The bungalows are raised floored structures with the walls being a cloth/tent material. Like a permanent tent structure. The room had a bathroom (shower), sink, refrigerator, coffee maker, little drawer space, and a small televison (if you are watching television, you are missing the bigger picture). The bungalow had an awesome viewing deck. The bed and pillows were super comfortable. When laying on the bed and feeling the cool breeze, it’s so relaxing. The room does not have AC, but does have a small heater. At night when laying in bed you’ll be able to hear the tigers and lions roaring, it was fantastic. We paid extra for Crunch Time and Butches Bed Time. Crunch time is were you get to feed that tigers and some of the other big cats. The kids loved it. Butches Bed Time is you help to put the elephants into their sleeping area. Give them a snack, and get to pet them a little. All of these activities are done in a very safe environment with very watchful and alert staff helping you. The kids loved both of these activities. Definitely worth the extra money. The following morning a couple of elephants brought us a continental breakfast to our room. After the food was dropped off, you got a chance to thank the elephants by feeding them a snack from the desk of your bungalow. I wasn’t expecting much of a breakfast, but it turned out to be really good. We can fruit, fresh bagels, pastries, croissants, orange juice and all of the needed fixings. It was very good. There is no restaurant or food service at Vision Quest, but a short 2 minute drive away, you’ll find a gas station mini-mart, and a very good restaurant called River Road Grill (See review) I can’t think of another place where your family can get so close to animals and have such a fantastic experience. My entire family loved everything about Vision Quest. I want to thank the Owner Charlie Sammut for building this wonderful place and for giving my family such a once in a life-time experience. I would highly recommend this attraction to all of my family and friends. I’m already looking forward to taking my family back to Vision Quest. More

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When my daughter suggested we book a trip to Vision Quest, I was skeptical and not sure what to expect. Since she was very excited and passionate about it, I decided to embrace the experience and I am so glad I did. It was amazing. We stayed in bungalow #4 which had the best view of the elephant inclosure. We loved sitting on the deck watching the elephants, zebra and other animals. The bungalow was very clean and the electric heating pad made the bed warm and cozy. We booked Butch's bedtime and the pachyderm package. While pricy, it was the best way to really get close to the elephants. I loved bathing Butch and feeding Paula, Christy and Butch. It was fun having the elephants bring breakfast which was plentiful and delicious ! The sound of lions and tigers at night is awesome. You feel like you are really staying in Africa on safari. The private tour of the zoo was also very nice. The zoo is a rescue and all animals have a story which is shared during the tour. One negative, not all bungalows have a good view of the elephants so pick your bungalow carefully if you want to have a good view. The staff is very knowledgeable but the handlers will come across as strict. It is for safety reasons. There is not much else to do in Salinas but we were happy to relax on the porch and watch the elephants which was the reason for our trip. We stayed 2 nights but 1 is enough. Eat at Gino's in town. It was good. So was Elli's. I highly recommend Vision Quest. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience !

We loved being able to get up close with the animals. We were able to feed the elephants & some of the big cats. This an an additional cost, but well worth every dollar. There is a free tour that is included in the cost of your stay that is best taken around 3:30 tour time. This is when the nocturnal animals are starting to wake up. The zoo personnel had such enthusiasm and passion for their work. They were very knowledgeable about their animals. The talked about each ones traits as well as their own personalities. Our bungalow was expertly decorated in a Safari theme and had all the comforts of home. We have never stayed in such a well equipped tent. (T.V., refrigerator, large shower, coffee pot, sofa) The highlight of the experience was our breakfast being delivered by the two elephants in the morning. The handlers let us fed the elephants, took pictures and never rushed the experience of being near these majestic animals. It will be an experience we will never forget and look forward to going back again.

If I were just picking a safari type stay in the area then I would probably pick the Santa Rosa Safari West location over this but there are some definite pros of this location as well to consider one of which is the location. This place is located near Monterrey and is also a good overnight spot if you are going from the Bay Area south (or vice versa). It is close enough to the ocean that there will be some natural cooling on hot days too. Also, if you like elephants, this place has them (Safari West does not) and every overnight guest gets a nice breakfast delivered by elephants and you get to feed the elephants when they visit. This was the highlight of our trip. Other pluses include the 3:30 walk around where they will bring some animals around (we got a skunk, an opossum and a monkey) and the zoo tours are all led, which means the animals are more likely to come out since they are familiar with the handlers. The parts we liked better at Safari West over this location was the fact that you could walk to see the animals on your own, when you wanted. They have giraffes and the evening cacophony of animal calls was more impressive at Safari West. In addition, the jeep tour is so much fun and you feel more immersed in the animal world than you do with the walking zoo tour. Vision Quest rooms have a TV, which may be a plus for some but, for us, we would have preferred not to have a TV at all. I don't believe Safari West tents have TVs.

salinas animal safari

Over all, my husband and I LOVED our stay and experience at the Vision Quest Ranch! Check In: We we told to check in by 3:30, if we wanted to see some animals. We got there at 3:35, and figured we had missed them. When we drove up to our bungalow, people were still sitting on the community decks, so we joined them, and learned that we in fact did not miss the animals walk by! The animals were walked by our deck closer to 4 pm (totally understandable, because when it comes to wild animals, you're on their time!) Two handlers greeted us with a warthog, and some kind of monkey. it was neat seeing these animals up close. Bungalow: We stayed in bungalow #6, Josef's Jungle. It was SO cute! It was themed around Josef the lion, who was the owner's pride and joy. The decor features lion prints, and personal pictures of Josef. The bathroom was really nice too! Definitely reminded me of "glamping". Breakfast: Our complimentary breakfast was bagels, pastries, fruit, and yogurt. Nothing fancy, but definitely yummy. Although we were not given any utensils, but we made it work. And as promised, it was delivered with an elephant! The handler was so nice, and took many pictures for us feeding the elephant. VI{P Tour: AMAZING. We were lucky enough to get Lucy as our guide. We were a little nervous, since many other reviews mentioned the bad attitudes of the staff... so we were preparing ourselves for the worst. Lucy was the best though! I loved how she greeted every animal with affection, like they were her babies. In the VIP tour, we walked around and saw all the animals. We also got to give an elephant a bath, and take plenty of pictures with him. Lucy is also an awesome photographer. She took like a million pictures for us, and never made us feel rushed. After the elephants, my husband and I got to eat lunch with Lucy in a super cute room. Our lunch was custom deli sandwiches (ordered before from Nob Hill, i think). It was cool getting to talk to Lucy one on one, and just getting to know her. Then she took us to play with a Padagonion Mara, the warthog, and a bearcat. Again, she never rushed us, and let us take our time with each animal, and got sooooooo many great pictures! She seriously made our tour perfect! The ONLY thing I would advise caution for is taking little kids. The tour we did was 4 hours, and because they are transitioning INTO a full zoo, you have to stay with the group (no dilly-dalliers!). Again, understandable... kids could easily stick their hands in the cages. Because of this, I think the oldest I would take kids at would be like 7 or 8. Additionally, make sure you read their website, it CLEARLY STATES everything you need to know ;) I think a majority of the bad reviews come from people who had different expectations from what they actually experienced.

My husband and I celebrated our 39th anniversary at Vision Quest B&B. I adore elephants and it was wonderful to be able to watch them from our deck of bungalow #8. It was very entertaining to watch Jasmine the zebra try to steal food from the elephants or Asian water buffalo. In the afternoon after you check in keepers bring 2 animals by your bungalow to visit. In the morning we saw Jasmine and a keeper interacting. We added Butch's bedtime which allowed us to interact with 3 of the elephants in their barn. Yes the elephant keepers carry bull hooks but I did not see them use the hooks on the elephants. All the animals seem well taken care of and the keepers and employees are all knowledgeable and seem to love their jobs. The elephants approaching with Christi holding Paula's tail was so cute. One keeper took photos using our camera. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for a photo of my husband and me together with the elephants so I have a good reason to return. :-)

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There's A Bed and Breakfast On This Elephant Ranch In Northern California And You Simply Have To Visit

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As local travel experts, we know what travelers are looking for when it comes to finding the perfect accommodations for their next trip. To compile our lists, we scour the internet to find properties with excellent ratings and reviews, desirable amenities, nearby attractions, and that something special that makes a destination worthy of traveling for.

Northern California is definitely a long way from the Serengeti, but rest assured you can still partake in a safari-like experience without ever leaving the state. Vision Quest Ranch is a truly one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast where you can wake up to the sounds of lions, tigers, and elephants. We can guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like it before! This is one getaway you’ll wish could go on forever, so read on to check out this awesome elephant sanctuary in California!

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What do you think? Are you up for a stay at this safari-style bed and breakfast? Have you perhaps already enjoyed this unique elephant encounter in California? If so, what was your favorite part? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments section below!

To experience elephant seals in nature, check out this article about beautiful Año Nuevo State Park.

If you’re still in the mood for more Nothern California adventures, take a look at this video:

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

Salinas, California, United States

  • Full Review
  • One-of-a-kind property unlike anything else in the area
  • Continental breakfast delivered to bungalows by staff and an elephant
  • Clean tent-like bungalows with necessary amenities
  • Free one-hour tour daily
  • Animals walk by bungalows each afternoon
  • Viewing decks allow great views of the valley and animals
  • No restaurant on-site (staff makes recommendations for nearby eateries)
  • Some bungalows are beside a noisy road
  • No air-conditioning
  • No dogs allowed (on-site pet boarding available)
  • Strict no-smoking rule (pro for some)

Bottom Line

This distinctive, budget bed-and-breakfast is in a class of its own, situated on a ranch that formerly housed wild animals used in the film industry. The eight-room property is in the process of transitioning to a wild-animal habitat, and guests are allowed to view and interact with the animals. A major attraction is the continental breakfast delivered to bungalows daily by staff and an elephant. Guests should be aware that the bungalows are basically tents with wood floors, but they're clean and have TVs, DVD players, showers, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Decor is animal themed and kitschy. Guests seeking a basic stay in Salinas could try the Super 8 Salinas, where there's a pretty outdoor pool and comfy, modern rooms. 

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The little big cat house.

The Little Big Cat House

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Distinct b&b that allows guests to view and interact with wild animals.

This property is definitely one-of-a-kind, with its tent-like bungalows and opportunities to view and interact with elephants, lions, tigers, bears, ostriches, zebras, and other plains-type animals. Vision Quest once supplied animals for the film industry and has been transitioning to a wild animal habitat for the past few years. Eight safari-style bungalows are situated past the animal enclosures and overlook a paddock for the animals. Some smells and noises can come from the animals and the natural grassland surroundings, but otherwise the atmosphere is calm and quiet. (And the animals are off in the distance for the most part.) Furnished viewing decks overlook the large animal enclosure. The experience is something like a small-scale, pseudo African safari. A free tour is given daily, but guests can opt to purchase more involved tours and experiences. Because the animals are in small enclosures with no distance between them and visitors, guests aren’t allowed to wander around on their own. The zoo side of the property, where the animals are kept, is being converted into a more natural wild animal park-type setting. For now, animals are kept in small metal cages, presumably a leftover from the ranch's days as a film production facility where the animals would be off grounds during the day. Guests tend to be couples or families. 

Isolated location about 30 minutes from Monterey, animals are the main attraction

This bed-and-breakfast is a destination and experience unto itself: The attraction is the animals, not the accommodations. The surrounding area is flat farmland, and the area is dry and dusty, with hills in the distance. The bungalows are placed on an elevated, grassy plain, connected to each other by concrete walkways, and there are a few stunted palm trees here and there. Between the ranch and Monterey is a residential development and some grocery stores, and there is little of interest in the area that isn’t a 20- or 30-minute drive in any direction. The location is around 30 minutes by car from Cannery Row, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, and the 17-Mile Drive. San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport are each about an hour and 45 minutes away by car, and Mineta San Jose International Airport is about an hour and 15 minutes away. Monterey Regional Airport is about 20 minutes away by car. 

Eight canvas-walled bungalows with animal-themed decor

The ranch has eight bungalows that are all unique and accommodate from two to four people. They are basically canvas-walled tents with wood floors, and each is cutely named: Pachyderm Palace, Monkey Manor, The BIG CAT House, Giraffe Manor, the Zebra Zone, Josef's Jungle, the Bears Den, and Leopards Lair. All have small flat-screen TVs, DVD players, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, robes, stand-up showers, and hairdryers, but no Wi-Fi. There are no phones in the units, but there is cell service. Decor is animal-themed and kitschy, which some guests love and others find overdone -- the natural-feeling wicker furnishings, woven window blinds, and wood floors do temper the animal prints and over-the-top textures to some extent. Some suites overlook the five-acre elephant playpen, and some have views of the Salinas Valley and surrounding mountains. 

Staff and an elephant deliver continental breakfast daily

Among the main attractions is the daily continental breakfast delivered to bungalows by the staff and an elephant. Guests can feed the elephant from their deck. A free one-hour tour is given daily, and guests can choose to upgrade for additional experiences, such as different animal-feeding tours. Although there is no restaurant on-site, staff will make recommendations for nearby places to eat. There's no Wi-Fi, but many guests comment on how nice it is to disconnect. 

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Basic television, free breakfast, kids allowed, room service, supervised kids activities.

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Super 8 by Wyndham Salinas

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Monterey Zoo & Vision Quest Safari B&B

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Where the Wild Things Are: Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California

The Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California, isn’t your typical hotel. There’s no lobby or restaurant, the neighbors are loud, and some of them can be a bit, well…stinky at times, but that’s all part of its appeal. The Ranch is home to more than 100 exotic animals including lions, monkeys, hyenas, camels, ostriches and elephants which share the property with eight canvas-walled guest bungalows . At night, you might hear the occasional lion’s roar and in the morning, breakfast is delivered to your room by one of the resident elephants.

Bungalows at Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California

Bungalows at Vision Quest Ranch

Vision Quest is run by Wild Things, an animal sanctuary and education center which welcomes visitors for tours and animal interactions. Wild Things offers daily tours, elephant meet-and-greets, feeding time presentations, and animal walking experiences for those who want to get up close with the elephants, monkeys and jungle cats that live onsite. For elephant lovers, there are some unique experiences as well, including the “Pachyderm Package” that includes two hours of hands-on time with the elephants, and “Butch’s Bedtime”, which is exclusive to guests of the B&B.

Located about two hours south of San Francisco, not far from Carmel and Monterey, the Vision Quest Ranch is set just off a paved two-lane road surrounded by farmland and vineyards. After checking in at the Wild Things main office, my husband and I headed to the B&B area, a short drive down a quiet side street, through the gate, and past the five-acre elephant playground to our bungalow.

Bungalows in the bush

Inside the bungalows at Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California

inside the bungalows at Vision Quest Ranch

The bungalows are all perched on wooden stilts in the tall grass; aside from the paved road through the property and the parking spaces near each tent, the setting is a pretty close match to what you find at a safari camp in Africa.

Each bungalow has a private bathroom with hot running water, electricity and heat, a coffee maker, robes, mini-fridge, TV and DVD player.  The bungalows sleep two to four people and are each themed after a different jungle animal with matching decor.

Our bungalow, number eight, was called the Zebra Zone, and the soft king size bed was decked out in zebra-print bedding. The deck had a clear view of the enclosed elephant area, but additional viewing decks are placed near the fence for those guests in bungalows without a view.

Animal encounters

Around 4pm every day, a selection of animals come to visit the guests while they watch from the bungalow decks. Afterwards, we headed to the barn to take part in the “Butchie’s Bedtime” package. First three of the ranch’s elephants were brought into the stalls where they sleep each night and the two of us watched as they ate a large portion of hay. Then it was our turn to feed the animals their bedtime snacks. For about fifteen minutes, we fed the elephants bread and fruit, petting their rough trunks as they chomped noisily on the treats. It was the highlight of the stay, but it wasn’t the last time we’d see the elephants.

Feeding the elephants after breakfast

After a restful sleep in the tented bungalow, which stayed toasty warm despite the cold night, we woke and got ready for our room service delivery. Each morning, the elephants make the rounds, bringing guests a basket filled with bagels, pastries, coffee, and juice, and the only tip they ask for in return is a few more handfuls of fruit. Once again we got to feed an elephant, marveling at the dexterity of its trunk as it carefully plucked apples and oranges from our hands.

A stay at the Vision Quest Ranch isn’t exactly the same as a safari trip to Africa, but it’s the closest thing to it on this continent. Part open-air zoo, part petting farm, part luxury bed and breakfast, it’s a unique walk….or sleep…. on the wild side.

Need to know

Check-in is at 3pm; check out is 12:30pm.

Included in the stay is a visit with one of the animals each evening (different animals are brought to the guest cabins each night for a short visit), a 1pm tour of the property, and breakfast delivered by an elephant in the morning. Other tours and experiences, like the Butchie’s Bedtime experience, are available for an additional fee.

Pets are not allowed in the bungalows but the B&B does have onsite dog boarding.  There is no smoking anywhere on the grounds. Children four and older are welcome.

Rates range from $175-$265 per night.

Review and photos by Katie Hammel. I was a guest of Vision Quest Ranch but all opinions are my own.

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Monterey Zoo

400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908

  • Phone (831) 455-1901
  • Tollfree (800) 228-7382

Monterey Zoo is a unique zoological experience, centrally located off the Monterey-Salinas Highway.  You will come closer to wild and exotic animals at Monterey Zoo than in most other zoos.  Home to 100+ exotic animals, many of the zoo’s animals have extremely close and personal relationships with their handlers and trainers which they are able to share with visitors. The zoo runs a full-time educational program that touches thousands of children and adults annually, both on and off the property.  Full contact experiences with the animals are available by appointment.  Vision Quest Safari B&B, a one of a kind safari style overnighting alternative, is also available on the property - the perfect complement to an already unique zoological experience.

  • Age Range: Children must be at least four years old to go on a private tour.
  • Directions: Centrally located off the Monterey-Salinas Hwy-68, turn East off the Reservation Rd. exit and travel approx. 3 miles. Facility is located on the left, just past Pine Canyon Rd.
  • Group Discount
  • Hours of Operation: Daily tours at 1:00pm. Gift shop open 8:00am to 6:00pm.
  • Miles from Monterey Airport: 16
  • Miles to Convention Center: 20

Facility Info

  • Description We are proud to show-off our very classy, brand new 10,000 sq.ft. special event venue on our freshly remodeled event site. An off-site experience like no other!
  • Total Sq. Ft. 10000
  • Reception Capacity 400
  • Complete Buyout true
  • Inside Banquet Capacity 400
  • Inside Reception Capacity 400
  • Square Footage of Largest Room 10000
  • Total Capacity of Meeting Space 400
  • Total Square Footage of Indoor Space 10000
  • Outdoor Event Space Available true
  • Banquet Capacity 400

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Vision Quest Ranch

Our Animals

We offer a variety of tour packages that can be catered to your specific needs. check below for details on our daily tours, pachyderm tours, v.i.p. tours, crunchtime, butch’s bedtime, and walk with the animals. please note that monterey zoo makes no guarantees that any animal and/or animal species will be on display on any given day. on some occasions, animals are kept off public display for reasons of habitat maintenance, medical concerns, public safety or zoological protocols..

lions

Hoofed & Toed Animals

birds

Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects

primates

Monterey Zoo

About Us Careers Volunteer Contact Us Gift Certificates available in our Zoo Gift Shop

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While providing exemplary animal care, Monterey Zoological Society is dedicated to providing an entertaining yet educational and conservation minded experience which fosters public awareness and respect for all wildlife.

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Contact info, click here to support our zoo.

IMAGES

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  4. Monterey Zoo (Salinas)

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  5. Monterey Zoo animal Sanctuary Salinas Calif 6/17 family visit

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  6. Stay at Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast in Salinas, CA, with Dates

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COMMENTS

  1. Home

    A true Safari B&B in Monterey, California! Meet several of our animal ambassadors while enjoying your time, and tour the Monterey Zoo! top of page. Vision Quest. Ranch. About. ... 400 River Road, Salinas, CA 93908. Mail: [email protected]. Tel: 800-228-7382 | 831-455-1901.

  2. About

    The Vision Quest Ranch Safari B&B and Vision Quest Ranch Event Venue help support the animals by offering exciting alternative means of overnighting and entertaining in Monterey County while providing a unique, educational and conservation minded adventure for animal enthusiasts. ... Salinas, CA 93908. Mail: [email protected]. Tel: 800 ...

  3. VISION QUEST SAFARI BED & BREAKFAST

    Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast, Salinas: See 502 traveler reviews, 686 candid photos, and great deals for Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast, ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / inns in Salinas and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. ... The animals there are actors in Hollywood for commercials and movies, so they live here during their "off-time" -- away ...

  4. Monterey Zoo

    Support Monterey's 1st ZOO. Committed to providing our animals with the largest most naturalistic enclosures possible, Monterey Zoological Society, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, has successfully brought the Monterey County Communities their first world class zoological property to benefit all who live in and visit Monterey County!

  5. Vision Quest Ranch

    Contact Info. 400 River Road, Salinas, CA 93908 831-455-1901 [email protected].

  6. VISION QUEST RANCH

    303 reviews and 813 photos of Vision Quest Ranch "Fall asleep in a giant over-stuffed feather bed to the sound of lions roaring. Sleep like a baby and when you wake up, wrap up in a fluffy spa-style robe to have breakfast on your front porch -delivered by an elephant! What a simply divine weekend! Vision Quest Ranch is home to hundreds of animals which have been rescued or work in the film ...

  7. Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

    Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast. 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908. Phone (831) 455-1901. Tollfree (800) 228-7382. send email. visit website. Vision Quest Ranch offers a unique means of over-nighting in the Monterey area. Listen to the lions and tigers roaring only yards from your canvas walled hotel suite.

  8. Monterey Zoo

    Bring your headphones and a smart device to watch short videos on the animals as you wander using our unique QR code signage. Monterey Zoo is proudly accredited by the Zoological Association of America. Pricing: $35.25 ages 15-64 $31.75 ages 65+ $25.00 ages 2-14 Free ages less than 2 $8.00 any stroller or wagon. Duration: 1-2 hours.

  9. African Safari in Salinas!

    Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast: African Safari in Salinas! - See 502 traveler reviews, 555 candid photos, and great deals for Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast at Tripadvisor. ... They have giraffes and the evening cacophony of animal calls was more impressive at Safari West. In addition, the jeep tour is so much fun and you feel more ...

  10. Vision Quest Is An Awesome B&B Elephant Sanctuary In California

    Take part in a one-of-a-kind safari and elephant sanctuary in California that is also an inviting bed and breakfast inn. ... Located in Salinas, Vision Quest Ranch offers a once-in-a-lifetime overnight experience that you won't find anywhere else. ... This 4-hour adventure is for true animal lovers and involves close encounters and full contact ...

  11. Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

    Pros. One-of-a-kind property unlike anything else in the area. Continental breakfast delivered to bungalows by staff and an elephant. Clean tent-like bungalows with necessary amenities. Free one-hour tour daily. Animals walk by bungalows each afternoon. Viewing decks allow great views of the valley and animals.

  12. Monterey Zoo & Vision Quest Safari B&B,Salinas

    400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, USA, Salinas, California, United States Show on Map. Vision Quest Ranch is home to the Monterey Zoological Society which cares for over 100 exotic animals as well as EARS a non profit elephant sanctuary An overnight stay at the Vision Quest Safari Bed and Breakfast allows people to get closer to exotic animals ...

  13. Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California

    The Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas, California, isn't your typical hotel. There's no lobby or restaurant, the neighbors are loud, and some of them can be a bit, well…stinky at times, but that's all part of its appeal. The Ranch is home to more than 100 exotic animals including lions, monkeys, hyenas, camels, ostriches and elephants which ...

  14. Contact Us

    Safari Camp; Volunteers; Interns; ... While providing exemplary animal care, Monterey Zoological Society is dedicated to providing an entertaining yet educational and conservation minded experience which fosters public awareness and respect for all wildlife. ... Vision Quest Ranch. Contact Info 400 River Road, Salinas, CA 93908 Phone: 831-455 ...

  15. MONTEREY ZOO

    Specialties: Monterey Zoo is dedicated to providing professionally & humanely trained wild/exotic and domestic birds and animals for film, television, live productions, education and much much more. Monterey Zoo takes great pride in offering sanctuary to many animals that can no longer participate in entertainment or would otherwise not have a home or family.We have adopted many of our animals ...

  16. Safari West

    The mission of Safari West is to promote conservation by providing a unique recreational educational experience including information about propagation. Skip to Main Content ... Read More Show another animal. Safari West Happenings. See all Happenings . Safari West Presents! Native Bird Connections Friday March 1, 2024 | 8:00pm - 8:30pm ...

  17. Hitchcock Road Animal Services

    To report a stray dog for pick up, dog running at large, sick/injured animal, abandoned animals or underaged animals with no mother in sight, please call the following: For Unincorporated Monterey County and City of Salinas: Direct Phone Number: (831) 769-8856. Hours: Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

  18. Pets for Adoption at Monterey County Animal Services, in Salinas, CA

    Learn more about Monterey County Animal Services in Salinas, CA, and search the available pets they have up for adoption on Petfinder. Monterey County Animal Services in Salinas, CA has pets available for adoption. ... Monterey County Animal Services. 160 Hitchcock Road Salinas, CA 93933. Get directions view our pets ...

  19. Plan Your Visit

    Safari Camp; Volunteers; Interns; ... Crunchtime, Butch's Bedtime, and Walk with the Animals. Please note that Monterey Zoo makes no guarantees that any animal and/or animal species will be on display on any given day. On some occasions, animals are kept off public display for reasons of habitat maintenance, medical concerns, public safety or ...

  20. Monterey Zoo

    Phone (831) 455-1901. Tollfree (800) 228-7382. send email. visit website. Monterey Zoo is a unique zoological experience, centrally located off the Monterey-Salinas Highway. You will come closer to wild and exotic animals at Monterey Zoo than in most other zoos. Home to 100+ exotic animals, many of the zoo's animals have extremely close and ...

  21. Drive-Through Safari & Adventure Park

    The Lion Country Safari Experience. Lion Country Safari is situated on nearly 600 acres of natural area and home to hundreds of animals. Explore one of Florida's wildest attractions and one of the top things to do in Palm Beach County. LEARN MORE. Drive-Through Safari.

  22. Our History

    In 1994, Charlie purchased the beautiful 51 acre Vision Quest Ranch located in the sun belt between Monterey and Salinas, California. The Monterey Zoo, formally Wild Things Animal Rentals, Inc. is now home to 100+ exotic animals ranging from spiders to African elephants. The zoo continues to run full-time educational programs that touch ...

  23. Our Animals

    Safari Camp; Volunteers; Interns; ... On some occasions, animals are kept off public display for reasons of habitat maintenance, medical concerns, public safety or zoological protocols. ... Salinas, CA 93908 Phone: 831-455-1901 E-Mail: [email protected]. Click Here to Support our Zoo