Vision Quest Ranch
Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast
400 River Road Salinas, CA 93908
April 20, 2012
Occupying a 51 acre ranch in Salinas, California, Vision Quest Ranch is home to 100+ wild/exotic animals and domestic birds. When we arrived at Wild Things we were excited to see a camel, horses, and a slew of other animals lining both sides of the pave-way as we headed to the main building to check in. Upon arrival, we were greeted and immediately checked in to our first adventure of the day, which was a one hour guided tour of the animal facility. There is a roughly 5 minute wonderful presentation of the history and background regarding the mission of Vision Quest Ranch, along with the rules of engagement while touring the animal sanctuary.
This tour is amazing! Anyone can go to a zoo, or an animal park, but you will never get an opportunity to be this up close and personal to exotic animals like you can at Vision Quest. Yes, the animals are caged, and there is about a 3 feet chained off divider from you and these magnificent creatures, but that is it. You are so close you can see, hear, and smell everything there is to behold from each and every animal in unimaginable detail.
This gives you a really good indication of how close you are to each animal while at Vision Quest Ranch!
The guide gave a great in-depth story on each of the animals and how they came to the Sanctuary. It was very informative and had a mix of good little puns and jokes, and the right mixture of time and information on each animal presented. The tour lasted just over 1 hour and the guide told us to be on the lookouts, as animals go on their daily walks around 4:00 p.m and they visit every bungalow while on their outing. This was something we were really looking forward to!
Meanwhile, we retired to our bungalow overlooking huge grassy meadows.
We stayed in the well appointed Monkey Manor.
The bungalows itself are very nicely situated and laid out with two beds, a wonderful huge bathroom, refrigerator, bottled water and juice, toiletries, sets of bathrobes, and oh wow, a heated bed… I like what they done here. Very soft and comfortable pillows, nice little touches of personal picture mementos throughout the bungalow, coffee maker with…. This is unbelievable…. A really nice touch for every coffee nut like me. Flavored creamer in three flavors. The holy grail — I can’t even get flavored creamer for breakfast at most of the eateries I go to have breakfast at. Really nice touch! If that isn’t enough they also provide a flat screen TV and a wonderful outside area complete with table, chairs to sit, relax, and enjoy the clean air. One of the cool features of the bungalows is you can open Velcro windows to get a nice breeze inside and have a great views.
Around 4:00 p.m. we waited outside for the arrival of the animals on their daily walks.
This little guy is called a Honey Bear. The handlers were very passionate talking about the animals. They took great care and detail to give us an informative breakdown of what this little munchkin is all about. We seen these guides go to each and every bungalow to share this honey bear. What a great idea! A very unique feature staying at this Bed & Breakfast! The next animal to come for a visit was a little baby Baboon. The handler told me this little guy goes home with her every night as she lives on site at the ranch. The guides informed us that Crunch Time would be at 5:00 p.m. You can purchase this package and have a chance to feed the “big” cats and put to “sleep” the elephants. We couldn’t wait for our next adventure! Is it 5.00 already?
Yes, it is almost 5:00 we raced down to scope out the elephants, zebras, and water buffalo’s hanging out in their pen. We arrived early and sat for about fifteen minutes just in awe observing.
Crunch Time has arrived! We were guided to the big cats. The handlers told us about the instincts of wild animals and showed us how they respond when they are hungry. The big cats were roaring like something was coming out of the bowels of hell. Words can not describe how lions behave when they get a morsel of food and see the rest of it inches from their cage. This was the best part for any animal lover to comprehend that despite, being a feet or two away, you can really understand the power and strength these animals behold.
Standing upright these cats are monstrous in size!
Next up was to feed the elephants before they fell asleep for the night. Everyone got some whole bread, apples, and bananas to hand feed them. It was fascinating to see how elephants have a hand like nose to pick up and eat their food. Their nose drips when taking the food from your hands. This was a very laughable moment for us! Our elephant grabs all the food at once and devoured it right up. Amazing! You have to be careful as their noses extended quite a bit away and if you have food they would snatch it from you, along with a nice Rolex, so be warned — do not wear jewelery of any kind, and hold on tight to your camera folks.
Crunch Time was over and it was still light outside so we hopped in our car and headed to Monterey for the evening. It was a very short ride and we got to visit Cannery Row, the beach, and a really good pizza joint. The nice part about staying at this place is that it is so close to a variety of wonderful places to visit. About a half a mile away their is a restaurant, gas station and market to grab a quick bite to eat or load up for the night.
We arrived back at our bungalow around 9:00 p.m. Each guest is given a pass-code to leave anytime they want. So it was nice to be able to come and go freely from Vision Quest at anytime.
We settled in for the night and watched some TV and fell asleep to the sounds of exotic animals. When we woke up I raved to my daughter how I slept like a baby. I had the bed heated to a number five. This was a perfect setting as the night breeze and the heat combination put me into a dizzy slumber of rest and relaxation. It was almost 9:00 a.m. so I brewed me a cup of coffee with my favorite flavored creamer, packed up my belongings, and waited for the elephants to arrive and bring our breakfast.
The elephants arrived with a cute green box filled with yummy bagels, croissants, yogurt, and fruit.
We had one last chance to feed the elephants and say goodbye!
Our visit to this Bed & Breakfast was a one of a kind experience. We highly recommend this place to anyone needing to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or just wanting to get out of town for the weekend. We want to thank Charlie, his wife Heather, and all the wonderful and caring staff at Vision Quest for extending the offer to come and visit their little piece of paradise. This is one adventure we will never forget. Be sure to check out Vision Quest Ranch on our site for all the information you will need to book and view rate information.
Book your next adventure now!