- For other places with the same name, see Salinas (disambiguation).
Salinas (population 150,000) is in California, 20 minutes inland from Monterey Bay in a region known as the Central Coast. Salinas was the home of writer and Nobel Prize laureate John Steinbeck. It claims to be the "Salad Bowl of the World."
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Salinas is served by Amtrak and its Coast Starlight service between Los Angeles and Seattle, via Oakland. An Amtrak-provided bus connects the Salinas Station to a few major hotels in Monterey and downtown Carmel. 1 Salinas Station is located at 3 Station Pl.
Salinas also has a Greyhound bus station, located next to the railway station, which travelers can come to via many major California cities.
It's also possible to use commuter CalTrain to get to Salinas from San Francisco or San Jose. Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) buses connect to CalTrain at San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy. (Morgan Hill and Gilroy stations are only open weekdays.) These buses will deposit you in Monterey; from there you can connect to another MST bus to Salinas.
Oldtown Salinas is very walkable. It has many stores, restaurants and galleries. It is also the location of the Transit Plaza, providing access to the Amtrak train and the bus system.
Public buses from Monterey-Salinas Transit are plentiful. They also provide access to the Monterey Peninsula.
Getting around by automobile is easy. Parking is plentiful and often free.
- 1 National Steinbeck Center, 1 Main St, ☏ . Every day 10AM-5PM. Has exhibitions about author John Steinbeck, his work, and life on the California Coast. $10.95 for Monterey County residents, $5.95 - $14.95 for people who don't live in Monterey County. Admission for children 5 and under is free.
- 2 Harvey Baker House, Central Ave and Salinas St. Thought to be the oldest standing structure within the Salinas city limits, is available for tours.
- 3 First Mayor's House, 20 Station Place (next to the train station at West Market St. and Main St.), ☏ . The I. J. Harvey House is the home of the first mayor of Salinas and his family. Learn about the history of early Salinas. Tours are available by appointment. $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (age 60+) and $5 for kids under 18.
- First Fridays Art Walk, Oldtown Salinas (start at Main and Gabilan, look for balloons). 5-8PM. On the first Friday of every month, stores and galleries in Oldtown Salinas throw open their doors. Over 50 venues are usually involved, and there are also many outdoor performances. See live music, dance, and other performances and consume light food and beverages while checking out the art. Look for the balloons on the sidewalk, denoting which venues are open.
- Oldtown Salinas Farmer's Market, 100 Main St (parking lot across from Steinbeck Center). Saturday 9AM-2PM. Organic and conventional produce vendors set up shop alongside sellers of clothes, jewelry, soap and other items every Saturday morning. Busier in summer than winter.
- Wild Things (Vision Quest Ranch). Home to a number of animal "movie stars" and over 100 other wild and exotic animals.
- Sherwood Hall. Adjacent to Salinas Sports Complex, hosts plays and live musical performances including the Monterey County Symphony.
- The Western Stage, 411 Central Ave (parking lot is on Alisal, across from San Vicente Ave.), ☏ . Monterey County's largest professional theatre organization.
- California Rodeo. Salinas Sports Complex, North Main St, adjacent to Sherwood Hall. Held in the third week of July in the heart of Salinas. Locals will correct you if you refer to the ROW-dee-oh; the preferred local pronunciation is row-DAY-oh.
- Twin Creeks golf course. Offers players world class golf and pristine scenery. Twin Creeks is a 9-hole course, consisting of four par four holes and five par threes. It offers a 31-par challenge with a 30-station night lighted driving range, practice green, and practice sand bunker.
- Salinas Fairways. Another golfing option in the city limits.
- 1 Tatum's Garden, 1 Maryal Dr (in Sherwood Park, near N Main St and Hwy 101). Large, popular, wheelchair-accessible playground for kids of all ages. Offers rubber pathways, chair-like adaptive swings, and playground equipment designed for children with and without mobility difficulties. Picnic tables and restrooms. Free.
The Salinas Auto Mall, Northridge, Westridge, Harden Ranch Plaza, Santa Rita Plaza and Sherwood shopping centers cater to shoppers with a variety of needs. Oldtown Salinas draws antique lovers and a specialty gift clientele.
- 1 Northridge Mall, 796 Northridge Mall, ☏ . The largest mall in Monterey County with over 120 stores. The mall hosts a Century movie theater, Sears, JCPenney and Macy's department stores, mall shops and restaurants. If you are looking for your typical mall experience, a food court, or need a new pair of jeans, this is the place.
- The Steinbeck House, 132 Central Ave (two blocks west of the National Steinbeck Center). Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2PM. A luncheon restaurant in John Steinbeck's boyhood home.
- 1 Tico's Tacos, 901 S Main St, ☏ .
- Monterey Coast Brewing Company, 165 Main Street, 93901 (Near the corner of Main and Gabilan), ☏ . Monterey Coast Brewing Company brews excellent beer. They serve good pizzas and solid pub food. Make sure to have either the grilled or deep-fried artichokes; both are excellent.
- First Awakenings, 171 Main St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon–Sun 7AM–2PM. Popular breakfast spot, with friendly service.
- Growers Pub (Pubs Prime Rib), 227 Monterey St. 11AM - 9PM. Prime Rib, Steaks, Santa Lucia wines American Family cuisine $25.00.
- A Taste of Monterey. Oldtown Salinas. Sample Monterey County wines.
- Gold Leaf Spice & Teas, 8 West Gabilan St, ☏ . Tea bar where you can try 105 fresh loose leaf teas, 149 spices and herbs and 12 flavored olive oils.
- Best Western Hanns Inn, 175 Kern St, ☏ , fax: .
- Best Western Salinas Valley Inn & Suites, 187 Kern St, ☏ , fax: .
- Courtyard Salinas Monterey, 17225 El Rancho Way, ☏ , fax: .
- Holiday Inn Express, 131 John St, ☏ .
- Motel 6 Salinas North - Monterey Area, 140 Kern St, ☏ , fax: .
- Motel 6 Salinas South - Monterey Area, 1257 De La Torre Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Residence Inn Salinas Monterey, 17215 El Rancho Way, ☏ , fax: .
- Travelodge Salinas, 109 John St, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: noon, check-out: 3PM.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Salinas, 195 Kern St, 93905, ☏ .
- Big Sur is a sparsely settled coastal region known for its breathtaking scenery, and is popular for hiking and camping. It is about 45 minutes southwest of Salinas.
- Santa Cruz is a college town known for its hippie-crunchy vibe. It is an hour northwest of Salinas by car.
- Monterey - Located 20 miles southwest of Salinas, Monterey was founded in 1770 and served as the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico, was a bustling fishing port until the 1950s, and is now a major tourist destination. Attractions include a pier filled with seafood restaurants, a world-class aquarium, a harbor that is home to an enormous number of seabirds, sea lions, sea otters, seals, and other marine life, the historic Cannery Row, and opportunities for whale watching, kayaking, or other excursions into Monterey Bay.
- Soledad - Located 26 miles southeast of Salinas on Highway 101, Soledad is the western gateway to Pinnacles National Park and also home to Mission Soledad, one of 21 historic Spanish missions in California. The town is also home to several wineries, with tasting rooms that offer magnificent views over the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Salinas Valley.
|Routes through Salinas|
|San Jose ← San Juan Bautista ←||N S||→ Soledad → San Luis Obispo|
|Pacific Grove ← Monterey ←||W E||→ END|