Salinas, California is a city of nearly 150,000 people, located in California's central coast region, one hundred miles south of San Francisco and eight miles inland from Monterey. Salinas is the county seat of Monterey County and is part of a metropolitan population of slightly over 400,000 people. Salinas is in a very rich farming region that produces fruit and vegetables and is acknowledged as the "Salad Bowl of America". More than half of the nation's lettuce, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli and artichokes are grown in the region. The area is also home to more than 75 wineries, including well-known names such as Blackstone and Estancia. Salinas is home to the world renowned California Rodeo Salinas, which attracts international competitors and visitors each July. Salinas boasts an emerging arts scene led by the First Fridays Art Walk where around 50 non-traditional and business venues are used to exhibit art and host live local music. Salinas is also the birthplace of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, and city landmarks feature prominently in some of Steinbeck's novels.
Spaniards sent to build fortress-like missions were the first European settlers to arrive in the Central Coast area in the 1790’s. During the period of Mexican independence, land grants by the Mexican government established large ranches for raising cattle and other livestock. A salt marsh on two of these adjoining ranchos established both the location and the name of Salinas. In the mid-1800’s, the region’s agricultural industry began a period of significant growth. Several local businessmen designed a town plan and enticed the Southern Pacific Railroad to build its tracks through Salinas in 1867, ensuring national reach for locally grown produce. The City of Salinas was incorporated in 1874. Agriculture continued as the area’s major industry and by the end of World War I, produce made Salinas one of the wealthiest cities (per capita) in the United States. Salinas experienced a building boom during the 1920’s which is reflected in a number of the buildings still standing in the city today. Learn more about the history of Salinas with the following links.
Salinas, California has a climate with average temperatures of 68 degrees year-round and cool afternoon ocean breezes. The average high in summertime reaches 74 degrees and the average low in winter is around 40 degrees. The annual rainfall averages 14.14 inches, falling mostly from November to March. Learn more about the local weather in Salinas with these links.
Public transportation in Salinas is provided by Monterey-Salinas Transit. Public buses transport passengers throughout Monterey County, and connect Salinas with San Jose and Gilroy. Amtrak serves Salinas, operating its Coast Starlight daily in each direction between Seattle and Los Angeles. Greyhound operates a bus station in downtown Salinas with service to other California cities and destinations throughout the United States. Salinas Municipal Airport is located three miles from the city center. The nearest international airport is in San Jose, a one hour drive. Plan your travel to Salinas with these links.
Cost of Living in Salinas
Compared to the rest of the country, Salinas’s cost of living is 24% higher than the U.S. average and 5.5% lower than the California average. Housing and utilities are among the most expensive costs. Determine your budget requirements in Salinas with these links.
Salinas has seven school districts serving the city. Including both public and private schools, Salinas has 11 high schools, 8 middle schools 39 elementary schools and 26 preschools. There are about 21.7 students per teacher in Salinas. Visit the Monterey County Office of Education to learn more about schools in Salinas.
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is Salinas’ top-ranked hospital. This hospital mainly provides general medical and surgical services, but is well-known for its high performance in four adult specialty procedures. If you’re planning on relocating to Salinas, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you:
Salinas Real Estate
Settling down in Salinas is affordable for families and relocating professionals. The median home cost in Salinas is $282,900. In recent years, home values have appreciated as much as 16%. Explore the current housing market in Salinas with these links.
You can find more than 25 hotels in Salinas, ranging from brand name accommodations to more exotic choices. The Chateau Coralini is a lavishly and lovingly remodeled farmhouse just outside the city of Salinas in a quiet and new residential neighborhood. Laurel Inn Motel is an affordable alternative to bigger, brand-name hotels and receives great reviews by guests. One very unique stay is the Vision Quest Safari Bed and Breakfast located at the Monterey Zoo, featuring safari-themed bungalows and exotic wildlife encounters combined with the conveniences of a modern hotel. Plan your stay in Salinas with these links.
When visiting Salinas, be sure to check out some of their exceptional locally-owned restaurants. The best breakfast spot in Salinas is First Awakenings in the heart of Oldtown. The Pajaro Street Grill provides a great old-fashioned atmosphere and great service. Patria, in Oldtown Salinas, is a fairly new upscale restaurant where everything is made from scratch. Beer lovers will be delighted to hear about the Monterey Coast Brewing Company, a locally owned microbrewery where the beer is only available on-site. The Steinbeck House is the boyhood home of John Steinbeck, and features a restaurant with a somewhat limited menu, but tasty and reasonably priced. Due to popularity and limited seating, reservations are strongly recommended. Discover more area restaurants using these links.
Things to Do in Salinas
There are many reasons to visit Salinas, but fans of John Steinbeck flock to the city for good reason. The American author was born and raised in Salinas, hence the area being dubbed Steinbeck Country. The National Steinbeck Center Museum is located on Oldtown Main Street and the 1897 Victorian home he was born and raised in, the Steinbeck House, is located two blocks northwest of the museum. Numerous festivals take place throughout the year in Salinas and the surrounding area. The California International Airshow takes place each September, spotlighting the Blue Angels, Canadian Snowbirds and Thunderbird flight teams. Other famous events in the area include The Concours d’ Elegance at Pebble Beach, the Gilroy Garlic Festival, The Salinas Valley Food and Wine Festival, and the California Rodeo. Oldtown Salinas features many Art Deco buildings and a variety of art galleries, antiques, unique shops, and restaurants for every taste. With close proximity to Monterey Bay, there are plenty of beaches, boating, and water sports nearby, plus the Monterey Bay Aquarium, recognized by TripAdvisor as the #1 aquarium in the world. Explore more fun things to do in Salinas and Monterey County with these links.