I second the suggestion from Cubsur, for I used the Amtrak coach in 2006; a pleasant enough ride, and the journey included a brief stop in Santa Barbara. i thought it took a bit longer, though - but it was over four years ago
Recent vintage hybrid diesel buses congregate at the modern Salinas Transit Center, which is just a couple of blocks off Main Street. This is a depot within the Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) system that connects not only Salinas to Monterey also ties in other cities within Monterey County for a bargain price. Service is good because the local workers, many of whom are Mexican immigrants, depend upon this service. Travel is very safe, and travel through the agricultural region a virtual scenic tour. This is an excellent and Green way to get around this heavily touristed area on a budget. See the web link for bus schedules.
From Monterey to Salinas is just 17 miles along Highway 68. The drive is an official California Scenic Route following a corridor of oak, sycamore and pine trees with views of Mt. Toro; Monterey County's only other State Scenic Routes are Hwy 156 and Hwy 1. Hwy 68 also comprises a small portion of the Juan Bautista De Anza Historic Route which traces the trails De Anza followed in 1774-1776 to connect Nogales, Arizona to San Francisco, a distance of 1200 miles.
On the way from Monterey to Salinas you will pass the Monterey Airport and the entrance to Jack's Peak County Park. Jack's Peak is the highest point on the Monterey Peninsula at 1068 feet, and it offers stunning views over Monterey Bay and the downtown area.
Further along Hwy 68, about halfway between Salinas and Monterey is Laguna Seca County Park. There are 185 campsites with showers and restrooms. Laguna Seca offers a variety of activities including fishing, hiking trails, a nature preserve, and a rifle range, along with a world-famous racetrack.
Just before entering Salinas, you will pass Toro County Park. Hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails make this a popular spot for residents and visitors. Great views plus horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, ballfields, picnic facilities and playgrounds.