Salinas Travel Guide

  • Harris Road Fields in April 2013
    Harris Road Fields in April 2013
    by atufft
  • Harris Road Fields in April 2013
    Harris Road Fields in April 2013
    by atufft
  • Uni-Cool Packing Warehouse in Salinas, CA
    Uni-Cool Packing Warehouse in Salinas,...
    by atufft

Salinas Highlights

  • Pro
    Shaft28 profile photo

    Shaft28 says…

     hot, in the middle of nowhere 

  • Con
    hopefulone06 profile photo

    hopefulone06 says…

     Is Closing all of its Library's!!; Crowded High Schools 

  • In a nutshell
    Ewingjr98 profile photo

    Ewingjr98 says…

     Be careful in Salinas, especially after dark 

Salinas Things to Do

  • Produce Fields near Spreckles

    Off Harris Rd near the small historic neighborhood and town of Spreckles are a number of fields that have the backdrop of the coastal range to frame them. Watching the workers or the harvesting activity from the ridge there is relaxing entertainment.

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  • Wine Tasting Downtown

    A Taste of Monterey is a storefront wine tasting room right across the street from the Steinbeck Museum, and in the same block art the current feature running Maya Theater. The cool climate of Monterey produces some outstanding Chardonnays and Pinot Noir wines, among others. See the web link for more details.

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  • Steinbeck House

    Among those restored homes is the elegant mansion of Steinbeck himself, now converted into a restaurant and gift shop. The website provides a menu with prices and calendar of events and tea parties.

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  • Victorian Neighborhoods

    Near Downtown, but mostly along Central Avenue, just down the street from the Steinbeck Museum, is a fine collection of restored old homes that have become occupied by attorney's and other professionals. These can be easily appreciated in a walk from downtown.

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  • Steinbeck Museum

    The well endowed and modern museum not only has personal artifacts and original manuscripts from the author, but also helps explain the magnificent agricultural phenomenon about which Steinbeck wrote. Mexican-American authors and other artists are hosted by the museum as well. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm. See website for ticketing and...

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  • Walk Around Old Downtown

    Main Street Salinas has about 10 blocks of well kept commercial activity, focusing upon restaurants, internet cafe's, banking, boutique shops of all sorts, high-end massage salons, and theaters. There are three active theaters-- the Maya Theater brings current Hollywood films, The Childrens Theater focuses upon live entertainment for Children, and...

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  • Boronda Adobe

    OK, so Salinas existed before John Steinbeck was born...who knew? One place to find a little more of the Salinas history is the Boronda Adobe. The Jose Eusebio Boronda Adobe was built from 1844 to 1848 as a farmhouse long before the city of Salinas existed and is the town's oldest structure. This is a unique adobe for the era due to its four-sloped...

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  • Main Street Salinas Theaters

    Salinas has at least three theaters on Main Street: The old Fox Theater, and the new Maya Cinemas. The cinemas are an essential part of the future of downtown, as they are some of the few draws (along with the Steinbeck Center) that bring foot traffic to other local businesses.The Fox Theater was built in 1921 and it was all but abandoned in the...

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  • Larger than life

    Throughout Monterey County you might notice giant people along the sides of the highway, against the sides of buildings, or just off in a field. These characters which range from infants, to farmers, to old women are often creations of a Salinas artist John Cerney (http://www.johncerney.com/photogallery.html).His latest art works are three Cannery...

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  • Don't miss The National Steinbeck Center

    It is basically a museum dedicated to the life of native author John Steinbeck and it also showcases life in the Monterey Bay & Salinas Valley in the early-mid 20th Century.Year round, active programs take place in the Center. Through archive displays, art and history exhibitions, lectures, repertory film series, and special programs for schools,...

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  • California State Rodeo

    The California State Rodeo is held annually in Salina each July. This is considered one of the top 20 rodeos in the nation of the 800 or so held each year, and it attracts about 50,000 visitors. The rodeo features continuous action in the side-by-side arena and track including barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping, bareback riding, bull...

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  • John Steinbeck's Grave

    Since you most likely came to Salinas to learn more about Steinbeck, and you've already visited the house where he was born and raised, as well as the museum dedicated to his life.... there's only one logical stop left -- take a peek at the place where he's buried. While Steinbeck died in New York in 1968, his body was cremated and returned to...

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  • John Steinbeck's Salinas Home

    This Victorian mansion was constructed in 1897, purchased by the Steinbeck family in 1900, and the birthplace of John Steinbeck in 1902. Steinbeck lived here with his family until 1919 when he graduated from Salinas High School and went to college at Stanford. Later in his life he returned to this house to visit his parents and do some writing. The...

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  • National Steinbeck Center

    John Steinbeck was born and raised in Salinas, lived several years in Monterey and Pacific Grove, and set numerous novels in this area. He wrote dozens of novels, perhaps most famous were The Grapes of Wrath (1939), Tortilla Flat (1935), Of Mice and Men (1937), Cannery Row (1945), and The Pearl (1947), earning a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for...

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  • Main Street Salinas

    Living in Monterey, we hear Salinas on the news daily with a variety of crime from murders and drive-by shootings to robbery. You'd think it was the edge of the earth, maybe even Satan's summer home. Drive over to Salinas, and it really is a different story. To find the crime, you have to look for it, and even then you probably won't find it...I...

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  • Farming in the Salinas Valley

    Salinas is surrounded by the farm country of the Salinas Valley. At just 80 miles long, this valley is much smaller than the more famous San Joaquin Valley, but very important to the local economy. Salinas Valley is famous for its artichokes, lettuce, broccoli, celery, strawberries, tomatoes, and has an expanding grape and wine industry. The main...

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  • Valley of the World Agricultural wing

    Described in the brochure as "an interpretive, interactive, and audiovisual exploration of contemporary agriculture and its historical roots," this museum within a museum is, well, uh... let me put it this way... it's as good as it sounds! Meaning if you're the kind of person who really gets a kick out of the history of agriculture, you'll have a...

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  • National Steinbeck Center

    The National Steinbeck Center does a great job at painting an engaging and thorough picture of "Steinbeck Country" - California's Salinas Valley. Through diaramas, video exhibits, and extensive use of quotes from his works, the Center really gives the visitor a feel for the influences that shaped Steinbeck's writing, and for life in this fertile...

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Salinas Hotels

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Salinas Restaurants

  • Other Salinas Restaurants

    Main Street Salinas has many of the town's better local (non-chain) restaurants in a quaint old-fashioned downtown. I have eaten only at Yangtse Taste of Thai, which has good Asian fare, Monterey Coast Brewing, and the Penny Farthing, but there are many other great options. First Awakenings is well-known as the best breakfast in the county, and...

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  • Free Wifi and Great Coffee

    Rollick's has excellent coffee drinks of all sorts, a selection of desserts, fresh fruit, and free Wifi. This is the best place to hang out and get caught up on your travel correspondence. This place is popular but rarely over-crowded. There's indoor and outdoor seating. This place easily matches the best New York or San Francisco have to offer,...

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  • Where author John Steinbeck used to eat

    The attraction of Sang's is that it is downtown Salinas near the new Steinbeck Museum and next to the Monterey Bay Visitors Center.It features a menu similar to that served 40 years ago when author John Steinbeck used to eat here.It has the flavor of an old 1050's diner-cafe.The menu has only a couple Chinese dishes and is mostly Americana, just...

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  • Monterey Coast Brewing

    Salinas' Monterey Coast Brewing is my favorite microbrewery I've found in Monterey County (the others being Peter B's Brewpub in the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey and English Ales in Marina). Monterey Coast is located nowhere near the Monterey Coast, but it is comfortably established in one of the historic buildings on Main Street in Salinas....

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  • In-N-Out Burger

    I never, ever put fast food tips on VT, but I'll make an exception for In-N-Out Burger. Their claim is freshness... the beef is never frozen and the stores have no microwaves or freezers. I began to believe it when I watched them making french fries from whole potatoes. Freshness and speed do not go well together. I couldn't believe when I placed...

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  • Yangtse Taste of Thai

    I didn't expect much from a Thai place with a Chinese name in a predominantly Hispanic town, but Yangtse Taste of Thai surprised me with a very nice restaurant, a great menu, and large portions of very tasty food. Their location is ideal, right downtown Salinas, with big windows overlooking Main Street. For lunch I started with the slightly spicy...

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Salinas Transportation

  • Salinas Transit Center

    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...

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  • Transport from Salinas

    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

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  • Driving to Salinas

    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...

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Salinas Off The Beaten Path

  • San Juan Grade Road

    The old stage coach route between San Juan Bautista and Salinas is called Salinas Grade Road at the Jan Juan Bautista side and San Juan Grade Road at the Salinas side. This route is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail that follows this explorer's 1200 mile overland route through Arizona and California to San Francisco.Today...

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  • Steinbeck's favorite view -- Fremont...

    About six miles north of Salinas you might notice Fremont Peak, a 3,169 foot summit, standing alone and bristling with several tall antenna towers. The 33 acres around the peak are designated as Fremont Peak State Park. This tiny park is home to an observatory, several small primitive campgrounds, perhaps two miles of trails, and a few historical...

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  • Salinas Bataan Memorial

    The Bataan Memorial in Salinas was dedicated in April 2006 for the 105 men of Company C 194th Tank Battalion of the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys. These men were stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter, the Philippines was also attacked by Japanese forces, with the 194th being the...

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Salinas Favorites

  • Stop by and see lettuce man!

    While driving through Salinas, and it is through because no one really goes TO Salinas, you must stop and see the strange gigantic roadside pictures of farm workers. While most of them celebrate the Hispanic heritage in the local farm areas, this one is oddly hilarious. We like to call him lettuce nuts. But that is mostly because my friends and I...

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  • When you visit Salinas, a must...

    When you visit Salinas, a must see is the Rodeo. Usually in town around July. The Steinbeck House, usually call ahead for reservations and menu. We now have the Steinbeck museum, a must see. When I travel, I usually miss the weather. The weather here is not extreme, very enjoyable.

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  • Salinas Hotels

    29 Hotels in Salinas

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