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Salinas

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Hotel Francisco II Salinas
Hotel Francisco II Salinas - dream vacation

Avenida Malecon entre la Calle 17 y 19 - SalinasSalinas

Hotel Marvento Suites
Hotel Marvento Suites - dream vacation

General Enriquez Gallo entre calle 28 y 29 s/n atras del Banco de PichinchaSalinas

Hotel Marvento Chipipe
Hotel Marvento Chipipe - dream vacation

Sector Chipipe y Avenida Francisco Aspiazo SalinasSalinas

Calypsso Hotel
Calypsso Hotel - dream vacation

Malecon Junto A La Capitania Del PuertoSalinas

Hotel Amira Salinas
Hotel Amira Salinas - dream vacation

Ave.Eloy Alfaro entre Calle 4ta. y 5taSalinas

Hotel Galeria\'s Beach
Hotel Galeria\'s Beach - dream vacation

22 De Diciembre Con Calle 36Salinas

La Costanera
La Costanera - dream vacation

Avenida 12 y Calle 37Salinas

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Salinas (population 164,000 in 2020) 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."

Understand

Climate

Get in

By car

  • Veterans Memorial Hwy passes through as a freeway from Gilroy at 38 mi (61 km) to the north and continues 48 mi (77 km) south to King City. It's another 32 mi (51 km) north of Gilroy to reach San Jose and 54.5 mi (87.7 km) south of King City to Paso Robles on US Hwy 101.
  • Josh to Main St Hwy 68 provides a direct 19 mi (31 km) (30 min) from Monterey to Salinas. It enters town as Main St and ends at Josh St and US Hwy 101.
  • to W Market St From Watsonville, through Castroville, it's 20.5 mi (33.0 km) or 29 min to reach Salinas. CA-Hwy 183 enters town as W Market St and ends at its intersection with Salinas St.
  • Old Stage Rd & Crazy Horse Canyon Rd serve as a 'beltway' around town from Spence Rd (7.5 mi (12.1 km) south}} to its intersection at San Juan Grade Rd north of town. Old Stage Rd becomes Herbert Rd at San Juan Grade Rd. Travelers continue on Crazy Horse Canyon Rd from San Juan Grade Rd to US Hwy 101 in Prunedale, 11 mi (18 km) north of Salinas. These roads are not designated as a US or state highway.

By train

Salinas is served by Amtrak on its Coast Starlight service between Los Angeles and Seattle, via Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, Emeryville (Thruway bus to San Francisco); Oakland, San Jose (nearest connection point to other trains and buses); Salinas, Paso Robles, etc. An Amtrak Thruway bus connects the Salinas Station to San Jose, King City, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo (northern terminus of the Pacific Surfliner route), etc. 1 Salinas Station is located at 11 Station Pl. Plans are underway to extend CalTrain to Salinas via Watsonville and Castroville from Gilroy.


By bus

  • 2 Greyhound Lines & American Star Tours, (bus stop) Salinas Station @ 3 Station Pl, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Connects San Francisco to Los Angeles (via Oakland, Hayward, San Jose, Gilroy, Salinas, King City, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Oxnard). American Star Tours also run the same route as the above but with additional stops in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. Tickets with American Star Tours can be booked with Greyhound or Amtrak. MST #44 & 49 buses connect this station to the Salinas Transit Center (other station) for onward connections within the county and to Watsonville. Nearest stop for other MST buses are on Lincoln & W Market St. Check maps & schedules on website. (updated Oct 2022)
  • Monterey Airbus, (bus stop) Prunedale Park & Ride (P&R) at CA-156 & US Hwy 101 (on Meridian Spur), Prunedale (MST #29 bus serves the Prunedale P&R from Salinas), ☏ +1 831-373-7777. Operates a regularly scheduled shuttle from the airports in SFO and SJC to Prunedale, Marina and Monterey in Monterey County. Northbound buses continue contiguously from SJC to SFO. Call for door to door pick-up/drop-off and to make reservations. (updated Sep 2016)
  • 3 Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST), (customer service office or 'Bus Shop') 110 Salinas St (Salinas transit center (central bus station) at SW of the intersection of Salinas St & Central Ave). MST operates public transportation to/from other parts of Monterey County and local connections within Salinas (#41,44,45,49,95). 
  • 21 to Monterey via Marina on CA-1
  • 23 between Northridge Mall (north of town) and King City via Salinas Transit Center, Chualar, Gonzales, Soledad and Greenfield on US Hwy 101. Passengers transfer to the #84 bus in King City to continue to Paso Robles.
  • 25 from CSUMB in Marina
  • 28 or 29 go from the Salinas to Watsonville where passengers can transfer buses to Santa Cruz or around town in Watsonville on Santa Cruz Metro. Route 28 goes towards Watsonville via Castroville (CA-1 & 183) while 29 travels via Prunedale by another route.
  • 55 or 86 MST bus connections between Monterey County and San Jose via Gilroy in Santa Clara County have been suspended. Passengers will have to use Greyhound or American Star Tours to get to San Jose or travel to Santa Cruz via Watsonville to get to the "17-Amtrak Highway Express" bus.

Get around

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.

See

  • 1 National Steinbeck Center, 1 Main St, ☏ +1 831-775-4721. 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), ☏ +1 831-809-7175. 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. 

Do

  • 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.), ☏ +1 831-375-2111. 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. (updated Jan 2020)

Buy

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, ☏ +1 831-449-7226. 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.  

Eat

  • 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, ☏ +1 831-758-8064. (updated Nov 2015)
  • Monterey Coast Brewing Company, 165 Main Street, 93901 (Near the corner of Main and Gabilan), ☏ +1 831-758-2337. 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, ☏ +1 831-784-1125, goodmorning@firstawakenings.net. Daily 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. 
  • El Charrito, 122 W Market St, ☏ +1 831-424-9446. Popular and affordable Mexican takeout spot, specializing in burritos. There's often a line out the door and around the building on weekends. $4. (updated Jul 2022)

Drink

  • A Taste of Monterey. Oldtown Salinas. Sample Monterey County wines. 
  • Gold Leaf Spice & Teas, 8 West Gabilan St, ☏ +1 831-753-7700. Tea bar where you can try 105 fresh loose leaf teas, 149 spices and herbs and 12 flavored olive oils. 

Sleep

  • Best Western Hanns Inn, 175 Kern St, ☏ +1 831-784-0176, fax: +1 831 772-0292. 
  • Best Western Salinas Valley Inn & Suites, 187 Kern St, ☏ +1 831-751-6411, fax: +1 831 751-6890. 
  • Courtyard Salinas Monterey, 17225 El Rancho Way, ☏ +1 831-775-0491, fax: +1 831 775-0493. 
  • Holiday Inn Express, 131 John St, ☏ +1 831-757-1020. 
  • Motel 6 Salinas North - Monterey Area, 140 Kern St, ☏ +1 831-753-1711, fax: +1 831-424-5187. 
  • Motel 6 Salinas South - Monterey Area, 1257 De La Torre Blvd, ☏ +1 831-757-3077, fax: +1 831 424-5185. 
  • Residence Inn Salinas Monterey, 17215 El Rancho Way, ☏ +1 831-775-0410, fax: +1 831 775-0411. 
  • Travelodge Salinas, 109 John St, ☏ +1 831-424-4801, fax: +1 831 758-1300. Check-in: noon, check-out: 3PM. (updated Apr 2016)
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Salinas, 195 Kern St, 93905, ☏ +1 831-737-1160. 

Go next

  • 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.



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