For other places with the same name, see Salinas (disambiguation).

Salinas[dead link] (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."



Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Salinas's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • 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[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

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.
  • International Bus Lines (formerly Intercalifornias), (bus stop) Discoteca Exitos Latinos/Metro by T-Mobile at 1110 E Alisal St (Small building on NE corner of large parking lot in front of Food Co (1030 E Alisal St).), +1 213 629-4885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Buses from Tijuana to San Jose via Watsonville, Salinas, Los Banos, Madera, San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and San Ysidro.
  • Groome Transportation (formerly 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.
  • 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[edit]

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, +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. National Steinbeck Center (Q14683461) on Wikidata National Steinbeck Center on Wikipedia
  • 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.


  • 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.


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. Northridge Mall (Q7059655) on Wikidata Northridge Mall on Wikipedia


  • 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.
  • First Awakenings, 171 Main St, +1 831-784-1125, . 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.


  • 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.


Go next[edit]

  • 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 JoseSan Juan Bautista  N  S  SoledadSan Luis Obispo
Pacific GroveMonterey  W  E  END

This city travel guide to Salinas is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.