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A Day in Salinas

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Salinas is a gorgeous city to explore and experience. Salinas and the surrounding areas have myriad experiences to keep you entertained and occupied from early morning until the late night. Whether you’re into agriculture, literature, art, culture, outdoor recreation or history, you’ll find a bit of everything here.  We’ve compiled a 24 hour itinerary guide that will take you through the city “Rich in Land, Rich in Values”. All you have to do is pack your stuff, throw on your shades and fly to Salinas.

Salinas Itinerary
Image By Naotake Murayama [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Breakfast at First Awakenings at 9:00am!

Start you day in Salinas with a scrumptious breakfast at the First Awakenings. Opened in 1993 and since then it has been the locals and visitors favorite breakfast joint. It has also bagged the title of “The Best Place for Breakfast in the Country”.  It specializes in comfort American food, including the classics like Eggs Benedict and Roasted Portobello burger, to name a few. Do save the room for the mouth-drooling homemade Belgian waffle. The restaurant’s top-quality food, service and ambience are what everyone talks about.  It is a perfect place to swing by for hearty breakfast!

Address: 171 S Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-784-1125
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am-2:00pm


National Steinbeck Center at 10:00am!

After being refueled and refreshed, head to National Steinbeck Center. Take a tour of the center and know up-close about the life and times of John Steinbeck. The tour comprises of interactive exhibits, photographs and short video clips from movie versions of John Steinbeck’s novels. The center will take you through a journey of Steinbeck. It features his works, namely Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, and much more.  The extensive collection tells visitors about the philosophy, inspiration and themes of Steinbeck’s works. Even if you haven’t read his novels, the center will pique your interests in his works in an interesting and engaging way.

Address: 1 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-796-3833
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Time from First Awakenings: 1 minute via S Main Street


Steinbeck House at 11:00am!

Next, head to the place where John Steinbeck was born and spent his boyhood days- the Steinbeck House. The Steinbeck House is a Queen Anne Victorian style house where Steinbeck wrote several novels and stories. It has a restaurant and a gift shop onsite and a lawn in front side. The restaurant has a prix-fixe and served by staff in period garbs. Dining here is an experience like no other. The historic house is run by the Valley Guild, which is an all-volunteer organization.  This historic landmark chronicles the life of John Steinbeck. Steinbeck family photographs and memorabilia adorn the walls of the house. It is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Address: 132 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: (831) 424-273
Distance and Time from National Steinbeck Center: 0.2miles or 2minutes drive via Central Avenue

Boronda Adobe History Center at 12:00pm!

When it comes to treasures of Salinas, the Boronda Adobe History Center is worth mentioning. It is a colonial structure that was built in 1846 by Jose Eusebio Boronda, and 20 years later, the City of Salinas was founded. The popularity of this center is evident from its inclusion in the list of U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Over the past few years, the center has gone a few modifications, but has still maintained its charm and elegance. The center features a wide array of exhibits that showcase the early history of Salinas. The fascinating feature of this structure is that it beautifully mixes the north-eastern American-style architecture with the Mexican-style architecture. Immerse yourself in a bit of architecture and history!

Address: 333 Boronda Rd, Salinas, CA 93907, United States
Phone: 1 831-757-8085
Distance and Time from Steinbeck House: 2.8miles or 7minutes drive via W Market Street and S Davis Rd


Lunch at 1:00pm!

After all that activity- museum and historic landmarks tours, you stomach is growling. Salinas is filled with an array of fine restaurants suited for all tastes.  

Craving for Mexican cuisine, stop by Super Pollo Taqueria (Laurel West Shopping Center, 1070 N Davis Rd C) or Hacienda Mexican Grill (1449 N Davis Rd). For Chinese cuisine, step into Noodle House (Laurel West Shopping Center, 1022 N Davis Rd). For wood-smoked meats and American fare, stop by Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que (1391 N Davis Rd). Enjoy sushi and Japanese cuisine at Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant (1000 N Davis Rd).


Monterey Zoo at 2:00pm!

Now that your stomach is filled to the brim with delish food, head over to the Monterey Zoo that features over 100 exotic animals and birds. The Monterey Zoo boasts wild animal species like EARS elephants, tigers, African lions, and more. You can spot the animals that were part of some of the famous movie and TV shows. The animals are well-trained and an excellent care is given. Those who wish to stay overnight can stay at the bed and breakfast onsite, where elephants get the breakfast every morning.  Several events are held here throughout the year. No matter what your age is, this spot has a wide variety of animals and picturesque views for you to enjoy.

Address: 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
Phone: 1 831-455-1901
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00am-5:00pm

Toro Park at 3:00pm!

Take in the tranquil nature offered by Toro Park. It encompasses more than 4,700 acres full of riding trails, playgrounds, soft fields, volleyball court and outdoor activity areas. It has over 20 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails. It is a great spot for picnicking, wildlife spotting, bird watching, mountain biking, hiking, and camping. The biking and hiking trails take you to the top offering breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley that can be photographed.  Whether you want a glimpse of native flora and fauna or you want an adventure, this is the spot to go. 

Address: 501 Monterey-Salinas Highway 68, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
Phone: 1 831-755-4895
Distance and Time from Monterey Zoo: 6.4miles or 13minutes drive via River Rd

Shopping at 5:00pm!

Are you an antique lover? Then, stop by Halltree Antique Mall that features an extensive collection of vintage items, antiques and collectibles sold by about 22 vendors. From housewares, accessories and jewelry to artwork, clothing, furniture, and much more can be found here. Whatever your fancy, you’ll get it here. 

Address: 202 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-757-6918
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00am-5:30pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10:30am-5:00pm
Distance and Time from Toro Park: 6.0miles or 14minutes drive via CA-68E

In mood to shop for something classy and snazzy, stop by Northridge Mall that features 110 shops, a food court, restaurant, and department stores, including Forever 21, Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney.  Other major retail outlets housed here include Gap, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, H&M, Aeropostale, Victoria’s Secret and Old Navy, to name a few. Shop for stylish apparels, accessories, shoes, bags or casual wears here. It has something for everyone!

Address: 796 Northridge Drive, Salinas, CA 93906, United States
Phone: 1 831-449-7226
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-7:00pm
Distance and Time from Halltree Antique Mall: 4.3miles or 9minutes drive via US-101N

Dinner at 7:00pm!

Descending dusk means it’s time for supper!

Enjoy American grub at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse (Harden Ranch Plaza). In mood for Italian food, stop by Olive Garden (Harden Ranch Plaza). For tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare, step into Chipotle Mexican Grill (Harden Ranch Plaza). For wood-smoked meats and American fare, stop by Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que (1391 N Davis Rd).


Early Entertainment at 9:00pm!

End the day with a peek into the Salinas’s diverse and vibrant nightlife scene. 

Relax and unwind over a pint of beer or a glass of cocktail at the Dubbers Inc. Nestled in Oldtown Salinas, it is a popular spot in Salinas for watching the big game, while sipping on a drink or two and munching on delectable bites. The drink menu includes beers, cocktails and other spirits. The food menu is extensive and includes something for everyone- vegetarian options, salads, sandwiches, and much more.  It allures an eclectic mix of people and gets packed post dark. 

Address: 172 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-676-0256
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:00am-1:00am

Next, stop by the Salinas Sports Tavern that is known for its energetic vibe, live music and extensive list of drinks for all taste buds. Plenty of big screens to catch the game and live music make this lively spot a must-visit.  It also features Karaoke on Wednesday nights, and pool tables to keep patrons occupied. For those who want to munch on some tasty eats while listening to the live music, Salinas Sports Tavern also serves up an excellent food. From environment to drinks and food, everything is electrifying here.

Address: 9 E San Luis Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-422-5652
Opening hours: Monday & Tuesday: 11:30am-11:00pm; Wednesday: 11:30am-12:30am; Thursday: 11:30am-12:00am; Friday: 11:30am-2:00am; Saturday: 12:00pm-2:00am; Sunday: 12:00pm-10:00pm
Distance and Time from Dubber Inc.: 0.4miles or 3minutes drive via Salinas Street

24 Hours in Salinas Map Guide

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