The small but gorgeous city of Salinas is located in California. From several hundred years, agriculture has been their mainstay. The city is an outright tourist place as there is diversity of things to see and do in and around the city. If you’re fond of serenity, greenery and open spaces, you will fall head over heels with its scenic views and natural beauty. Food lovers can gorge on tasty local food; history buffs can delve into the past and go for museum and historic sites tours; sports enthusiasts can attend a racing event or a rodeo show. No matter what’s your interest, Salinas has myriad to offer to everyone. It’s a place that you would want to visit again, and believe us, you’ll always find something new and interesting to do each time to visit. We’ve compiled a list of the best tourist spots in Salinas that are worth visiting.
Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum
Delve into the railroad history of the Monterey County at the Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum. The museum features an extensive collection of rail cars, railroad equipments, caboose, refrigerator car of 1923, and huge historic locomotives that showcase the history of rails and their impact on the growth and development of the area. A mini-model of working trains is spread throughout the museum space depicting the Monterey County rail history circa 1950s. It basically highlights the railroads contributions made throughout the Monterey County history. It also runs several events and programs. It is a hit with all ages!
Address: 26 Station Place, Salinas CA 93901, United States
Toro Park 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. This spot has a little bit of everything, including playgrounds for kids, space for cyclists, horse riders and hikers; walking paths and picnic areas with grills and tables. The hiking trails lead to stunning views of the Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley that can be photographed. Pack your picnic lunch and while away the time amid breathtaking views. And, if you feel adventurous, indulge in outdoor pursuits. Wildlife and bird enthusiasts will also love this park as there are many bird species and wildlife found here. This spot provides a pristine and pleasant refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Address: 501 Monterey-Salinas Highway 68, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
Phone: 1 831-755-4895
Get up-close with over 100 exotic animals and birds at the Monterey Zoo that is situated in a ranch. This place started out as a company that provides trained animals for movies and TV shows, and later it transformed into a sanctuary that is home to more than 100 wild and domestic animals and birds. You can spot the animals those were popular movie and TV stars. Wild animal species like EARS elephants, tigers, African lions, and more can be spot here. Those who wish to stay overnight can stay at the bed and breakfast onsite. The best part of the B& B is that elephants get the breakfast every morning. The animals are given excellent care. By taking a tour of the zoo, you will feel as if you’re on an adventurous trip in a forest. Many events are held here throughout the year.
Address: 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
Phone: 1 831-455-1901
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00am-5:00pm
National Steinbeck Center
Image by LordHarris at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The National Steinbeck Center is a museum dedicated to John Steinbeck, a Nobel Prize winning author. John Steinbeck was born in Salinas and been here until his boyhood. His novels are based on the experiences and people of the rural town of the County and Salinas Valley. The center has an extensive collection of Steinbeck’s works and artifacts. It includes photographs, first editions, short video and film clips and other memorabilia. The life and work of Steinbeck is showcases here through interactive exhibits. This museum has something of interests for everyone- be it art, literature, history, agriculture or human nature. The center has exhibits on everything that represent the rich art and culture of the city. Do listen to the Nobel acceptance speech of John Steinbeck; it’s inspiration. A must visit spot when in Salinas! Dive into a bit of history!
Address: 1 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-796-3833
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Image By Googie man at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
This gorgeous Queen Anne style house has been preserved by Salinas as a testament to the Steinbeck’s history. The Steinbeck House features photographs and memorabilia of Steinbeck family that lived here for several hundred years. It was the place of birth and boyhood home of John Steinbeck, author. He lived here until 18 years of age. Dating back to 1897, this Victorian-era structure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been restored beautifully. Inside, there is a restaurant that has a prix-fixe menu that is made with local produces and served by staff in period garbs. You can enjoy tea and lunch here. Reservations for lunch and dinner are accepted. Walking tours of the house are available. Oprah Winfrey show was filmed here in 2003 on the front lawn of the home. This fascinating house chronicles the life of John Steinbeck.
Address: 132 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: (831) 424-273
Boronda Adobe History Center
Image By Intranila (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Boronda Adobe History Center is a colonial structure that was built in 1846 by Jose Eusebio Boronda. 20 years later, the City of Salinas was founded. The center is listed in the National Register of Historic Places of U.S. 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. It highlights the first residents, the architecture, the triumphs and the tragedies of Salinas. It is just the spot to discover the story of the bygone eras!
Address: 333 Boronda Rd, Salinas, CA 93907, United States
Phone: 1 831-757-8085
Nestled in the heart of historic downtown, Oldtown Salinas features a myriad of tourist places and businesses to satiate just about every need. There is plenty to do and see here. You can chow down on delicious food, shop to your heart’s content, catch a latest flick, enjoy an artistic show, or see a sporting event. A variety of shops, antiques, boutiques and art galleries are peppered throughout the area. Some of the tourist spots here include National Steinbeck Center, Fox Theater, and Banker’s Casino, to name a few. Several community events like First Friday Art Walk and Farmer’s Market are held here. It’s a vibrant and fun spot where visitors and locals hang out.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Image by Gateman1997 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a 2.2 mile road racing course with 11-turn. It is used for motorcycle and auto racing. It is a not-for-profit organization operated by the SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula). Several international racing events are held here each season. It is the top-most motor racing track in California. The track is known for its ‘Corkscrew’ section (turn 8), moving downhill between 2 tight turns. All the petrol heads and racing enthusiasts must visit this spot when in Salinas. If you like watching car racing on TV, you’re sure to like watching it in person. Get your adrenaline pumping and immerse yourself in a racing experience like no other!
Address: 1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
Phone: 1 831-242-8201
Best Tourist Spots in Salinas Map Guide