Salinas is an unassumingly charming and beautiful city in California. It is rich in culture, history, nature and recreation. Several fascinating discoveries have taken place in every nook and cranny of the city. The city exude small town’s friendliness and appeal, and at the same time modern city conveniences that inspires everyone to explore and experience it to the core. The city offers plenty of things to do and see that allures millions of eyeballs. There are bounty treasures to be discovered. So pack your bags and fly to Salinas to experience something new and exciting.
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History of Salinas
Native Americans were the first settlers in the area where Salinas is now located. In 1822, when Mexico got independence from Spain, it was that time when other settlers started to settle in Salinas. Salinas got its name from the salt marsh nearby. Salinas is Spanish that means “Salt Marsh”. In 1854, the first post office of Salinas was opened. In 1872, the Salinas City became the county seat of Monterey County. In 1874, it was incorporated as a “the City of Salinas”. The agricultural sector was the major focus of the city and that started to grow in the mid-1800s. Products like sugar beets, grains and beans were grown. BY the end of WWI, agricultural was the major industry of the area. The ‘green gold’ of lettuce, artichokes and broccoli grown in the fields of the area contributed in making Salinas one of the America’s wealthiest cities per capita wise. Today, it is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”. The city has the highest per capita income in the US in 1924. In the 1950s and 1960s, Salinas experiences tremendous growth. Again, in 1990s and 2000s, the city witnessed strong growth. In 1990s, several great sites were developed. The city is the birthplace of ‘John Steinbeck’, a Nobel Prize laureate and writer. Oldtown Salinas or the historic downtown is home to several historic homes and Victorian architecture.
Important Locations in Salinas
Salinas teems with culture, history and outdoors. It offers a wealth of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Museum and historic site tours, architecture marvels, shopping, hiking trails, wine tasting, and nature walks are just a few of the wealth of things to do and see here.
Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum
: Learn about the railroad history of the area at the Monterey & Salinas Railroad Museum
. The museum features rail cars, caboose and huge locomotives that illustrate the story of railroad in Monterey County. Miniature models of working trains occupies the maximum space of the museum and showcase the circa 1950s railroads of Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the Toro Park
, sprawling about 4,756 acres with riding trails, playgrounds, softball fields, volleyball court, mountain biking, and about 20 miles of hiking trails. Take a tranquil walk amidst 4,756 acres of nature and spot wildlife, like coyote, mountain lion, deer, and more. It is an outdoor haven for everyone!
Come face-to-face with exotic animals at the Monterey Zoo
. The zoo is located on a ranch and features a variety of animal species like elephants, African lions, tigers, and more. There is also an onsite B&B if you wish to spend your weekend here. Safari-style bungalows will make you feel relaxed.
National Steinbeck Center:
A trip to Salinas is incomplete without visiting the National Steinbeck Center
, a museum dedicated to Novel Prize winner- John Steinbeck. It features a spectrum of exhibits for all ages. It has a gallery filled with works by John Steinbeck, artifacts and many art, history and cultural exhibits that depict the agricultural and cultural heritage of the Salinas area.
The Steinbeck House
: A must-visit historic landmark in Salinas is the Steinbeck House
. It is the childhood home of John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize winning author. Steinbeck family photographs and memorabilia adorn the walls of the house. This Victorian-era structure is also a pleasant spot for afternoon tea and lunch. It features a Queen Anne style restaurant that has a prix-fixe menu served by women in period garbs.
Boronda Adobe History Center
: Take a tour of Boronda Adobe History Center
that was built in 1846 by Jose Eusebio Boronda. In 1976, the Boronda Adobe building was restored into a museum and listed in the National Register of Historic Places and California Historic Landmark. It features the history of Monterey County through photos, exhibits and memorabilia.
Oldtown Salinas: Oldtown Salinas
is located in the heart of historic downtown and offers a wide spectrum of attractions for all ages. To satiate your craving, to quench your thirst, or to satisfy the shopper in you, this place has something to satisfy all needs. Boutique shops, restaurants, nightclubs and several attractions are peppered all around in Oldtown Salinas.
To know in detail about the important locations in Salinas, click here.
Salinas People & Culture
The motto of Salinas is “Rich in Land, Rich in Values” that depicts how rich culturally and historically Salinas is. It is a multi-cultural city where people from different background live together happily. Contributions to the community is made by several different groups of people, like African Americans, Chinese, Germans, Spanish, Dutch and Mexicans, just to name a few. Also, the city boasts a rich and diverse art and cultural scene. Its art community is huge and lively.
The city has a population of over 155,662 people, comprising different religious and ethnic groups, like White, African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, and several other races.
Salinas Time Zone and Phone Codes
Salinas lies in the Pacific Time Zone
UTC-GMT Offset: Salinas GMT/UTC - 8hour during Standard Time and GMT/UTC - 7hours during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Salinas uses Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone abbreviation: PST is abbreviated for Pacific Standard Time and PDT is abbreviated for Pacific Daylight Time
Salinas area code: 831
Best Time to Visit Salinas
The weather in Salinas remains temperate throughout the year, making it a year-round place to visit. However, the best time to visit Salinas is spring (March through May) and fall (September through November), when the weather is good and comfortable. It begins to get warmer by the time May comes. Summers are sunny, but the mornings and evenings are cool in that season, making it good to wander around. And, if you don’t want to face huge crowds, winter is the time. The air is crisp and cool and the temperature rarely dips below 40, making it perfect for exploring the city.
Salinas hosts numerous festivals and events year-round attracting a wide spectrum of tourists from all across the world.
Important Locations in Salinas Map Guide