12 Best Places and Things To Do in Salinas, California

Salinas is a charming city located in Monterey County, California. The city is known for its agricultural roots, stunning natural beauty, and rich history. Here are some of the best places and things to do in Salinas:

1. National Steinbeck Center


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Steinbeck_Center

This museum is dedicated to the life and works of John Steinbeck, one of America’s most celebrated authors. Visitors can explore exhibits that showcase Steinbeck’s literary accomplishments and learn about his connection to Salinas.

2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

File:Monterey Bay Aquarium exterior August 2016.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monterey_Bay_Aquarium

Just a short drive from Salinas, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in marine life. The aquarium boasts more than 35,000 animals and plants, and offers a range of educational programs and exhibits.

3. Pinnacles National Park

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rock_formations_at_Pinnacles_National_Park.jpg

This stunning national park is located just outside of Salinas and features towering rock formations, caves, and hiking trails that are perfect for exploring. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, camping, and wildlife watching.

4. Toro County Park

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This beautiful park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, fishing, and bird watching.

5. Salinas River State Beach

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salinas_River_State_Beach

This stunning beach is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, hiking, and wildlife watching in the surrounding area.

6. Boronda Adobe History Center

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This historic adobe home was built in 1844 and is now a museum that offers a glimpse into Salinas’ past. Visitors can tour the property, learn about the adobe’s role in Salinas’ history, and explore the surrounding gardens.

7. Monterey Zoo

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Located just a short drive from Salinas, the Monterey Zoo is home to a wide variety of exotic animals, including lions, tigers, and elephants. Visitors can take a guided tour of the zoo or participate in an animal encounter experience.

8. Fort Ord National Monument

Image Source: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/california/fort-ord-national-monument

This former military base has been transformed into a stunning natural preserve that offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Visitors can also explore the area’s rich military history at the on-site museum.

9. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

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located in Monterey County, California. The raceway is situated on 525 acres of hilly terrain, which provides a challenging and exhilarating course for drivers and a thrilling experience for spectators.

10. Tatum’s Garden

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located in Salinas, California. The playground is named after Tatum Bakker, a young girl with spina bifida who dreamed of a playground where children of all abilities could play together.

11. Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

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located in Monterey County, California. The refuge covers over 4000 acres and is home to a variety of wildlife species, including endangered and threatened species such as the California tiger salamander and the Smith’s blue butterfly.

12. Passagno Winery

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located in Soledad, California, just south of Salinas. The winery is part of the larger Paraiso Wine Company, which was founded by the Smith family in 1988 and includes several other wineries and vineyards in the Monterey County region.

Salinas offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone in this charming California city.