Salinas Valley, California

The Location

The Salinas Valley is one of the major valleys and most productive agricultural regions in California. It is west of the San Joaquin Valley and south of San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley—Silicon Valley. The Salinas River runs the length of the valley. The valley is located in portions of the Northern California counties of: Monterey, Kings, and San Benito and it is located roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean. Salinas is in the top ten American Cities for cleanest air quality. The valley served as the backdrop for some of John Steinbeck's most famous novels.

Arts and Entertainment

The Salinas Valley is home to the red-rocked Pinnacles National Park, popular for camping, hikes through its turbulent, seismically charged landscape, and wildlife spotting. Lake San Antonio is a favorite spot for boating and other water recreation, it hosts the celebrated Wildflower Triathlon, and is also a winter habitat for the bald eagle. Twenty parks offer picnic facilities and modern playground equipment. Sherwood Park covers 100 acres and includes an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and picnic areas to accommodate 600 people. It is also home to Tatum’s Garden, recently selected as the best inclusive park in the United States. Toro County Park has 4,756 acres, group picnic areas with barbecue pits and electrical and water service. There are over 20 miles of riding and hiking trails. Other attractions are Great America in San Jose and Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk. 

Two of California’s most historic establishments, the San Antonio de Padua Mission and the Soledad Mission, are located in the Salinas Valley. 

Salinas boasts an emerging arts scene led by the First Fridays Art Walk and the innovative use of non-traditional or business venues to exhibit art and host live local music. Major musical offerings include the Monterey County Symphony Orchestra and the Salinas Concert Association. The Western Stage is a highly acclaimed Central Coast theater group located at Hartnell College. Professional theater artists from all over the country join the local company in presenting the best of Broadway, new works, classics, musical theater and cabaret. Dining is truly a global experience in Salinas with a vast array of cuisines from fine dining to food trucks. 


Educational opportunities abound with over 15 institutions of higher learning, including: Hartnell Community College, Brandman University, California State University Monterey Bay, University of California Santa Cruz, and Monterey College of Law.

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