Situated in the heart of Monterey County lies the diverse city of Salinas, California. Known for its rich agricultural history, cultural heritage, and stunning natural beauty, there certainly is no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city. In this article, we’re going to talk about the top 5 activities you should do when you’re in Salinas.
1. National Steinbeck Center
Our first stop is the National Steinbeck Center which was established to celebrate the life and works of Nobel prize-winning author, John Steinbeck. This cultural institution is located in downtown Salinas and offers visitors the opportunity to dive into the world of Steinbeck. The center hosts multiple exhibits, both permanent and rotating, that are devoted to Steinbeck’s life, works, and his era. Highlights include his childhood home, personal possessions, and artifacts from his various novels. The center also promotes literature and storytelling through educational programs, making it a must-visit spot for book lovers and history enthusiasts alike.
2. Tatum’s Garden
Next on our list is Tatum’s Garden. This inclusive playground is a haven for kids of all abilities to play, learn, and create memories. This all-accessible play structure, located in Salinas’ Sherwood Park, was designed with the belief that every child deserves to play. Tatum’s Garden offers a marvelous blend of picture-perfect landscapes and play structures that cater to children of all abilities, providing a unique space where kids can learn, explore, and interact with their peers in a safe and fun environment. It’s a beautiful spot for picnics, playdates, and family outings.
3. The Steinbeck House Restaurant
After a day of exploration and play, unwind and refuel at The Steinbeck House Restaurant. This charming establishment isn’t just a restaurant; it’s where the renowned author, John Steinbeck was born and raised. Today, this beautifully preserved Queen Anne style Victorian home serves as a restaurant operated by the Valley Guild, offering a variety of delicious, homemade, seasonal meals that will satiate any palate. Dining at this historical house, surrounded by Steinbeck’s childhood memorabilia, is like stepping back in time, and an experience that mustn’t be missed when in Salinas.
4. Maya Cinemas Salinas
For movie buffs and entertainment seekers, Maya Cinemas Salinas is your next stop. This state-of-the-art cinema theater provides a top-notch movie-going experience with the latest technology, comfort, and style. Located in the heart of Salinas, the cinema not only showcases the latest blockbusters but also promotes independent and foreign films. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and lose yourself in the magic of the silver screen at Maya Cinemas.
5. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Last but definitely not least on our Salinas itinerary is the adrenaline-pumping WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Renowned worldwide for its iconic Corkscrew turn, this 11-turn, 2.238-mile jewel of a road course has challenged the world’s top racers for over six decades. Nested on Monterey County’s central coast, this raceway offers plenty of action for motorsport enthusiasts. Whether you’re a hardcore racing fan or just looking for a uniquely thrilling experience, the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is a must-visit.
From rich cultural experiences to outdoor adventures and delicious cuisine, Salinas, California offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to every taste. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or a thrill-seeker, this charming city has something special to offer.