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Top 8 Things To Do In Salinas, California - Updated 2020

things to do in salinas california

Recognized for being the birthplace of the famous writer John Steinbeck, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Salinas is a suburban city located in the center of the Salinas Valley approximately 8 miles (12 km) from the Pacific Ocean. An endearing city, it claims a rich agrarian heritage that has been the way of life for its locals for over 100 years. The abundance of things you can do in and around Salinas makes it completely flexible and attractive to people from across the world. Here, you can enjoy local organic produce paired with wine. For sports lovers, rodeo events frequent the Laguna Seca, making it one of the crowded places in the area. Without further ado, read on to learn more about some of the things to do in Salinas, California.

1. Ride a horse at Monterey Bay Equestrian Center

Monterey Bay Equestrian Center has been offering its visitors the best horseback riding activities ever since 1981. Tours are available all year round. Here, you can enjoy multiple horseback rides that take place minutes from the north of Monterey. The course begins from the Monterey Dunes and wraps around the shoreline where riders can spend a good amount of time at the water’s edge. An activity for all ages, the center invites small and large groups to partake in this one of a kind experience. If you are not confident to ride the horse alone, there are available carriages that can fit you and your loved ones.

Monterey Bay Equestrian Center

Address: Salinas, CA, USA

Website: Monterey Bay Equestrian Center

Opening hours: 8.30am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 45 USD

2. Tour the Monterey Zoo

Perfect for solo or school field trips, the Monterey Zoo offers an interesting zoological experience to those who come to visit. Here, you will have the chance to be closer to the wild and exotic animals they have. The Monterey Zoo is home to over 100 animals ranging from different types of arachnids to African elephants. A lot of the zoo animals have formed a close relationship with their trainers, so you do not have to worry about their approach towards visitors. The zoo also offers its visitors full-time educational programs that involve children and adults annually. If you want to have a fuller experience, you may contact the zoo before your visit.

Monterey Zoo

Address: 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, USA

Website: Monterey Zoo

Opening hours: 1pm - 2.30pm (daily)

Price: 20 USD

3. Sample exquisite wines at the Odonata Wines South

Run by a family, the Odonata Wines South is located on River Road in Salinas. The winery specializes in using grapes that are grown in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. All grapes come from Estate Vineyards and local growers. The company works closely with these growers to guarantee the best quality possible. The Odonata Wines South invites wine enthusiasts and first-timers to sample a comprehensive range of blends that are made in small batches. The winery also offers an assortment of sparkling white wines that are milder in taste.

Odonata Wines South

Address: 645 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, USA

Website: Odonata Wines South

Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 20 USD

4. Check out artifacts at National Steinbeck Center

If you are an avid reader of classic literature, this place is a must. The purpose of the National Steinbeck Center, a cultural site in downtown Salinas, is to pay tribute to the life of John Steinbeck and his imprint on the American letters and his overall contribution to the formation of the American identity. Here, visitors can explore the vision of the museum, which showcases the writer’s commitment to social engagements and books that tackle the narratives of the working class. You can take part in dramatic readings of Steinbeck’s more popular books or the Steinbeck Festival that features a variety of talks, films, and performances.

National Steinbeck Center

Address: 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, USA

Website: National Steinbeck Center

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 12.95 USD

5. Catch a festival at Salinas Sports Complex

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Salinas Sports Complex is led and maintained by the California Rodeo Association Inc. The Salinas Sports Complex features a wide variety of social events such as beer festivals, cooking competitions, art and cultural shows, home and garden exhibits, etc. Here, you can watch baseball and softball tournaments, as well as other seasonal games. The complex is set up on a piece of land in Sherwood Park that is owned by the City of Salinas. Every year the place is transformed to stage the California Rodeo.

Salinas Sports Complex

Address: 1034 N Main St, Salinas, CA 93906, USA

Website: Salinas Sports Complex

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 35 USD

6. Hike through Fort Ord National Monument

Situated in the old Fort Ord area, the Fort Ord National Monument is currently managed by the Bureau of Land. Throughout its years, it has protected and managed the environment and the ecological system of the area. The Fort Ord National Monument is the perfect place for horse riding, watching the wildlife, hiking on the trails, mountain biking, among others. Visitors can freely use the trails that are open daily from dawn to dusk but are advised to stick to the designated areas to prevent damaging the ecological community and the environmentally sensitive parts of the place.

Fort Ord National Monument

Address: Reservation Rd, Marina, CA 93933, USA

Website: Fort Ord National Monument

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

7. Watch a race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is an 11-turn, 2.2 miles (3.5 km) racing circuit placed on California’s breathtaking Central Coast. While the track is popular with racing enthusiasts and fans worldwide, people come here to witness racing on the specialty section also known as The Corkscrew. It is a one-of-a-kind passage in motorsports. Here, the audience is left in awe of its hard-left and hard-right combination. If you seek a more daring form of activity, you can head to the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and witness all sorts of events, such as Pre-Reunion Races, SportsCar Championships, and the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Address: 1021 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Salinas, CA 93908, USA

Website: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 420 USD

8. Marvel at Salinas Valley Art Gallery

Springfield Quadrangle Art Museum - Springfield
Source: Photo by user Massachusetts Off... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Salinas Valley Art Gallery has been inviting people from around the world to view art for decades. It was the founders’ desire to bring fine art to the public in areas like the Salinas Valley and the Central Coast. The gallery has a variety of activities that make it perfect for all types of crowds. It features a guest artist every month, and during the first Friday of the month, the Salinas Valley Art Gallery takes part in the Salinas First Friday Art Walk, where the featured artist is introduced to an audience. Here, visitors are invited to participate in the said event to learn more about certain works and techniques.

Salinas Valley Art Gallery

Address: 218 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, USA

Website: Salinas Valley Art Gallery

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 65 USD

Salinas earnestly invites people to partake in its annual festivals and events

Salinas in California may be considered the best place to be in since it marries agriculture with literature, an unconventional yet melodious pairing. It is the country seat of Monterey and a motion-filled district. A truly charming place, it takes pride in pleasing those who set foot in its strictures. So, if you plan on visiting Salinas next month or next year, mentioned above are some of the things you can do to complete your overall experience, thus, making it one for the books.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Joyce Gonzales has always had the case of wanderlust. She was a former financial analyst who took a leap of faith and started writing about her travels. She is intrigued by the existence of...Read more

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