Explore Steinbeck Country: Salinas Valley


Located in the heart of historic Oldtown Salinas, the National Steinbeck Center serves as a great point of entry into the rest of beautiful Steinbeck Country. Oldtown Salinas is home to several fabulous restaurants and coffee shops – all local businesses that strive to connect with visitors and residents alike. The unique antique stores and small shops that line Main Street can then complete a day outing. Also a worthy stop is the Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum and the First Mayor’s House (located right next to each other by the Salinas Amtrak Station), which offer comprehensive historical portraits of the town.

There is much to discover just beyond Salinas as well. Scenic beaches, hiking trails, fantastic wineries, championship golf courses, the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium can all be reached in under 40 minutes of driving. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to explore the land Steinbeck called home!

Walking Map

Salinas locations: Begin the Oldtown walking tour at the National Steinbeck Center*

*Thanks to Pauline Pearson and Carol Robles, who each worked tirelessly on gathering information on Salinas locales. Much of this information is drawn from their work.

Named after the salt marches at the river’s edge, Salinas was chosen as the Monterey County seat in 1872 and incorporated in 1874.

“I remember Salinas best when it had a population of between four and five thousand. Then you could walk down Main Street and speak to everyone you met. Tom Meek the policeman, and Sheriff Nesbit, Jim Bardin, Mr. Pioda, manager of the Sugar Factor, and any one of a multitude of Hughes.”