Destination guide

Booking adventures where a literary lion roamed

Dig out your dog-eared copies of the "Grapes of Wrath" and "East of Eden," because booking a trip to Salinas will immerse you in the world of the great writer John Steinbeck, whose mark is still written large on this small city in an agricultural valley near the Pacific coast. It's convenient for the marine attractions of coastal Monterey and historic sites from California's pioneer past. Your Salinas vacation rental makes it easy to break out the hiking shoes for natural wonders and tip a glass at region's finest wineries.

Things to do

Tapping the local lore, and its vintages too

Start in Oldtown at the National Steinbeck Center for insights into the celebrated author's life and his use of Salinas Valley places in his novels. Continue to the Steinbeck House, his boyhood home. Turn the page on your explorations at the Salinas Valley Model Railroad Museum and the First Mayor's House to learn about the area's pioneer history. Browse through a wine country map from the Welcome Center and then tour dozens of taprooms in the region. Monterey Aquarium is a short hop away for an adventure the whole family will enjoy.

Activities

From culture to cow-punching in Salinas

Come for the Steinbeck Festival in May to learn all you want to know about the world of the Nobel prize-winning author, who was born in Salinas and set many of his 27 books in the area. A Salinas vacation rental is a good base for the century-old California Rodeo in July, the Airshow in September, and a summer's worth of roaring car and motorcycle engines at the raceway. At nearby Pinnacles National Park you can go climbing, look for bats during a cave walk, or spy on falcons, eagles, and endangered California condors.

Weather

A breath of fresh air—and a bit of fog

Ocean winds sweep in from Monterey Bay, making Salinas's air fresher and its climate milder—perfect for outdoor activities—than other inland towns that are blocked by mountains. Summers are dry in the 50s to 70s, with winters 40s to 60s and a tad rainy. You might see white-capped peaks nearby in winter, but snow rarely falls in town. But it's foggy at times due to the marine air mass from the coast. Spring is a great time to visit nearby Monterey, and works well with a Salinas vacation rental.

Natural features

Mountain lions and condors and bears and other beasts!

The Salinas Valley is a major agricultural area running east-west between the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountains. The city itself, on the western end, lies close to sea level only 8 miles from Monterey Bay, where the Salinas River empties into the Pacific. There, amid the salt marshes that gave the city its name, a wildlife refuge hosts pelicans and plovers, plus possums, beavers, and coyotes. Nearby, stroll the sand dunes of Fort Ord. To the west, in the Gabilan range, Pinnacles National Park manages a small population of California condors and hosts bobcats, cougars, and black bears.

How to get there

Traveling to and around Salinas

Fly into Salinas, CA (SNS-Salinas Municipal), the closest airport, located 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you can also fly into Monterey, CA (MRY-Monterey Peninsula), which is 12.2 mi (19.6 km) away.

If you prefer train travel, the main station is Salinas Station.

Where to stay around Salinas?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 1,087 vacation rentals near Salinas. From 647 Houses to 163 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Salinas for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Salinas?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Salinas:

  • Southeast Carmel: 402 vacation rentals
  • Carmel Point: 118 vacation rentals
  • Opal Cliffs: 320 vacation rentals
  • Downtown Monterey: 27 vacation rentals
  • Cannery Row: 44 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Salinas?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Salinas. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • California Rodeo Grounds: 986 vacation rentals
  • Salinas Sports Complex: 991 vacation rentals
  • Steinbeck House: 998 vacation rentals
  • Northridge Mall: 981 vacation rentals
  • Salinas Station: 995 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Salinas listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Salinas?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 647 Houses in Salinas. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Salinas include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 163 rentals available
  • Cottages: 101 rentals available
  • Bungalows: 101 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Cabins and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Salinas?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 117 vacation rentals with pool available in Salinas. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.