Few remnants of the salt marsh for which this city was named remain in the unspoiled, fertile farmland that surrounds it. From the time settlers began coming here, agriculture has influenced the culture of this town. The Salinas Valley, with Salinas anchoring the northern tip, is known as the Salad Bowl of the World, and is considered one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.
John Steinbeck, Nobel Laureate, grew up in town. His restored boyhood home now operates as a restaurant, serving gourmet lunches that showcase local produce. He spent much of his boyhood exploring the Valley and much of his work reflects his fondness for this region. The three-block historic downtown culminates at the National Steinbeck Center, a museum that celebrates his words and that hosts an annual festival honoring him.
The California Rodeo Salinas has been a local tradition for more than 100 years and brings the community together for a week of festivities during Big Week. Look for the landmark art pieces, Hat in Three Stages of Landing, in this city with big art.