6 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Salinas, CA
Salinas is a major agricultural city in California nestled between Santa Cruz County and Monterey County. Author John Steinbeck, who wrote extensively about the area, called Salinas “the salad bowl of the nation,” and if you look through the produce aisles in any grocery store in America, there’s a decent chance you’ll find some lettuce or other crops shipped in from here.
The population of Salinas is about 155,000, and the median household income is $50,000. The unemployment rate is higher than elsewhere on average, so if you plan to move here, we encourage you to find work first. Since Salinas is near Monterey Bay, the climate is hot in summer, and cool, but rarely cold, in the winter.
Here are six great neighborhoods in Salinas.
River Rd / Parker Rd
We’ll start with the River Rd / Parker Rd neighborhood, an upscale, rural area for high-income earners. Yes, this neighborhood is pricey, but it’s beautiful, with trees and fields all around you. The median real estate price is $1.15 million, and the average rent for a house is $5,270. The homes are spaced out and have three bedrooms and higher. Unsurprisingly, most of the homes are owner-occupied.
There’s a 14% vacancy rate here. If you have a well-paying job and perhaps work from home, it won’t be hard to find a home here. Some owners have their vacation homes here, as 8% of the houses are just seasonally occupied.
People here work primarily in executive and professional occupations. Some work in service jobs, clerical, tech support, and manufacturing.
There are many public schools to the north in downtown Salinas, including Boronda Meadows Elementary School, Spreckels Elementary School, El Sausal Middle School, and Salinas High School.
San Benancio Rd / Harper Canyon Rd
The San Benancio Rd / Harper Canyon Rd neighborhood is similar to the previous neighborhood with evergreen and deciduous trees and fields everywhere you look. Homes are closer together, making it more of a suburban neighborhood, and the median home price is $1 million. There are no apartment buildings here, and homes rent for an average of $4,900.
The area is full of three to five-bedroom houses and townhomes that are mostly owner-occupied. The vacancy rate here is lower than River Rd / Parker Rd at just 2.5%, so if you’d like to move here, start looking soon.
Most of the people who live here are wealthy, educated executives, and in general there’s a high appreciation rate on the houses and property here. Other common occupations for residents here include service, sales, manufacturing, and labor jobs.
In the middle of the neighborhood, you’ll find Toro Regional Park, with riding trails, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and baseball diamonds. San Benancio Rd / Harper Canyon Rd is also just west of the Monterey Zoo. This neighborhood is also close to downtown and the same group of schools mentioned above.
Prunedale is a rural suburb of Salinas situated on the bay. It has a beach-town feel and is a lovely place to live. The median home price is $932,000 and rent for an apartment averages $1,460, making Prunedale more affordable than the previously mentioned neighborhoods. If you live here, you’ll probably want to spend a fair amount of time relaxing at Marina State Beach.
The area is full of three to four-bedroom homes and studios to two-bedroom apartments and mobile homes with a mix of owners and renters. The vacancy rate is fairly high at nearly 20%, so keep in mind there will be a lot of unoccupied properties.
Residents here work in sales, service, executive, professional, management, and labor jobs. Nine percent of the residents work in farming and fishing, which is more than 99% of the U.S. This neighborhood shares the same schools mentioned above.
E Boronda Rd / Constitution Blvd
A more affordable area, the E Boronda Rd / Constitution Blvd neighborhood is home to many students who attend colleges in nearby downtown, including Hartnell College and California State University, Monterey Bay.
Here, the median home price is $755,000 and the average rent is $2,840 with a mix of three to five-bedroom family homes and apartments. The vacancy rate here is about 7% in this upper-middle-income neighborhood.
People here work primarily in executive and management positions. Sales and service come next, then manufacturing, labor, clerical, and tech support.
The K-12 schools are the same as previously mentioned.
San Miguel Canyon Rd / Moro Rd
Back in the Prunedale suburb, we come to the San Miguel Canyon Rd / Moro Rd neighborhood, a suburban area where the median home price is $785,000 and the average rent is $3,350. Here, you’ll find three to four-bedroom homes and studio to two-bedroom apartments and mobile homes. Most of the residences here are owner-occupied.
The vacancy rate is about 7.5%, so if you’re looking to move here, it shouldn’t be tough to find a place.
This neighborhood boasts good public schools and low crime, making it a good place for families with children. Local schools include Hall District Elementary School, North Monterey County Middle School, and Central Bay High School.
Most residents work in executive and management positions, with others in clerical, tech support, service, manufacturing, and labor.
Here’s another neighborhood where a fair number of people, 7.8% of the population, work in farming-related professions. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s more than 98% of the U.S.
In Bolsa Knolls, the median home price is $783,000 while the average rent is $2,695. The houses here have from three to four bedrooms, while apartments and mobile homes are studios to two-bedroom dwellings. The neighborhood has a vacancy rate of 6%.
This is an upper-middle-income neighborhood where most people work in manufacturing and labor jobs, then executive and professional, then service professions. Bolsa Knolls shares schools with the San Miguel Canyon Rd / Moro Rd neighborhood.
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