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Moving to Salinas: 11 Things to Know before You Go

Hall | Jul 10, 2017

Are you thinking of moving to Salinas? If so, we did some research and gathered some facts for you.

How big is Salinas?

It is the largest city in Monterey County with about 155,000 residents. Most of the population is Hispanic, with the 2nd largest group being Whites, followed by Asians and Blacks.

How is the weather?

Salinas is located near the Pacific Ocean so the climate is mild due to cooler winds that move over the land and reduce temperatures. The annual average low temperature is about 46 and the average high is 70 if that gives you a picture of the typical weather. If you like mild weather, you might enjoy moving to Salinas.

How much is housing?

The median home value in Salinas is about $426,000 and the average rent is approximately $1,400. You might be able to find a small townhouse or condo in the range of $300,000 – 400,000. For renters, there are studio and one bedroom apartments for about $1200 and shared rooms for half that. So, if you are living in one of the largest urban centers like San Francisco, San Jose, or Los Angeles, you might like Salinas for the much lower cost of housing. Moving to Salinas might be a relief if you are accustomed to very high prices in larger cities.

Are there jobs?

Some of the top employers in the area are:

Monterey County Social Services
Monterey County Social Services Dept.
Monterey County Office, Education
Natividad Medical Center

Taylor Farms
Dole Fresh Vegetables
Hilltown Packing Co.
Mann Packing Co.
D’Arrigo Brothers Co.
Cardiology Clinic

How are the schools?

The Salinas public schools are rated a little below average by Great Schools. For adults, there are Hartnell College and Central Coast College. Within 30 miles there is also Monterey Peninsula College, Gavilan College and Cabrillo College.

How is the food?

Salinas is large enough that you will find quite a slew of restaurants, and many are Mexican. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Salinas City BBQ
El Charrito
Culturas Hidalgo & Oaxaca Restaurant
Patria
El Zacatecano
Farm Fresh Deli & Cafe
Avatar Indian Grill
Fujiyama
Dim Sum Inn
The Growers Pub
Pajaro Street Grill
Gino’s Fine Italian Food
Noodle House
The Crab Bucket
Camalig Filipino Cuisine
Red’s Burger Joint
Pastability’s
Ginger Thai Kitchen
The Village Restaurant
Prunedale Market
Rafael Mexican Grill
Salinas Brick House Cafe
First Awakenings
Ikebana Japanese & Korean Cuisine
Portobello’s
Eva’s Cafe
Ike’s Love and Sandwiches
La Casa Del Sazon
Dubber’s
Samurai Japanese Restaurant
Eagle Restaurant
The Bakery Station
BKM Healthy Foods
Ariana’s
Los Grullenses
Golden Star Restaurant

Some of the local grocery stores are:

Safeway
Star Market
Nob Hill Foods
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
Safeway
Food 4 Less
Lucky
Food Maxx
Corral Market and Deli
Mi Pueblo Food Center
Farmers Produce
La Princesa Market
Santa Fe Mercado Y Carnicera
Safeway
Smart & Final

If you like farmer’s markets, you will be able to find at least one in Salinas, and Monterey County may have a dozen or more in operation. If you like a mix of different food types, moving to Salinas might be a good choice for you. If you like real Mexican food, then moving there might be a very good idea.

Are there parks?

Yes, Salinas has parks and here are some of them:

Maple Park
Creekbridge Park
Hartnell Park
Spreckels Park
Natividad Creek Dog Park
Toro Park
Central Park
El Dorado Park
Monterey County Parks
Fort Ord Public Lands
Sherwood Park
McKinnon Community Park
Cesar Chavez Community Park
Santa Lucia Park
La Paz Park
Tatum’s Garden Fully Inclusive Accessible Playground

Is there access to nature?

If you like the outdoors and nature, you might enjoy moving to Salinas because it is a short drive to the Monterey Bay, Carmel, Pacific Grove, and Moss Landing. Santa Cruz and Big Sur are an easy drive as well. Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach and Big Sur are well-known for their beauty. In the same general area, Tassajara and Esalen are with about 50 miles if those places appeal to you.

If you want to go east and somewhat south, Pinnacles National Monument is not that much of a drive, and Yosemite is a little over 3 hours by vehicle, though it is north instead of south.

If you prefer to visit beaches, Santa Barbara is only about 3.5 hours by vehicle. You might not want to drive very far, but Las Vegas is sort of due east of Salinas, and the trip takes about 7.5 hours. This journey will take you through a variety of terrains. San Diego is a little closer than Vegas at about 7 hours and it has beaches and coastal line to enjoy like Santa Barbara does, but more of them. Moving to Salinas might be fun for people who like access to the coastal areas like Pacific Grove, Monterey and Carmel.

Is there entertainment?

Salinas has two cineplexes with many screens showing mainstream movies. There is also a regional theater with a stage for live plays.

Pajaro Street Grill sometimes has live music and the Monterey Symphony is 18 miles away from Salinas in Monterey.

You can also find some live music in Carmel at places like Barmel, Dametra Cafe, and Mission Ranch.

If you like aircraft, Salinas has an airshow each year.

Are there places of worship?

Yes, Salinas has plenty of churches such as:

Compass Church
Salinas Valley Community Church
Sacred Heart Parish
Madonna Del Sasso Parish
Monterey Bay Area Traditional Latin Mass.
There is one Buddhist center, Buddhist Temple of Salinas. Both Seaside and Watsonville also have a Buddhist organization.

In Watsonville, there is also a Hindu temple.

How is the transportation?

Salinas is located near 101, which you can take to San Franciso or south to LA and many points in between if you have your own vehicle or rent one. Amtrak has a station in Salinas where you can catch the Coast Starlight, which travels from LA to Seattle and many places in between.

Monterey-Salinas Transit has many regular buses, and the typical fare is $1.50 — a discount fare can be half of that. A Greyhound station is available too, for longer bus trips.

For air travel, Salinas has a small airport, but if you wanted to catch a typical commercial flight on a jet, you would need to go to San Jose, where you can fly anywhere in the country, and there are some international flights. Moving to Salinas will have you situated in a less developed area with open space and easy access to the coast, but it also will be somewhat distant from a major airport.

Is there storage available?

Yes, we have a storage facility in Salinas, and can answer your storage questions.

What is near Salinas?

Lake Tahoe — 274 miles
Santa Barbara — 219 miles
Yosemite — 195 miles
San Francisco — 106 miles
San Jose — 59 miles
Santa Cruz — 36 miles

Image Credit: BrendelSignature, CC BY-SA 3.0

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