Salinas and the Salinas Valley are known as “The Salad Bowl of the World” for the production of lettuce, broccoli, mushrooms and strawberries along with numerous other crops. The climate is also ideal for the floral industry and grape vineyards planted by world-famous vintners.
Salinas’ earliest inhabitants were small tribes of Native Americans who were largely undisturbed during the Spanish era. It wasn’t until Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1822 that outside settlers began to arrive in Salinas. Named for a nearby salt marsh, Salinas became the seat of Monterey County in 1872 and incorporated in 1874. In the mid-1800s, Salinas’ agricultural industry began to grow. In 1867, several local businessmen laid-out a town plan and enticed the Southern Pacific Railroad to build its tracks through Salinas City. Agriculture continued as the area’s major industry and by the end of World War I, the “green gold” growing in the fields helped make Salinas one of the wealthiest cities (per capita) in the United States. Today, “The Salad Bowl of the World” fuels a $2 billion agriculture industry which supplies 80% of the country’s lettuce and artichokes, along with many other crops. Salinas and the Salinas Valley offer a unique combination of climate, natural resources, and people. Although agriculture forms an economic base, more than 100 manufacturing firms call Salinas home. Some of the largest employers in the area include: Dole Fresh Vegetable, the County of Monterey, Household Credit Services, and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.
Salinas’ hospitality blends yesterday’s charm with today’s modern conveniences. The California Rodeo, California International Airshow, and the world famous Steinbeck Festival are major attractions of our colorful and diverse city. Visitors can also explore the nearby Monterey Peninsula, the historic missions of San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Carmel and San Antonio de Padua, the world-class wineries of South Monterey
County, the beauty of nearby beaches, and Pinnacles National Monument.