Key findings

  • Salinas has a Livability Score of 55/100, which is considered poor
  • Salinas crime rates are 8% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Salinas is 17% lower than the California average
  • Salinas real estate prices are 26% lower than the California average
  • Rental prices in Salinas are 9% lower than the California average

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      Salinas, CA

      Salinas is a beautiful inland city in Monterrey County, California, that has seen its population rise steadily over the past decade. Today, the city is home to over 150,000 residents who enjoy a very high quality of life with an accompanying high cost of living. The city has a vibrant arts scene and a thriving economy that have helped it attract an influx of new residents. Home prices in Salinas are expensive, but they are much cheaper than homes that you would find for sale or rent that are closer to the coast. Salinas has a temperate climate that makes it pleasant to live her the majority of the time during the year.

      Pacific International Marketing is a large regional employer that has clients in Salinas and throughout the Northern California area. Hartnell College employs a large number of professors, faculty, and other school administrators. It offers a quality liberal arts education for the students who decide to matriculate there. D'Arrigo California is another company in Salinas with deep roots that has provided good employment opportunities in the area for as long as anyone can remember.

      Alisal, Santa Rita, and Spreckels Junction are three areas of the city that are typically part of a homebuyer's search. Salinas High School is a highly rated school in the area, but it has a school body size that exceeds 2,000 if that is important to you as a parent. While that figure may seem high, it is actually pretty common for the area. North Salinas High School may be the right fit for your student if student to teacher ratios are something that you value.

      The National Steinbeck Center is an interactive museum in Salinas that has a gift shop that is also worth checking out. Salinas Rodeo is a large park in the area that is filled with children on weekends when parents like to come and visit with their friends while their children play on the swings or slides. Tatum's Garden is another popular park that has some of the prettiest gardens in town.

      Salinas' traffic is typically not an issue, but you can always do your part to reduce the number of the cars that are out on the streets by taking advantage of the city's outstanding public transit system. Monterey-Salinas Transit offers bus service to many of the city's most important businesses and landmarks.

      Salinas' downtown area has a number of can't miss restaurants that are pushing the envelope with modern and fresh dishes. Patria, Salinas City BBQ, and El Zacatecano are all worth a visit since they consistently nail on the presentation and flavor of the dishes that come out of their kitchens.

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      Salinas Reviews

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      Not family friendly

      I've lived here my entire life. Not a family friendly city. Absolutely nothing for kid's or teenagers to do. High gang activity. Multiple families in one dwelling do to high cost of living make neighborhoods parking impossible. City roads are crap. Not many restaurants to choose from. Especially grocery. No Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Only thing good here is the weather. Looking forward to finally relocating. Salinas city council caters to higher class citizens. Not your average people. It's sad really.
      • 0 0
      Not safe, bad schools

      Sure, it’s 20 minutes from Monterey but living or working in Salinas is a gamble. I work at the county hospital and the majority of our patients are gangsters, junkies, and homeless. The labor and delivery unit is always busy but most of the moms don’t speak English so you can’t work there unless you speak Spanish. This is not a safe place to live. I carry pepper spray to and from my car whenever I go anywhere. They just built a huge jail because the old jail wasn’t suitable to house dangerous inmates. Check the school ratings, the statistics don’t lie. I feel sorry for the youth of Salinas. Without a solid supportive family structure, they don’t have a chance.
      • 0 0
      Not a place to visit

      I've lived here all my life and yes, the gangs are a problem, there are not many touristic places around here. Those who live here and do not interfere with the gangs are just fine with living here. We are California's salad bowl, offering many immigrants a chance to better their family's lives. All I wanted to say is, no, you should not move here as an adult or bring your teenagers here. Oh, and you should definitely not visit; for those who visit automatically come on sites like these and claim to know everything about Salinas after a week of visiting and staying in a motel. Guess what, Salinas is not Hollywood. If you insist on moving here, be ready to make some changes. Do not bring grown children here because they will not adapt the right way and you as a parent will suffer. Me, as a high school student, will have to suffer through lectures from our school about violence and drugs. Just know, Salinas is not a tourist place, do not visit if you're not planning to stay.
      • 2 0
      Relocating To Salinas, CA

      I relocated to Salinas, California after living in Texas. I moved because of my job but have lived here since for about 7 years. I have found that the cost of living, especially for living in California, is pretty cheap. From what I've heard, the city used to be more like a small town but now, not at all. A lot of people have moved here because of the agricultural industry, and there are still jobs. Most of the jobs are related to working manually in the farming part, such as farming the food, production of it, delivery, and so forth. However, there are quite a few jobs related to the administration aspect to it, but still all are related to the agriculture industry. It is a little crowded but city is still beautiful aesthetically. Because it has become a big city than before, there is a heightened crime rate. There is a bit of a drug and gang problem but only certain areas of the city. Usually if you stay farther like around the hills rather than downtown, you are safe in terms of crime activity. Try to avoid the east side of town just overall. A lot of its old small-town charm still exists with lots of little shops and cafes. There is a mall but most people shop at the smaller upscale shops around town because there is more selection to pick from and more individuality in the clothes than department stores. One thing about Salinas is that it is a unique town by Californian standards. The quality of food is pretty good and there are lots of healthy options-not just a lot of fast food places. The weather is moderate, usually a little warm but not too hot.
      • 2 -5
      Don't live here!

      Salinas is a terrible place to live. The schools are terrible and the over-all attitude of the locals is that of entitlement. There is a major gang problem that is worsened by the locals that refuse to report crimes. Murder is in the news weekly. The price of housing is very high and the average wage low. I can only describe this area as dreadful and dangerous.

      The weather here is moderate, which is great if you like overcast days and months but not great if you prefer more sun shine. It's commonly 68 degrees as a high during the summer months which is nice compared to the heat in a lot of areas. But, did I mention the gangs, crime and ignorant locals that refuse to report the crimes they've seen?

      Beware, it's awful.

      I was forced to recommend a family type to post this review. I chose "single" but I can only recommend that if you like misery and don't mind taking a chance of dying in gang gun fire.
      • 4 0
      Beautiful city, damaged

      I grew up here back when there was only 50,000 people. Its a big agriculture place, and the vegetables are all around and plenty of them. We grew tons of lettuce, they still do. One of my oldest friends owns most of the land there, a Tanimura of "Tanimura and Antle."

      It was a very serene, clean city, that was safe and a beautiful place to live. Perfect weather, close to the coastline in Monterey which is only 20 minutes away. It has since grown way too large. Lots of criminal element has moved in. Nortenos and Soreno constantly in battle, and the wannabees. Also new to the area, Mexican Mafia. There are still some areas that are cared for and a great place to live, but you have to head up to the hills, and out of the city environment.

      There are alot of great resturants to eat heading out towards Monterey. Preferrable, I eat in Monterey and stay there near the beach in the summer.

      There has been a great influx of illegal immigrants that have the taken over the Welfare assistance and housing for the needy. I had many friends there in the Alisal area. But now I would not go there at all. Criminal element is high in this area of eastside Salinas. And its a shame. This once beautiful city with perfect weather and once good schools has gone to pot. Cars are parked on the once pristine lawns, garbage is spewed around the homes and street. Even the parks are infested with young gangbangers near the once very nice Hartnell area where I grew up. Now it houses illegal hispanics, garbage, dirty diapers, gangbangers, and filth sucking the life out of this town. Its a shame because I remember what it was like. So beautiful and perfect little town, now degraded and ugly. Gunshots are heard in once great family neighborhoods. Ahhh well thats life in good old California, or Little Mexico. No wonder people are leaving California.

      Very pretty in some place, if your in the hills away from town. Just look around and you will see why!
      • 5 0
      Salinas, CA - America's Salad Bowl

      Here's and interesting fact: Salinas is famous for producing most of the lettuce in the United States. I traveled to this city once and thought it was an interesting place to visit.

      For rodeo fans, visiting Salinas is a must when it hosts the California State Rodeo each year. While I was there, I enjoyed seeing the Boronda Adobe. Built in the 1840s, this adobe house is the oldest standing building in Salinas. Also featuring John Steinbeck's grave, a museum dedicated to him and his birth home (now converted to a restaurant), Salinas is a great place for anyone wanting to learn more about the famous Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author.

      Residents of Salinas are friendly, neighborhoods are clean, real estate rates are affordable and the cost of living is lower than most cities in California. Because of the farming opportunities throughout the city, jobs are found fairly easily for those who work in the agriculture business. Reflecting a true 1950s charm, the downtown area still retains its olden-day identity, featuring several unique and exciting shops. For restaurants, travelers should visit the Steinbeck House Restaurant, where John Steinbeck grew up. The atmosphere of the charming Victorian home mixes well with the delicious food and rich history.
      • 0 -5
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Salinas, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).