Dubbed the “Salad Bowl of the World,” Salinas grows huge amounts of lettuce, broccoli, peppers and other crops yearly. Bountiful with vegetation, flowers, vineyards and all types of botanical goodies, this exceptionally fertile place is the setting for many of John Steinbeck’s novels. Thankfully your vacation in Salinas doesn’t have to be a Depression-era slog; there are plenty of fun things to do, from the Mazda Raceway to wineries and, yes, Steinbeck-related venues like the National Steinbeck Center.
We’ve picked out five properties in Salinas for inquiring travelers. They’ve been highly rated by past customers, and they all offer great value.
From $139/ night
Planning on visiting the John Steinbeck House? This property is only a mile away. It’s a bargain option, with the usual amenities but nothing extravagant, and the reviews are generally favorable. On site there’s a fitness center, pool, and business center for especially urgent emails. Rooms come equipped with a flatscreen TV, fridge, microwave and tea and coffee maker. Parking and wifi are free of charge. The property looks cozy, and a breakfast buffet promises to start your day off right.
This somewhat stately-looking Best Western sports a gym, outdoor pool, hot tub, business center and laundry facilities. It has slightly higher ratings than the previous Best Western. Wifi and parking are free. included breakfast buffet is pretty standard: waffle maker, pastries and bagels, juices and such. Past guests have praised the staff and the spacious, comfy, clean rooms. Nearby attractions include the John Steinbeck House (again, only a mile away) and the Mazda Race Track, roughly nine miles away.
From $97 / night
A besteller in Salinas, the Laurel Inn has maintained respectable customer ratings throughout its 1,000-plus reviews online. It has a stripped-down, no-fuss aesthetic, and guests seem to enjoy it, praising not only its value but helpful and friendly staff. The “simply furnished” rooms come with complimentary wifi, a coffeemaker, TV and air conditioning —and oh-so-pretty “floral accents” on the wood furnishings. An outdoor pool is open year-round and a continental breakfast is served every morning. Want something more nourishing? The adorably named Black Bear Diner offers take-out or dine-in for even the most ursine appetites — such as “The Grizz!” breakfast platter.
From $100 / night
This Ramada is a bit more distant from Salinas proper than the other offerings here. It’s in Marina, and it offers a 16-minute walk to the beach (or a 16-minute drive to Salinas). The rooms here come with air conditioning and television, as well as private bathrooms. The front desk is always open, likely staffed with attentive clerks. It’s a clean, fresh-looking property, with both a fitness center and mini-market on site. Continental breakfast is served each morning, and there’s a greater variety of attractions nearby than in Salinas. The Mazda Raceway is only seven miles away, with a golf course and Del Monte Beach also close.For dining, try one of the several restaurants nearby, like Tico’s Breakfast and Lunch or Keoki’s Hawaiian Barbecue.
From $172 / night
Another property in Marina, and this one’s even closer to the beach. Situated off Highway 1, this Holiday Inn offers about a 20-minute drive to Salinas. Need to relax after the drive? This hotel sports a gym, sauna and hot tub. The rooms, meanwhile are equipped with a coffeemaker, fridge, microwave and work desk with seating. Reviews from past customers suggest that the staff is top-notch, and the complimentary, continental breakfast tasty. The wifi and parking further the free goodies available at this hotel.