Salinas is a city with a lower cost of living than California standards. It has beautiful beaches and brings with its fantastic weather, too.
It is easy to understand why people want to live here.
Salinas has a small-town vibe. It has all the attractions, entertainment, excitement, and shopping options you want.
Salinas is also famous for its agriculture, arts and culture, diversity, and more. This city is also the birthplace of John Steinbeck.
Because of its fertile land and colossal agriculture sector, the city is famous as the world’s salad bowl.
Established in 1854, it got the name Rancho Las Salinas at the time. It was because of the salt marshes in the area.
Within the next twenty years, the land transformed from salt marshes into the agricultural capital it is today.
It transformed its areas into suburban developments in the 1950s and the 1990s.
Today, the city is famous for its entertainment districts and historical beauty. It is an ideal place to relocate.
But before you dive into moving to Salinas, here is everything you need to know about living and working in Salinas.
List of Contents
Is Salinas a Good Place to Live in? A City with a Small Town Vibe but Excellent Amenities
There are several famous people from Salinas.
Famous personalities include John Steinbeck, Vanessa Hudgens, and Sammy Hagar.
Most of the works of John Steinbeck have their stories set in Salinas Valley.
Aside from the stories you may have read from Steinbeck, is Salinas worth it?
Yes, it is.
Salinas is a beautiful city complete with amenities. It also gives you a small-town vibe, making your life here more relaxed.
The Good Side
People love it in Salinas. Most would come here for the weekend.
But living here is a different thing. There will be several benefits you will not realize on your first visit when you live here.
Here are the perks of living in Salinas.
The Salinas Climate
Salinas is a city that comes with a Mediterranean climate.
What does this entail?
It means the bay has a more significant influence on the city’s climate than the inland valleys.
The weather is primarily moderate and relaxed. There is ocean fog that comes in during the summer months.
But the temperatures here range between 63 to 75 degrees during summer.
The city gets about 15 inches of rainfall on average every year. And this is lower than the national average of 38 inches.
If you look forward to warm and cozy nights, you can move to Salinas.
So Many Things to Do
If you are always looking for ideas on what to do, you will never run out of them in Salinas.
In Salinas, there will always be plenty of things to keep you busy.
And if you run out of things to do in the town, further activities are available in the nearby valleys and bay.
The drive from Salinas going to Monterey Bay takes a few minutes.
Here, there are beautiful beaches like the Salinas River State Beach.
There is also another beach, a family-friendly one, named Marina State Beach.
You will love weekends spent at the beach here. You will also get to explore several wineries present in the region.
There are historical missions, attractions, and even a national park.
When you have the time, be sure to swing by the Pinnacles National Park.
Your kids will also love the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
If you live in Salinas, you will also have easy access to great shopping opportunities.
The Northridge Mall is a great shopping option. You can also check out Laurel West Shopping Center and the Harden Ranch Plaza.
Aside from these, there are several other major chains like El Super, Costco, and Nob Hill Foods.
If you are into culture and the arts, you can also visit the National Steinbeck Center. The museum is a memorial to a great author born in Salinas.
Here, you can check out his works through different artifacts and exhibits.
You can also explore Maya Cinemas. The cinema is a favorite among residents.
It is a retro theater in the Oldtown area of the city that shows old and new releases.
Some other notable attractions are the Tatum’s Garden, Bankers Casino, Monterey Zoo, and the Natividad Creek Park.
You can also see the Club at Crazy Horse Ranch if you have the time.
You will never run out of things to do when living in Salinas.
Great Dining Experiences
Salinas may be a smaller city compared to its neighbors.
But even if it is small, it boasts of several world-class cuisines.
Here, you can experience fine dining and casual eateries in one go.
While in the city, you can check out Salinas City BBQ. The restaurant serves the best barbecue in the city.
El Charrito serves the best Mexican food in Salinas. There is a long line, but it is all worth it.
The food is always delicious. The ingredients are local and fresh—order authentic tortas and burritos.
And while we are in the discussion of food, check out Crab Bucket. They serve the best seafood dishes in town.
And if you are into comfort food, try the American classics at Elli’s Great American Restaurant.
The Schools in Salinas
Are you moving to Salinas with your kids?
If you are, worry no more.
There are seven school districts in Salinas. All of them are ready to accept your kids.
The largest of the seven is Salinas Union High School District, which serves about 13,500 students. It also has ten campuses.
The city has three elementary districts. The largest of these is the Salinas City Elementary School District, which comes with 13 schools in total.
There are other elementary schools in Salinas like the Graves Elementary School District, the Alisal Union School District, and the Lagunita School District.
Another great option is to check out Santa Rita Union Elementary School District.
Aside from the public schools, several private educational institutions are also in town.
Another highly-rated school in the city is the Santa Catalina School.
And if you have plans to pursue higher education, you also have options in Salinas.
Hardness College is a community college with a campus in the city.
California State University also has a campus in Salinas.
The Bad Side
Let us now talk about a couple of downfalls of Salinas.
I would like you to know these two negative things before you decide to move here.
A Higher Poverty Rate
Salinas is a city with a poverty rate that is higher than the national average.
As of this time, it is 1% higher than the national average.
The average household in Salinas earns a few hundred more than the national median range.
About 34% earn a few thousand less than US$50,000 a year.
More Homeless Population
The problem is not only specific to Salinas. It is more of a concern for the whole county.
There is an ongoing concern about the increasing number of homeless people in the county, Salinas included.
Homeless persons can frequently be seen in the vicinity. They can occasionally be an annoyance.
What is the cost of living in Salinas, CA? More Expensive than the US Average
Living in Salinas is more expensive than in other American cities.
The latest numbers point to Salinas being more expensive than the national average by 37.8%.
The Good Side
If you look at all the commodities in Salinas, only one item is lower than the national average.
If you live here, you will be best friends with your utilities.
Utility costs in Salinas are lower than the national average by 8.5%. It is also lower compared to the state average.
Your utility costs cover bills for your electric consumption, internet subscription, garbage disposal, and the like.
Salinas may have a lower cost of utilities. However, it all depends on how much you use them.
Your consumption will determine your costs. Be smart when using your appliances. Be smart when choosing your internet subscription.
You will thank me later.
The Bad Side
Most of the commodities in Salinas are more expensive than the national average.
For example, the cost of housing is 112.4% higher than the national average.
Compared to the state average, the cost of housing is lower. However, you will spend more on accommodation here than the national average.
The rate equates to a median home cost of US$628,500. The price is higher than the national average of US$291,700.
We are also seeing consistency in transportation, grocery, and healthcare costs.
Grocery costs in Salinas may be lower than in the rest of California. However, it is more expensive than the national average by 4.5%.
This consistency extends to the cost of healthcare in the city.
Healthcare costs exceed the national average by 28.5%.
During these times, more and more people pay attention to their health. The focus shifted from other commodities. Healthcare now gets a more significant chunk of the budget compared to years before.
In Salinas, healthcare is more expensive, which could work to your disadvantage.
In terms of transportation costs, Salinas is also more expensive than the national average. However, the variance is not very significant.
The numbers show that Salinas is more expensive in terms of transportation costs by 0.4%.
And this can work to your advantage.
If you move to Salinas, look for a property near your workplace. You might save some hundred dollars if you do this.
Also, if you try other means of transportation like walking or biking, you can save on your transportation costs.
Why work in Salinas, CA? A City with a Steady and Robust Economy
There are several advantages of working in Salinas.
One of the most important reasons is that the economy in Salinas is steady and robust. It remained strong despite the pandemic. Post-pandemic, it continued to grow and provide jobs to its people.
The Good Side
Salinas is a city that can offer you the life you have always dreamed of.
It has a decent economy, is home to good schools, and has a lower cost of living than the rest of California.
Let me talk about each of these advantages in detail.
A Decent Economy
There are several other places with economies stronger than that of Salinas.
However, Salinas is not that bad.
The unemployment rate here is high. However, we are seeing improvements in the numbers these past few years.
There is a kind of struggle to provide jobs to its people. However, the city is doing great in making sure the economy grows.
The jobs in Salinas are the ones that pay well.
And this is a good thing, especially if you are looking for jobs.
The numbers also suggest that you can find a decent job here. Make sure to stick to the job and never leave it unless you have a new one.
We are seeing positive results in the previous years. More major companies are making their moves. Most of them have now started to put up their businesses in Salinas.
The Schools of Salinas
Most of the schools in Salinas are above average.
The quality of life here is more excellent than in other cities.
The city has several school districts that are all famous for being top-notch.
We are also seeing the same level of consistency when it comes to testing scores. Students in the city have an above-average high school graduation rate. Almost all of them are above average.
There are after-school activities your kids can enjoy. And this is a good thing.
These activities ensure that your kids maximize their time during and after studying.
The Cost of Living
Salinas has a higher overall cost of living than the nation.
However, when you compare Salinas with the rest of California, you will find that you can save hundreds of dollars working here.
Salinas has an overall cost of living lower than the California average.
The cost of groceries, transportation, and housing are all higher. The same is true with the cost of healthcare.
However, the cost of utilities is lower than the national average.
Despite the higher cost of living, living and working in Salinas is an advantage.
If you want to work in California, Salinas is a better option. You get to have the California sun. You also experience living and working in a city near the beach.
And all these perks you get for a lower cost.
The Bad Side
There are a few items I would like to discuss working in Salinas.
These are things that should concern you.
Know them well before you decide to move here.
Tax Rates and Income
One of the major disadvantages of working in Salinas is the high tax rate.
Here, sales taxes are roughly 9.3%. Additionally, this is greater than the 7.3% national average.
We also see the same high taxes when it comes to income.
Income taxes in Salinas amount to about 9.3%. The US average is only 4.6%.
These taxes are major disadvantages since they significantly impact your overall cost of living.
Additionally, the income is smaller here, related to the cost of living.
The average income of somebody working in Salinas is US$17,810 per year. This salary is lower than the US average of US$28,555 every year.
This disadvantage also rings true when it comes to the median household income.
Median household incomes amount to about US$49,728 per year—the US average amounts to about US$53,482.
The median household income in Salinas is lower by about US$3,000.
Moving to Salinas is a decision you must consider more than twice.
There are several factors that you have to consider.
One of the significant factors you have to think about is the cost of living and your employment.
Are you working in Salinas? Or are you going to live there and work somewhere else?
The selling point, however, is the weather.
Salinas has excellent weather, outstanding schools, and several activities ready for you and your kids.
Also, if you insist on living in California, Salinas is a decent city.
It has a small-town vibe with city amenities. Plus, it is also not as expensive as other cities in California.
So, are you moving to Salinas?
Let me know if you do.