Best things to do in Salinas CA
Tourist Attractions

Discover The 10 Best Things To Do In Salinas CA

For the American traveler, Salinas CA is rife with exciting activities! From catching breathtaking views of local landmarks to savoring traditional cuisine and world-renowned hospitality, there are plenty of amazing experiences not to be missed out on. Here’s a list of 10 must-see attractions guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable!

Best Thing to Do in Salinas CA

Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (33242)
  • Phone: +1 831-648-4800
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Best things to do in Salinas CA
Best things to do in Salinas CA

5 Replies to Discover The 10 Best Things To Do In Salinas CA

  1. The visit to the aquarium is worth it, every time you visit. This time was special as I was spending a daddy daughter day special visit on my birthday. 😊
    The weekend crowd required a 15 minute wait in the queue which moved at a reasonable pace. There is a faster queue if you have the vaccine details uploaded to the Clear App.
    Once inside, it’s a wonderful world of marine life. The jelly fish exhibits are mesmerizing and don’t forget to visit the penguins and the otters. The shows in the auditorium are short, informative and entertaining.

  2. This is an absolute must-do! We went on a Sunday morning and there was a long line that wrapped around the building, but we were in the aquarium within ten to fifteen minutes. The exhibits are so informational and beautiful. The staff/volunteers are SO friendly and fun to chat with! Definitely ask them about the exhibits because they have lots of information to share! We started the day off with the 11am feeding which was so fun because we got to see lots of fish right at the start. With the exhibits, you can really get up close, which is awesome! Their Into the Deep exhibit is fascinating.

  3. Always love this aquarium! Been going here ever since I was a kid and it always is a fun place to be. The aquarium is rescue and rehab focused and is also promoting conservation efforts for the local area (which is great!).

    Even as an adult the touch pools are fun to see and learn at, as the jellies are always a joy to watch pulse around the calming waters.

    If you can, I would always recommend that you try to check the aquarium out! It’s also not too big, so if you only have a couple hours you could still manage to see everything quickly.

  4. A fun experience for the entire family! We went on a weekday so it was really quick to get inside. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, the exhibits are beautiful to watch.

    There are three floors in total, with exhibits on each floor, an auditorium, a cafe with reasonably priced food options, clean restrooms and lots of kid focused activities. You’ll need at least a couple of hours to go through all the exhibits.

    I definitely recommend the aquarium as a fun family activity to do in Monterey. They’re rescue focused and big on preserving ocean life, which is just amazing!

  5. We drove down here after our trip in wine country (about 3 hours) and it was DEFINITELY worth it! Initially I thought $50 was expensive, but once I entered, I understood why. It is beautiful! Here, I discovered my newfound love for otters! I truly enjoyed learning so much about marine life and gained a new understanding and appreciation for it. The jellyfish exhibit is jaw dropping and there are just so many cool features in this aquarium/conservatory. I went back to see the otters 3 times that day. I will definitely go back to bring my kids one day. I was so moved I wanted to support the aquarium so I donated and also purchased a sea otter plush (all proceeds help the aquarium and conservation of the ocean!)

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TOP 10 Fun Things to Do in Salinas CA

Best things to do in Salinas CA
Best things to do in Salinas CA

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

  • Address: 62 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (7920)
  • Phone: +1 831-624-4909
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Really nice. Park rangers are friendly and assist with information. Sea Lion View Point had even a ranger with a looking glass so we could see them on a rock far away. Restrooms are clean, the trails are well done, and views are absolutely stunning, even on a foggy day we’ve chosen. Worth going for a hike and the views. Yes, the pictures are real, views look like straight from a painting. Round photo was phone against the telescope eye… forgot my good camera.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Robert Glonek (3 months ago)
    It was one of the best places I have been to near by in Bay area. The scenarios is very beautiful ever part of hike there are some beautiful views of beach and water you can see. One of the best part was we could see the Harbor seals relaxing on their own private beach. It looked like it was made specifically for them. No one has the access to go there to that particular beach. There were so many good places such as China Cove, Hidden beach and Gibson beach. Over all it’s a very beautiful place worth the visit. Just 10 dollars entry fee.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By SYED RAFI MOHAMMED (11 months ago)
    Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is hands down one of the best and scenic places that one should not miss when one is in the area. The views of the Pacific are absolutely stunning! The entry fee is $10, but it is totally worth the fee. There are quite a few parking lots in the Reserve, but the Reserve gates are closed when there is lots of rush, so do plan accordingly on weekends and/or public holidays.
    Lots of tide pools, and fun hiking trails.
    One can park in the roadside to save the parking fee, but be advised that the hike to good points in the park is at least half a mile from the road.
    The sunsets are sights to behold.
    Most visit when in the area.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Pranav Deshpande (3 months ago)
    Very nice park with many coastal and meadow trails with amazing views. Most trails are suitable for kids. Along the coastal trails you get a view of the Carmel bay, many beautiful beaches, and islands with a lot of birds. Entrance fee is $10 but parking can be limited inside the park specially on weekends. However, you can park outside and talk a walk. Definitely recommend visiting.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Ahmed Nabawe (6 months ago)
    This is one the places to visit along the Pacific scenic Highway. There are lots of beautiful trails alongside the majestic Pacific Ocean. We hooked the North shore trail which started from the overflow parking lot. This trail takes you through the whalers cove where you can see lots of seals pelicans and herons. The rangers had set telescopes to show a heron’s nest as well. The trail then led to cypress grove trail which leads on the most serene spots overlooking the ocean surrounded by cypress groves. It’s a very nice picnic spot to rest and spend time relaxing with the cleaning sounds of the waves in the background.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Balaji G. (7 months ago)

Tatum’s Garden

  • Address: 1 Maryal Dr, Salinas, CA 93906, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (646)
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    This place is worth to visit. Wide playground with musical instruments, slides and many more. Restrooms are clean. Police are patrolling here I feel safe.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Harry Jung (a month ago)
    Finding this park was such a gem. It was pretty empty and huge with great structures. It is made for those with all mobility ranges. My son had a blast. When we visit Salinas or near abouts, we will be coming back!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Pamela Godbold (a year ago)
    BIG playground, and something for everyone. We enjoyed it as a stopover on our California road trip.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Melinda Muyargas (7 months ago)
    Great place for little children to play in. Swings, play structure, monkey bars, etc. Bathrooms could be cleaner.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Mario Pacio (in the last week)
    I highly recommend bringing your children here! New, clean, safe, accessable playground with plenty of varying activities and space. There are BBQs and picnic tables across the parking lot and the whole area is very well maintained.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chris Wood (a year ago)

Sherwood Park

  • Address: 920 N Main St, Salinas, CA 93906, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.3 (506)

National Steinbeck Center

  • Address: 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (500)

Fort Ord National Monument – Badger Hills Trailhead

  • Address: Toro Creek Rd, Salinas, CA 93908, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (163)

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

  • Address: Salinas, CA 93908, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.4 (137)

Boronda Adobe History Center

  • Address: 333 Boronda Rd, Salinas, CA 93907, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 3.9 (37)

Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad Museum

  • Address: 26 Station Pl, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.2 (14)

California Welcome Center Salinas

  • Address: 1 Station Pl, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 3 (2)
Best things to do in Salinas CA
Best things to do in Salinas CA

That’s it for our list of the best things to do in Salinas CA! If you have any arguments or additional information, please leave a comment. We love to hear from our readers. And don’t forget to check out some of the other posts on our blog for more travel inspiration. Happy traveling!

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