Salinas (; Spanish for "Saltworks") is a city in California and the county seat of Monterey County. With a population of 163,542 in the 2020 Census, Salinas is the most populous city in Monterey County. Salinas is an urban area located in the Monterey Bay Area, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area and 10 miles (16 km) southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River. The city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley, roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean, and it has a climate more influenced by the ocean than the interior.
Salinas serves as the main business, governmental and industrial center of the region. The marine climate is ideal for the floral industry, grape vineyards, and vegetable growers. Salinas is known as the "Salad Bowl of the World" for its large, vibrant agriculture industry.
It was the hometown of writer and Nobel laureate John Steinbeck (1902–68), who set many of his stories in the Salinas Valley and Monterey. Salinas is notable for its high Hispanic proportion, which at 79.6%, is the highest proportion of Hispanic Americans out of any city in California. The city also has a sizable Asian-American population, once boasting the 2nd biggest Chinatown in the nation.