What Bert Has To Say About Salinas Metro Area
Agricultural Salinas was dubbed the “salad bowl of the nation” by John Steinbeck because of its lettuce crops. Salinas is affordable and small in comparison to the others, but has the character of a typical California Central Valley town – dry, dusty, functional and with little intellectual stimulation. By contrast, nearby Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove are located on the coastal Monterey Peninsula. Carmel, a noted artist colony and Hollywood refuge, has controlled growth and maintains a charming village character with some exceptional residential properties, while Monterey is a more commercialized setup honoring its fishing village heritage for its many visitors. Pacific Grove, with its assortment of well-built Victorian and Craftsman-era homes, is probably the most livable city on the peninsula.
Not surprisingly, you’ll need a large endowment to afford any of the coastal cities and particularly Carmel. The Cost of Living index and the median home price are quite high. What’s worse, you won’t earn the money locally, as employment prospects, especially for high paying jobs, are bleak. Crime rates are quite high for the type of area. Aside from these issues, the location is a bit isolated from big-city amenities and services, all of which are available to the north in San Francisco, which while not far is hard to access. Bottom line- this is a magnificent area to live in if you can afford to live in the right parts of it.
Salinas sits in an agricultural valley. The peninsula cities are in an area of low hills, with dense pine and cypress trees. Large sand dunes occur at the head of Monterey Bay. South of Carmel, hills grow larger and the coastline becomes rugged and elevated. The climate is coastal Mediterranean. Heavy, low stratus clouds, known locally as “fog,” occur in all seasons. Summer days, when clear, are invariably sunny, cool, and breezy, but can be quite hot at Salinas and inland. Winters are moderate with periods of Pacific rain.