Salinas is the county seat and largest municipality of Monterey County, California. Salinas is located 10 miles (16 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River, at an elevation of about 52 feet (16 m) above sea level. The population was 150,441 at the 2010 census. The mostly suburban city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean and has a mild climate. The city consists mostly of late 20th century single family homes, some low-level apartments, ranging from modest bungalows to spacious luxury homes. The climate is ideal for the floral industry and grape vineyards planted by world-famous vintners. Salinas is an agricultural center and the hometown of writer and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate John Steinbeck, who based several of his novels there, including Of Mice and Men. The land currently occupied by the City of Salinas is thought to have been settled by native Americans known as the Esselen prior to 200 AD.
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