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Trojan Tribune

The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

What can teens do in Salinas?

Lilian Lopez
Salinas is a very small town, but this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do and no way to have fun. There are many ways to entertain yourself and have a fun weekend.

Salinas is a very small town with not that many exciting places to visit. This, however, doesn’t mean that there’s absolutely nothing to do and no ways to have fun. Despite the limitations, if you look closely, there are still many ways to entertain yourself and have a fun weekend. 

An informal survey of 250 students provided some insight into the top locations and activities students enjoy doing over the weekend. They are broken down into morning, afternoon, and evening activities giving options to formulate your own day around town, including top responses, as well as some suggestions of my own.  

 1. Morning 

  • Hiking/Morning Jog/Gym: Starting off the weekend with a nature walk is a great way to kick off the productiveness of the weekend. Not only is it a health benefit to work your muscles and bones but it also gets your mind off of things especially after a stressful week. There are many good locations around Salinas including Toro Park, Natividad Creek Park and Goatherd’s Perch. Personally, a morning walk on the Natividad Creek trails became one of my favorite activities over the summer, especially when I went with friends or family. This is similar when going to the gym where opportunities to meet new people often arise. 
  • Brunch: Eating with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do around town. It builds a lot of quality time and can create a lot of good memories. There are a lot of great places around town to get brunch but some of my personal favorites include:
      • First Awakenings
      • Eli’s Great American Restaurant
      • Dennys
  • Farmer’s Market: The Salinas Farmers Market takes place downtown at 333 Main Street. The market opens every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and consists of many small, local vendors. Some popular vendors include Sunflower Designs, Sweet Flow Bakery, Taquitos Hernandez, What’s Popp’n Popcorn, Gallardo’s Organic Farm, and Ana’s Corn and Potatoes. There’s also many small attractions for kids such as bouncy houses, bubble guns and toy vendors, making it a very family friendly event. One of my favorite memories has been going to the market with my friend, looking around at the crafts, and getting custom made matching bracelets. It’s a great place to support the community while also having fun. 

2. Afternoon 

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  • The Steinbeck House: One of the most famous American authors, John Steinbeck was born and raised in Salinas for most of his childhood. His home is available to be explored downtown at 132 Central Ave. The house is open from 11:30 a.m to 2 p.m. and group reservations are available. There’s also a restaurant and gift shop. 
  • Park: A simple and easy way to get out of the house but also have a good time is going to the park. Having a picnic with friends is a cost friendly option when everyone pitches in. Personally, I plan to do the one color per person trend on TikTok where each of my friends is responsible for bringing foods designed to a specific color. Bringing out some food and some board games to the park is simple, but can be really fun as parks are pretty accessible around town. 
  • The Farm/Monterey Zoo: When looking at options to do with animals, The Farm and Monterey Zoo are great alternatives to this. The Farm is open every day from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. except for Sundays. There’s a gift shop, bakery and tours available where different rides, walks, and events take place where you get to see the farm and animals. I typically visit during Halloween time, as they have a small corn maze and other fun activities. Similar tours are available at the Zoo, which it is open from 10am to 3 p.m. daily. The typical admission for ages 15 and up is $35.35. 
  • Oldtown: One of my favorite places around Salinas is downtown. There are many locations and events that take place near here and are all within walking distance. There are many antique stores that are fun to walk through, as well as the book store downtown Book and Sound which is run by extremely kind people. The book store has books, vinyls, and movies and is most importantly super comfortable to be in, as well as being aesthetically pleasing and great for pictures. 
  • Shopping: Probably the most famous and visited location in Salinas is the Northridge Mall. With over 125 shops, the mall provides a great place to window shop, look at all different types of shops and eat. My friends and I love doing a round trip where we stop by at the mall before going to watch a movie or going to the mall before stopping by Ulta, Target, and eventually a food spot. Our usual “must” stores include H&M, American Eagle, and Miniso. As long as you’re able to withhold from spending too much money, the mall is a very social place where you can go out and enjoy time with friends or family. 
  • Jaripeos: Another common go to in Salinas are the jaripeos/bailes at the Salinas Sports Complex. With multiple artists performing, food, and more, people get to dress up and dance all day. 
  • Bowling: With two big locations in Salinas, one being Round 1 and the other being the Valley Center Bowl, bowling is another great go-to for a fun time with friends and family. Especially fun when it gets competitive, both locations have availability of arcade games and food. The Valley Center Bowl is located in South Main and has a rather complicated schedule but is mostly available during the evenings every day except Monday when it is closed completely. The price ranges for a lane but doesn’t go above $40 (shoe rental not included). The food prices vary as well but are often cheaper than the food at Round 1. 
  • Artist Ink: Artist Ink is an organization located in Downtown Salinas. The organization hosts multiple classes relating to the arts, including vocal classes and animation basics. The classes vary, but are often from 5pm to 7 pm. 
  • Salinas Aquatic Center: Especially with summer coming up, the community pool is a great place to go in order to cool off. Located in Sherwood Park, it is typically open from 6 a.m to 1 p.m. and 5-8 p.m except Sundays. 

 3. Evening

  • Movie Theaters: A personal favorite of mine, going to the movie theaters, especially at night, is one of my favorite things to do. At either Maya or Northridge Theaters, going with a group of friends or even family members is a great way to spend time together. I usually buy snacks outside of the theater, which makes my overall expense around 20 dollars with an individual ticket costing around $14. 
  • Movie/Game Nights: Game nights has become one of my friend groups favorite traditions. You can never go wrong with ordering in some fast food or pizza, blasting music and playing a game with some of your favorite people. Our current go-to’s include UNO, Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, and Who Can Do It. 
  • Study: Considering the importance of school, homework is something that also needs to get done on the weekends. However our home settings at times can be extremely difficult as maybe there is too much noise, too many people, etc. In cases like these, going out to a smaller location to do homework with friends or even by yourself is another way to get out of the house and still be productive. There are some places that seem to be more popular for this and those include:
      • Bearded Bean (Which also has open mic nights)
      • Creekbridge Bagel Bakery 
      • Ariana’s Cafe
  • Dinner: Another alternative, especially before a movie or even after, is simply going out to dinner with friends and family. You can never go wrong with sharing fun stories over dessert.  These are some popular places around town, as well as some personal favorites. 
    • Arigato Sushi
    • Via Azteca
    • Kokoro Sushi 
    • Pho #1 Noodle House 
    • Sakura Buffet
    • Altura
    • Bag n’ Crab
    • Khao San Thai Kitchen
    • Olive Garden 

In all, there are many little locations around town that can make things a little more enjoyable. Salinas is definitely not the most fun city to live in, however there’s still beauty in it, and it is definitely better than some other locations. A lot of these places have been established for a while, it just takes the effort and right people to make a place fun. 

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