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Immortalized in the writings of author John Steinbeck,Salinas lies directly east of the Monterey Peninsulaand is the county seat and largest city in Monterey County. Situated in the lush and fertile Salinas Valley, known as the Salad Bowl of America,Salinas has a thriving agricultural economy, producing 80% of the nation's lettuce along with broccoli, strawberries, carrots, cauliflower and other crops. Salinas also hosts the popular California rodeo every August. Steeped in agricultural tradition, the people of Salinas have a great sense of civic pride and community. The National Steinbeck Center is located in Old Town Salinas and is one of the region’s great attractions. Salinas properties are located in traditional older neighborhoods, such as Maple Park with its gracious, often restored homes as well as many newer developments stretching out to all sides of the central city.