Salinas, California, the seat of Monterey County. It lies on the Salinas River, about 85 miles (137 km) southeast of San Francisco. The city is the shipping and processing center for a rich agricultural area, which produces lettuce and other vegetables, sugar beets, fruits, and dairy products. A rodeo is held here each July. Salinas was founded in 1856 and incorporated in 1874. It is the birthplace of the novelist John Steinbeck.