Salinas is the county seat and the 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 most current estimate from the California Department of Finance sets the 2006 population at about 148,350, showing a small decline since the year 2000. This city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean and enjoys a mild climate. The climate is also ideal for the floral industry and grape vineyards planted by world-famous vintners. Salinas is known for being an agricultural center and also for being the hometown of the noted writer and Nobel Prize in Literature winner John Steinbeck.