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 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 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 laureate John Steinbeck, who based several of his novels here like 'Of Mice and Men'.