Natural variation among Arabidopsis accessions is an important genetic resource to identify mechanisms underlying plant development and stress tolerance. To evaluate the natural variation in salinity stress tolerance, two large-scale experiments were performed on two populations consisting of 160 Arabidopsis accessions each. Multiple traits, including projected rosette area, and fresh and dry weight were collected as an estimate for salinity tolerance. Our results reveal a correlation between rosette size under salt stress conditions and developmental differences between the accessions grown in control conditions, suggesting that in general larger plants were more salt tolerant. This correlation was less pronounced when plants were grown under severe salt stress conditions. Subsequent genome wide association study (GWAS) revealed associations with novel candidate genes for salinity tolerance such as LRR-KISS (At4g08850), flowering locus KH-domain containing protein and a DUF1639-containing protein. Accessions with high LRR-KISS expression developed larger rosettes under salt stress conditions. Further characterization of allelic variation in candidate genes identified in this study will provide more insight into mechanisms of salt stress tolerance due to enhanced shoot growth.