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National Steinbeck Center

One Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
831-775-4721
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Ranked #2 of 17 Attractions in Salinas
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums, Art Museums, History Museums
Activities: Hiking
Description: A celebration and exploration of the well-known author's work through multi-sensory exhibits, priceless artifacts and live theater performances.
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113 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
9 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

This is a brilliant place to visit if you love Steinbeck. There is lots to read and take in. If you don't know or like his works this is not for you. The bookshop has lots of works in different formats. The main reason to visit Salinas.

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MIAMI
Top Contributor
794 reviews 794 reviews
256 attraction reviews
285 helpful votes 285 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

The 2 movies about Steinbeck's life and agriculture in Salinas valley total about 24 minutes and run continuously. Video quality is not the best, nor is the agriculture movie very informative. The museum itself had many exhibits and excerpts from some of Steinbeck's books that were made into movies. Allow about 1-2 hours for a visit.

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MetroWest Boston
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
38 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

This little museum packs a punch. If you are driving by Salinas this is a must visit. Not only will you learn about Steinbeck (with very well done exhibits) you will learn a lot about the struggles of migrant workers. I was most impressed with how the designers of this museum used the space so effectively and creatively as they... More

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Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This is definitely a visit you want to make, especially if you are interested in the area or the historical era that inspired Steinbeck. Surprisingly, I found I enjoyed the gallery on the history and struggles of the migrant works more than the exhibit on Steinbeck's individual works. However, the short film on his life is not to be missed.... More

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San Jose, California
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
34 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

If John Steinbeck is just someone you had to read in high school, you owe it to yourself to spend an hour or two at the National Steinbeck Center. It's a fascinating look into how John Steinbeck grew up, how his childhood influenced his writing, how he got into movies, and how he understood America and Americans. Painless history interspersed... More

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Longport, New Jersey
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

I loved every minute I was in this museum. I diverted myself here after the Oakhurst Junction Fire cut short most of my allotted time in Yosemite. This was a perfect case of making lemonade from lemons. This is probably the best author museum I have ever visited. I have always been a John Steinbeck fan and have read most... More

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Abington, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

I was fortunate to receive a teacher discount at the door. I learned more about Steinbeck than I thought and I especially liked the photos and quotes. I spent a small fortune in the gift store...but it is Steinbeck afterall!

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Mission Viejo, California, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

The center is located in Old Town, so it was easy to park at the parking structure ($4.00 for the day) and then walk around. Once inside the center, I found the exhibits to be a real tribute to the man and his works. The introductory films help provide guests with enough information on Steinbeck, his history, and the history... More

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California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
21 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

Visited on a Sat. 11am not very crowded. Sequence of rooms takes you through all his famous works. Timeline can be hard to follow at times; lots of news articles displayed as well. Good visit!

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Woodbridge, California
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

Our first visit and we were very impressed. Start your visit with the interesting 24 minute film about John Steinbeck, which is followed by a very informative film about the agricultural history of the Salinas Valley. Then move to the exhibit which is laid out progressively. The areas are done very well. There are several screens for film clips from... More

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