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“Every American should visit the Steinbeck Center.”

National Steinbeck Center
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Salinas
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A celebration and exploration of the well-known author's work through multi-sensory exhibits, priceless artifacts and live theater performances.
Reviewed October 17, 2011

What a great tribute to one of America's finest authors and to our American heritage. I wish every American would have the opportunity to spend time visiting the Center and learning about our history. The folks who put this together did an excellent job.

1  Thank 1frontranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 - 298 of 321 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2011

The National Steinbeck Center is a surprising jewel of a museum dedicated to American Nobel Prize winning-author, John Steinbeck, located in his hometown of Salinas, CA. Although one might not expect much from a smallish town, the museum does a first-rate job of conveying the significance and relevance of Steinbeck's literary efforts via engaging, interactive exhibits focusing on various novels. It is really quite impressive! They even display the actual truck and camper Steinbeck used to travel around the country with his dog while writing Travels With Charley. As a hometown 'product,' the museum emphasizes Steinbeck's love for the Monterey Peninsula and demonstrates how the area figures in his work in novels such as Cannery Row, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men, among others. I learned an incredible amount about Steinbeck while visiting the center, and it was definitely well worth a drive to Salinas! The city should be commended.

The center also houses an agriculture museum that focuses on farming in the Salinas Valley. It displays farm tools and implements that have been used through the years, along with information about the crops the local soil and weather conditions yield. More movingingly, though, are the recorded oral histories of farm workers that can be heard describing their experiences over many years of working the land and carving out a piece of the America dream—many as immigrant laborers.

I highly recommend the Steinbeck Center; I think there is something there to interest just about everyone—from kids to those with an interest in literature or farming! It’s not a stuffy museum, but rather a colorful community center that celebrates a local boy who made good and the rich soil in which he was cultivated.

1  Thank _cldupray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

For a museum about just one bloke one is not expecting a lot but the enthusiasm of all the people who obviously loved Steinbeck is apparent everywhere in this museum.
We spent about 2 hours in this museum and then sometime in the gift shop and it was all a pleasure. It's nicely laid out with little sections to do with each of his books and so very good for someone who is either a big fan or a casual one like me.

1  Thank VanGoghIII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2011

During a relaxing week with friends in Pebble Beach last month, we mixed a few "since we're in the neighborhood" excursions in with good food, good conversation, walks, reading and Scrabble. One of these day trips was to the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. We're all readers, but I don't think any of us had read more than a couple of Steinbeck books or stories (and perhaps none since high school). As a previous reviewer noted, a little knowledge about Steinbeck will probably help you to enjoy learning lots more about him. If you've read the Grapes of Wrath (or even if you've just seen the movie), you're good to go. You may be surprised to discover how much Steinbeck wrote or what a wide range of interests he explored in his work. And although you'll already have some insight into Steinbeck's social consciousness if you know The Grapes of Wrath, a visit to the Steinbeck Center is a well-designed and imaginatively presented opportunity to much more fully understand his life and work.

1  Thank JimP_CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2010

This is a great little museum. The attention to detail and the care with which the exhibits were lovingly displayed added to the atmosphere. You do need to know something about Steinbeck before you visit, however, otherwise you can get a little lost. But Salinas should be rightly proud of this place.

1  Thank plymouthtraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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