National Steinbeck Center, Salinas

4.5
#1 of 9 in Things to do in Salinas
The National Steinbeck Center is a museum and memorial dedicated to the author John Steinbeck that is located at One Main Street in Salinas, California, the town where Steinbeck grew up.The Steinbeck Center Foundation was founded in 1983; the center itself was finished and opened to the public on June 27, 1998. The center houses the largest collection of Steinbeck archives in the United States, with various exhibits on his body of work and philosophy. There is also a wing dedicated to the experiences of agricultural workers in the United States, a topic that Steinbeck was passionate about.The Steinbeck Center has a focal point for activities to encourage learning about literature, human nature, history, agriculture, and the arts. Many educational programs are provided for the public, students and teachers, a multimedia experience for regional and national audiences.Steinbeck's House is located near the museum.
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National Steinbeck Center Reviews
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314 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • September 5, 2017
    Extremely interesting displays that brought alive many of Steinbeck's books movies and life events. I now need to reread most books and perhaps some others. This is a gem to find.  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    It had been a long time ago that I read John Steinbeck books. My travel companion and I had an hour and a half to kill in Salinas waiting for a train. We happened to see the Steinbeck Center within 5 ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    We visited in the afternoon. It was not crowded and it was nice to be able to easily look and read all of the displays. This center also gave a good history and background of the area. It was interest...  more »
Google
  • April 14, 2017
    Small museum with few interactive activities for youngsters. No audio devices for guided tour narration (in English or any other language). Two brief films in the small theatre were informative but only for a adults. A film specifically designed for youngster us advised. No highlights or recordings from the annual Steinbeck weekend is available as part of the tour. Bookstore is unattended and signage fails to tell shoppers that the admissions clerk is also the bookstore cash register attendant. Bookstore has a lot of books all offered at retail prices. I bought 2 to support the Center; however, I felt that the pricing discouraged sales. No Steinbeck merchandise specifically designed for youngsters (boat replica, action figure, stress ball vegetables, squeaky mouses) and no collectible replicas (bronze bust, high quality resin boat replica, glowing pearl which float above a magnetic base) were available for adult Steinbeck fans. I saw no catalogs or flyers of merchandise to take with me nor did I get a complimentary bookmark offering a discount on membership, next visit or next purchase. I wanted this shrine to be more than it was yet I was an am grateful for it's very existence. It's mission cannot be achieved in any other place and no other place ought to even try.
  • July 5, 2017
    Very clean and relaxed. I enjoyed myself. I'm surprised because it was a small Museum and I went to sleep many times reading The Grapes of Wrath. It really helped me to understand the period of the Dust Bowl and the area.
  • April 26, 2017
    This museum does a great job of introducing the life and work of John Steinbeck, who was born and raised in Salinas. It also tells a lot about the lives of the people who have made Salinas what it is. It works for many different ages, and is really well designed for teachers who are organizing outings with their students about specific books that Steinbeck wrote and which are popular with high school and college students.
  • March 5, 2017
    This was a great museum. There were so many interactive displays and different thinks to look at. It is geared toward Steinbeck fans, but those new to his work can appreciate it and gain a better understanding of his life, influences and contributions. Relatively quiet on the Saturday morning we visited.
  • May 27, 2017
    A gem in the Central Valley. It will make you proud to be an American. Salinas is becoming a nice destination for Monterey-based visitors.

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