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National Steinbeck Center, Salinas

4.6
#1 of 16 in Things to do in Salinas
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum
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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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
388 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We thoroughly enjoyed the very comprehensive and informative displays in the museum. My experience has reminded me to go to my local library, sign out, and read some of John Steinbeck's masterpieces.....  more
    We thoroughly enjoyed the very comprehensive and informative displays in the museum. My experience has reminded me to go to my local library, sign out, and read some of John Steinbeck's masterpieces.....  more »
  • This was a very spiritual place for me. The greatest author. The films not only give the history of John Steinbeck but the Salinas area. 
    This was a very spiritual place for me. The greatest author. The films not only give the history of John Steinbeck but the Salinas area.  more »
Google
  • This is an amazing museum, much larger than I expected. It covers the entirety of Steinbeck's life and helps us to understand the influences shaping his writing. Some of the exhibits are interactive and quite fun. There are video displays showing segments of his works that ended up being filmed. A word or two about the staff. We got lost twice getting to the museum. We called the museum and staff patiently gave us directions to get us back on track. They were cheerful and friendly, and greeted us warmly once our group got to the museum. Signage is confusing. The museum is part of a college campus. Signage for the campus is much more prominent than signage for the museum. There is a large, low-cost public parking garage in close proximity to the museum and many restaurants close by.
  • Got a membership as an early birthday present to myself. It was a good decision. Had a small hiccup with getting my membership card but the nice lady and gentleman at the desk assured me I was taken care of. For the museum I went with a friend and walked around for 2 hours. That still wasn't enough time to read everything in the exhibits, which is a good thing. Awesome learning experience and a place you'll definitely want to visit more than once. Got 2 books and a key chain from the gift shop. Looking forward to coming back soon.

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