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National Steinbeck Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901-3436
Phone Number: +1 831-775-4721
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

A celebration and exploration of the well-known author's work through...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 269 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 158
  • 76
    Very good
  • 19
  • 3
  • 0
Inspiring museum deserves a visit

Just what our post-election spirits needed; the Steinbeck National Center is an excellent reminder of the plurality of America. Two short films nicely introduce both Steinbeck and... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
via mobile
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269 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 256: English reviews
Level Contributor
76 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Just what our post-election spirits needed; the Steinbeck National Center is an excellent reminder of the plurality of America. Two short films nicely introduce both Steinbeck and the history of agriculture in Salinas. The exhibits are visually attractive and we enjoyed the snippets of films highlighting various books and movies. We almost didn't make the stop based on a few... More 

1 Thank Robgre
Northern California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We stopped here on our way home from Monterey and found the museum to be fun and educational but also feeling unmaintained. We started the visit by watching their two 12 1/2-minute films on Steinbeck's life and the Salinas Valley. Both were interesting and packed a lot of information. However, the broken and missing seats in the theater foreshadowed what... More 

Thank NE_AK_CA
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016

A museum telling stories of Steinbeck's novels, and an introduction to the town of Salinas. Definitely overpriced, though pretty educational of that period of time when Steinbeck lived.

Thank Sherry_Geek
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

My husband and I were driving from San Jose to Los Angeles, but as we were passing by Salinas, we saw a sign for a Steinbeck museum. We'd both read Steinbeck in school, and I love writer museums quite a lot. We thought this would be a great place to stretch our legs. The pricing was bit high for us,... More 

Thank crsgrl1223
Bremerton, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2016

I thought I could push through there in under two hours so I wouldn't have to move my car. Well that didn't work. I spent nearly four hours there and enjoyed every minute of it. Traveling through Salinas, and Monterey Bay brought new meaning to his books. My wife is not much of a reader yet she was really enjoyed... More 

1 Thank markr1360
Los Gatos
Level Contributor
453 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 305 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2016

Thought we would spend an hour or so and was very pleasantly surprised that there was so much to see and take in. We started our tour with the 10 and 13 minute films in the small theater that gave a good background to Steinbeck and Salinas. We then went to the part of the Center that held the displays.... More 

1 Thank dhen
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2016

Huge Steinbeck fan, in fact our trip to the area was to see the places he wrote about. The museum does a good job of covering some of the issues that drove his writing and him. The exhibits are well done, The two films at the beginning of the exhibits are worth your time and only take a few minutes.... More 

1 Thank kmole4000
Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
92 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016

Visiting Cannery Row in Monterey inspired us to take a side trip to the museum honoring John Steinbeck in Salinas. This lovely modern museum does a wonderful job with his life and great works. Interactive displays would be good for children. Short movies about Salinas agriculture and his biography were very well done. Had to go buy his books in... More 

1 Thank gardener4313
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016 via mobile

I've been a Steinbeck fan since I was a teen. I knew his home was in Salinas but did not know about the center. We began by talking with a volunteer. He recommended we watch two short films. One was a biography of John Steinbeck. The other was a film about the agricultural aspects of the Salinas area. Then we... More 

1 Thank Kkssmm
Sun City West, Arizona
Level Contributor
47 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2016

Well-organized museum. There are two short introductory films to see before seeing the exhibits, one a biography of Steinbeck, the other about Salinas area agriculture. The exhibits focus on the different books and include film clips, pictures, newspaper clippings published at the time. I especially enjoyed seeing the pickup camper he used for 'Travels with Charley'. We spent about an... More 

1 Thank IowaTraveller68

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