Salinas Journals

Steinbeck's Salinas

A July 2003 trip to Salinas by John Lamb

National Steinbeck Center Photo, Salinas, California More Photos
Quote: Salinas is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and also the setting of one of his most celebrated novels, East of Eden. This journal explores the mark he left upon this city.

Steinbeck's Salinas

Overview

Quote:
No Steinbeck fan should miss the National Steinbeck Center, a treasure trove of anything dealing with the author's life or work. Lunch at his birthplace is also a treat that offers good food and a beautiful setting. I would also recommend walking down Main Street. The street has kept the traditional main street ambience, and one can imagine a bustling city in the 1930s quite easily.Quick Tips: If you are on a road trip to the area, read Travels with Charley for insight into 1960s America and witty observations by Steinbeck himself. There is also a heartfelt passage about his reflections on Salinas. Plus seeing Rocinante at the Steinbeck Center will have added meaning. Also readin...Read More

Steinbeck Museum-Salinas: One Main Street Cafe

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Restaurant | "One Main Street Cafe"

Quote:
This restaurant is conveniently located next in the National Steinbeck Center. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals of my life. Usually museum restaurants are overpriced and plain at best. However, One Main Street Cafe offered some of the most reasonable and delicious food of our trip. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11am to 3pm daily. They accept all major credit cards as well. The decor is like a bistro. The highlight is all the murals on the walls, which detail important scenes from Steinbeck's works and life. It has a very bright, open windowed seating area. It feels like a farmer's market also. The waitstaff was very attentive and helpful. The food is fre...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

Steinbeck Museum-Salinas: One Main Street Cafe
1 Main Street
Salinas, California 93901

The Steinbeck House

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant is located in Steinbeck's birthplace and home. It is a beautiful Victorian-style house about four blocks away from the National Steinbeck Center. The restaurant is actually a non-profit organization devoted to preserving Steinbeck's boyhood home and other areas. Most of the money made from the restaurant is donated to charities around Salinas. The house itself is a beautiful example of craftsmanship. The inside is nicely decorated and keeps the ambiance of a home. A very personal place to eat and it feels as if you have been invited to someone's home to enjoy your meal. A tour is also available to see the upstairs and different rooms of the house. The food is fres...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

The Steinbeck House
132 Central Avenue
Salinas, California 93901
(831) 424-2735

National Steinbeck Center

Attraction | "Steinbeck's Grave"

National Steinbeck Center Photo, Salinas, California
Quote:
Born Febraury 27, 1902, Steinbeck lived a full and remembered life. Pay tribute to him at his final resting place. He passed away December 20, 1968, a few years after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in New York, but wanted to be returned to the land he still carried in his soul: Salinas, California. The grave is unadorned and plain, fitting for a man so concerned with the common man. He is buried in the Garden of Memories in Salinas. The people at the gift shop at the Steinbeck Center were very willing to help us and give us directions to the cemetery. Steinbeck's grave is located in block N-5. His grave is a flat stone and located in a family plot that does not bear the nam...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

National Steinbeck Center
1 Main Street
Salinas, California 93901
(831) 775-4721

National Steinbeck Center

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Attraction

National Steinbeck Center Photo, Salinas, California
Quote:
For most of Steinbeck's life, his hometown disregarded him for his exposes on immigrant life and progressive views. However, in 1998, Salinas made up for years of past regressions and honored its home son with the National Steinbeck Center. This is the mecca of all Steinbeck fans and excellent place for beginners to go to gain a background on this great American writer. The center is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, except for major holidays. Adult ticket prices are $11 with discounts for teachers and students. First, go to the room with Steinbeck's passport photo on the entrance to see a video that gives a good overview of his life and work. It is about a 20-minute video t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2003

National Steinbeck Center
1 Main Street
Salinas, California 93901
(831) 775-4721

Oldtown Salinas

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Attraction

Quote:
The Steinbeck Center is at the head of Main Street in Oldtown Salinas. After seeing the museum, I would recommend walking down Main Street and shopping through this area. The street has kept its stereotypical main street flavor and retains the feeling of 1930s America. The whole street is lined with trees, wide sidewalks, and flowering planters. There are also numerous shops that offer a variety of antiques, books and specialty items. A Taste of Monterey, at 127 Main Street, is a great place to find taste and buy the local Californian wines. They offer tastings and plenty of information. They are also very helpful. Partington Ridge Co., at 225 Main Street, is a great place to fin...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2004

Oldtown Salinas
Main Street
Salinas, California

About the Writer

John Lamb

John Lamb
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Salinas Tips & Stories

Paraiso Springs Vineyards