Steinbeck’s birthday is February 27. He would have been 117 this year. Steinbeck grew up in Salinas and later moved to New York. The Steinbeck Center in Salinas celebrates their famous author all year. Only closed for mayor holidays the center is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. The entry fee for adults is $12.95 – a steep price tag for a roadside attraction.
The Center is conveniently placed at the beginning of Main Street, 1 Main Street. And the downtown area has lately been revived with modern eateries, coffeeshops, and breweries moving in.
On the other side, Salinas is still a town of rural farmland, with a saddening rate of one in four kids considered poor. This makes Steinbeck as present and meaningful as ever.
If you have kids in tow, they might enjoy the scavenger hunt that is offered. Grab a printout and a pen from the entrance area and start looking for clues.
I have to admit I haven’t read anything by Steinbeck before. We did listen to The Grapes of Wrath and a lifetime ago I have watched East of Eden. So, with this challenged novice knowledge I was pleased to watch a bit of East of Eden coming into the Center. The history lessons dispersed throughout the exhibits were helpful. The little movie clips I glimpsed at made me hungry for more.
A very interesting man in a very interesting town. Both worth checking out.
Have you read anything by Steinbeck?
There is also the Steinbeck House. Maybe on our next stop in Salinas.
Interesting article about the situation of Salinas kids from KQEDs California Report: