National Steinbeck Center © Author Adventures

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) is among the most widely read American authors of the 20th and 21st centuries. His best known works include The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, East of Eden, The Red Pony, and The Pearl. Many of his books have become theater plays and Academy Award-winning feature films.

The New York Public Library provides an excellent introduction to Steinbeck’s books here:

Read more about the author here:

The National Steinbeck Center

The National Steinbeck Center ( in Salinas is a wonderland of Steinbeck stories, designed for all ages.

Given the seriousness of Steinbeck’s subject matter, having exhibits that bring about so many heartfelt smiles is no small achievement. All exhibits are creative, interactional, and thought-provoking, even if you have never read a Steinbeck novel.

Also in Salinas is the elegant Steinbeck House, the author’s birthplace and childhood home. Go to the website at for information on how to plan a visit.

If you are anywhere in Central California, a stop in Salinas could be the most fascinating and memorable of your trip, as well as a great way to learn about a legendary California author.

© Author Adventures

In the same general area is Monterey, where you can visit Steinbeck’s old stomping grounds at Cannery Row ( It is now a shopping district capped by the Monterey Aquarium — nothing like the Cannery Row he once knew.

The National Steinbeck Center is the first stop on our Northern California Trail. If you’re continuing north from the Southern Cailfornia Trail, this follows its final stop, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Then, John Steinbeck’s birthplace and childhood home is the Northern California Author Adventures Trail‘s fourth destination.

Patricia Smart