National Steinbeck Center

Museum in Salinas

Image by Stephen Osman LA Times via Getty Images

This museum will interest almost anyone, even if you don't know anything about Salinas’ Nobel Prize–winning native son, John Steinbeck (1902–68), a Stanford University dropout. Tough, funny and brash, he portrayed the troubled spirit of rural, working-class Americans in novels like The Grapes of Wrath. Interactive exhibits and short video clips chronicle the writer’s life and works in an engaging way. Gems include Rocinante, the camper in which Steinbeck traveled around the USA while researching Travels with Charley.

Take a moment and listen to Steinbeck’s Nobel acceptance speech – it’s grace and power combined.