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Monterey Hotel |
Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. His
mother was a teacher and his father was county treasurer.
In 1919, John
Steinbeck graduated high school and went to Stanford University. He left
Stanford in 1925 to pursue a career in writing in New York.
Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in getting his work published in New
York, so he returned to California.
first novel, Cup of Gold, was published in 1929. This work was
followed by The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown.
It was not until 1935, when Tortilla Flat was published, that
John Steinbeck began to make his mark on the literary world, with
classics such as The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of
Eden, and Cannery Row.
The house where
John Steinbeck was born is now part of the National Steinbeck Center.
Here you can learn about Steinbeck and his connection to the Monterey
Walking tours are
available in the summer. These tours concentrate on Old Town Salinas,
where John Steinbeck was born, and where you can visit many of the
places mentioned in his books. During the docent-led tours, readings
from Steinbeck’s works and personal anecdotes are presented. During the
walking tour, you will get a sense of what the area was like when John
Steinbeck was writing his novels. Much of the town remains as it was
when John Steinbeck was alive. Many of the buildings in the area are
listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
Where to go – Take route 68 East from
Monterey to downtown Salinas. The National Steinbeck Center is located
at One Main Street. Walking tours are on a first- come, first-served
basis, so call (831) 775-4721 before you go.
What to do – Take a walking tour (the
route is flat and approximately one mile in length), or learn about John
Steinbeck through the exhibits at the National Steinbeck Center.
When to go – The National Steinbeck
Center is open daily 10am to 5pm. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas,
New Year’s Day, and Easter Day.
Before you go – Call the National
Steinbeck Center at (831) 775-4712 for news of the latest events and to
confirm tour times.
Picture courtesy of
Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau