The National Steinbeck Center will be closed starting March 16, 2020. Please check back for updates for when our doors will be open again to the public.

Hours & Tickets

Open seven days a week year-round (except for stated Holidays listed below), the National Steinbeck Center is an essential part of any visit to the Monterey County area. Stop by to get an inside look into the life and works of John Steinbeck.

Visitors typically begin in The Long Valley Theater– our orientation theater– viewing a short film on Steinbeck’s life and works. Visitors can then explore the John Steinbeck Exhibit Hall, an interactive and accessible presentation of the author’s legacy. Available for viewing are artifacts from the author’s life and elements of his creative process, which along with text, videos, and photos work to enhance understanding of Steinbeck’s works.

Hours of Operation

10am to 5pm, seven days a week.

Closed Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Years Eve and New Years Day. Closed March 2, 2020 for the Day of Writing.

Admission Prices

Adults $15.00
Seniors, Students, Retired Military or Veterans, Teachers, and Monterey Co. Residents $12.00
Active Duty Military and Families (Memorial Day – Labor Day: FREE) $12.00
Children Ages 6-17 $6.95
Children 5 and under FREE
Members FREE

Group Tours

Tour Group

The National Steinbeck Center is a great destination for a group excursion!

The multi-sensory museum offers a distinct visitor experience: the John Steinbeck Exhibition Hall presents a journey through the Nobel Prize-winning author’s life and work. It is a fascinating trip for a book club, a group of family and friends, or an organization.

School/Youth Group Fees

The National Steinbeck Center enhances your students’ educational experience!

All Monterey County school and youth groups are admitted to the National Steinbeck Center at a reduced rate of $2.50 per student. All other schools and youth groups are admitted at a special price of $5.00 per student.

For student groups, the National Steinbeck Center requires that there be 1 teacher or chaperone per 10-12 students. All teachers and chaperones are admitted free.

To make a reservation please call 831.775.4721 to speak with an associate.

Your Visit

Length of Visit

We recommend that you allow at least two hours for a self-guided experience. All tour groups visiting the Center are greeted by a docent or staff member who will give a brief orientation and is available to answer questions throughout your self-guided tour. Please note that guided tours are also available for an additional fee.


Please call 831.775.4721.


There are many restaurants on or near Main Street in Oldtown Salinas, within walking distance of the Center. The Steinbeck House, where Steinbeck lived from his birth in 1902 until he left for college in 1919, is always a fun lunch trip as part of your Steinbeck experience.


There is a parking garage right next to the NSC with low daily rates. Bus passengers can be dropped off directly in front of the Center and there is free motor coach parking at the Amtrak train station, one block from the NSC.

Visiting Salinas

Check out our Explore Salinas page for more information about local attractions and activities