Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Off the Beaten Path, in Steinbeck Country

"To finish is a sadness to a writer - a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn't really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done." -- John Steinbeck

To some people Northern California evokes thoughts of technology and Silicon Valley, while other lucky folks enjoy the many attractions of Steinbeck Country, a region rich in history literary, offering several days of exciting exploration.

Steinbeck Country, Salinas, CA 

Start your journey in the charming town of Salinas, birthplace of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, and the setting for many of the fascinating stories he wrote in books such as The Red Pony.

One essential stop is the National Steinbeck Center, in Salinas, California. While here, let yourself be enticed by the many creative exhibits from the life of Steinbeck. Be sure to see the other fun, informative, and interactive exhibits from this agricultural region. The next stop is the home where Steinbeck grew up. You will love chatting with the locals on your walk through the historical downtown.

Steinbeck in Monterey, CA

Let yourself enjoy the back roads into Monterey, California. This area has changed quite a bit since Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row (Ad link). Discovering the many differences between the old and the new can be a great learning experience.

Steinbeck in Los Gatos and Campbell, CA 

Another extraordinary learning experience to add to your tour is free of charge and is found in downtown San Jose. It is San Jose State University's Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, a fascinating place with many exciting exhibits, including excerpts from Steinbeck's Nobel Prize acceptance speech and much, much, more!

Then there are the towns of Los Gatos and Campbell where Steinbeck also lived, offering many special tales for you to discover as you walk the streets.

What would John Steinbeck say if he could visit this region today and see all the changes time has wrought in this area? 
This is a fascinating question to keep in mind as you set out, his books in hand, to explore the back roads right in your own back yard, whether you know it as Steinbeck Country, Silicon Valley, or Valley of Hearts' Delight. All you need to do is stray off the beaten path!

Exploring famous writers roots are fun, where would YOU like to go?  ~ The Fun Tour Guru 

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Original article written by Fun Tour Guru (me), in a past summer issue of the Women's Connection Magazine.
Both images by the Fun Tour Guru (me)

My favorite travel book is A Journey into Steinbeck's California (ArtPlace) by Susan Shillinglaw (this is an affiliate link)

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