I recently went with a friend's father to the Steinbeck Center in Salinas. My travel companion has read everything Steinbeck has ever written and still was lamenting that Doc's Lab in Monterey was NOT open to the public. (Condos are being built next door so it was behind a nice construction fence.)
The museum is an absolute librarian's dream of exhibits, movies and extensive vinyl lettering - and by the end I was completely blown away to see the actual RV from Travels with Charley! Totally cool. I've been planning a road trip in the southwest and while you can't climb into the back where dinner is laid out on the table with a nice French wine, you can absolutely dream of the possibilities!
When you visit, go to breakfast at Sang's Cafe which is two doors down from the Center. There is a "Steinbeck ate Here" sign out front, but don't let that fool you. This is a genuine full plate deal - where the biscuits and gravy are excellent and an order of bacon is a full four strips (with your meal). For less that $10 you can get a plateful of American, Chinese or Mexican fare. Yum!