John Steinbeck’s California Writer’s Studio Is Now the Most Darling Little Beach Cottage Rental
The Nobel Prize-winning author owned the 350-square-foot bungalow in the early ‘40s.
Like many creatives from Thomas Kinkade to Ansel Adams, John Steinbeck was captivated by the California coast. Setting the lion’s share of his novels in the Golden State, the Grapes of Wrath author spun tales inspired by real-life settings and characters from Big Sur to Monterey, the latter of which was famously celebrated in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.
But while the settings of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s novels might span the central California coast and beyond, the author himself might say he felt most at home in the small town of Pacific Grove. While born in nearby Salinas, Steinbeck spent a large portion of his adult life (and writing years) in the small community on the Monterey peninsula, first moving into a cottage owned by his parents before snagging himself a sweet little place in the early ‘40s. Of the latter, he’d write to a friend the words “I bought a small house and garden in Pacific Grove,” which would later be published in his autobiographical tome Steinbeck: A Life in Letters.
It’s here where the author reportedly worked on novels including the Sea of Cortez during his career. And it’s here, today, where you can follow in Steinbeck’s footsteps by reading, writing, and passing the days away in his one-time writer studio-turned-charming vacation rental.
The historic writer’s cottage that Steinbeck once called his own is now a restored 350-square-foot guest studio available to rent on Airbnb. Set on a quiet street just a half mile from Cannery Row (now a tourist attraction with shops, restaurants, and hotels), the tiny cottage is renovated, according to the listing, “to pay homage to the period and history of the property.”
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And the results are nothing short of adorable. From the outside, a Pacific blue façade dresses the original 1920s architecture, which is surrounded by colorful gardens and California drought-tolerant landscape. Inside, a cozy bedroom features built-in shelving and an antique writing desk (when in Rome … or a great American author’s house). A compact kitchen with butcher block countertops offers everything one would need to whip up gourmet meals at home, including a deep farmhouse sink and four-burner stove.
If you’re here for the history, reviewers comment on the cottage’s ample collection of Steinbeck works (including books and movies) available to guests during their stay.
But, of course, the Steinbeck connection isn’t the only reason guests love it. According to one reviewer who stayed on her honeymoon, “It is by far the most charming, quaint, romantic, and peaceful Airbnb I have stayed in.”