Laguna Seca Raceway
Jul 2007 (annual)
The MotoGP World Championship returns to the Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas. There can be few better locations to watch motorsport in the summer than this track on the Californian coast. The grandstands provide great views of the course and the start/finish line. For the more adventurous, the place to watch the race must be at the top of the infield hill on turn two. Just settle down with a picnic and relax while the bikes roar by at up to 200kmh (124mph).The Moto GP is one of the fastest, most thrilling sports in the world. The bikes reach speeds of up to 310kph (185mph) and the races are extremely competitive. Unlike in Formula One racing, competitors frequently overtake each other. The riders take the bravest lines to weave through the field and when the bikes close on each other they push it to the limit. There is the feeling that the crowd is collectively holding its breath as the riders brake as late as possible into the corners. Then there is the engine noise, piercing the air as the riders fly by, a constant reminder of the sheer power under their control. The 500cc Championship is the big one in motorcycling. Although it vies with the increasingly popular Superbike Championship for profile, it remains the title that every aspiring rider dreams of winning.
National Steinbeck Center
Daily The National Steinbeck Center honours the great 20th century writer John Steinbeck (1902-1968) and is situated in Salinas, Monterey, the town where he was born.
Steinbeck is best remembered for his classic epic The Grapes of Wrath (1939), but he enjoyed his first big success with Of Mice and Men published two years earlier. He was inspired by and set much of his fiction in the Monterey Bay area and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
The centre explores Steinbeck's work, philosophy and themes and hopes to encourage visitors to learn about human nature, literature, history and agriculture. Interactive, multisensory exhibits have broad appeal, alongside interesting displays, educational programmes and research archives. Themed theatres showcase East of Eden, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.