Readers' Poll

shopping and services in Salinas, Steinbeck would have purchased lumber at Homer T. Hayward Lumber, which got its start in 1919, just as the writer-to-be was becoming an adult. Now known as Hayward Lumber, the company has two locations in Monterey County, as well as several others in other parts of the Central Coast. Today the company sells everything customers need to build a modern home. Best Computer Repair What'd You Break 218 Reservation Road, Marina (831) 883-2349 Owner Josh Gautira puts back together all manner of broken electronics, including computers, cell phones and televisons—all of which are computers these days. His childhood curiosity came in handy. Gautira took apart his family VCR when he was a kid as a way of getting started. That’s real passion. But it’s not just passion that earns readers’ votes as the best—it’s reliability and capability to fix whatever needs fixing. Best Bookstore - Used Downtown Books and Sound 213 Main St., Salinas (831) 477-6700, Only at a place so close to Steinbeck’s ancestral home could his remark “It seems as though there are never enough books” ring so true. Here you’ll find new releases shelved with gently used tomes and classics for a deep reading experience. Toss in signings and an emphasis on local authors for a true literary smorgasbord. And there’s more (Hint: Looking for Of Mice and Men on DVD? They might have it here). Best Bookstore - New Bookworks 667 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove (831) 372-2242, This Pacific Grove haunt knows books—all books—better than most. The staff and customers know that in the turn of a page you sense the author’s presence. John Steinbeck once encouraged writers to “write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down.” That’s what you feel at Bookworks. While many observers decry the end of the book in our electronic age, no such attitude is afoot here. And don’t miss the killer coffee shop that is adjacent. Best Place To Buy Arts & Crafts Supplies Michael's 121 General Stilwell Drive, Marina (831) 384-0562, There’s no chance for tumbleweeds to gather within this bustling arts and crafts chain store. You can truly find anything at Michael’s, from a DIY wedding bouquet to holiday decor and definitely those last-minute supplies for a Grapes of Wrath-themed diorama your child just informed you about. Michael’s has been voted the Best Place to Buy Arts and Crafts Supplies since 2018. Best Store For Musical Instruments Monterey Music Store 419 Alvarado St., Monterey (831) 372-5893 This seminal music museum has always offered the musicians among us a respite from the woes of everyday modern life, right in downtown Monterey. The question here becomes not what they do have, but rather what they don’t. All things rock, blues, jazz, and classical guitars, basses, winds, strings and percussion? Check. Blues harps? Check. Exotic percussion instruments? Check. Or if you have a different instrument in need of a 58 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 THANK YOU Monterey County Weekly readers for voting Goodwill Central Coast Best Thrift Shop 3 years in a row! We appreciate your support! Goodwill Central Coast builds lives, families and communities by helping people with employment needs become successful, supported by innovative enterprises that preserve earth’s resources.