Explore the Main Literary Destinations in USA

Sara Thopson - Jul 11, 2016
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If you love literature, paying homage to the home of your favorite writer or visiting a location where your favorite book was inspired is a great traveling idea. On top of numerous sightseeing and exciting activities that you can enjoy, such destinations have a way of making you feel more connected to your favorite authors and their work, and sometimes, it almost feels like you are in the same world as your beloved characters.

If you are interested in visiting destinations that gave birth to famous authors, or inspired some of the best written works, below are some of the top 7 literary destinations in the US you should check out. 

1) Concord, Massachusetts

When it comes to literary traveling, Concord is one of the top destinations in the United States, having been the home of famous novelist Louisa May Alcott as she wrote her novel, Little Women. When writing her book, she stayed at an Orchard House, which has very similar features to the house that is depicted in her autobiographical March Family books. Inside the house, there are also various items described in her works, thus making you feel more connected to her stories. In addition, the location includes two 17th century buildings with a rich historical value and an apple orchard, which gives it a great scenic view. 

2) Lenox, Massachusetts

Also in Massachusetts, Lenox is another top literary destination in the US, and it was the home of the House of Mirth author, Edith Wharton. Wharton designed and built her house, the Mount, here in 1902, and it was featured greatly in her famous book, the Decorations of the Houses, especially its interior design. The more than 100-acre estate was also used by the author to entertain other famous authors, such as Henry James.

3) Amherst, Massachusetts

Amherst is the location where Emily Dickinson, one of the most significant American poets of all times, was born, lived and died. After her death, numerous poems that had yet to be seen by the world were discovered by her sister in the Dickinson Homestead, and were published posthumously, propelling her to fame. Due to the heavy influence that the Dickinson Homestead had on her writing, it has since become an iconic figure for American poetry, and even been named a National Historic Landmark in 1965. The home is also part of the Emily Dickinson Museum, where guided tours are offered.

4) Hartford, Connecticut 

In Hartford lies a massive 4-500 square foot house that was the residence of the author Harriet Beecher Stowe. While the house is not featured in any of her works, the success she gained from her early books helped to finance the renovation of the house using a Gothic theme. It was also in this residence that Stowe wrote the last six of her books, until her death in 1896. The home is part of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and it is also located close to Mark Twain's house, a center of writers. This makes it one of the best destinations for literary tourism. 

5) Milledgeville, Georgia

Milledgeville was the home of Flannery O'Connor, one of the most famous short story writers in the 20th century, and an iconic figure of the Southern Gothic literature. Her home has since been turned into a literary travel destination, where fans of her works can get a tour inside the farmhouse. The 550-acre homestead is breathtaking, and it features a large screened-in porch that overlooks the estate.

6) Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is home to another famous 20th century writer, Eudora Welty, who wrote almost all her works in the family home that is designed in a Tudor-Revival style. In the house, there are piles of books that are scattered in the family living room, where she used to read. The house also features a cabinet that holds various editions of her works. 

7) Red Cloud, Nebraska

The town of Red Cloud is another important literary travel destination, which was the residence of the famous author Willa Cather. The town was a huge influence on several of her short stories and novels, and fans of her work can visit it to tour two of her houses, where most of her works was developed. 


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