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Literary Travel: 13 Destinations for Book Lovers

Literary Travel: Must See Destinations for Book Lovers

Traveling and reading are two of my passions that don’t often overlap. Sure, you can always find books that inspire wanderlust, set in exotic locations with incredible descriptions. But, there’s nothing like actually traveling to experience a location in person.

For those like me, who want to bring books to life, I created this literary travel list. I included locations that have a distinct connection to literature. That could include literary travel to destinations described in iconic books, cities with incredible book shops, or walking in the footsteps of beloved authors.

Step outside the pages of books and get lost instead in these literary travel destinations!

 

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any products purchased through the literary travel links below. Thank you for supporting this book blog!

Literary Travel: Book Lover Destinations

 

Bath, England

If you’re a Jane Austen devotee, make your literary travel trip to Bath in mid-September to experience the ten day Jane Austen festival. Each day is full of fascinating events including walking tours, plays, readings, and of course a Regency ball!

  • Where To Stay – A reasonably priced option that incorporates local character but a familiar chain is Abbey Hotel in Bath, owned by Marriott. 
  • What To Do – If you can’t make it for the Jane Austen festival, spend time exploring the Roman baths that give the town it’s name. These are a popular setting for regency novels, so you can relive your favorite scenes!
    • Walking Tours – Learn all about the city’s history and see the most popular sites with a certified walking tour guide! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ashdown forest

Ashdown Forest, United Kingdom

Relive your childhood by visiting the forest that inspired the 100 Acre Wood from A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh books. Located just over an hour’s drive from London, this would be the perfect day trip from the city! There are various “Pooh Walks” to take through the forest that visit beloved spots in the 100 Acre Wood. You can even play Pooh Sticks on a designated Pooh Sticks bridge!

  • Where To Stay – It’s extremely easy to get around the city using their metro system, The London Underground. So, you can stay pretty much anywhere and still have access to everything you want to see. To avoid insane prices, stay a bit further outside of the main touristy area, like at London Marriott Regent’s Park.
  • What To Do – London boasts an incredible number of literary travel connections, so I’m just going to list a few favorites!
    • 221B Baker St – Visit the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes at the Sherlock Holmes Museum actually located on Baker Street
    • The George Inn – Frequented by Charles Dickens and even Shakespeare, this pub maintains an old world, literary atmosphere even today.
    • Charing Cross Road – Famously home to a number of bookshops. Although many have closed down, there are still plenty to visit within blocks of each other!

 

 

 

 

 

Massachusetts

When you want a lot of bang for your buck, Massachusetts is the literary travel destination for you! There are tons of bookish sites to visit within a 1-2 hour drive. 

  • Where To Stay – A reasonably priced option that incorporates local character but a familiar chain is Abbey Hotel in Bath, owned by Marriott. 
  • What To Do – Split your time among a few different cities and see each of the attractions below:     
    • Amherst – Spend time strolling through the beautiful campus of Amherst College, where Robert Frost taught. The main library is named after him and contains a number of treasures. The Emily Dickinson museum / historic home is also located here.
    • Concord – Visit the homes of famous authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne! You can also stop by Walden Pond and explore the setting that inspired Thoreau. 
    • Lenox – Stop by Lenox to see The Mount, the gorgeous house where Edith Wharton lived and worked. You’ll also want to grab a drink and a book at The Bookstore, a wonderful bookstore with a wine bar on-site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia

I’m assuming most of us who’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire have also seen the Game of Thrones TV show. If so, Dubrovnik is the setting for many of the King’s Landing scenes! Beyond the Game of Thrones connection, Dubrovnik is simply a stunning literary travel city full of gorgeous views and streets to explore.

  • Where To Stay – Steps from historic Old Town is the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. This Instagram worthy hotel offers luxury and location at a reasonable rate!
  • What To Do – The most obvious choice for this literary travel post is the Game of Thrones walking tour! Explore the sites where the show was filmed and learn about the city on this 3 hour tour.

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles, California

My fellow romance readers, this is the literary travel destination for you! The Ripped Bodice, a bookstore dedicated to romance books, is located just outside the city. They also participate in the LATimes Festival of Books, bringing some blockbuster romance authors in for signings and panels

  • Where To Stay – Avoid the madness of downtown LA and stay nearby in Beverly Hills! It’s only a 10 min drive from the Ripped Bodice, so enjoy the glitz and glamor of this neighborhood at The Beverly Hilton.
  • What To Do – The LATimes Book Festival is a must visit, if you can. In 2022, authors participating include Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, Ali Hazelwood, Denise Williams and more! Books from two of these authors made my list of the best romance novels of 2021!
    • I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Sprinkles ATM in Beverly Hills! It’s the first ever cupcake ATM – located just outside of Sprinkles Bakery. Yum!
    • Greystone Mansion is another must-visit. A sprawling Tudor mansion featured in dozens of films and TV shows is open to the public!

 

 

 

 

 

 

anne frank house

Anne Frank House, The Netherlands

One of the most memorable literary travel places I’ve visited is the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Most of us probably read The Diary of Anne Frank in school, but nothing prepares you for the overwhelming emotions of seeing where she wrote those words.

  • Where To Stay – Less than a 15 min walk from the Anne Frank House (and only a few blocks from the main train station) is the Kimpton De Witt Hotel. This boutique European hotel is part of the IHG family and boasts a fantastic location and reasonable price.
  • What To Do – Literature and art go hand in hand, so take in one or two of the astonishing art museums located in the city. The Rijksmuseum is the state museum, full of renowned Dutch artists, including Vermeer and Rembrandt. I also highly suggest The Van Gogh Museum to view the world’s largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

 

 

 

 

Portland, Oregon

One of the most iconic bookstores in the US is Powell’s City of Books in Portland. It’s one of those bucket list bookstores I’ve always wanted to visit and would be worth a trip to Portland for that experience alone!

  • Where To Stay – The Hampton Inn Portland Pearl District is only 3 blocks from Powell’s and right beside North Park, one of the lovely green spaces in the city.
  • What To Do – In addition to the visit to Powell’s, if you can plan your trip in November you could catch Portland’s annual book festival! For a bit of nostalgia, there’s also a park featuring statues of famous Beverly Clearly characters.

 

 

 

 

edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

Walk in the footsteps and visit the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned portions of the Harry Potter books in Edinburgh! Enjoy getting inspired by the incredible architecture and old world feel of this very first UNESCO City of Literature.

  • Where To Stay – If you want to go all out, there’s no place better in Edinburgh than The Balmoral. This is essentially a castle in the middle of the city AND it’s where J.K. Rowling finished the Harry Potter series. For a much cheaper option close to Old Town, try the Residence Inn Edinburgh by Marriott!
  • What To Do – Visit The Elephant House Cafe where Rowling penned early parts of the Harry Potter books. You can also visit Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, a graveyard which contains gravestones with names that inspired character names in the books, including Tom Riddle! Then stroll to The Writer’s Museum, where artifacts and memorabilia from famous Scottish writers like Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns are displayed.

 

 

 

 

Chicago, Illinois

If you’re looking for a wide breadth of literary travel connections, what’s better than a writing museum! The American Writers Museum highlights famous Chicagoan writers like Sandra Cisernos and Ernest Hemingway as well as celebrating all aspects of the reading and writing in America.

  • Where To StayThe Virgin Hotel in Chicago’s Loop District is listed as the best place to stay downtown! Richard Branson’s hotel is full of unique touches and amenities that bring people back over and over again, for a reasonable price!
  • What To Do – Take a break from books and learn more about Chicago’s sordid history with a crime / mob tour!

 

 

 

 

 

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Anne of Green Gable fans, step into this magical land where Anne Shirley delighted and exasperated all those around her. The island has embraced this connection and features many places to visit inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories.

  • Where To Stay – Nothing completes a quaint visit to PEI like a stay in a charming cottage.  Swept Away has a variety of options that can be found here. Or select from all the cottages the island has to offer!
  • What To Do – Prince Edward Island Tourism has put together a full Anne of Green Gables Itinerary! So check off these places one by one for an immersive experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada

One of the rare murder mystery series that has utterly captivated my heart is the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. The recurring location of Three Pines is mentioned or plays a significant role in the vast majority of the books. Although Three Pines is not a real place, you can take your literary travel route to Knowlton, Penny’s hometown and the inspiration for the charming town.

  • Where To Stay – Imagine staying at the Three Pines B&B when you’re visiting one of these delightful options
  • What To Do – Follow along this route to visit places that inspired various parts of the book series. 

 

 

 

 

 

Verona, Italy

This is one of the literary travel destinations I’ve actually visited! Located in the unassuming town of Verona is the balcony that inspired William Shakespeare to write the iconic scene in Romeo and Juliet. It’s tucked away off one of the streets in a tiny courtyard, making it all the more magical for it’s simplicity.

  • Where To Stay – If you’re a Shakespeare fan, might as well enjoy the true experience and stay in the Hotel Giuliette E Romeo! This boutique hotel is located steps from the famous balcony and in the midst of the historic center of Verona.
  • What To Do – Since it’s not a large town, spend a day or two here in Verona exploring the historic part of the city, then venture by train to Florence or Venice!

 

 

 

 

 

Guided Literary Travel

If you’re looking for someone else to take over the planning and details of your literary travel, World Strides offers a variety of literary tours!

These tours offer options in Britain, Scotland, France, Germany, and more! Visit classic literary travel locations or places inspired by more recent novels like Harry Potter and The Da Vinci code.

 

Are there any literary travel destinations you would add to this list?

One Comment

  1. I’ve been to Chicago a handful of times but have never been to the American Writers Museum! A great item to add to the bucket list, along with some others on your list that I’d never thought of before!

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