By Melanie Walker
There are three things that I love in life: travel, history, and literature. My vacations usually involve at least one of the three of those things. When all three are combined? Absolute magic.
Literature destinations are my favorite places to travel to because it’s the closest way I can connect to my favorite authors. I’ve seen quite a few in my time—from discovering William Blake’s grave in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral to even walking past Jack London’s birthplace monument on my way to a San Francisco Giants Game—and yet there are still so many to discover.
I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 travel destinations for literature lovers—five of which are my favorite out of the many I have been to, and five which are at the top of my list to visit.
My Top 5 Favorites
1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Grave, Baltimore, MD
Annabel Lee written by Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poem. I was honored to be able to go and respect his work by visiting his grave.
2. Bronte Parsonage, West Yorkshire, England
Found in the hills of England lies the Bronte family parsonage and the moors where the sisters walked and wrote. You can feel their inspiration as you sit and gaze upon the beautiful heathers on the English hillside.
3. Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey, London, England
I would absolutely recommend this spot for any literature lover. From Jane Austen to Handel to even Geoffrey Chaucer, it’s an absolute thrill standing amongst the graves of the people that inspire you the most.
4. John Steinbeck’s Home, Salinas, CA
This was a fun one to stumble upon. Steinbeck’s house was so magnificent and beautiful, with a quick trip to the ocean right around the corner.
5. Charles Dicken’s Home, London England
Right in the heart streets of London you can find Dicken’s home and experience the real Dickens London.
5 Top-Of-My-List Places to Visit
1. Walden Pond, Concorn, MA
My dream is to sit with my feet in Walden Pond reading the merits of solitude by transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau.
2. Emily Dickinson home and museum, Amherst, MA
It would be an honor to see the halls Dickinson walked and wrote all her days long. My favorite poems among hers include “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “If I Can Stop One Heart.”
3. Lake District, England
William Wordsworth. Beatrice Potter. This beautiful landscape is somewhere I visit in my dreams.
4. Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL
For all poet lovers, this would be the ideal place to visit. From podcasts, to lectures, to the biggest selection of poetry you can find past to present, this would be a dream.
5. Salem, MA
You can visit Nathanial Hawthorne’s home and visit the place that inspired works written about The Salem Witch Trials (The Crucible, anyone?). In such a city with such rich literature history, it’s a destination I am dying to visit.
Though I’ve visited many literature sites in my travels, there’s still so many to uncover. Comment below to suggest even more! What are your favorites?