For the traveler who can never seem to put down a good book, there are so many ways to cater your travels to your passion for reading. From historic libraries to actual settings authors used in your favorite stories, there are a number of spots across the US that book nerds will appreciate. Perhaps no greater spot than a famous author’s home can make a book nerd swoon. Here are a few homes you can tour across the U.S. where those famous authors often penned their greatest works.
Mark Twain House and Museum (Hartford, Connecticut)
Book nerds with cheap flights to Connecticut will want to seek out Mark Twain’s forever home in Hartford. The picturesque Gothic architecture home boasts 25 rooms. Twain lived there with his family from 1874 to 1891. It was throughout these walls that he penned some of his most important works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Prince and the Pauper. Along with a tour of The Mark Twain House and Museum, visitors can also stop in the museum for its rotating exhibits on Twain’s work and influence. Tickets cost $24 for adults.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (Key West, Florida)
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a fixture in heart of Old Town Key West and is where the great author composed several novels and stories for over a decade. Take a tour of the home and you’ll see what Hemingway’s life in Key West was like. Additionally, you’ll see his collection of Spanish furniture and an in-ground swimming pool! General admission costs $17.
Margaret Mitchell House (Atlanta, Georgia)
Are you a Margaret Mitchell fan? Tour this turn of the century Tudor Revival home opens up for tours in A-Town. The Margaret Mitchell House hails from 1899 and was once the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gone with the Wind. Additionally, the site is on the National Register of Historic Places. On the tour, you’ll get to explore the apartment where Mitchell lived and also see exhibitions about her life. Tours cost about $23 for general admission.
Emily Dickinson Museum (Amherst, Massachusetts)
Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, The Emily Dickinson Museum boasts the Homestead, where the poet was born and lived most of her life, and the Evergreens, her brother’s home. The two structures lord over three acres of the original property. The museum aims to educate on the life, family, and creative works of Emily Dickinson. Tours guide visitors through the restored properties, all while showing off some of Emily Dickinson’s prized pieces such as her writing desk. General admission runs at $12.
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William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak
If you’re into Southern Gothic style, you’ll fall in love with the Rowan Oak, which was William Faulkner’s home for more than four decades. The Rowan Oak is an exotic Greek-Revival-styled home constructed in 1844 and still stands majestically at the heart of Oxford, Mississippi. It’s the perfect classic Southern home with an astounding driveway lined with majestic cedar trees leading to the house’s front door and a beautiful portico.
The most impressive thing about this home is that William Faulkner bought it as a primitive Greek home and did most of the renovation by himself. Also, he wrote most of his books in the extensive library and even customized it by building the bookshelves himself. The house is named after the rowan tree, which symbolizes protection.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s House
The award-winning author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the 1852 best-selling novel against slavery, moved into this beautiful Hartford home in 1873. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center spots some features of Gothic-rival style but is a simple, classic version. Go see the steep hip roof, beautiful porches, exotic bay windows, and well-maintained all-white exterior walls.
All the house’s furniture and furnishings that Stowe used are still intact. Harriet Beecher Stowe also made sketches and paintings on the house’s second floor. From the Victorian-style gardens and terrariums in the front and backyards, you can tell that she was a lover of nature.
The Steinbeck House and Museum
John Steinbeck was a Pulitzer-winning author who addressed a lot of economic and social issues through his works. His most famous book, The Grapes of Wrath, sheds light on the difficulties faced during the Great Depression period and the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. John Steinbeck was born and raised in a classic Victorian home featuring Queen Anne’s style located in Salinas, California.
The magnificent Steinbeck House and Museum made it to the list of homes on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s been renovated over the years and now includes a gift shop, museum, and a restaurant where you can dine or even host a special event.
Edgar Allan Poe’s House and Museum
Edgar Allan Poe became an orphan when he was just an infant and was taken in by a couple that lived in Richmond, Virginia. He lived there until 1826 when he was recruited to the US army. Most of the houses he lived in don’t currently exist, but the ‘Old Stone House’ has been preserved to date.
The house, which now is a museum, holds all the artifacts that Poe collected throughout his stay there. It also includes a collection of furniture from the different homes he had lived in. Most of his works’ early drafts and original first editions, including The Raven, are preserved at the Poe Museum. You can also visit his church and his fiance’s home and see his monument just next to his house.
Herman Melville’s Arrowhead
The Arrowhead is a well-preserved homestead located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This magnificent property was home to the great author Herman Melville and is where he wrote most of his great works from. Melville’s room has an astonishing view of the magnificent whale-shaped Mount Greylock, which inspired his maritime novel, Moby Dick.
The house is a 1970s New England farmhouse that features a beautiful historic barn and original artifacts collected from his time. He named the house ‘Arrowhead’ to appreciate the native artifacts he collected from the fields. The house is now open to visitors as a pre-historic museum where you get to see some of his works and original furniture collections, so as such is a great place to explore if you booked some cheap flights to Massachusetts!
What other book nerd destinations have you been to? Tell us all about it in the comments!