Vacation Like a Writer

Take a page from the travel itineraries of your favourite literary legends.  
Photo by: Rebecca Hale/NGP Staff
Photo by: Rebecca Hale/NGP Staff

Mark Twain – Big Island, Hawaii, U.S.A.

In his 1872 book, Roughing It, Mark Twain wrote that Kilauea volcano, now in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, was “a scene of wild beauty.” Twain was on an assignment in the Pacific islands when he stayed at the Volcano Housein 1866. The 33-room lodge, rebuilt in 1941 after a fire, offers views of Halemaumau Crater (www.hawaiivolcano-house.com).

 

Zora Neale Hurston – Caribbean

The Florida-based author of Their Eyes Were Watching God travelled to Haiti in the late 1930s and Honduras during the late 1940s for her anthropological field-work. In July 1949, she embarked on a five-month cruise on her friend’s boat around the bright blue waters of the Bahamas, where she could put her wide-brimmed hat to good use.

 

Scott Fitzgerald – Capri, Italhawa

The ideal spot to pass the time before the publication of your book?The island of Capri. In 1925, Fitzgerald spent two months at Capri Tiberio Palace, overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Travellers can still sleep over at this luxurious hideaway and start to plot their own best-selling books (www.capritiberiopalace.it).

 

Oscar Wilde – Paris, France

A former abbey, Hôtel du Quai Voltaire hosted the Irish author in early 1883. His stay took place years before he published The Picture of Dorian Gray, but his digs weren’t those of a starving artist; his suite looked out onto the Seine. The hotel’s prime location near both the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay makes this a smart spot for Wildean fans (quaivoltaire.fr).

 

Jane Austen – Lyme Regis, England

During the summer of 1804 Austen and her family vacationed in the seaside town of Lyme Regis, England. She took strolls along the Cobb, a stone wall around the harbour, and the site became the setting for a scene in her novel Persuasion. We recommend stopping at Roly’s Fudge Pantry (rolysfudge.co.uk)for a slab of the local sweet treat, clotted cream fudge.

 

Ernest Hemingway – Havana, Cuba

For a proper Hemingway tour of Havana, start with a daiquiri at his former hangout, El Floridita (www.floridita-cuba.com), which now features a statue of the author. Sleep off the rum at Hotel Ambos Mundos, where he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1939 and lived for seven years. Visitors can see the room he stayed in, number 511(www.gaviotahotels.com).

 

For more literary-inspired trips, buy a copy of Shannon Mckenna Schmidt’s Novel Destinations.

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