Literary Vacations to Story Settings

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Have you ever taken a trip to see a specific location because it was the setting of a book? Or the setting of a movie or tv show based on a book?

I’ve been to a couple Laura Ingalls Willder sites (DeSmet, S.D., and Mansfield, Mo.), and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the setting of Anne of Green Gables (Prince Edward Island, Canada).

This summer I’ve read three kids’ books (Hitty, Her First Hundred Years; The Penderwicks at Point Mouette; and The Sign of the Beaver) set in Maine, and I didn’t realize any of these were Maine books before I started. They rekindled my desire to visit Maine.

Someday, I also want to see New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed. New Zealand made such a beautiful Shire, Rivendell, Rohan, and Gondor.

How about you? What story settings have you visited? Where do you want to visit?

4 comments

  1. trundlebedtales

    I’ve been trying to think of some of the best places on my list besides the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites.

    I’ve been to PEI before, but I want to go back.
    I keep meaning to go to the Caddie Woodlawn sites near Eau Claire, WI which is not much north of Pepin, but I never seem to get that far.
    Putnam, CT to see the recreated Boxcar of Boxcar Children fame. https://boxcarchildrenmuseum.com/
    Lew Wallace’s house in IN only because we’ve driven by it a bunch of times, but it’s always been shut. Not sure if it counts because while Wallace lived there you can’t exactly say it’s the setting of Ben Hur.
    Oh! I want to visit the Gene Stratton-Porter house in Rome City, IN. I’ve gone to the one in Geneva, IN (note there are 2 Genevas in IN, this is the one farther east).
    The Bess Street Aldrich (Iowa born author alert) in Elmwood, NE.
    Zane Grey’s cabin in Payson AZ, got as far as the front gate once. Sadly the original structure burned down and they built the replica in the town square. I think it would probably be worth a trip back to Payson sometime. It’s a lovely place. Grey’s descriptions of the territory come to life.
    Oh, and I keep meaning to stop and haven’t yet stopped in Ladora, Iowa to see the birthplace of the woman who fleshed out Nancy Drew – Mildred Pierce Benson.
    I want to go back to Shepherd of the Hills – best read when you’re young because there are some unfortunate overtones that go right over your head as a kid, but really smack you in the face as an adult. Who can resist though walking on “the trail that nobody knows how old”? Harold Bell Wright
    And Althea Sherman, her writing was scholarly, but shouldn’t that count? https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/althea-rosina-sherman/

    Probably a lot more if I think about it awhile. But that’s some. 🙂

    • Deb Watley

      Sarah, You’ve reminded me of Shepherd of the Hills. We’ve vacationed and visited family in the Ozarks. I first read the novel as an older teen/young adult and loved the plot twist and the reconciliation in the story.

      Visiting author’s homes would be such fun! I didn’t know about the Nancy Drew/Iowa connection! Very cool! And you’re the second person to mention Aldrich to me. Her work sounds right up my alley!

      • trundlebedtales

        Aldrich is one of several very popular 19th century authors that have completely dropped out of popular culture. She’s well worth your time. “A Lantern in Her Hand” is my favorite of hers. It’s the story of a woman who died “while the bacon burned and the children played run sheep run in her yard.” She reminded me so much of my grandmother.

        • Deb Watley

          I will have to check out her work! Thanks for reminding me of her! Her home is not that far from Willa Cather’s, either. I should visit both.

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