Mixing the love of reading with a love for travel can be an ideal way to catalyze an interest in both. There are numerous national parks and memorials that commemorate beloved authors and their oeuvres, each providing a taste of the author’s personality, as well as the personalities of various characters. Visitors can slip into the minds of favorite authors and see their working and living environments that inspired books that have lasted generations.
Dr. Seuss National Memorial
21 Edwards Street
Visiting the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts is an ideal and fun way to celebrate the man who wrote quirky beloved children’s books. Born in 1904 as Theodor Seuss Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – it was his mother who encouraged his rhyming phrases and love of alliteration, by chanting rhymes throughout his childhood. The museum features five bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss in the midst of working at his drawing board, with the Cat in the Hat standing nearby as the iconic muse, as well as sculptures of Horton the Elephant, the Grinch and Yertle the Turtle.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
532 North 7th Street
There are many famous buildings in the City of Brotherly love, one of which is the former residence of Edgar Allen Poe. Perched on Seventh Street, this is where he wrote such famous short stories as “The Black Cat” and “The Raven”. In addition to learning about the suspenseful scribe’s history as well as how his works have inspired generations of creative minds since, visitors will also play sleuth by deciphering the code etched on the head of the Poe model and pouring over antiquated books and letters.
Louisa May Alcott – Orchard House
399 Lexington Road
Home to Louisa May Alcott, she lived there with her family and wrote Little Women during 1868. The story was set in the house, and has since made lovers of the classic story feel as if they are transported in the book when visiting. Reservations are required as this is an architectural treasure that is by tour only. The advance notice is well worth it, as visitors can view quaint pictures and mottoes when in the study, see the kitchen where Louisa and her sisters – Anna and May – preserved food and ironed clean laundry, tour the Dining Room where conversations tended to orbit around ending slavery, view the parlor, where one Alcott sister was married, and, most importantly, see Louisa’s chamber. With her vivid imagination and mercurial temperament, it was always important for her work and herself to have a room that was her own.