Do you need an idea for a summer vacation or anytime? I discovered a website; US Nationwide Literary Road Trips. The website, maintained by Author Adventures, offers 4 different routes.
Trip #1 – Bad Boys Interactive US Road Trip – tribute to the guys with gusto, writers whose fearlessness won hearts and earned respect. Starts in the Northeast, heads South, moves to the West, traveling to the Midwest and returning to the Northeast.
Trip #2 – Pioneering Women Writers – drive the route of history-making women writers. Walk in their footsteps. Starts in the Northeast, heading to the South, on to the Midwest, to the Southwest, to the northern Midwest and return to the East Coast.
Trip #3 – Wagon Tour for Laura Ingalls Wilder Fans – Visit each of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homes and home environments:
- Pepin, Wisconsin
- Independence Kansas
- Walnut Grove and Spring Valley, Minnesota
- Burr Oak, Iowa
- De Smet, South Dakota
- Mansfield, Missouri
Also recommended is to stop at Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa to see its ongoing Wilder family exhibits.
Trip #4 – The Wagon Tour – War Writer – Starts in the Northeast, heading South, heading West to the northern Midwest, from the Midwest returning to the Northeast for the final stop of the US loop.
If you are willing to go the extra distance, you can add these unusual stops:
- Julia Child’s kitchen at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in DC
- Homer Hickam, of West Virginia, known as the main character of the book Rocket Boys that inspired the movie October Sky.
- John Graves who worked to preserve the Brazos in Texas.
If these trips do not interest you or are too long for the time you have, click on the national page search by state or click on the state pages (which new information is added to first before the national page) and create your own trip. Click Nebraska and you can visit sites associated with:
- Loren Eiseley, Lincoln
- Bess Streeter Aldrich, Elmwood
- Malcom X, Omaha
- Black Elk, Blair
- John Neihardt, Bancroft
- Wright Morris, Central City
- Willa Cather, Red Cloud
- Mari Sandoz, Chardron
For even more opportunities, the Literary Landmarks Association, a program overseen by United for Libraries, offers information on 187 author-related landmarks. Here is an article from American Libraries Magazine:
Enjoy your literary road trip which ever one you chose or create your own!