The September 2011 issue Writer’s Digest featured an article “Great Travel Destinations for Writers.” I loved it because I was instantly inspired by the list and their reasons for each city. I love to travel so I decided to create my own list. I simply added Charleston and Ireland to their list but it makes all the difference. I grew up in the shadows of New York City and have been there numerous times but never for anything writing related so I hope to change that soon. I have also been to New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah. I wrote in each city and I will follow the suggestions of Writer’s Digest about places to see or book to read before visiting again.
1.) London- This is my number one ideal destination, not as a writer but a traveler. I want to see 221 B Baker Street, Westminster Abbey, take the Literary London Pub Walk, and visit the British Library.
2.) Paris – I am not a fan of Paris, I have never wanted to go. Not even the recommendation of one of my favorite authors could change my mind. However, between the movie Midnight in Paris and some pictures from my favorite blogger I’ve decided that I need to visit. Hemingway, enough said!
3.) New Orleans*-WD suggests visiting the French Quarter; which I have seen but I plan to stay at the Hotel Monteleone next time or at least to visit Faulkner House Books and Galatoire’s Restaurant. And to immerse myself in seafood, beignets, and a couple of shrimp po’ boys.
4.) Venice- Much like Charleston this is a sentimental, romantic selection. I feel like Venice would inspire me to write beautiful prose and poetry. I just want to roam the city absorbing its ambience; I can absolutely imagine myself eating gelato and people watching outside a trattoria or riding the water bus.
5.) Charleston*- This is probably my favorite city in America. It was on my list of Southern cities to see and it did not disappoint. I am inspired by the city, by merely strolling down King Street or looking at the pineapple fountain or eating at Jim & Nick’s (The Pink Pig). I love to write there and that is enough for me.
6.) Savannah*- It turns out that I have seen almost all of the things on WD’s suggestions for Savannah including a haunted walking tour, walked around and dined in the historic district, saw the Mercer House, Flannery O’Connor’s house, and window shopped on River Street. So I will have to find some other literary sites to visit or mark this spot off of the list.
7.) Boston & Amherst- Boston is a literary city. I added Amherst because it is the home of one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson. I plan to walk through Beacon Hill, visit Boston Athenaeum, and possibly visit Walden Pond. I would also love to visit the house where Malcolm X lived with his half- sister in Roxbury because he recounted his life there in his autobiography.
8.) New York*- As I said I grew up with frequent trips into the city but I would totally be a literary tourist on this trip. I plan to walk Greenwich Village, visit Washington Park and Bryant Park, The Plaza Hotel, the Schomburg Center and Striver’s Row in Harlem, and of course the New York Public Library.
9.) Rome- Of course I want to see big tourist items but I also aim to see the Keats-Shelley House and I want to take the Angels& Demons tour if it is still up and running. I will gorge myself on pasta, wine, and gelato.
10.) All of Ireland- I have an Irish surname (supposedly) and I’ve always felt closely ties to certain aspects of the cultures so for me Ireland is a must see. A quick list of things I’d love to see courtesy of literary tourist. In Dublin: guided tour of the William Butler Yeats Exhibition at the National Library. Literary Pub Crawl. Dublin Writers Museum. Limerick: the Frank McCourt Museum; I would love to see this as a lover of history and to look at the photos. Kerry: Seanchaí Visitor Centre. I just finished reading The Parish and the Hill and am enamored with Kerry so this will be the perfect time to see the place where the characters originated.
11.) San Francisco- As a poet, of course I want to visit City Lights bookstore and the surrounding neighborhood. I also want to eat (a lot) so I will visit the Vesuvio Café as well.
12.) Key West- I have had the chance to visit several times and I keep putting it off, so hopefully this summer I will check this one off. I have to see Hemingway House, eat and drink at Captain Tony’s Saloon and the new Sloppy Joe’s. I also plan to organize a tour of other literary landmarks.