It’s no secret that the world’s most well known literary figures’ finest works were often inspired through their travels. In honor of National Book Month, why not take a trip to visit a historic destination that also ties in to a literary legend?
Stephen King, Estes Park, Colorado
Master thriller Stephen King was inspired by the surroundings of Estes Park and his stay at the area’s Stanley Hotel. While exploring the Georgian Architecture of the grand hotel, guests can also take advantage of ample wildlife and rugged peaks that surround the area.
The Stanley Hotel, (seen above) listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shows the Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining on a continuous loop for guests in rooms. We’re going to go with … terrifying. Stephen King’s idea for The Shining came while he was staying in room 217, and it was during a time when the hotel was nearly empty as it was closing for an extended time during off-season. We’d perhaps not suggest doing this over Halloween weekend – unless that’s your idea of fun.
Jack Kerouac, Denver, Colorado
Denver is one of three biggest geographic influencers in Jack Kerouac’s work On the Road. Kerouac’s companion Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty in the novel) grew up in Denver, and in the book the two spent considerable time around Larimer Street, and the downtown Denver area.
Visit The Brown Palace Hotel, one of the remaining historic hotel properties where travelers and can stay and follow in the steps of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. Other spots to visit include My Brother’s Bar, one of Kerouac’s favorite Denver hangouts, and Charlie Brown’s, another frequent Kerouac, Cassady and Ginsberg haunt.
Washington Irving, Westchester (Hudson Valley), New York
In 1835, after spending much of his adult life living out of a suitcase, Washington Irving returned to the area made famous by his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and purchased a small Dutch farmhouse beside the Hudson River.
The Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center sits adjacent to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Tarrytown, which was the home of the noted mid-nineteenth century author. Sunnyside is a favorite destination for guests of the Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center. It’s also where Irving spent the last decade of his life devoted to what he considered his greatest triumph: a five-volume biography of George Washington.
Mark Twain, Lake Tahoe, California
Mark Twain famously depicted the Lake Tahoe area in his book Roughing It. A quote from the book describes the Tahoe area: “At last the lake burst upon us – a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft three thousand feet higher still!”
The Resort at Squaw Creek – Tahoe is the perfect spot to experience Lake Tahoe as Mark Twain envisioned – albeit in a slightly less ‘rough’ setting. The Resort at Squaw Creek is also conveniently located near the recently opened Mark Twain Cultural Center in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe.
Dorothy Parker, New York City
Author Dorothy Parker’s famed “Round Table” met at The Algonquin Hotel. She patronized New York City landmark for several years, beginning in 1919. In addition to hosting a number of famous authors for literary discussions and events, the hotel also holds the claim of being the founding site of The New Yorker magazine.
If you’re still keen to explore, hop down to the Hotel Chelsea (closed as of August 1), to marvel at the famed facade that housed Sir Arthur Clarke while he wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey and was also the place where Dylan Thomas was staying when he passed away in 1953.