Books have the ability to transport us to new worlds. From the comfort of home, we can travel the world. This has been an especially important part of reading since the beginning of the pandemic.
But now, with vaccinations on the rise, it’s time to physically go to the places we’ve been reading about! This list of U.S. destinations from beautiful books will make you want to pack your bags today.
1. The Joy Luck Club
San Francisco, California
The Joy Luck Club by the inimitable Amy Tan spans many destinations across China and San Francisco. This intensely beautiful story of memory and hardship focuses on food and family.
Travelers can focus on food and family, too, in the lovely San Francisco. Families should tour the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, either through one of the free guided tours or by wandering through the impressive and educational onsite exhibits.
Visitors to San Francisco can also partake of some of the most famous food and drink in the area. The sourdough bread of Boudin Bakery, a bakery that’s graced San Francisco with heavenly loaves since 1849, and the beer of the Anchor Brewery, brewing since 1896, will delight visitors with great food and a history lesson! And the famous Dim Sum of Good Mong Kok Bakery will make travelers feel like they’re eating a dish right out of the book.
2. Where’d You Go Bernadette?
This delightfully funny novel by Maria Semple might feel familiar as we all escape our homes for the first time in months. The agoraphobic Bernadette goes missing, and her daughter tries to fill in the gaps to find out where she’s gone.
Although we’re not all as adventurous as the characters, some of whom go to Antarctica, we can all enjoy the lovely and unique Seattle, Washington where much of the book is set. It’s no surprise that Washington State is full of great things to do, and in the Pacific Northwest, a fantastic hotel is never far away.
In Seattle, visitors can tour the lovely Japanese Garden, eat at the Space Needle restaurant with its revolving glass floor, and enjoy the unique art scene of the city. Check out the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit and enjoy the beautiful art scattered throughout the lovely gardens!
3. The Great Gatsby
It’s no secret that The Great Gatsby is a fantastic tribute to New York during the jazz age. The novel spends its time on Long Island, a place known for its white sand beaches and historic mansions from a bygone era.
Visitors wanting to get the Gatsby experience can tour mansions that are thought to have inspired the novel and have been used in many films. There are also beautiful lighthouses to see and vineyards and wineries where you can take part in tastings!
4. The Old Man and the Sea
Key West, Florida
Key West is famous for many reasons, not least of which is that Hemingway spent much of his time there and found much inspiration for his writing among the beaches. Key West has many fantastic hotels and historic B&Bs where guests will find relaxing activities and beachy experiences in abundance. Tour Ernest Hemingway’s historic Key West home. Or take some inspiration from the book and enjoy some (much less intense than in the book) fishing!
This massive book by James A. Michener follows several families through the centuries in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia and Maryland.
There are so many things to see along the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis, Maryland is known as America’s sailing capital, and travelers can have their own sailing adventures in the city while staying in one of the many beautiful historic inns in the area. The famous Thomas Point Lighthouse, which opens for tours in June, is another destination that shouldn’t be missed.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories