Summer is coming up and I’ve been thinking about summer vacation and travel.
People travel all over the world based on their interests. For example, do you love tiny houses like me? There are tiny house villages where you can go and experience life in a tiny house for vacations. Not appealing? We have a family friend who is a roller-coaster enthusiast and he travels the country taking short and sometimes long vacations to places based on amusement park locations. Other people travel to places that have good beaches or hiking or skiing.
I’m not huge fan of roller-coasters. Once I had a kid I became a big, fragile chicken apparently. Beaches are nice and all for a bit. I am not a fan of the cold so skiing is out.
But, other than tiny houses, what I do really love most (other than my family) are books. Where do I go to immerse myself fully in something I love so much, like one would go the coral reef (for now until it’s gone) for scuba diving or Grecco-Roman historian enthusiasts might travel around to Pompeii or other ancient sites in Europe. What about a vacation for book lover? What would that look like?
I went in search and here’s what I found…
For the Adventurer
The obvious vacation destination for book lovers is Universal Studios Florida’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even if you’re not a fan of the books or the movies, this place looks unbelievably cool. If you’ve ever been to Disney World or Universal Studios then you know the effort with which they ensure every detail is perfect and every turn of a corner is thrilling.
Traipse down Diagon Alley, dine at Hogwarts or the Leaky Cauldron, buy a wand if you like. You can even ride the Hogwarts’ Express. I think I just love the fact that it’s a theme park that is completely fashioned after a book. That’s an amazing thing.
For the Fantasy Lover
Do you love the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Game of Thrones? All things with kings and elves and fantastical realms. Well, guess what, you can get a little piece of that on vacation in Montana. That’s right – the great plains of the US where I just imagine miles and miles of grass and cows. Apparently, I’d be wrong. There’s other stuff too – like The Shire of Montana.
This is like my tiny house obsession meets my book obsession. It’s kind of perfect. And you can rent one right through VRBO. Why have I not done this yet?
Want even more Hobbit-themed vacation spots? Then head over to Matamata, New Zealand and visit Hobbiton, which is apparently a very faithful recreation of the places described in the books, down to the hobbit holes and the Party Tree by the lake. This place looks truly magical. Wait, I want to go here too!
For the Beach Reader
Love books and the beach? The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon might be the perfect spot for your vacation. The hotel features Author-themed rooms for authors including Amy Tan, Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest, Jules Verne, Herman Melville, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling (complete with an owl in a cage) and even Dr. Suess. There is also a library reading area.
You had me at Jane Austen!
For the Bookish Camper
Don’t want to lug your books in a tent and risk them getting ruined? Wish you could escape into the woods and read among the trees, but without them dropping leaves and acorns on you. A “Library in the Woods” like this one in upstate New York created by a company called Studio Padron might be the perfect answer for you. Only problem? You’ll need to make friends with the owner of the property because it’s a guest house! Still, maybe more of these will pop up!
For the World Traveler or Anyone Who Ever Wanted to Live in a Bookstore
If you don’t already live in Japan, here’s yet another reason to visit. There are 3 locations for this Book and Bed, which touts itself as an “accommodation bookshop.” It’s definitely not for people who want privacy. But if you want to stay around books all the time and talk to others about books, this is the place for you. Plus you can pop out and check out other book-related activities in cities like Tokyo if you stay here.
For the Lover of Classics like Jane Austen
Did anyone ever see that movie Austenland where the adorable Keri Russel, who is obsessed with Jane Austen goes away for a weekend to role play like she’s living in a Jane Austen novel? Well, I did and I thought – I would love to do that, except without the romance stuff since I’m married. And, guess what, you can!
The Governor’s House, an estate hotel in Hyde Park, Vermont offers Jane Austen weekends, where you can dress up in period clothing, take tea, ride in carriages and talk to other Jane Austen lovers (also known as Janeites) about how you also love Jane Austen. Be still my heart!
Anyone know of any other great vacation spots for lit lovers?