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Three Literary Escapes For Book Lovers

If you had to guess the biggest sources of travel inspiration, books might not be at the top of your list. Yet, the written word continues to be one of the most compelling sources of driving wanderlust in travelers. According to a recent survey by Expedia, over 78 percent of respondents said that books have inspired their vacations in some form. That’s a surprisingly high number at first glance. But upon deeper reflection, it’s easy to see how much books, or favorite authors or characters have come to influence our collective psyche and passions. In that vein, we’ve rounded up a few our favorite destinations that have deep literary roots — many of which you’d never suspect — for your next literary exploration.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is one of those cities that is dripping with literary history, yet is too often overlooked. Landmarks lie on almost every corner, and are often refreshingly unheralded by grand markings or museums. You could wander around the city’s ballast stone streets. You’ll pass by the first homes bought by writer and activist Frederick Douglass as a free man; or wander past the pubs where Edgar Allen Poe had his last drink; or meander past former homes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein or Dorothy Parker. The city is an endless maze of literary history. Baltimore is also home to one of the world’s best Book Festivals, which will also coincide with the fun LightCity event this November.

Santiago, Chile

While we often think of Chile for its incredible landscapes, the county is also home to some of the word’s greatest writers and poets. To name a few, Isabel Allende, Gabriela Mistral, poet Nicanor Parra, novelist Roberto Bolaño , feminist novelist and short story writer María Luisa Bombal, Marcela Serrano, and Pablo Neruda. Yes, you can take tours and view their homes. But perhaps the greatest way to take in their greatness? Seeing their influence in the murals, book cafés, sculptures and even on the money!

The Scottish Highlands

Many of the world’s great myths and medieval tales came from adventures in the Scottish Highlands. One of the best ways to take in the  surroundings is actually through a guided adventure, like REI’s Scotland Family Adventure. Guests will get to live out their favorite tales like King Arthur, through witnessing medieval castles. They’ll visit the mystical Loch Ness. They’ll try archery in the heart of the Cairngorms and hand-feed reindeer. As a literary bonus, travelers will ride on the famous Harry Potter steam train — the same one in the movies.