Where You Should Take Your Next Coastal Vacation, Based on Your Favorite Writer
Ready to chase a writer to the coast? Find a favorite among these five irresistible destinations.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Home of Pat Conroy
Book notes: One of the great chroniclers of the Lowcountry was a student in this town and returned to his alma mater to teach high school. And while his official time in this part of the South may have been brief, the Lowcountry plays a prominent role in many of Conroy's best-loved novels, including The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides.
Pilgrimage power move: The newly launched Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort aims to be a center for meetings and book clubs, and for encouraging the literary life that Conroy embodied.
Key West, Florida
Home of Ernest Hemingway
Book notes: Hemingway wrote all or part of five books, a play, and two of his most famous short stories in Key West, where he lived from 1928 to 1939. It was also here that he forged his macho image: fishing, drinking, carousing.
Pilgrimage power move: Head to Captain Tony's Saloon, where Hemingway went to drink his scotch-and-sodas—and where he met his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, when the bar was called Sloppy Joe's.
Home of Elin Hilderbrand
Book notes: Her millions of fans know that this wildly popular novelist of summer beach-read romance novels lives on the island that is often the setting of her work.
Pilgrimage power move: "Nantucket—a Weekend with Elin Hilderbrand" is a cult bucket-list event that already has a waiting list for the 2018 dates in January.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Home of William Faulkner, Anne Rice, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and so many more
Book notes: Myriad authors have called New Orleans home, but these may be her most famous sons and daughters. Some, such as Capote, were born here. Others, including Williams, claimed the city as their spiritual home. And then others, such as Rice, have created a spiritual tourism in the city.
Pilgrimage power move: This depends on your favorite author. A good place to start may be at the Carousel Bar & Lounge at the Hotel Monteleone, joining the legions of literati who've eaten, drunk, and slept here. Williams's favorite hotel, it's the headquarter hotel for the annual literary festival every March that bears his name.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Home of Lucy Maud Montgomery
Book notes: Fans of the plucky, redheaded (and eponymous) heroine of Anne of Green Gables will know that this windswept and pastoral 139-mile-long island on Canada's Atlantic Coast is the setting for the beloved novel, published in 1908. It is also the birthplace of the novelist, and where she wrote her famous work.
Pilgrimage power move: Catch Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, an annual high point of the Charlottetown Festival, which runs from late June through late September.