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Top Literary Destinations To Inspire Writers

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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We all have our reasons for traveling. Inspiration and curiosity can hit at any time. For those who love the written word, these historic destinations have been graced by some of the most legendary writers of all time. Many people visit to pay homage, while others go in hopes that some of that creative energy will flow their way.

Havana, Cuba

In 1939, Hemingway moved just outside of Havana, Cuba to Lookout Farm or Finca Vigía. This is where he wrote a good chunk of For Whom the Bell Tolls, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote The Old Man and the Sea there, winning the Pulitzer and asserting himself as one of America’s greats.

Hemingway’s House | By Gorupdebesanez | Wiki Commons

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Cartagena, Colombia

Passages from Love in the Time of Cholera make it clear that Gabriel Garcia Marquez drew much of his inspiration from the Colombian town of Cartagena. As an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town is marked with cobblestone plazas, giant churches, and colorful buildings offering lots of creative inspiration.

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Elephant House in Edinburgh is proud to boast that it housed J.K. Rowling during the early drafts of Harry Potter. Inside, you can even see a small shrine to the author including articles and photos from Rowling’s early days.

The Elephant House | Photo via elephanthouse.biz

San Francisco, CA

The Vesuvio Café was established in 1948 and soon became the stomping grounds of legendary writers including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and others from the Beat Generation.  If you are in the area, be sure to also check out the renowned City Lights Bookstore across the street – one of the last iconic, brick and mortar bookstores around.


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Paris, France

France is the country with the most Nobel Prize for Literature winners and its capital has been home to some of the world’s greatest writers of all time. Café Procope is the oldest cafe in Paris and the former hangout of Rousseau, Voltaire and Diderot, making it a frequented destination for writers and creatives of all genres.

Cafe Procope | Photo via procope.com
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