Beyond Words — A Literary Road Trip Through Massachusetts

For book lovers, the state of Massachusetts is a dream come true. Its quiet, unassuming towns host a who's who of American literary history. If tracing the steps of your favorite classic author sounds like how you want to spend your next vacation, here are three great — and easy — places to visit.

Concord. The small town of Concord is nearly royalty when it comes to American writers. Undoubtedly the most famous residence in this area is that of the Alcott family. Daughter Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women here, and you can tour the house to see all its 19th century glory. Look for the sisters' drawings on the wall and the desk where Louisa worked. After staying overnight in a charming local hotel or inn, be sure to visit Henry David Thoreau's tranquil Walden Pond, the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, and all the famous graves in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Lenox and Pittsfield. The vibrant town of Lenox is home to both a literary and architectural destination. In 1902, author Edith Wharton designed her own home, called The Mount, which still stands as a gorgeous multi storey mansion with expansive gardens. After visiting this beautiful estate, stay at a quaint hotel in Lenox and visit nearby Pittsfield the next day. At Pittsfield, you can tour the very room where Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick (among other things). 

Boston. This historical and vital city offers ways to eat, drink, and walk in your favorite authors' steps. You can visit Jacob Wirth Restaurant at 31 Stuart Street to eat where past patrons like Jack Kerouac and Robert Parker dined. Gaze at Benjamin Franklin's birthplace and imagine the first reading of A Christmas Carol at the Tremont Temple. Are you more of a journalist? Stop by Newspaper Row or the offices of the pioneering magazine, The Colored American. You can tour or see the former locations of residences of such writers as:

  • Margaret Fuller
  • Henry Adams
  • Robert Frost
  • Lois Lowry
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Robin Cook
  • Khalil Gibran

No matter what genre or period of writing is your favorite, you can probably find its history in Massachusetts. And because of the state's long and storied history, you'll enjoy a place that embraces its culture. Small towns offer historical inns and beautiful resort hotels in which to relax and even compose your own artistic masterpieces. And you can combine your literary vacation with trips to historical sites, great educational institutions, and famous monuments. So why not get started planning today? For more information or advice on lodging, contact a business such as Oak Tree Inn.