A Vacation Every Bookworm Loves: A BookCation!

by | August 28

Summer is almost over, but for me that’s the perfect time to head out on vacation! If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, check out one of these vacation destinations, perfect for any book-lover!

From a beachy vacay town to a small European city, there’s plenty to do while soaking up the sun, sangria, and books. Pack your bags, and grab your passport and summer reading list: it’s the perfect time for one last summer BookCation!  

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Porto, Portugal  

As someone who is obsessed with Harry Potter, this location is at the top of my list. I’m actually heading to Portugal to visit this beautiful city, and you can bet I’ll be stopping by this bookstore: Livraria Lello. It’s a magical place that is said to have inspired some of the locations in Harry Potter (Flourish and Blotts, The Hogwarts Library, and the staircases around the castle). J.K. Rowling frequented this bookstore when she lived in Porto in the early ’90s, and she wrote the first draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in nearby Majestic Café —another bookish location I’ll be visiting.  

The Outlander Series Bundle: Books 1, 2, 3, and 4

The Outlander Series Bundle: Books 1, 2, 3, and 4

by Diana Gabaldon

Edinburgh, Scotland 

Edinburgh is the unofficial literary capital of the U.K. I could make a whole list of just Harry Potter–related destinations…but I’ll give you one more here only. This is the other place where J.K. Rowling worked on her draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  

Outlander fans will love Edinburgh too! Many of the iconic scenes from the series were filmed in Edinburgh, so you can feel like you are on the set! A few must-see locations include: Craigmillar Castle, The Signet Library, and Summerhall.  

Edinburgh is also the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the home of the famed Sherlock Holmes statue. Looking for more bookish things to do there? Check out the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Edinburgh International Book Festival!  

Goodbye, Paris

Goodbye, Paris

by Anstey Harris

Paris, France

I had to include Paris! So many famous writers spent time in this GORGEOUS city. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and many others wrote their masterpieces while living in the City of Lights. Paris not only was the home to many writers, but there are also so many books written about this city (like Goodbye, Paris) as well. It’s one of my favorite places in the world—I could so easily move there and just eat French pastries while reading at all the outdoor cafés.  

Must-visit bookish locations include: Café de Flore, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, and Le Rosebud. Want more inspiration? Check out this list. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Movie Tie-In Edition)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Movie Tie-In Edition)

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Guernsey, Channel Islands 

Have you watched  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  on Netflix?  It’s the new bookish movie (adapted from a book with the same name) that everybody is raving about! 

The story is set  shortly  after WWII but shows flashbacks of the island and its inhabitants during the war, when  residents tried to protect the land, and each other, from the (real-life) Nazi occupation. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  follows  a writer, Juliet,  who receives a letter from a pig farmer, Dawsey, from Guernsey. In his poetic letters, Dawsey explains how he and his neighbors founded a book club to help distract them from the war. Juliet is so intrigued by Dawsey’s story that she decides to travel to the island, meet the  members of the  book club,  and write about the hardships the islanders endured. Check out the book and movie to find out how this story plays out,  then visit the  real  island of Guernsey yourself! 

And if you’re looking for something to read on your travels to Guernsey,  check out this list from Off the Shelf! 

The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries

by Meg Cabot

San Francisco, CA 

Bibliophiles will love visiting the many bookish hot spots in this Bay area city! From the firehouse apartment that is featured in The Princess Diaries movie to one of the area’s favorite indie bookstores: City Lights.  

Visit Jack London’s fave watering hole, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, then head over to Vesuvio Café, which was a gathering place for many Beat Generation writers like Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac.   

The San Francisco Chronicle put together this interactive map of the many bookish locations in “The Literary City”!   

The Spring Girls

The Spring Girls

by Anna Todd

New Orleans, LA

This festive city is filled not only with tasty food and strong cocktails, but it’s also home to an amazing literary scene. All things that I love! Booklovers can wander the streets of the French Quarter, where there are a ton of great bookstores like the Faulkner House Books.  

Then channel your inner Hemingway and stop by Hotel Monteleone—one of his favorite spots to drink and write. Anne Rice and John Grisham also enjoyed unwinding at the famed hotel.  

Need a break from sipping those hurricanes? Visit one of the many houses of authors who called this city home—from William Faulkner to Tennessee Williams.  

And for a bit of light reading while you’re there, check out The Spring Girls—a modern retelling of Little Women, set in New Orleans.  

The Favorite Sister

The Favorite Sister

by Jessica Knoll

New York, NY 

As Alicia Keys sings in Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind" song, “These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you!” It’s very easy to find inspiration on the streets of New York! It’s home to hundreds of writers and the setting of thousands of books. 

It’s no surprise that all the major publishing houses have their offices in NYC. There is a plethora of bookish places to visit in the city too. From Mark Twain’s house to Jack Kerouac’s apartment. There is something in New York for every bibliophile. Bring good walking shoes because there is a very long list of places you should visit! And while you’re here, check out The Favorite Sister—a book featuring a reality TV series set in New York City.  

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Saimah works on the Corporate Digital Marketing team at Simon & Schuster. She is a die-hard Harry Potter fan and loves dystopian fiction! She also enjoys reading celeb memoirs, modern romances and murder mysteries. When she's not reading, she is binge-watching her favorite shows, finding the best roof deck bars in the city and watching sporting events (while defending her Cleveland sports teams!).