Using History or Literature as a theme for travel 

We spoke to JoAnn who focuses her book Secret Washington on locations with interesting back stories which inspired us to think about using an Author, Artist or some other Historic theme as planning tool for Travel!

1. Artists

How about choosing an Artist you have been passionate about your whole life such as Monet to plan your trip around, visiting where he grew up, seeing each of his museums where his art is and including time in the Gardens he designed? There are even opportunities to paint in the very garden he planted years and years ago.

Giverny Vernon

Following the Footsteps of Van Gogh

2. Authors/Books

Much like Artists Authors are inspired by places they know, places they visited, or places they created from their vivid imaginations. Whether you are a fan of the Harry Potter books, or want to time travel thru London via Sherlock Holmes there are so many ways to make this a day out of your trip, or base your whole travel around this theme. My first trip to London I found I could take many free walks inspired by Charles Dickens and visit his home, and some of the locations he wrote about in The Christmas Carol. The guides were very informative and standing right on the streets that Dickens was walking really made the trip more memorable!

This category is full of possibilities- fantasy locations such as Harry Potter, to real life places like the “Bridges of Madison County”.

Some of our suggestions here: Dickens London Tours

3. Music

Remember the first Band or Musician you had a crush on – you wanted to know everything, where they lived, their favorite foods and would go see them in any city that you could– well why let that stop now?? The “Beatles” homes, locations where they played still attract many many tourists each year! Then there are more Historic Musicians and composers like Mozart’s Vienna, the city he loved and worked in, you can visit his home, one of the small venues he used to play in and so much more! Just like the Beatles this can be an afternoon or you can do a full week on this “Theme”. Tours by locals is a site we have both used and recommend for local guides who live in this places and are passionate about the tours they lead.

Mozart Vienna Tours

In Mozart’s Footsteps

What are some “Music” destinations on your wish list?

How about some of these Beatles Tour itineraries? 


4. Movies or TV

You might not be able to travel into Space, or become a gangster but how about stepping into the scenes of your favorite TV shows or movies? Movies like “Field of Dreams” are real locations that host special events and allow you to relive some of the magic you felt watching the Movie! TV shows like “Three’s Company” with its opening filmed on the bicycle path in Santa Monica, or the Brady Bunch house- these are all places you might find you want to go see! You could do a theme like Sitcoms or Hollywood houses, or just focus on one movie like “Lord of the Rings”. Using these ideas you can search on the internet, read thru the script or look into the filming notes at the beginning of the Movie or via some research. I imagine many of the places Hallmark films it’s Movies, and Holiday theme shows have spawned many a search to go to these beautiful little towns or quaint destinations.

Here are a few to get you started:

Starline Tours

Field of Dreams Moviesite – (Cindy and I are both from IOWA so we love this!)

5. Historic Eras/ Historic Events

Sometimes we wish we could back in time to witness an important event, meet an amazing individual or just experience an entire era, the dress, the drinks, and the architecture! Some cities seem to maintain this feel, and sometimes we want to follow the footsteps of an event, such as World War 2, or an ancestors journey. Do some research if this is a personal journey, get out a map and review documents like birth certificates, deeds or old addresses logged into a family bible. There are lots of companies that do self guided journeys like car tours of the Gettysburg battlefield, or WW 2 sites in Europe. You can also find tours for these types of journeys or contact individual cities like Boston for paths.

Here are a few Cindy and I shared- Boston Freedom Trail, Civil War Tours and WW2 Train Journey.

6. Cities- Historic Parks

Sometimes these seem a bit touristy and cliché but on the other hand a wonderful way to take life a bit slower, get some history and experience a place in another manner! Many places have Historic Parks or cities where they celebrate Historic events by dressing and having events to commemorate an era. Historic Places you may want to consider for this are places like Williamsburg Virginia where the docents are in period attire and will answer questions as if they are in the era they are depicting.

Here is a link for more information on Williamsburg.

We hope we have given you some more suggestions on creating some unique destinations or ideas for Travel! Take a listen to our YouTube video and hope you will subscribe to keep this content coming to you!

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