5. Inspiration is all around us.

Literary sites also show how writers used their environments in their work.

In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson stayed in a hotel in Monterey, Calif., after traveling over from his home in Scotland. He didn’t write anything of note while there, but the scenery, Spanish influences, and a local legend about buried coins later went into his most famous book, Treasure Island.

Henry David Thoreau’s account of building a cabin in the woods made Walden Pond into an iconic place in the American imagination. Mark Twain did such a good job of depicting his Hannibal, Mo., hometown in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that locals talk about “Becky Thatcher’s house” as if she’d been a real person.

It goes to show that inspiration is everywhere, even in your own backyard. After all, to these writers, these sites weren’t famous. They were just home.

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