hotel del coronado
Hotel Del Coronado, the first stop of the Southern California Author Adventures Trail ©Author Adventures

California, a Haven for Imagination

With its historical ties to the Hollywood film industry and stunning national parks, the variety within the California trail is like no other. Yes, you can still dine at the hangout of almost every major American author of the early twentieth century. Yes, you can view magical natural vistas through the eyes of Will Rogers. And, yes, you can even visit the birthplace of Snoopy. Welcome to California.

Our Southern California Author Adventures Trail and Northern California Author Adventures Trail are not to be missed. The SoCal trail runs from San Diego to the famous Hearst Castle. The NoCal trail picks up from there and continues on to Monterey and beyond. Both trails are listed as running south-to-north but reversing the direction works just as well for those traveling north-to-south. Anticipate at least a few days of relaxed travel per trail or a week or two for both.

Southern California Author Adventures Trail:

Click any link below for author and place information.

A. L. Frank Baum (Hotel Del Coronado), Coronado
B. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), La Jolla
C. Robert Schuller, Garden Grove
D. Lewis Carroll and Louie Zamperini, University of Southern California
E. Central Library, Los Angeles
F. Musso and Frank Grill, Hollywood
GWill Rogers, Pacific Palisades
HEdgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzana
I. Scott O’Dell, Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands – if you can, take a detour between this stop and the Hearst Castle to visit Bart’s Books in Ojai,  the largest outdoor independent book store in the US
JHearst Castle, San Simeon

Northern California Author Adventures Trail:

Click any link below for author and place information.

K. John Steinbeck, Monterey
L. Robert Louis Stevenson, Monterey
M. Robinson Jeffers, Carmel
N. John Steinbeck, Salinas
O. Jack London, Oakland
P. Gertrude Stein, Oakland
Q. Literary San Francisco
R. Jack London, Glen Ellen
S. John Muir, Martinez
T. Charles M. Schulz, Santa Rosa

The Central California Coast, where the SoCal Author Adventures Trail and the NoCal Author Adventures Trail meet, near the Eugene O’Neill house. ©Author Adventures

Off the Beaten Path

Three worthwhile California literary destinations not on either of our trails are Fresno, home of landmarks connected to writer William Saroyan; Danville, home of Eugene O’Neill in the Big Sur area; and Julian (near San Diego), where Scott O’Dell’s house has become an Airbnb (now called “Stoneapple Farm Writers Cottage”).

William Saroyan

Since our path hugs the coastline and Fresno is inland, we recommend visiting the Saroyan landmarks on a trip that is independent of either trail. Or, consider starting with Fresno and then travel westward to begin the Northern California trail.

Eugene O’Neill

The Eugene O’Neill house requires time and planning as it can only be accessed by a shuttle bus that picks up passengers in Danville. No personal cars are allowed at the site and tour reservations are required. That said, it is a gorgeous destination affording an unforgettable view from the playwright’s stately home.

Scott O’Dell

Stoneapple Farm Writers Cottage is the Southern California house where Scott O’Dell wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is now an Airbnb in Julian, California. The address is unlisted for privacy reasons, but the owner can be contacted through Airbnb by visitors interested in booking a stay.

Starting in San Diego, our Southern California Trail includes stops A though J:

Our Northern California Trail picks up where the first left off and covers stops K through T:

The total California Author Adventures Trail is below.

Here are two timelines for the California historical site pages:

Major Moments (So Cal)
Template Timeline No Cal
Major Moments (No Cal)