If you’re a bibliophile and a lover of road trips, you might try visiting some of these literary destinations across Kansas and Missouri. Bring your favorite audiobook and plenty of snacks for the road—some of these are a bit of a drive.
William S. Burroughs House
The historic Burroughs House sits on Learned Avenue in Lawrence. Burroughs was a famous poet and writer, though in recent years has become more notorious for his drug use and the fact that he accidentally shot and killed his wife. This house is privately rented and not open to the public, but Lawrence does offer a nature trail and park dedicated to him. 900 E. 15th Street, Lawrence.
Although Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, this Harlem Renaissance poet spent much of his childhood in Lawrence. While his original childhood home is no longer present on Alabama Street where it used to be, there are other ways to learn about Hughes. At the Watkins Museum of History, there’s an exhibit and statue honoring him. There’s also an inscription from his poem entitled “Youth” carved at the entrance of City Hall. 1047 Massachusetts St., Lawrence.
L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of OZ may be fantasy, but you’ll feel just like Judy Garland walking through the OZ Museum. Explore artifacts and memorabilia from the original 1939 movie set, and see collectibles from OZ history. 511 Lincoln Ave., Wamego. 785-458-8686.
Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
If you’re a fan of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, you might try exploring Mark Twain’s childhood home in Hannibal. The Museum houses first editions of all of Twain’s work, his typewriter, and the renowned white jacket he’s seen wearing in many photos. 120 N Main St., Hannibal. 573-221-9010.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Rocky Ridge Home
While Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in many different places during her childhood (including this homestead that’s in Independence, Kansas), her home on Rocky Ridge farm is where she wrote the famous Little House book series. The Wilder homestead features the original farmhouse, with Laura’s preserved furniture and writing desk. 3060 State Hwy A, Mansfield. 417-924-3626.