Literary Vacation - Anne of Green Gables
What Is A Literary Vacation?
A literary vacation is a great way to take a beloved tale and bring it to life through travel. Literary vacations can be a great grown up getaway or a fun educational experience for children.
The Book: Anne of Green Gables (1908)
By: L. M. Montgomery
The Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Age Group: Families with children ages 8 - 14
Anne and her literary peers which include Kate Douglas Wiggin’s Rebecca and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Mary where all written by a new generation of authoress’. Women were discovering a new sense of autonomy and fighting of rights. Women were setting down the cross stitching and making their way to the voting booths and the literature reflected this with independent, curious and spunky little girls as the main characters. Anne, with her adventurous mind and hair as vibrant as her personality as been catching the attention of readers for over one hundred years now, causing her story to be continuously in print, films to be made about her and there is even a National Park in Canada devoted to her.
One of the reasons we love to love Anne is because of the scrapes she gets herself into. We can all relate to her desire to be loved, go on an adventure and be someone else. On of the most memorable of her shenanigans is the chapter when she is fed up with red hair and buys dye when no grown up is home and tried to make her hair black only there is a terrible mix up and poor Anne ends up with head of green hair.
Children can identify with Anne’s excitement and enthrallment with the world around her and adults can be reminded not to lose that awe.
There is no place to collect a little bit of Anne’s imagination and delight in life than at her home, Green Gables, on Prince Edward Island (PEI).
Prince Edward Island National Park is the home of Green Gables, a home that once belonged to the authors cousins and is the setting that inspired Anne’s home. The home is set up as it would have been if Anne had been a real little girl and had lived there with her adopted family of Marilla and Matthew. After you wander through the home and spot things such as the flowers in Anne’s rom or the mouse traps in the pantry head on out to the trails and pathways throughout the park.
Follow the nature trails to find locations in the book such as The Haunted Wood and Lovers Lane. As you walk in the footsteps of Anne be sure to keep an eye out of the signs that quote passages from the book, or better yet bring your copy of the book along and find the parts in the book that mention the place where you are standing.
When visiting the Park Charlottetown is the nearest town and is important to your stay as it’s the place with the beds and food but there are also a number of things right in town that will add to the Anne themed vacation. A stage version of Anne of Green Gables runs throughout the summer months and a stop at Anne’s Tea Room for scones and strawberry preserves made from the authors recipe is lovely. Throughout the area there are many shops and attractions that capitalize on the little girl the island calls their own. Some are a bit more commercial, such as Rainbow Valley, which has little to do with the book other than it’s name, it is a mini theme park of sorts with miniature gold and some rides. This might be a good option for a family with children who like a bit more action than a museum or nature trail can provide. On the other hand if your family is all about theAnne there is Avonlea, a mini village with costumed docents and period activities that you may enjoy. And of course in Silver Bush there is The Anne of Green Gables Museum which is different than the Home in the National Park because rather than walking through Anne’s home it is made up of exhibits telling about Anne’s stories, the author’s life and the history of Prince Edward Island. No matter what sort of literary vacation is right for your family from historic homes and the theater to mini golf and bike rentals Prince Edward Island and Anne can provide it for you.