Famous YA Novel Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
Posted on 26 February 2018
Books can paint a picture that can seem impossible to see in real life. Gorgeous landscapes and colors fill the minds of readers, all having their separate interpretation. It doesn’t have to be all in your head, though. You can actually find many places that are found in these books that will blow you away. Here we will go over some of the best places you can actually visit in real life to get a true vision of where everything happened in the book. Get ready to live like your favorite characters in real life!
Twilight - Forks, Washington
The woods have always been a fantastic place for romance and mystery. We have seen it in Shakespeare, and we have even seen it in Vampire romance novels. The huge hit, Twilight, had a majority of its story take place in Forks, Washington. This town is just as mysterious in the books as it is in real life. When you go to the Bogachiel State Park, you can imagine how the story played out right in front of you. You will most likely catch some rain though, just like the book. Think of it as a full immersion experience. If you are feeling really wild, you can even hike up and camp in the state park’s mountains. Who knows, you may even see some sparkling in the trees… Edward?
Where the Red Fern Grows - Ozark Mountains, Oklahoma/Arkansas
This book might have taken place during the great depression, but the landscape is depicted as the exact opposite. The Ozark mountains are painted in your mind after you read Rawl’s description in the book. In real life, you will be in awe seeing the images actually come true before you. The rugged beauty is complemented with stunning vistas, flowing rivers and waterfalls, and secluded cabins. You can get a piece of heaven that makes you feel completely secluded from the rest of the world. The only difference is that, nowadays, you can really experience the Ozark mountains by staying the night and taking tours or river rafting or hiking. Truly an amazing experience regardless.
Harry Potter - Kings Cross Station, London
Harry Potter superfans are going to love this. Remember platform 9 ¾? Yes, the wall Harry ran through in order to board the Hogwarts Express? Well, the good news is that you can actually visit the exact location where they filmed this! This is Kings Cross Station. Kings Cross has appeared in every Harry Potter film and is everything you imagine from the books. You can even find a sign for platform 9 ¾ where you can take a picture with a cart that is magically going through the wall. Aside from being a pop cultural tourist attraction, the station is remarkable. It is gorgeous inside and out and is sure to inspire the Harry Potter fan inside of you. You can even take the train for a ride to see some really beautiful views of England.
The Hunger Games - North Carolina
The Hunger Games takes place in a future where the United States has been separated into 12 districts and is known as Panem. Unfortunately, we are not able to find these exact places in real life, but the estimated location of District 12 can be found in North Carolina, where the majority of the films were shot as well. For example, the Knight Theatre was used for the Capitol backdrop. The futuristic design is complemented with a strangeness that seems to be only found in one's imagination or a book. This is the location where the tribute interviews took place as well. Believe it or not, there were hardly any changes done to the theatre itself when they started filming. If you want to dive into where the real action was, you will want to see Dupont State Recreational Forest. This happens to be one of the most recognizable places from the first hunger games that tourists and super fans come from all over just to get the real feeling of the book. Finally, you can see where it all started in the Henry River Ghost Town. This town played the role of District 12’s post-apocalyptic village. Probably not the most gorgeous on the list of places, but is sure to spark attention in some eyes. The best part is that all of these places are near each other so you can easily hop in a car and visit them over the span of a day or two.
It truly is an experience to see your imagination come to life with these different locations. Once you see it for yourself, you might step back to evaluate what is real vs. fantasy. The best part is that often books’ fictional towns can be brought to life in real-world locations. Good luck on your trip, and may your imagination take you on a journey.
Jayson is a recent graduate of Arizona State University who lives in Phoenix. Being a lover of books and travel, he's always ready to bust out a light novel and visit new places. He started writing in hope of sharing his experiences with fellow book lovers and travel bugs.