160 years ago today, Robert Louis Stevenson made his debut into the world in Edinburgh, Scotland, growing up to pen such tales as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A lesser-known work is his 1879 travel narrative Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, which later inspired the title for John Steinbeck’s road trip memoir Travels with Charley. Even Google is getting in on the act with an adventure-themed graphic paying homage to Stevenson’s tales on their home page today.
There are three stateside museums dedicated to the scribe — the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum in the Napa Valley, the Stevenson House in Monterey, and a Memorial Cottage in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains — and he’s also featured at the Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Feeling adventurous? Here are four lesser-known places to follow in Stevenson’s footsteps:
Robert Louis Stevenson House, Edinburgh, Scotland
The writer’s childhood home (left) at 17 Herriot Row in Edinburgh, a townhouse located along Queen Street Gardens, is a private residence owned by the Macfie family. They occasionally accept overnight lodgers, and you can also arrange to have lunch or tea at the house.
Point Lobos State Reserve, Point Lobos, California
Legend has it that Stevenson used the rugged coastal landscape around Point Lobos as a model for the terrain in Treasure Island.
Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, St. Helena, California
Recently-married and cash-strapped, Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, took up residence in Silverado, an abandoned mining town on the slopes of Mount St. Helena in northern California. The site of the ramshackle bungalow where they lived for two months is part of his namesake state park, and a marker identifies its location.
Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Apia, Samoa
After braving the Adirondacks during the dead of winter (his ink sometimes froze in its pot) seeking an open-air cure for his tuberculosis, Stevenson headed for the South Seas, probably to thaw out. His final residence is now a museum in Apia, Samoa, where his gravesite overlooks the sea.