For International Women’s Day, Travel In The Footsteps Of Iconic American Women & Discover Destinations Where They Made History
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually across the globe on March 8, and not only does this inspiring occasion give the world a day to focus its efforts on ambitions such as driving gender balance across the world, but also creates opportunity to recognize and celebrate SHE-roes throughout history who took bold steps to break through barriers, make a unique mark, and pave the way for future generations.
With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com is celebrating International Women’s Day with a list of American women who defied expectations and broke stereotypes, and the destinations where they made history and their stories began. With Booking.com research revealing that three-quarters (75%) of US female travelers won’t take travel for granted and two-thirds (67%) are excited about the possibilities that traveling presents once all restrictions are lifted,1 now is the time to start dreaming of where to visit, as it is safe to do so, to walk in the footsteps of icons like Kamala Harris, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and Sandra Cisneros.
The first female Vice President of the United State and first Black, Asian American person to hold the position, Kamala Harris was born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley, California. America’s Madam Vice President began her legal career after graduating from Howard University and Harvard Law School. She spent much of her career in San Francisco as District Attorney, and then in Los Angeles as Attorney General. In 2017, Harris moved part-time to Washington, D.C., where she became a United States Senator representing the state of California. To celebrate the first female VP in US history, why not travel in her footsteps with a visit to these iconic cities that paved her path.
Where to stay: Travelers will be spoiled with accommodation options in Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the US. LUXE Sunset Boulevard Hotel is located just a stone’s throw away from where Harris lives in the nearby Brentwood neighborhood, and the area is surrounded by two of the city’s most revered educational institutions – the Getty Museum and the University of California, Los Angeles – so visitors will have plenty to see when travelling about town.
If interested in visiting the US capital, you’ll discover a compact city on the Potomac River. The city features many monuments and memorials, perfect for the majority of global travelers (66%)** that choose to travel to a destination for its iconic landmarks. While there, you can even arrange a tour of the official workplace of Kamala Harris when she was a Senator working in the Capitol Building. Since you unfortunately can’t stay overnight in the Madam Vice President’s residence at the US Naval Observatory, book a stay at the nearby Eaton DC four-star hotel. Not only is it walking distance from The White House and the National Mall, but this sleek hotel also offers three on-site bars, a restaurant, and a café.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a former US Supreme Court Justice and in 1993, she was the second woman to be appointed to the Court in the nation’s history. She argued in several landmark cases that achieved gender equality in the US, including United States v. Virginia and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Her work fighting for gender equality started prior to her justiceship, and during the 1970s, she was the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she argued over 300 gender discrimination cases.
Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in a working-class family. She attended Cornell University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in government and finished first in her class in 1954. For law school, Bader Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard Law School and then, due to her husband’s new job in New York, she transferred to Columbia Law School, where she was once again first in her class. She later became the first tenured female professor at Columbia University.
Where to stay: As Bader Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn and later returned to New York City to study and teach at Columbia, she spent much of her life around Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Bowery Hotel offers the perfect base to explore the city and sights that Bader Ginsburg frequented, such as The Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Modern Art, and Russ & Daughters Café. The Bowery Hotel is also just a short walk from a mural honoring the former Supreme Court Justice in the East Village.
While studying at Harvard, as one of only nine women in her class, Bader Ginsburg learned first-hand about gender discrimination. Despite being scrutinized by male classmates, who were angered by the fact that she and her fellow female classmates took spots that could have been offered to males, Bader Ginsburg regardless became the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. The school itself is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Boston. A short distance from the university’s campus, Hotel 1868 is the spot for visitors looking to visit the place that ignited Bader Ginsburg’s desire to fight for equal rights.
A powerhouse on the tennis court, Serena Williams is best known for holding the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles against her current competitors. Together, with her older sister Venus, the world champion is the most recent player to hold all four Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles, simultaneously in 2009 and 2010. Throughout her life, Williams has fought for gender equality on and off the court, and is outspoken on double standards for female players during matches, the need to close the gender pay gap for Black women, and the problems that Black women face during and following childbirth.
Williams spent her childhood in Compton, California, where she started playing tennis at age four. Her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida when she was nine so that she and Venus could receive more coaching in addition to their father’s instruction. As an adult, Williams currently lives just north of Miami, Florida, with her husband Alexis Ohanian, and their daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Where to stay: Canopy West Palm Beach offers travelers an upscale escape where Williams grew up and honed her famous comebacks on the court. This modern and luxurious hotel offers a rooftop bar and an outdoor pool for guests to enjoy and bask in William’s first hometown in Florida that’s close to many beaches, ideal for female travelers who are desiring to take a relaxing trip (50%) and beach break (43%) in the coming year1.
In 2020, Williams and her family moved to a sprawling waterfront home near Miami. Art lovers – like Williams, who displays her art in a custom home gallery – can visit the many museums and galleries in Miami’s Art District. Just a short walk from the area, EAST Miami offers uniquely decorated guest rooms in its bed-and-breakfast style property. Guests at EAST Miami can start each day with a delicious meal at the Breakfast Club and finish the evening at Quinto La Huella, which serves authentic Uruguayan fares.
Megan Rapinoe is famously renowned as leading the US Women’s Soccer Team to victory at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Not only has the soccer player won gold at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the 2015 FIFA World Cup, but she is also an activist championing equal pay for herself and her teammates from the United States Soccer Federation. Rapinoe is an activist for the LGBTQIA+ community and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Rapinoe was born in Redding, California and currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her fiancée and member of the Seattle Storm basketball team, Sue Bird. Both locations are the perfect destinations for anyone wishing to step into Rapinoe’s trailblazing footsteps, when they are comfortable and feel safe to do so.
Where to stay: Feel right at home in Rapinoe’s hometown by staying at the Hope Inn Redding. Well located, this Tudor-style guesthouse is the perfect base to explore the city that has an annual Megan Rapinoe Day on September 10 and a street named in the soccer player’s honor, which is just a short drive from “the Sundial Bridge” and the Turtle Bay Museum and Park. Visitors looking to master their footwork can kick around a ball at the California Soccer Park in the city during their stay.
While Redding is where Rapinoe’s life began, she made Seattle her home in 2012. In fact, the city considers her one of their ambassadors. The spacious accommodations at the Capitol Hill Luxury Apartments are just a short stroll away from The Tin Table, one of Rapinoe’s favorite restaurants, as 33%
of US female travelers are eager to seek out hidden gems (such as new restaurants) to tell their local friends and family about this year1. The accommodations central location allows easy access to Rapinoe’s other favorite spots, like Lake Washington and the Chinatown-International District.
Best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street (1983), Sandra Cisneros is a Chicana writer who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. The only daughter in a family of six brothers, Sandra was inspired by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to read rather than focus solely on domestic work in their household. In her writing, Cisneros focuses on the perspectives of young Latina girls and women, giving a voice to their self-discovery. The writer is a self-proclaimed feminist and supports the #MeToo Movement, advocating that people need to listen to and believe women’s stories.
Where to stay: Among the largest cities in the US and famed for its bold architecture, Chicago has a wide variety of accommodation options. Hotel Essex, located in The South Loop’s culturally rich neighborhood, is the ideal spot for travelers. They can visit two of the city’s most significant art museums – the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum, which enhanced Cisneros’ education and inspired her writing when she was growing up.
After leaving Chicago, the writer made San Antonio, Texas her home, living in an eclectic periwinkle house and working as a writer-in-residence at Our Lady of the Lake University. The second largest Texas city also served as the setting for her 1991 book, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. The Inn on Riverwalk is ideal for those wanting to explore Cisneros’ second home and is just half a mile from the historic King William district where the writer lived. Offering suites with private balconies, this charming bed-and-breakfast is also walking distance from the La Villita Historic Arts Village and Arneson River Theatre.
1Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including from 999 USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 47,728 respondents across 28 markets (1,997 from USA, 1,987 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 1,996 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,994 from Australia, 985 from New Zealand, 1,993 from Spain, 1,993 from Italy, 1,993 from France, 1,984 from UK, 1,989 from Germany, 1,977 from Netherlands, 983 from Denmark, 986 from Sweden, 998 from Croatia, 1,997 from Russia, 999 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,992 from China, 991 from Hong Kong, 1,991 from Thailand, 1,977 from Singapore, 998 from Taiwan, 953 from Vietnam, 1,990 from South Korea, 1,987 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2020.