Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: California's Best Trips

If ever a state was made for road trips, it's California.

With its moderate climate, scenic coasts, urban culture, snow-capped peaks, sprawling farmlands, and quirky deserts, every corner of California is ripe and ready to be explored. And California's Best Trips is a great guide to plan your next family vacation in the Golden State.

There are two basic ways to plan a trip:
  1. Region. Choose a specific attraction or region you want to travel to, then pick one of the road trips in that area. The book is divided into three main sections: Northern California (pp. 31-148), Central California (pp. 149-168), and Southern California (pp. 269-363). Each section offers an overview map as well as specific itineraries, attractions, driving instructions, and local dining and hotel options. 
  2. Theme. What really sets this book apart is that if you don't already have a destination in mind, you can build your itinerary around a theme. Choose from seven Classic Road Trips (pp. 8-11), five Scenic Routes (p. 15) or four Historical Routes (p. 22). Explore some of California's Major Cities (pp. 26-29) or slow down in one of the Best Small Towns (p. 17). You can even choose a road trip geared toward children (p. 23) or the great outdoors at one of the national or state parks (p. 23).
A word of caution: make sure you budget ample time and travel expenses to get to the start point and return from the end point of your trip. Most of these are one-way trips from point A to B, and will take significantly longer when you factor in travel time from your home. For example, Road Trip #11 "Trinity Scenic Byway" is 235 miles long and covers some beautiful territory in Northern California. But someone living in San Diego would have to drive 724 miles (11 hours) just to arrive at the base of Mount Shasta and begin the road trip. You'll definitely want to factor that in.

California's Best Trips is a fun and unique tour guide to California. My family can't wait to jump in the minivan and start our next trip! But remember, it's not just about the destination, but the journey to get there.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program and was not influenced in any way by the publisher.

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