Off the Beaten Path by the Editors of Readers Digest

offthebeatenpathI don’t make it a habit of reviewing coffee table type books.  Of all the various genres and book types I am interested in, that isn’t really an area I spend much time with.

But every once in a while A photography or educational book of this sort comes across my desk and I feel it worthwhile to pass along the information here.  A recent example is Off the Beaten Path.

Here is the publishers blurb:

Off the Beaten Path spotlights over 1,000 of the United States’ most overlooked must- see destinations. In a state-by-state A-to-Z format, this budget-friendly vacation planner reveals the best-kept secret spots so that no matter where you live, you can plan an unforgettable local vacation within an hour or two of your home. Each of the featured sites has been verified by the respective state’s tourist bureau as still being “off the beaten path.” Revel in nature, science, art, and culture, and encounter the unexpected as you explore undiscovered gems.


Packed with innovative ideas for fun day trips and truly memorable vacations for travelers of every temperament, penchant, and budget, this unparalleled escape book leads you to New Hampshire’s castle in the clouds. pontoon boating through the Florida Everglades, dinosaurs trails through Colorado, an authentic jousting tournament in Virginia, or a stroll down America’s oldest street in New York City.

If you are the type that likes to travel, just for a weekend or for long stretches, this is a great resource.  The book is laid out in a very readable and easy to use style.  Organized alphabetically by state, each state has a collection destinations that even residents might not have thought of.  The beautiful photography and helpful illustrations don’t crowd out the text so it is easy to get the information you need.  And each entry has a website and phone number for more information.  And a handy seasonal events sidebar list key events throughout the year.

I looked through some of the entries in the states that I have lived in and found that most of the entries were “off the beaten path.”  Most of them I was unaware of or had not visited.  My wife and I made notes so we could visit some of the destinations we had missed.

Of course, if you aren’t that adventuresome you could simply use the book to find out interesting things about all 50 states.  It is easy to find your self just flipping through the pages looking for interesting places and destinations; dreaming of vacations and weekend trips.

So whether you use this as a resource for actual travel or a coffee table book for conversation and daydreaming there is really something for everyone.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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