I recently received a free review copy of a beautiful USA travel guide from Insight Guides called United States on the Road. I was interested in this because of our road in 2008 through the western states, and our visits to Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Mt. Rushmore. The book served to bring back a host of great memories of our road trip, and inspired me to want to take another.
We love traveling outside the US when we can, and often forget the amazing bounty of beautiful, scenic places we have to visit in our own country. When time and budget constraints don't allow it, it's easy enough to hop in the car or board a train and see the USA. Every part of the country has something unique and special to offer. This book, chock full of gorgeous photography and interesting places to see, should serve as a great source of inspiration, whether you're taking a day trip from home, or coming to visit the US for the first time.
The book is divided into geographic routes with selected cities, towns, and attractions along the way. It has a simple straight line map to guide you to some pretty fantastic highlights. You won't find "where the locals eat" or a lot of detail on each place, but this is a great book to start with when planning a road trip. If you know where the highlights are, you can use the web to search for points in between and where to find the best barbecue or a cheap hotel. That's not the focus of this guide.
I really enjoyed looking through the book, and reading the sections about places we've been. The Pacific Coast section is spot-on in it's description of a trip down Highway 1, mentioning Big Sur and Hearst Castle. We spent last weekend winding up the coast from Monterey to Half Moon Bay and through the mountains back to Palo Alto. It was nice to see portions of our weekend getaway in the book, along with a special section on San Francisco.
Part of the reason we took our western road trip in 2008 was to recreate a little of the magic my husband felt 40 years earlier when his family did the same trip. When I think of road trips, I think of family vacations, singing along to the radio, and gazing out the window at some unexpected delight, whether it's a moose by the side of the road in Yellowstone or the crashing waves of Big Sur or the skyscrapers of Dallas off in the distance. I hope that your family finds a little inspiration to see the world around you.
This book reminded me of the passage in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy returns from her journey to Oz and says, "I learned that, if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again... I shouldn't look any further than my own backyard."
Perhaps if you want to go looking for your heart's desire, you should look no further than Insight Guide's United States on the Road.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation or incentive for writing this review. The opinions expressed herein are my honest assessment. If you wish to purchase a copy of the book via Amazon.com and use the link below or a sidebar link or ad, I will receive a small commission through the Amazon affiliates program.