For the Bookworm With the Travel Bug

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With the Internet, anything and everything one would ever need to know when planning a vacation is just a click away.  Reviews of hotels, restaurants, places of interests, maps and photos. Videos, restaurant menus, tour operators, admission tickets and more. The amount of information available today is mind-boggling.  A Google search for “places to visit in California” brings up 14.5 million results.  It is easy to end up spending hours caught in the Web, resulting in information overload.

It is the reason that sometimes I still prefer a good old-fashioned travel book when planning a getaway.

In 1950, during his tour of duty for the Korean War, Arthur Frommer was stationed in Europe. The NYU and Yale Law School Grad used his experiences while serving in Germany to write and self-publish his first book in 1955 called “The GI’s Guide to Traveling in Europe.”  It sold well, and in 1957 Frommer followed up with a civilian version called “Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.”

Although Arthur Frommer sold his travel book empire in the ’70s, at 82 years old he is still at it and even has a blog on the Frommer’s website.

There are literally hundreds of Frommer’s guides that cover virtually every corner of the world from a multitude of perspectives.

This summer, I suggest two books, by the name synonymous with travel.

“25 Great Drives in California” and “500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up” give bite size pieces of information, but cover all of the essentials.

In “25 Great Drives in California” there are 25 distinct itineraries with full-color maps, exact directions and distances.

Tour number 4 is dedicated to Orange County Beaches and author Robert Holmes suggests three days to hit all the hot spots from Seal Beach to San Clemente.  Included in this tour: Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island and Crystal Cove.  If you are a Newport Beach resident, this chapter will inspire you to change up the regular routine and play tourist just down the coast a bit on a different beach.

Tour number 21 is the Steinbeck Loop and covers 346 miles in three days. Stops include stunning scenery at Pebble Beach, Carmel by-the-Sea, and Big Sur. Historical places round out the tour with stops at newspaper’s mogul William Randolph Hearst’s castle and the Caramel Mission, which is the final resting place of Father Junipero Serra.

The other book I highly recommend is “500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up.”

The book is divided into 17 short chapters such as “Awesome Vistas” “For Budding Scientists” “Calling all Sports Fans” “War and Peace” and “Weird and Wonderful.”

Of the 500 places many are well known (No. 347 Graceland, No. 1 The Grand Canyon, and No. 167 the Colosseum). But others are more obscure such as No. 290, the Windmills of Kinderdijk, 19 historic windmills lining a canal along a park in a tiny town in the Netherlands.

Arthur Frommer was the pioneer that inspired The Lonely Planet, Let’s Go and Rick Steves travel books. Whether you want to squeeze in a last-minute vacation this summer, or do some armchair travel, don’t forget to take a look at a Frommer’s – still a trusted source of travel information in the Information Age.

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