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The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of California Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 24, 2007

20 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 24, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joan Tapper was the founding editor of National Geographic Traveler and editor of Islands Magazine. Nik Wheeler is the cofounder of the award-winning Insiders Guide series of illustrated travel guides. Both live in California.

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Product Details

  • Series: Most Beautiful Villages
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (September 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500513686
  • ASIN: B0057DD1W4
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,086,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lucy by the sea on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with colorful lush photographs of California towns and villages. It is for memories and admiration, not information. The photos are carefully posed for the most romantic interpretation and atmosphere. Some of them present an illusion.

I live in one of the towns and had to laugh. In one group of photos, if the photographer had simply turned 180 degrees you would have seen a 4 lane boulevard heavy with semis, trucks and cars on weekdays and tourists on weekends. In another series of pictures just up the road, the 101 freeway was less than 50 feet behind the photographer. It is choked with cars at all times of the day and night and comes to a standstill if there is an accident.

Still, the book presents a lovely picture of a California that exists as a Shangri-la. It is enjoyable with the above caveat for those of us who live here.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JK on October 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a "thank you" gift for a friend in Germany who had visited many of the Coastal towns of California during a vacation long ago. He loved the book and marveled at all the places he remembered from time spent in "The Golden State". Plus, pictures of towns that he hadn't visited were so interesting to him that I'm sure they'll give him ideas for any upcoming visits he may be planning.

The photographs are beautiful and the commentaries interesting. While it doesn't highlight the rugged beauty of places such as Yosemite or the California Coast, it serves to reinforce the down-to-earth beauty that can be found in simple, every day towns.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Angela Reed on December 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great coffee table book. Very unique and beautiful images, a great showcase of pictures throughout California. It also has a great index to all the finest hotels and restaurants..
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By North City on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book worthy a beautiful state! Images of glitzy LA or cosmopolitan SF frequently overshadow the many other destinations featured in this book. Of course being an overview, the towns listed here are given as cursory highlights without much depth. Nonetheless, the book tantalizes like a plate of appetizers. The diner will have to follow up with his own entree should he want to savor a particular site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nicely photographed coffee table book that highlights some of the less well-known parts of California as well as the more famous and iconic spots in the state. I bought the book as a transplanted Californian who wants to remember the place as it was "back in the time". The nicely produced volume does do that visually. It's less substantive in its text.

What I especially liked about "The Most Beautiful...." were the sections on towns in the north of the state, where things really haven't changed as radically as they have in the south. One of the few entries for the far south, San Juan Capistrano, was really little more than a photo layout of the old mission in that town. There's truly not much else to present although it's a pleasant enough suburb.

If you've traveled down Route 1, done the Wine Country or toured the Gold Country, you would certainly enjoy owning this book as a momento of your travels. Before such travels and looking for info about interesting stops, this isn't going to be much help, other than a visual preview. I'm happy to have the book in any event.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DSeverance on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I come from uglier places in this fair Union - Wisconsin, Florida, New York. When I arrived in California, I arrived to heaven on earth. But where is my family to go on vacation and look to work and live when every place is beautiful?! This book answers that question and helped my wife and I decide to take the family to Monterey. And, guess what, we' are moving there soon. So watch out if you buy this book or you might find yourself visiting and ultimately moving to a place you absolutely consider heaven on earth!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lil on April 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agreed with the author about the towns spotlighted in the books, they can be very pretty and interesting looking. However, it would have been nice to have included actual photos of the towns. For example, for the town of Julian, there is not a single photo of the town. Kind of the same for St Helena, there are several photos of things around town but from this book you will have no idea what the town looks like.

Overall, it's a great pictorial of some of California's pretty sites but not really a great pictorial of towns and villages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. Green on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is nice but it's out of date. I recommend a more current edition or another book that's newer.
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