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Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Spectacular Trips Hardcover – October 26, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Drives of a Lifetime
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INDIANA | The short drive across northern Indiana’s Amish country features well-groomed farms and quaint villages. An Amish store in Shipshewana sells a colorful array of goods. (Philip Scalia/Alamy, p. 185) MASSACHUSETTS | The restored 18th-century Hartwell Tavern stands on Battle Road, where the Colonists fought the British. (Brian Jannsen/Alamy, p. 241) MICHIGAN | At Point Iroquois Lighthouse near Monocle Lake, you can tour the small museum and climb the tower for views of Lake Superior. (Mike Briner/Alamy, p. 67). IRELAND | The road around Lough Corrib runs some distance from its shore, but takes drivers through dramatic moorland and mountain landscapes. (Art Kowalsky/Alamy, p. 94)
ALASKA | Turnagain Arm, part of Alaska’s Cook Inlet, is surrounded by forested and snowcapped mountains. (Julie Buehler/Shutterstock, p. 124) ARIZONA | The spires of Cathedral Rock rise high above the desert, glowing red as they catch the sun. (Stockage/Dreamstime.com, p. 128) JAMAICA | Small fishing boats bring an extra splash of color to an iridescent river near Ocho Rios in Jamaica. (Bill Bachmann/Alamy, p. 255) VIETNAM | Brilliant flags line the Hien Luong Bridge over the Ben Hai River, a memorial to Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. (David R. Frazier Photolibrary, Inc./Alamy, p. 259)

Review

“Our editors’ pick as the top book of the year…Belongs on the bookshelf of every avid road tripper. It is sure to inspire automotive travelers of every sort to find their own roads less traveled.” –Automotive Traveler Magazine
 
“It’s a guide for the worldly road warrior…Even armchair travelers could get their fill in the pages of this beauty.” –San Jose Mercury News, Sunday Times (Central Contra Costa), Oakland Tribune

“With choices from all over the world, this book has something for everyone ready to take a trip. Even if you weren’t planning to take the road less traveled, one look at some of the enticing photos that accompany the narratives…may persuade you otherwise.” –The Sunday Oregonian
 
“National Geographic Traveler magazine’s editor-in-chief, Keith Bellows, provides an introduction to this beautiful, stirring guidebook that is a pean to hitting the open road; and what follows is an attractive and well-presented series of information (with maps) to some of the best road trips that anyone can experience.” –Booklist
 
“Inspiring, photo-rich…” –Chicago Tribune
 
“For the worldly road-tripper…” –Associated Press, –Richmond Times-Dispatch, -Newsday, -The Sun (Baltimore), -Philadelphia Daily News
 
“With choices from all over the world, this book has something for everyone ready to take a trip…enticing photos accompany the narratives.” –Sunday Denver Post
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426206771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426206771
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Beck on March 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From the size of the book, it's obvious that this is going for the typical coffee table-type design. And yet, it has a lot of words and not that many pictures for that goal. As for the pictures themselves.....I'm not going to judge their artistic merit, but I've had preferred more pictures of the drives themselves. Talking about the Mount Rainier loop, for instance, they give a stock photo of Rainier taken from the hiking trails near Paradise (I know since I've taken variations of that exact shot myself when hiking). Nearly all the other examples are similar - generic shots of the countries the drives happen to be in, with little to no relation to the actual drive itself.

As far as the content, it feels rushed - they tried to cram in so many drives that there's barely any room for any info about a particular one. Maps are tiny (usually fitting in a 2"x2" square) and descriptions are brisk. Finding a specific drive is challenging - they're organized by content category (rivers, urban areas, etc.) rather than geographic area, so, for instance, attempting to find a drive near your current location is difficult (the index makes an effort towards this, but a map would be far better). I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting to get out of this book, but I ended up a bit disappointed.
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This is the usual NG high quality publication. With its big pictures and small maps, it is easy to add many places to one's travel wish list and to relish memories of places already visited. For each destination, there's a summary of driving distance, recommendations of when to go, and a planning reference to a web-site. The book is organized into sections like "mountains," "sea & shore," etc.

I down-graded my "stars" for two reasons:

(1) There is no over-all way to look at a world map and see where these trips are located. You can use the index at the back of the book but that's not nearly so helpful as a visual map would be.

(2) Since this is a "driving" reference, one would think it would give some clue as to the availability of rental cars and/or motorbikes. Perhaps the authors didn't want their book to become quickly out-dated. But other than referring to something like Lonely Planet publications, the reader is left wondering how he could make many of these trips.

As usual, Amazon made the purchase easy and inexpensive.
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Format: Hardcover
I love nat geo, and this book is great. It gives routes, estimated travel times, highlights, and excursions that you might what to take. My only complaint is that it's organized by what kind of drive it is (mountain, river, beach...) and not by region. We're planning a trip cross country and while it does have many suggestions for the USA it's a little frustrating to have Italy randomly thrown in there. Other than that it's great!
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I bought this book as a Christmas present for my dad. We have a love for travel, and this book proved to be a source of inspiration for us. The info about each of the destinations was helpful and the photos were beautiful.
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Inside information is pretty much complete, especially to a newbie. But also from a newbie point of view, the information is not 100% conveniently organized. Say I wanted to go to Italy, then I have to look up the index under "Italy" to find out what I was looking for. Maybe I need something like "Italy Tourist Complete Guide". Anyway, I never regret buying this book - An excellent book!
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I bought two of these for Christmas gifts. I looked through one of them (don't tell!). It is so beautiful! If you never take the drives, the pictures are worth it! And it is packed with suggestions. My nephew loved it and is already making plans! I would recommend this book!
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Beautiful photography. Book is larger than I expected. It is not a book that you tuck away for reference while traveling, but is a fantastic place to start planning a delightful drive. Sits on my coffee table now for easy reference and when I just want to dream of future drives. I will be retiring within the next 3 years and will have more time for travel. I want to be ready to go and not miss the most beautiful parts of God's world.
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I'm planning a trip down the Pacific Coastal Highway in California.. My on-line research lead me to this book. What I saw on line showing what I thought was content from the book was very useful;.Even though I am not sure that I will do some of the remaining 499 trips ( actually have done some already) I thought $24.00 was a reasonable price to pay for something that may be a useful guide. I returned the book hours after I received it. It was nothing like what I saw on the national geographic website showing content from the book. It was just soft mushi run-on narrative about the trip. Other trip descriptions were equally useless. Totally useless as a planning tool. Actually, it did not even have a trip called Pacific Coastal Highway, despite showing it in the index on page 105... Shame shame on National Geographic and everyone involved who knows or should know the truth. Buy a good guide, not this one.
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