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Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting Hardcover – March 19, 2009
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"Anyone planning a leisurely trip around the country would find Off the Beaten Path a rewarding reference book to keep on the dashboard."
The Boston Globe
"Off the Beaten Path is one of the most handsome, informative and neatly organized travel books I've seen..."
"...is a delightful source of ideas for vacations, weekend outings, and day trips."
"Just when you think you've discovered the perfect vacation place, Reader's Digest publishes a captivating and informative guide..."
- Los Angeles Times
"...is rich fodder for vacation planning. The well-illustrated guide will suit those who want a jostle-free vacation and prefer nature's attractions to the man-made variety."
- The Tampa Tribune
About the Author
For more than 80 years,Reader's Digest editors have been the source of trusted information for readers around the world. Expert in gardening, cooking, home repair, health, consumer awareness, and general reference, we are committed to providing authoritative content that not only inspires but also empowers people to enrich their lives and improve the universe around them.
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As a crowd-aversive person, I really wanted to love this book and to use it in planning some regional RV trips.
I found many of the attractions to be REALLY "off the beaten path", to the extent that many people may not be interested.
For example, there's probably already a historical home of some type in your hometown. There's probably also a historical society of some type that maintains that home. At some point, a dignitary of some type visited that home...and/or something important happened there. If you contact them, the historical society will probably tell you that you're able to arrange for a small-group tour of that home...or that they offer them to the public periodically. Right or wrong, most folks probably don't/won't pursue that tour...although it is a nice, low-crowd opportunity.
That kind of gives you somewhat of a feel, in my opinion, for the nature of many of the attractions featured in this book.
What my gripe with this book is, is that it really has no logical reason as to why it selects the things it does. It should be named off the interesting path. I'm no expert on all the states covered in it, but the ones I do know well it boggles the mind why they think putting the things they did is a good idea. So many quaint places are missing and so many cracker barrel level (many wont get that reference, but so be it) things are totted as must see.
In trying to be clever and selecting unpopular destinations, they managed to select such not because they are hidden gems, but literally because they are not worth seeing. Do yourself a favor and pick something that covers the actual region/state you want to explore. not a country wide guide that fails in all aspects
They asked locals what were some places worth visiting and compiled this book. Most of the places are nature, but some of the greatest places I've ever been are national forests. Don't go into this book wondering why your favorite place isn't listed or someplace like Mount Rushmore is not there. This book is about less traveled places. Because of this, they are typically less crowded, and thus more enjoyable. If you want common, tourist traps, go to the internet. If you want to see great places that you didn't even realize existed, then this book if for you