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The Most Scenic Drives in America, Newly Revised and Updated: 120 Spectacular Road Trips Hardcover – March 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Obviously, some drives are created more equal than others. But Reader's Digest does show that scenic beauty is endemic to every part of the country. Even if you can't hit the road and drive them all, this updated version...uses gorgeous color photos to show you what you could see if you did. And each drive is accompanied by a helpful map to let your imagination guide you along the way."
(The Oregonian)

"Often times when we are on a cross-country trip, we use the interstate highway system for most of the trip. Unfortunately, this causes us to miss out on a lot of the scenic beauty that America offers. There is a book published by Readers Digest entitled The Most Scenic Drives in America that can be used to deal with this problem. This book contains 120 scenic drives throughout the entire country."
(-RV Directions (rvdirections.info))

"A one-of-a-kind trip planner, a superb on-the-road reference, and an album of 400 photographs. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, here are 120 outstanding drives that show the magnificence of America-each with detailed, easy-to-follow maps. Taking a drive in the country has been popular since horse-and-buggy days. But while the road trip itch is as strong as ever, scenic drives get scarcer year by year. The answer is a collection of the 120 loveliest drives in the U.S., providing maps and tours (with sites along the way itemized and lovingly described), trip length, when to go, nearby attractions, and local information sources."
(-Hotel Miami Beach (hotelmiamibeach.org))

About the Author

Reader’s Digest simplifies and enriches consumers’ lives by discovering and expertly selecting the most interesting ideas, stories, experiences and products in health, home, family, food, finance and humor. Our portfolio of products includes our flagship magazine Reader's Digest; Taste of Home, the world's largest circulation food publication; The Family Handyman, America's leading source for DIY; and a suite of Enthusiast titles including Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living and Reminisce. Our content is delivered in multi-platforms including print, digital, books, and home entertainment products. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com
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Product Details

  • Series: Most Scenic Drives in America
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest; Rev Upd edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606523589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606523582
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elisa 20 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Even with gas prices up, driving still is the best way to see America and this book makes it even more appealing by finding many beautiful and accessible areas and grouping them by region, perfect even for a single vacation.

Although it's grouped into drives in four regions (and Canada)--West, Rockies, Central and East--it covers places in all 50 states (and Canada). What I especially liked are the maps that come with each drive. They show the route with numbered points of interest--whether town/city, natural features (including national forests and parks), or historic site. They also give mileage (so important to planning), the best time of year to go, and what events or attractions may be near. There are "Did You Know" facts about the area and sidebars with many kinds of local information. For those who have an avid "travel planner" in the house, each trip includes places you can contact for more information.

24 places are listed in the West, from George Parks Highway in Alaska to Aloha Loop in Hawaii. The Rocky Mountain Region begins in Wyoming's Icefields Parkway and lists 52 places, the last being Upper Peninsula Drive.You can see at a glance, which areas are close enough to be grouped together easily on a single trip, time permitting.

The Central Region highlights an often neglected part of the country travel-wise, and the Eastern Region shows places from the southern tip of Florida to the Maine Coast and Quebec.

There are large color photographs on every page, a detailed map with points of interest for every individual drive, all adding to the overall message--this is a gorgeous country.
.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a delightful book! The purpose is laid up right at the outset (Page 5): "One of America's most popular pastimes is, quite simply, going for long, leisurely drives in the country--and that's what this book is all about." Through this volume, we see 120 separate trips, each described in enough detail (normally 2-4 pages with a map) to decide if that tour might make sense to you.

Let's look at a few examples. One from my own experience--many years ago--is California's Big Sur Coast (pages 74-77). The trip starts at Monterey, goes on to Carmel-by-the-Sea to Big Sur (what a view from the highway, as I recall!) to San Simeon and the Hearst Castle, ending in San Luis Obispo.

I'm from Illinois, and there is precious little here from my home state! One is a trip from Galena to Port Byron; the other is a drive through the Shawnee Hills National Forest.

I also lived in Western New York for many years. This tour ends at Niagara Falls, one of my favorite spots. The tour starts at the Eisenhower Lock along the Saint Lawrence River and winds through Ogdensburg (with its wonderful Remington Art Museum) to Thousand Island and on to Rochester and Old Fort Niagara with an end in Niagara Falls. I have seen many of these sites and can attest to the delight I would experience if I traveled the full length of this route.

In the end, a delightful book to read and to provoke the imagination as to what the various trips would be like.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book to a Kindle Fire and am very disappointed with the results. Because there are no page numbers, it is difficult to quickly locate those of the 120 specific "scenic drives" that you want to read about. Also, it is necessary to zoom in on any of the maps in order to read town names, roads, etc. The bottom line is that this book is cumbersome in an e-reader format and would have been better-acquired in print form.
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Format: Hardcover
In New Orleans we have a saying about places that used to be here... They "ain't there no more". I don't know who did the editing in this book, but on page 336 you are told that you can take a railroad trip at Kinzua Bridge State Park in Pennsylvania. I know this isn't true, because my family (from that area originally) went to take photos of the bridge back in 2003 after it was blown down in a tornado. It is not going to be rebuilt. Apparently there is going to be a skywalk on part of the bridge that didn't fall, but... the Kinzua bridge "ain't there no more". Hopefully this was the only oversight in the book... I don't know about any others.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Too wordy and not quite picturesque enough to pass as a "coffee table book", yet not comprehensive enough to fully plan a road trip, this book is searching for a purpose. While passable as a trip idea generator, you will find yourself quickly reaching for the Internet or another more detailed reference.

Reader's Digest defines America as, the 50 United States and 5 Canadian provinces (parenthesized below), and divides the area into 4 regions:

Western Region: 24 drives - Alaska, (British Columbia), California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington [3 each in Alaska and Hawaii]

Rocky Mountain Region: 28 drives - (Alberta), Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana, Utah and Wyoming

Central Region: 33 drives - Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, (Manitoba), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

Eastern Region: 35 drives - Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, (Nova Scotia), Pennsylvania, (Quebec), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

As might be expected of scenic drives, the majority go through and along national parks and forests; some even completely in a national park e.g. Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun Road and Yellowstone's Grand Loop. While some drives start or end in a sizeable city such as San Francisco, Nashville or the Bronx in New York City, and others highlight a fair number of small towns such as the loop through Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the majority os sites are natural vistas, wildlife refuges, beaches etc.
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