Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Review: 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas

If you're like me, you are 100% over winter. Done. I couldn't be any more done. I'm already looking forward to sunny days and ways to fill those up with adventure. This book came at the perfect time because that's exactly what I'm doing - planning a small summer vacation with my family and we want to road trip it somewhere.
100 Parks, 5000 Ideas
In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States' and Canada's most pristine--and adventure-filled--national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation. Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades' Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York's Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit--and make it a memorable one.

It seems like every year National Geographic comes out with a new resource for those of us desperate to get out of the winter doldrums and planning for our next big adventure. The best part about this book (and all of the others National Geographic gives us) is that they are really well researched, organized well, and they give you stunning photography throughout. You should not plan a trip in the United States without picking this us to get a feel of the place you'll be visiting or maybe deciding where to go in the first place.

The book is broken down by region (New England & New York, The Southwest, The Midwest, American Tropics, etc), and then within those regions it's broken down by state. You'll not only find information on state and national parks but also city parks, forest areas, monuments, and I found a few sanctuaries in here. Even better? Lots of sections have a "Chow Down" area with some well known places to eat the local cuisine and what that place is known for. Also included are "Lay Your Head" areas with some really authentic places to stay that are beyond your chain hotel options. A lot of the park discussions give you tips, like which routes are best through the park, to make planning a day trip less of a headache. Mentioned on the cover, the book tells you when to go to get the best of the destination. I have friends who have gone places to specifically see a great sight only to find out that it only happens over the course of 2-3 months and they have missed it. That's a bummer.

I also mentioned the American Tropics are listed, which was fascinating because I learned a LOT about them and I honestly never considered them as a future vacation destination but they are back on the some day list because they were beautiful and there are a lot of things there that I would be interested in seeing or doing. The book also features Canada, even though it's outside the United States, it's a close neighbor and if you're visiting the northern states you might consider taking a little side trip because their parks are equally beautiful and worth the trip.

Overall? I'm giving this one 5 stars. I really like these guides and I use mine a LOT. My kids really like paging through these, we've used them as a resource for school projects, and we bring them in the car on our trips because they get a say in what we do, too. I highly recommend this one if you're adventurous (or want to be!) and looking for ideas for your next trip!

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