In my last post, I recommended a terrific book from the Quarto Publishing Group (Voyageur Press), Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements, by Jim Sonderman.
If you ever traveled Route 66 or even just wanted to, you’ll love this tribute to an iconic American highway, the points of interest along it, and, of course, the signage that captured the imaginations of countless travelers — including me and my fellow baby boomers.
Now I’d like to highlight two more travel-related books from Quarto Publishing, which is based in Minneapolis and is turning out a number of excellent titles.
I was drawn to Backroads of Arizona (Voyageur Press, 2016, 2nd Edition), by Jim Hinckley with photography by Kerrick James, because I’m now living in the Grand Canyon State and looking to discover just the kind of “byways to breathtaking landscapes and quirky small towns” that the book’s sub-title promises — and delivers.
Hinckley and James take you on 25 beautifully written and photographed off-the-beaten-path road journeys to the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert, Lake Havasu and Tombstone, Apache Junction and Gila Bend, and many points between.
Along the way you’ll encounter Old West legends, tales of ghost towns, stunning scenery, plenty of historical footnotes, and much more. I can’t wait to hit the road to the far corners of the state.
On to Florida’s Backroads
Having once lived in Miami, I was also interested in another newly released book in Quarto’s Backroads series, Backroads of Florida (Voyageur Press, 2016, 2nd Edition) by Paul M. Franklin and Nancy Mikula.
While I always enjoyed Miami, I knew there was far more to the Sunshine State than its coastal beaches, glitz, and theme parks — but never really had time to explore much of it beyond south Florida.
I wish I had had this book back then — but am glad to have it now. It’s rekindled my interest in returning to Florida to explore what I missed in the rest of the state.
Thirty-one detailed road trips bear intriguing titles like “The Pirate Coast,” “Manatees and Mermaids,” “Ancient Forts and Sea Creatures,” and “Sinkholes and Blue Springs.” It’s hard to resist hopping in the car and hitting the byways.
To be sure, “Old Miami” has a role in this book, as do the Everglades and Florida Keys — all places I remember well (and loved). And another memorable route, Jacksonville to St. Augustine, also appears and makes me wish I could revisit it sometime soon.
While I found a few brief references to Disney World, which put the city of Orlando on the map, this book is for those who enjoy more pastoral pleasures and getting away from the crowds.
Both Backroads of Arizona and Backroads of Florida sell for $22.99 and can be purchased through the Quarto Publishing Group or on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or other retail outlets.