Gift books that take you round the globe
These lavishly illustrated travel books make great gifts:
Go Here Instead: The Alternative Travel List, by DK Eyewitness, 224 pages, DK Eyewitness Travel hardcover, 2022
Choose your itineraries with the input of 40 travel writers, editors and tour guides who can direct you to less crowded sites that replicate the experience of more congested destinations.
The book’s 108 entries are organized by category: historic places, cities to visit, museums, architectural wonders, national parks and wilderness reserves, carnivals and festivals, hikes, scenic drives and railway journeys.
At least one site is recommended as an alternative to each well-known tourist magnet, while 26 of the listings offer two or more alternatives.
Illustrated with more than 200 color photographs, the book includes suggested itineraries, how to get there and, if available, websites for research. You’ll also find tips on how to avoid crowds at popular tourist attractions.
See the Montevideo Carnival in Uruguay instead of Rio’s Carnival. Visit the opera house designed by Santiago Calatrava in Valencia, Spain, rather than the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Sicily’s temples of Selinunte and Agrigento are surrounded by calm, spectacular sea views, and the experience is more serene than at the crowded Acropolis. Paris’ Notre Dame is closed for repairs, but France’s largest and tallest cathedral, Notre-Dame d’Amiens, is open; it’s just two hours from Paris.
DK Eyewitness Travel was voted top guidebook series in the 2020 Wanderlust Readers Travel Awards contest. Go Here Instead is a large-format book perfect for gift giving. It will be most appreciated by anyone compiling a bucket list.
Coastlines at the Water’s Edge, by Emily Nathan, 283 pages, Ten Speed Press hardcover, 2022
Dreaming of travel to beaches, seashores, islands and waterways around the globe?
This stunning coffee-table book weaves together three elements: a travel guide, lavish photography, and practical pointers on how to reverse man-made damage to oceans.
Find suggestions for hundreds of destinations that range from esoteric far-flung waters to more popular resorts here and abroad. The 250 breathtaking images by more than 100 photographers provide a dazzling armchair-travel experience.
Closest to home, read about Long Island, New York’s Greenpoint Hotel; Provincetown, Massachusetts; and Maine’s Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor and Nash Island.
Needless to say, the California-based author features many entries from the Golden State. These include: Morro Bay Estuary, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, Half Moon Bay, Timber Cove Resort, the Channel Islands and the Lost Coast.
Exotic destinations include Tahiti, Samoa, Tanzania, Malta, Greenland, Iceland, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Belize. However, there is no index of places. Coastlines at the Water’s Edge is meant to be read at your leisure.
Emily Nathan is a professional photographer who also creates travel experiences for her elite clientele.
In a serious vein, she describes environmental issues that plague coastlines such as the insidious effects of plastics, overtourism and rising seas. Nathan provides practical and specific actions that individuals can take to mitigate and reverse the damage.
Find places to research for future travel or just turn the pages and imagine the sound of the surf. This gift is a perfect antidote for the winter blues.
You Are Here: Hikes: The Most Scenic Spots on Earth, edited by Geoff Blackwell & Ruth Hobday, 209 pages, Chronicle Books hardcover, 2022
Be enchanted by photographs of more than 70 hiking vistas in 33 countries, including Argentina, Serbia, Montenegro, Lesotho, Indonesia and Namibia.
Eighteen of the vistas are in the U.S. The view closest to home is on the Appalachian Trail at Cosby, Tennessee. Most of the panoramic views include a solo hiker, the better to contrast with the awe-inspiring scenery.
Ruth Hobday and Geoff Blackwell, founders of a New Zealand-based media firm, compiled the images taken by more than 60 photographers. Hikes is the size of a tourist guidebook. The text at the bottom of each photograph identifies its name, location, geographic coordinates, the photographer and Instagram handle. There is no additional copy because the views speak for themselves.
The book is printed with soy vegetable inks on material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Give a gift friendly to the environment and stunning to behold.