I am a big fan of books from National Geographic. They are always spectacular, full of fantastic photos, and make wonderful gifts. In fact when I was asked for something to put in a multi-blog holiday gift guide I chose one of the books I have reviewed from National Geographic. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime at no charge for my honest review.
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About Drives of a Lifetime 2nd Edition: 500 of the World’s Greatest Road Trips:
• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 2nd Edition (October 27, 2020)
This lavishly illustrated travel planner features 500 of the world’s most memorable driving experiences, from legendary Highway 1 in California to Japan’s famous Irohazaka Winding Road.
Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s legendary travel writers, Drives of a Lifetime spans the globe to reveal the best celebrated and lesser-known road trips on the planet. Inside this fully updated and revised edition–featuring more than 20 new drives–you’ll find routes through spectacular landscapes, ideas for quick getaways, leisurely journeys of discovery, and revelations of secret worlds beyond Google Maps. Some are legendary long-distance odysseys; others are easy day trips close to home, taking you down charming local byways. All will inspire you to pack up the car and hit the road. The possibilities are endless: Take Colorado’s San Juan Skyway for a 10,000-foot climb over towering mountain passes. Or travel the ancient Silk Road on an expedition across Central Asia and through time. Or why not drive the perimeter of Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise with many beaches along the way? Whatever your taste and budget, you’ll find plenty of routes tailored to your interests. Alongside detailed descriptions, full-color maps guide the way and planning tips help you make the most of your journey; top 10 lists offer quick, easy side trip ideas. Beautiful, informative, and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure.
About the Author:
One of the world’s leading nonfiction publishers, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC has published more than 1,700 titles, featuring such categories as history, travel, nature, photography, space, science, health, biography, and memoir. A portion of its proceeds is used to fund exploration, conservation, and education through ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.
My Opinion of Drives of a Lifetime:
Like all of the books put out by National Geographic this one is stunning. The photos, as you would expect are just stunning. It’s also a perfect book for these times – you can look through and read about all the places you might want to go when going is a thing again. The vicarious thrill of reading about places far away is a good thing to brighten the days right now.
The chapters are set up by type of drive; hills and mountains, sea and shore, rivers, valleys and canyons and so on. I enjoyed reading about these castle drives – I was able to follow the Loire Valley drive while on a trip to France when I was in High School. Not that I did any of the driving! Now I can dream about that trip again.
There are drives listed from all over the world which is the book’s strength and it’s downfall. You can read yourself across Europe or just spend time in a part of the United States. Reading about riding the Beartooth Highway reminded me of the trip the hubby and I took a couple of years ago. The scenery was just extraordinary. I would love to go back at another time of year to see how different it looks. I can tell you that in a state of overwhelmingly beautiful scenery this was one stunning drive.
Driving by the Sea
If your dreams are to be by the sea you can turn the pages of the book and read about scenic drives by the coast. If you ask me it’s very calming to watch the water and with a book you don’t have to worry about driving off the road! Paging through allows you to see other states and other countries and perhaps zero in on a future trip.
I spent a fair portion of my life on a little island off of the coast of New Jersey so I understand the lure of the ocean but rivers and lakes are also scenic. One of the prettiest drives out West is along the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a trip we made several times as we drove back and forth across the country when we were living in our fifthwheel.
Driving TO See
Or as the book calls it, Driving Through History. Sometimes the point of the drive isn’t so much the scenery but the history along the way. This would include following battles whether Civil War or Revolutionary War in this country or WWI or WWII in Europe among others. Out West following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark by car is a very popular family drive.
Driving to Eat
You can even find drives that focus on food. WHERE DO I SIGN UP! OK, it’s maybe not the time to be planning one of these tours right now but a girl can dream, can’t she? Following a cheese trail in the Netherlands or finding the best seafood in England. No matter what, there is a food drive for you – truffles anyone? Maybe the book can inspire a fun menu.
All in all the book was a wonderful diversion from the boring of the day to day and it offered possibilities of a future full of beauty and exploration. I know I will enjoy having this on my shelf to pull out when I need a break from my normal. And like any National Geographic book it would make a wonderful gift for anyone you know with a bit of wanderlust.