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Roadtripping USA: The Complete Coast-to-Coast Guide to America    edited by Emilie S. FitzMaurice order for
Roadtripping USA
by Emilie S. FitzMaurice
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This travel guide (aimed at the independent traveler) is surprisingly compact considering its coverage of coast-to-coast America (including parts of Canada and Mexico). It's organized into eight routes, which can be covered in whole or in parts, and combined in different ways. Travelers are advised to (ideally) start planning a year in advance, in order to book national parks and campgrounds. The Appendix includes conversions, and key phrases in French and Spanish (for portions of the trip in Quebec and Mexico, respectively).

North/South routes covered are: 'East Coast' (Maine to Margaritaville); 'Pacific Coast' (Seattle to San Diego); and 'North American' (Alaska to Mexico City). East/West routes are: 'Great North' (Maine to Vancouver); 'Oregon Trail' (Kansas City to Portland); 'National Road' (New York to San Francisco); 'Route 66' (Chicago to Los Angeles); and 'Southern Border' (Miami to San Diego). Before covering each route, the authors give brief histories of 'the Road' and the car. They discuss who to take along (after all, Bonnie had Clyde, and Thelma traveled with Louise) and how to meet people on the road, roadtrip attitude, rituals and superstitions, etiquette, roadfood (including regional treats), literature, film, music, and websites. They also provide comprehensive 'Essentials' coverage, from passports amd visas to health, car care, and wilderness safety.

The majority of the book focuses on the eight routes. Each is introduced with a map and summary, including 'Route Stats', best time to go, and other routes that it intersects. Then, potential stops along the way are covered in detail, including things to see, places to eat, accommodations, festivals and entertainment. Overall, Roadtripping USA is an excellent resource, one that makes it very tempting to pack up and hit the road in almost any direction.

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