"Hidden Coast of California," by Ray Riegert, is a well-done collection of information for close-to-the-coast aficionados. The suggestions of where to stay and eat do, however, fail to include the Sardine Factory (Monterey) and the Whale's Tail (Morro Bay) for excellent food, and the Breakers Motel (Morro Bay) for cozy third-floor accommodations, with fireplace (Ulysses: $12.95).
You can vacation on the continent as a more confident visitor with a copy of "The Best European Travel Tips," by John Whitman. The excellent and candid advice makes the guide a good investment. It's described as "2,001 tips for saving money, time and travel in Europe" (Meadowbrook: $6.95).
For a change-of-pace cruise that's casual and non-regimented, "Ford's Freighter Travel Guide--Winter 1987-'88" introduces you to many opportunities. Costs, itineraries, steamship lines, travel agents and amenities are well-covered ($7.95).
"Lonely Planet--Survival Kit" has three excellent printings for "Chile and the Easter Islands" ($8.95) by Alan Sama Galski; "Peru" ($17.95) by Rob Rachowieki, and "East Africa" ($9.95) by George Crowther. The photos and text are professional and include a review of the culture, socioeconomics, geography, personalties and much more. Independent travelers will appreciate the collection of concise facts important to melding into the scene (Lonely Planet).
Most flea markets in the United States are good, but dyed-in-the-wool collectors consider those in England a paradise for above-average selections. For planning a visit to find the best, "Manston's Flea Markets--Antique Fairs and Auctions--of Britain" will guide you to meaningful collectibles and souvenirs. The guide explains where to find the markets, how to ship and clear customs, and much more (St. Martin's: $9.95).
Rebecca Bruns' "Hidden Mexico--Adventures Guide to the Beaches and Coasts" offers where to stay, plus a great deal of important information on when to go and how to deal with the country's various challenges (Ulysses: $12.95).
The A.A. Touring Guide for "Wales" places you back in time to an era when people with wealth were in control. There are excellent color photos plus text. The castles and edifices pictured reflect a dominance that lasted for centuries. The 26 pages of detailed four-color maps will place the visitor amid architectural grandeur (Salem House: $19.95).
Travelers headed for the land where summer is our winter will appreciate the advice, tips and suggestions in "Bed and Breakfast New Zealand," by Elizabeth Hansen. It offers a wide variety of charming lodgings complete with costs, meals and nearby attractions. Local history, government, culture and much more will enlighten visitors (Chronicle: $8.95).
Frommer's has three how-to-save guides that demonstrate why you don't have to be wealthy to enjoy exotic destinations: "Israel on $30 and $35 a Day," ($11.95), by Tom Brosnahan; "Hawaii on $50 a Day," ($11.95), by Faye Hammel and Sylvan Levey, and "Turkey on $25 a Day," ($10.95), by Tom Brosnahan. The guides outline places to stay, sights to see, dining, and include vocabulary hints, history and culture (Prentice Hall).
For excellent text and beautiful professional color photos, the Insight Guides are well respected. Two of their latest are for "Barbados" and "The Bahamas." They are compiled and edited by many writers familiar to the areas. Worthwhile editions to any traveler's library (Prentice Hall: $16.95 each).
Earl Thollander's "San Francisco--30 Walking Tours From the Embarcadero to the Golden Gate" explores off-the-beaten-track streets and byways. Those who enjoy lush gardens, historical sites, ocean views and architectural wonders will find the guide a real companion. The text is above average and the maps won't let you get lost (Clarkson N. Potter: $8.95).
Planning a visit to the City by the Bay will be more complete with a copy of "Access-San Francisco," by Richard Saul Wurman. You probably won't need to ask anyone what to see or do, where to eat or stay or how to get around after reading this guide. The bird's-eye-view illustrations, splashed with color, surround the text with explicit directions. Rate it a 10. (Prentice Hall: $11.95).
Dairy products and beer are two items that make the Badger State famous. Another attribute is the wide choice of outstanding getaways. Laura Zahn has listed 86 in "Room at the Inn--Wisconsin." Those selected include historical mansions, renovated windmills, inns and lodges. The descriptions are exceptionally well detailed (Down to Earth: $9.95).
The scenery our neighbors to the north enjoy is sometimes awesome. It's well described in "Guide to Western Canada," by Frederick Pratson. Travel during all four seasons in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and the Northwest Territories is discussed in depth. Photos and maps are bland but the text offers above-average, plan-ahead advice for about everything needed to enjoy a trip (Globe Pequot: $10.95).
Armchair travelers will find "The Norton Book of Travel," edited by Paul Fussel, a delight. It brings together the best travel writing from Herodotus to Paul Theroux. While thumbing the pages you can enjoy the writings of Marco Polo, Dickens, John Mandeville and many others as they explored the world. It's a literary excursion (W.W. Norton: $19.95).