"Hawaii Access" by Richard Saul Wurman is not a thick volume of rhetoric but a guide that stays focused on paradise. It's a well-organized collection of virtually every important landmark, attraction, hotel, shop and point of interest. The guide is presented in an elaborate color-coded system, with thumb index and keyed information. The maps, diagrams and various type sizes make the guide an adventure in discovery. It presents a fresh view of the Islands, with brief essays of each.
There's a best-bet section, plus segments on volcanoes, leis and the music of the islands (Prentice Hall: $12.95).
In 1792 British sea captain George Vancouver's ship arrived in what he described as an inland sea with lots of islands. He directed his lieutenant, Peter Puget, to have a look around, sound out the natives and report back. As a reward for Puget's effort, the captain named the area Puget Sound. Marge and Ted Mueller's "North Puget Sound: Afoot and Afloat" will lead you through the same fascinating area of variety and abundance of beautiful scenery. The water-oriented region has lots to see and do for young and old, and it can be reached by car, boat, ferry, on foot or by bicycle. The guide is chock-full of such information as marina and launching facilities and public access to beaches. A common thread throughout the guide are the shorelines, which are easily found on the 59 maps, and related activities and amenities (The Mountaineers-Seattle: $9.95).
California's more than 300 festivals are all well-detailed in "California Festivals" by Carl and Katie Landau. California has more of these events than any other state, many of which can help make an inexpensive vacation. Besides events devoted to raisins, apples and maritime days, others are of a more bizarre and outrageous nature--the Champion Crab Race, Fog Fest and Cattle Call, plus knee-slapping Oktoberfests and Bed Races. The guide presents an opportunity for families to explore some of the state's little-known towns. It sells for $9.95, or add $1.25 for handling (California residents add 65 cents for tax) and send to Recreation Sales, 150 E. Olive Ave., Suite 110, Burbank 91502.
Fodor's 1989 has rewritten and updated its official guides for "Disneyland" ($6.95) and "Walt Disney World" ($9.95). Both describe how to get the most for your money and are expertly written by Steve Birnbaum. The guides explain how to get there, when to go, where to stay, what it will cost and how to see and do it all. They are professional compendiums with lots of full-color photos and illustrations of the Disney cartoon characters. The statistical pages offer clues to the sizes of crowds during various months and holidays, including weekdays and Sundays (Houghton Mifflin).