SOCIAL SCIENCES

Lonely Planet National Parks of America

. Apr. 2016. 328p. ed. by Lonely Planet. illus. index. ISBN 9781760340643. $29.99. TRAV
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This Lonely Planet book isn't the familiar small paperback travel guide. A hardbound volume approaching coffee-table size, it is an introduction to America's 59 parks. The photography is spectacular and may elicit involuntary oohs and aahs. Each park is featured on a spread of four to eight pages, highlighting best activities and trails, how to get there and where to stay, the best time to visit, wildlife to watch for, and itineraries based on the length of stay. Even if readers never make it to American Samoa National Park, they get a tantalizing glimpse of America's only south-of-the-equator national park. The staff writers aren't afraid to identify kitsch when they see it, when pointing out nearby attractions. No contact info is given for the parks or the businesses; readers will need to search the Internet for particulars. A wish book for adventurous travelers, the emphasis is on hiking, kayaking, and other active pursuits.
VERDICT Travelers, especially those who are fans of the Lonely Planet guides, armchair travelers, students, and others who are looking for an overview of America's national parks will enjoy this attractive volume.

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