Sunset Eating Up the West Coast: The best road trips, restaurants, and recipes from California to Washington

four-stars /5

EATING_UP_WEST_COAST_MBR072215Filled cover to cover with beautiful photography, delicious and simple recipes, and local attractions, Eating Up the West Coast is an innovative hybrid between a cookbook and a West Coast guidebook.  With six routes that cover sections of Southern and Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, readers truly get a taste of the road less traveled and the recipes that are infused with back road traditions.

As a California native and a foodie with a serious case of the travel bug, this book caught my attention right away. The recipes provided are eclectic and easy to make and the “On the Road” attractions offered ideas I never would have thought of<Unfortunately, the format of this book left a little to be desired. It seems that the author forced her road trip path to conform to predetermined restaurants and attractions, rather than following a logical route and allowing the featured restaurants to arise along that course. This makes it impractical to actually follow the featured routes and instead had me picking and choosing from the attractions listed. The recipes also follow these unconventional paths and jump from course to course, instead of leading the reader through one complete meal.

Originally published on Manhattan Book Review.


Abroad at Home: The 600 Best International Travel Experiences in North America

abroad_at_homefour-stars /5

This book offers a unique perspective on travel close to home. Breaking the United States and Canada into six different regions, the perspective traveler is offered “the 600 best international travel experiences in North America.” It includes tourist attractions from sightseeing to local festivals and gives a who’s who of the best local dining at each destination city. Rich in cultural influences of all sizes, new light is shed not only on large cities such as Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; and San Diego, California; but also on the lesser-known Paterson, New Jersey; Horse Cave, Kentucky; and Willamette Valley, Oregon.

As a starving college student, California resident, and travel enthusiast, I found this book intriguing.

Like any good travel book, it offers attraction maps, phone numbers, websites, vivid pictures, and lots of tourist hotspots. But this is very much a book of local attractions from different areas. You get a sense of the culture and history of each of the featured cities. Living so close to many of the featured California locations, these are attractions I can – and plan to – turn into day trips, even though I had never considered them before.

Originally published on San Francisco Book Review.