Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Guidebooks Help Tourists Fall into Autumn Travel

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Guidebooks Help Tourists Fall into Autumn Travel

Article excerpt

Summer's too hot. Winter's too cold. Autumn is just right.

The fall is a good time to visit places that can be iceboxes by Christmas day or sweatboxes until Labor Day. Here are a few new guidebooks to direct you to those spots where the "shoulder season" is prime vacation time.

Hidden Guide: Boston & Cape Cod (Ulysses Press, $13.95).

I've often thought the title of this series promises more than it delivers -- most of the places are hardly hidden and few are not well-known. That said, it's one of the few flaws in this excellent series. You get the feeling that the reporters assigned to the Boston issue have scoured the streets to come up with a solid compendium of the best bistros, shops and sights. A better choice than many major guidebooks, which normally warm over last year's research and pass it off as a new edition. Also new: Hidden Guides to the California coast, Oregon and Tennessee.

Ranch Vacations, by Gene Kilgore (John Muir Publications, $22.95).

The bible for dude ranches, working farms and fly-fishing camps. The fifth edition is slicker and thicker than ever before, with glossy photographs of many of the camps and fullpage chapters on each property. There's something for everyone, from rustic ranches at the end of dirt roads to swank resorts where you're more likely to ski the slopes than rope the calves.

Edge Guide to New Orleans (Longstreet, $14).

"The devil has a vast empire here." So begins this fun, quirky guide to the Big Easy. It's a quote from Sister Madeleine Hachard, an 18th-century nun, and illustrates how the blue-noses of the world have always found New Orleans in league with the vices of man. These new guides to the country's more trendy cities are an excellent addition to the travel bookshelf, particularly for those who like to know the hot voodoo stalls, tattoo parlors, zydeco joints and 1 cent beer bars in town -- not just the memorials and museums.

City Guide: Washington (Fodors, $19).

Crisp graphics and a slip-into-your-coat-pocket design are the strongest points of this new series from the venerable guidebook publisher. …

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