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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki Road Trip (non tiki) ~ Please Recommend
Road Trip (non tiki) ~ Please Recommend
Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-05-07 07:18 am   Permalink

hey all,

as we all reflexively check tiki road trip when going someplace to find worthwhile destinations, i was wondering if you all could recommend any road trip books of non-tiki but roadside/midcentury focus.

i looked on amazon and there are plenty of route 66 and roadside books. do you have a particular book you have found a must-have?

mahalo, j$

p.s. my current interest would be east coast on over to midwest, but an all-encompasing resource would be swell if such a thing exists...
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-05-07 07:24 am   Permalink

Hey, JD. It's not a book, but have you ever checked out:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

It's touches on quite a bit - even some attractions that I never thought would be documented anywhere.
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-05-07 07:54 am   Permalink

I'd be surprised if that site doesn't become a book. I used it a lot last year when I went on Spring Break up through KY to Wis and back through IL - IN. Unfortunately, a lot of places are too far out of the way.
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-05-07 10:02 am   Permalink

I just noticed this bit of tiki/Hawaii content there:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/pile/index.html
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2995
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2004-05-07 10:45 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-05-07 07:54, Swanky wrote:
I'd be surprised if that site doesn't become a book. I used it a lot last year when I went on Spring Break up through KY to Wis and back through IL - IN. Unfortunately, a lot of places are too far out of the way.




It is.
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Erika
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2003
Posts: 130
From: N.J. (Philadelphia vicinity)
Posted: 2004-05-07 12:14 pm   Permalink

Weird N.J.: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran

http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/01/28/books.weirdnewjersey.ap/

I don't own a copy yet, but I will!


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-05-07 12:53 pm   Permalink

By far the best I have found (and I have bought a lot of travel books) is Road Trip U.S.A. by Jamie Jensen. He traveled two-lane highways year-round for several years before writing the book. It's huge, and organized by East-West and North-South routes (like old Highway 50). The best thing about it is it highlights non-chain motels when possible, old cafes and restaurants, small museums, etc., so it covers what many guidebooks miss. It only scratches the surface of major cities because those are covered better elsewhere. The same book series (Road Trip U.S.A.) also has regional guides (California and the Southwest, New England) and some Getaway Guides for short trips to areas outside major cities (San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans).

http://www.roadtripusa.com/discover_the_books/

The same company, Avalon, puts out the excellent Moon Handbooks series. When available for an area, they are the most thorough books around. They vary in quality. For example, the Nevada, Wyoming, and Hawaii guides are terrific and updated frequently. However, I found the California guides to be less complete (even though there are two - Northern and Southern) and not updated often enough. The books don't have pretty color pictures but make up for it with content. I have found many older places to stay and eat by careful reading of these books.

http://www.moon.com/

For on-the-road dining you can't go wrong with Jane and Michael Stern's book Roadfood.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767908090/ref=pd_sim_books_1/103-7307242-0409469?v=glance&s=books

For major urban areas, the Zagat guides are useful for older restaurants. I look under Senior Scene and Historic Interest categories in the index.

John Margolies makes great books about roadside stuff but many of the places are now closed, so they aren't great for planning a trip.

I like the book Roadside America, but as a book to bring along on a road trip or to plan a trip it's lousy. It's not organized well and it's way out of date (the "New" edition is from 1992). The web site isn't any better.

Until I write my book you'll have to make due with these.


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-05-07 12:54 pm   Permalink

mahalo all, i knew you would be the right ones to ask
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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2004-05-07 1:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-05-07 12:14, Erika wrote:
Weird N.J.: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran

http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/01/28/books.weirdnewjersey.ap/

I don't own a copy yet, but I will!



YES! Weird NJ is a great magazine too! All sorts of cool tips for visiting bizarre off-the-beaten-tracks sort of places, in this most densely populated of states:

http://www.weirdnj.com/

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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-05-08 02:43 am   Permalink

I travel with a taste for roadside eccentricity, cemeteries, art deco, googie, tiki, art and natural history museums, miniature golf and independent motels and restaurants. I have found the Roadside America book to be a bit outdated but the website often has some very up-to-date info (I can't resist photographing muffler men and Uniroyal gals); I always consult it before a trip but would only bring photocopies or printouts of pertinent material with me.

Roadfood.com is good for independent restaurants and there is a book called "Roadfood" by the same people, but I don't know the last time it was updated. I just finished a trip from Joplin, MO to Flagstaff, AZ then South through Phoenix to Tucson, then West to San Diego and stopped at many Roadfood locations as well as a few of my own finds. I'd be happy to recommend some and post pics if you are interested.

The John Margolies books are more fun for visual inspiration than they are for information; I have his Miniature Golf book (the cover is astroturf).

I have a personal affinity for old RT 66 (just drove about half of it earlier this week) as well as other "blue highways" like 50 and 69 and recommend "Route 66 Traveler's Guide" by Tom Snyder for general info, anecdotes and detailed sectional maps. Jim Ross wrote a great book on Rt66 in Oklahoma.

Michael Witzel wrote "Route 66 Remembered" and "The American Motel" which effectively capture the spirit of his subject matter although a few caption errors have driven me crazy looking for buildings that turned out to be a few towns away.

Next week I am heading to South Carolina and so I am researching that presently. Please keep us all updated on where you decide to go; wherever it is, cool things await.


 
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Atomic Cocktail
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 925
From: Land O' The Next Big One-L.A.
Posted: 2004-05-10 11:52 am   Permalink

Also try:

http://www.roadsidepeek.com/

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ikitnrev
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2004-05-10 7:15 pm   Permalink

I have both editions of the Roadside America book, and a few others, but sometimes the best joys come from driving the smaller roads, not knowing what will come up.

A few recommendations....

1) Buy a good road atlas - one with large pages, that show maps with a great amount of detail. You will often want to get off the main road, and a detailed road map is a must. The larger maps will also be more likely to highlight local interest points, or those dashed scenic roads. The nicer atlases will also have more detailed maps of the larger towns, which can be helpful. Road atlases with spiral binding will tend to last longer.

2) When driving through a city or town, take the business route whenever possible. These will have more traffic lights, and it will take you longer, but they tend to take you through the older parts of towns, which tend to have neater signs and motels.

3) Schedule lots of days for driving on the smaller roads. If I wanted to, I could drive from DC to Wisconsin in one day (about 14 hours) by using the Interstate. My favorite trip, though, was the one where I took 4 days to reach the same destination, taking side roads all the time.

4) allow for last minute changes of directions. It is OK to roughly plan a general route, but be open for taking new routes and smaller roads when inspiration hits you.

5) Try to be driving right before sunset. The low angle of the sun makes everything look more interesting ... best of all is when the sun is starting to set, and you see the neon lights of a motel coming up ahead.

6) Take lots of pictures. If you pass something that looks really interesting, turn around so you can take a picture of it. I have many photobooks filled with pictures of neon signs, dilapitated mini golf courses, odd sights, and whatever else caught my whimsey. I can't recall any instance where I have regretted doing this.

I might have some good recommendations for you Johnny .. I've driven the stretch from DC to the midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota) many times.

Vern





 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-05-11 1:03 pm   Permalink

thanks to you all ~

i may take you up on your offer a bit later, ikitnrev, thanks ~ i'm not sure if we're driving straight towards missouri our going via the southern route (i would love to see hale tiki and my cousin in savannah)

after a scan of
www.roadtripusa.com, www.roadsideamerica.com and www.roadsidepeek.com, i may still be inclined to get one of the 'hard copy' books mentioned above.

the roadtipusa.com site is organized mostly the way i would want to access the info. i guess i'm spoiled by tiki road trip it is just nice to be able to say, i'm going to be in this state, what should i look for / gravitate towards while i'm here? www.roadsideamerica.com is searchable by state but i suppose i would have to print out the pages and pages of attractions per state prior to leaving. the roadsidepeek.com site seems more inclined towards browsing for cool things, then deciding to go see them, or just as a resource for what is still available; the route 66 section is a bit more organized by trip segments which it pretty cool.

i apologize if i'm getting too analytical ~ i suppose the thing is, tiki is able to be classified into a fairly compact book ~ i suppose 'other things that are cool' is a bit more broad and based on your tastes, interests etc. probably the best thing to do is select a blue highway or more obsolete road that has a high likelihood of fun stuff along the way.

thanks again for all your suggstions, i'm going to keep on researching as we near good ol' vacation... j$

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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-05-11 4:03 pm   Permalink

Ikitnrev is wise to talk about an atlas. I'm addicted to the Delorme state atlases...a bit pricey at as much as $20, but if you want serious detail, I recommend them as a research tool, practical map and souvenir.

I've grown fond of my GPS too, not only for practical stuff like feeding in the data from the Delorme atlas of where the next small town is, but the fun of recording the L&L of the ruins of extinct tourist traps (i.e. Twin Arrows, AZ) and looking at the curly-Q's we trace when we drive mountain switchbacks.

I like roadsidepeek.com, but find that it sometimes shows a photo of a tasty neon sign without any more locational data than a state.

Did you mention Savannah? If you even moderately like cemetaries, Bonaventure Cemetary is a magnum opus of Spanish moss and statues:



The "Bird Girl" statue made famous by "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" has been removed to a local museum, but bad copies of it proliferate in gift stores:

She was never intended as a funery sculpture in the first place and If you find a cooperative store owner, she'd look great serving up a couple of Hale Tiki mugs as sort of a visual summation of cool Georgia stuff.

As for food in Savannah, I highly recommend Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House. I was there last year, and will be again sometime next week.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=195&RefID=195

If you happen to be destined for Springfield or Joplin MO, you might email me as I'm very familiar with both and will be in Joplin May 24. Check out my listing of Aloha (Springfield) in Locating Tiki.

[ This Message was edited by: tikijackalope on 2004-05-11 16:16 ]


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