Top 7 Road Trip Books and Travel Guides for the United States

There’s nothing like feeling the pages of a good book! While we can get most books on Kindle, we still love to open them to vividly colored pages, map pull-outs, etc. By having these books and guides, we don’t have to rely on internet connection to plan our trips, do research or just dream. We don’t have to recharge or plug any electronics devices in. We just reach for the book, grab our reading glasses and open it.

These are actual paperback books we carry in our RV at all times. We pull them out occasionally to research areas, campgrounds and parks. After a couple years, if a new edition comes out, we will replace them as we see necessary.  That said, we so realize we can’t have a lot of books because of weight restrictions of our RV however, having a couple in our mini library isn’t going to hurt.

Check out which ones are our favorites…

1)  1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Revised Second Edition

This book has given inciteful information that we totally fell in love with. It’s listed cool places like…

Oh, you’ll just have to get the book to see why we love it so much! Plus, you get to see if places you’ve already been are listed and why they are so inspiring.

2).  National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States

Most everything you want to know about each National Park

  • Soft cover. 496 pages. Covers 59 national parks.
  • 300 photographs. 80 colorful maps. Park descriptions & brief history.
  • Travel planning tips. Itineraries. Directions.
  • Activities. Camping information. Weighs 1.5 lbs.
  • Copyright 2016

The book is broken down into East, West, North, South areas of the U.S. then our islands. Wonderful detailed maps of each area and then details of each park within that section of the country. Lots more info that will help plan your trip.

3)  National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States

Discover more than 950 of the best parks in all 50 states in this completely updated guide from National Geographic.

This fully fifth edition includes 750 additional off-the-beaten track destinations. Beautifully written descriptions tell the stories of the parks, from their wildlife, natural features, and history to their most popular current activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports, and rock climbing. Vivid images inspire your next getaway, while detailed information–including 32 detailed maps highlighting sites, trails, campgrounds, and more–helps you plan your next excursion. From free to low-cost, from Florida to Alaska, from the six-acre Iao Valley to the 204,000-acre Baxter, use this essential guide to plan a day visit or a weekend escape.

4)  Lonely Planet USA’s Best Trips (Travel Guide)

We’ve discovered the freedom of USA’s open roads with Lonely Planet’s USA’s Best Trips. Its our passport to unique experiences waiting along our Nation’s highways. It features 52 amazing road trips, from 2-day escapes to 2-week adventures. We can journey through the Rockies’ spectacular parks or follow scenic Appalachian byways.

Inside Lonely Planet’s USA’s Best Trips:

  • Lavish color and gorgeous throughout
  • Itineraries and planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests
  • Get around easily – 197 easy-to-read, full-color route maps, detailed directions
  • Insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road – local driving rules, parking, toll roads
  • Essential info at your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Covers New York, New England, Florida & the South, Great Lakes, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest and more

5)  Night Sky: A Field Guide to the Constellations

As former a former sailor, I used to navigate by using celestial navigation. I would use the stars, planets, constellations, moon and even the sun to compute our ship’s location. Well, I still look to the sky for approximate orientation. Plus, its just cool to learn its more than just stargazing. The stars have assisted navigators for thousands of years.

  • Organized for easy finding and viewing
  • Includes small red LED light for reading the book and for preserving your night vision when you are out observing
  • Each constellation entry is filled with facts and history
  • Great for kids and adults.
  • Author – Jonathon Poppele

Nothing beats camping and stargazing at the same time. Constellations in the book are organized by degree of locating difficulty, and each entry features history, fascinating details and simple instructions for locating and identifying the constellation.

6)  Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 59 National Parks

This book is our coffee table book even though we don’t have a coffee table anymore. Its photos and layout are just incredibly awesome and helpful. This award-winning guide, completely updated for the 2017 2nd edition, includes more than 450 new photographs, 160 revised maps, and 50 hiking tables, making it the only guidebook you’ll need to explore the United States National Parks.

It boasts step-by-step itineraries, kid-friendly activities, and most popular ranger programs at your fingertips to help plan your next family vacation. Also included are thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions beyond the parks and 11 suggested road trips make it the ultimate dashboard companion. The book also includes hiking tables, easy-to-find trailhead markers, outfitter details, and backpacking essentials–serves as blueprint for an adventure of a lifetime. With something for everyone, this is Your Guide to the National Parks.

And last but not least, not a book per se’ but a very important guide…

7)  2018 Rand McNally Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Atlas

This atlas is a must-have for big rig RVers. It lists all of the low clearances, weight limits and best routes for oversized, heavy and tall vehicles. Its laminated and spiral bound for heavy-duty users. This atlas is the #1 selling trucker’s road atlas in North America.

We use this atlas in conjunction with our RV GPS for better assurance. Oh, and this would make a great gift for your favorite RVer!

Other Features

  • Durable, laminated pages stand up to stains and liquids, and won’t show signs of normal wear-and-tear
  • Tough spiral binding allows the book to lay open easily
  • Detailed coverage of state and national designated routes
  • Updated restricted routes, low clearance, and weigh station locations
    22-page mileage directory including more than 40,000 truck-route-specific, city-to-city mileage
  • Road construction and conditions hotlines
  • Updated coverage of hazardous materials regulations
  • Easy-to-use chart of state and provincial permit agency phone numbers and websites

So, as you see our reasoning behind having these cool books and guides in our RV library. We enjoy looking at the photographs that inspire us to travel as well and reading about places we aspire to visit. All of these books in our collection make fantastic gift ideas for your favorite traveler, RVer, Camper or dreamer.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, you may want to read…

Family Camping Safety Tips and Tricks

Hiking Tips and Advice for Beginners





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