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Peaceful Places: Boston - 121 Tranquil Sites in the City and Beyond
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Peaceful Places: Boston - 121 Tranquil Sites in the City and Beyond
Lynn Schweikart


Peaceful Places: Boston leads the reader on an unexpected path to secret delights shared by its insider author. This new title in an unusual guidebook series is for everyone who yearns for a little peace and quiet amidst the urban hubbub. The book entices readers with 121 tranquil oases, in Boston and beyond. There are enchanting walks, historic sites, museums and galleries, outdoor habitats, parks and gardens, quiet tables, spiritual enclaves, inspiring vistas, and urban surprises, all described from the perspective of a local who knows where to find serenity, in both familiar and unexpected places.

And don't think this is all about gardens and churches! The book focuses on 12 diverse categories: Day Trips & Overnights, Enchanting Walks, Historic Sites, Museums & Galleries, Outdoor Habitats, Parks & Gardens, Quiet Tables, Reading Rooms, Scenic Vistas, Shops & Services, Spiritual Enclaves, and Urban Surprises. Some are little known – even to those who live in the area. Others are familiar, even beloved, spots where you can spend some peaceful, rewarding moments if you know how to avoid the crowds.

On one hand, the book is written primarily for locals who may not be aware of all the myriad places to indulge in a little R&R right in their own backyards. But frequent visitors who’ve already taken in the major attractions, and tourists who want a break from sightseeing also will appreciate the opportunity to have more “off-the-beaten path” experiences.

The writing style for each entry is personal as well as informational, as though you’re having a conversation with a friendly insider. You’ll also find a peacefulness rating of one to three stars, a map that locates the spot within a given neighborhood and, for most sites, photos that convey the special nature of the place being described. The author also provides the basics for each site: address, hours, cost (if any), and access by public transportation.

The book's distinctly local flavor emerges from the author's personal experience. She has spent almost 40 years wandering the city’s varied neighborhoods and exploring interesting places in surrounding locales, returning to favorite haunts and discovering new treasures.

Because Boston is such a popular tourist destination, there are many books on the city and surrounding area, so one’s first reaction might be “who needs another guide to Boston? But, in truth, most focus on the city’s justifiably popular attractions and history, rather than places to seek serenity and tranquility. It is that quality that makes Peaceful Places Boston so unique.

Peaceful Places: Boston
follows recent guides to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. The book shares the insider author's favorite 120 tranquil venues in Boston and its greater metro area.

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Peaceful Places: Chicago
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Peaceful Places: Chicago
Anne Ford


119 Tranquil Sites in the Windy City and Beyond

The fourth in a new series, each one set in a U.S. metropolis, Peaceful Places: Chicago leads the reader on an unexpected path. Author Anne Ford uncovers hidden pockets of relaxation throughout the windy city. Her unique guide reveals the surprising gardens, vistas, sanctuaries, café respites, and neighborhood strolls that make up Chicago communities from downtown to the ‘burbs. Readers will discover new destinations, and they will find tips on when to visit grand and diminutive locales for a bit of quiet time.


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Peaceful Places: Los Angeles
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Peaceful Places: Los Angeles
Laura Randall


The second in a new series, each one set in a U.S. metropolis, Peaceful Places: Los Angeles leads the reader on an unexpected path. Author Laura Randall shares the inspiring, restorative pockets she has come to love over a decade of exploring and living in a variety of neighborhoods across Greater Los Angeles.

    Her unique guide reveals the surprising gardens, vistas, sanctuaries, café respites, neighborhood strolls, and beaches that make up Los Angeles communities from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains, from downtown to the ‘burbs. Readers will discover new destinations—on both land and water—and they will glean tips on when to visit grand and diminutive locales for a bit of quiet time.

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Peaceful Places: Portland
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Peaceful Places: Portland
Paul Gerald


100+ Tranquil Sites in and Around the Rose City

Everybody knows about Portland’s food scene, its outdoor recreation, its bike lanes, beer pubs, and coffee shops. Whether you call it Stumptown or Bridgetown—or even PDX—Portland has been mocked as the city “where young people go to retire.” But seemingly every weekend there’s a festival, organized bike ride, political march, or something else clamoring for participation. In short, Portland is a happening town.

But sometimes folks just want to chill out, to go where there isn’t much happening. They might want to enjoy a quiet meal, take a walk in a park, curl up with a good book, or get out of town to some soul-soothing destination. With books covering all the other activities in town, where’s the one that tells people where they can do …. well, not much?

As of Fall 2012, the answer is Peaceful Places: Portland, written by Paul Gerald, the man who gave this town60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland and Breakfast in Bridgetown. This time, Gerald is off in search of peace and quiet, and he invites the reader along to quiet tables, parks and gardens, enchanting walks, outdoor habitats, and other retreats.

Seeking out the places or times when the crowds will be elsewhere, Gerald will give you the essence of what each place is about—what makes it peaceful or inviting. But he does not stint on also giving you all the detailed info you need to find the place and get there at the crowd-free time.

Sometimes, this will be a matter of discovery, as in “Do I really stand a chance of seeing a heron in the Pearl District?” Other times it may feel like being let in on a secret, like a meadow full of camas blooming within earshot of Interstate 205. Or maybe it’s just the right time to hit just the right table for a romantic meal or some quality reading time.

But the theme that carries throughout the book is a simple one: Portland is a great city, but it’s still a city, and sometimes folks just need a break.



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Peaceful Places: San Francisco
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Peaceful Places: San Francisco
Raynell Boeck


Unlike other guides to one of America’s most beloved cities, Peaceful Places: San Francisco describes settings that will surprise and charm even longtime insiders. Packed with largely undiscovered sites, this insider’s book also reveals surprisingly quiet times or new ways to visit treasured local haunts.

More than 100 entries, in categories from garden niches to scenic perches, lead through the diverse neighborhoods of San Francisco and beyond: across the Golden Gate to Marin County, over the Bay Bridge to East Bay communities, and “Down the Peninsula” as far as Palo Alto. Readers will find tranquility within an easy walk; or within a soothing bus, ferry, or train ride; or within a 45-minute drive from the heart of what locals proudly call “The City.” A back-of-book bonus section, “Beyond the San Francisco Bay Area” prescribes five sublime destinations for day-trips or overnight excursions.

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Peaceful Places: Washington, D.C
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Peaceful Places: Washington, D.C
Denis Collins and Judy Colbert


120 Tranquil Sites in the Nation's Capital and Beyond

Native Washingtonians Judy Colbert and Denis Collins have grown up and lived amid some of the most exciting sightseeing in the country--in their own grand urban backyard. They share this knowledge in Peaceful Places: Washington, DC. Now readers can enjoy the sights without being elbow-to-elbow with visitors from around the country and the world. Their diverse peaceful "finds" unfold in 12 categories of tranquil spots: Day Trips & Overnights, Enchanting Walks, Historic Sites, Museums & Galleries, Outdoor Habitats, Parks and Gardens, Quiet Tables, Reading Rooms, Scenic Vistas, Shops & Services, Spiritual Enclaves, and Urban Surprises. Readers will find places that please the senses of smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste. 

In addition to the beautifully written site descriptions, the concise entries also include vital information such as locations for the nearest Metro stations or local parking facilities, admission charges (and any free times), and operating hours. Plus, the authors provide a “peacefulness rating” based on three criteria: always peaceful, usually quite tranquil, or peaceful during the times or seasons specified in the peaceful place entry description. 

The entries are arranged three ways: alphabetically by name; by category (see all 12 listed above); and by area (keyed to the guidebook's maps). That is so readers can pick a quiet spot according to interest, mood, and location. Although most of the attractions are in the downtown, National Mall, and northwest sections of Washington, many escapes are located beyond those perimeters and on into Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland. 

Peaceful Places: Washington, DC is not a coffee-table book. It’s one to keep in the car, the briefcase, the backpack, or the purse. Whether the reader is a native, who has lived in D.C. long enough to be considered a native, or is a visitor with only a few hours between business meetings or a hectic tourist schedule, this book will be a treasured asset.


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Rowed Trip
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Rowed Trip
Colin and Julie Angus


    From the rugged highlands of Scotland, husband and wife team Julie and Colin Angus rowed more than 7,000 km to Aleppo, Syria in the heart of the Middle East. Their course followed ancient transportation corridors traditionally used for trade and migration. They experienced and learned about the rich cultural tapestry that makes up present-day Europe, while in a manner that promotes environmentally responsible travel.

     Julie and Colin’s journey, completed in September 2008, along the traditional aquatic trading routes without using motors proved to be an ideal way to meet the people and explore the varied landscapes as they paddled through thirteen distinct countries.

    Connecting Scotland and Syria with a human-powered voyage also had a personal significance for the couple. Colin’s mother and father both hail from northern Scotland and Julie’s father is from Syria. The journey allowed the couple to explore their family histories. In an age where globalization and cultural integration is the norm, the journey allowed the duo to reflect on their origins and unravel the events that led to their union in western Canada.

    Two amphibious rowboats were constructed for the journey. The vessels each carry a bicycle and trailer which allowed them to travel on roads and bicycle paths as well as water.

    Route of Journey: From Dunnet Head at the northern tip of Scotland, the couple paddled along the coasts and through canal systems to southern England. Here they crossed the English Channel and continued into central Europe via the Rhine River. They reached the headwaters of the Danube River through a canal system and followed through Eastern Europe to the Black Sea. From here the team entered the Mediterranean through Turkey and continued to Syria.

    See a gallery of images from the journey at rowedtrip.com

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Traveler's Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America
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Traveler's Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America
Rob Sangster and Tim Leffel


    Traveler's Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America shows you how to find delicious, affordable meals anywhere in Mexico and Central America, not just where to eat in Cuernavaca. Instead of rating Panama City's "best" hotels (usually meaning the most expensive), this book shows you how to locate comfortable, affordable lodging anywhere.  Traveler's Tool Kit does the same for everything from dining to entertainment to sightseeing in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Individual sections cover it all: drafting itineraries, calculating costs, eco-sensitive travel, unusual tours, managing money, staying healthy, woman-alone travel, and much more.

    You'll learn how to travel happily by air, bus, and all sorts of local transport, negotiate successfully with cab drivers and merchants, and dramatically cut the costs of travel. You will be convinced you can afford to travel—and that you can't afford not to. This book shows you ways to save money without hindering the quality of your trip.

    Rob Sangster and Tim Leffel are not typical travelers, nor is this a typical travel guide. Sangster and Leffel show how to connect with a network of travelers who've discovered the most enjoyable things to do and can provide guidance on how much to pay for them. The book also tells how to memorialize the adventure through photography and blogging, and even how to earn money from the trip after returning home. Sangster and Leffel are both authoritative and encouraging, drawing on years of experience to help travelers maximize the fun, savings, and security without compromising quality.

For more about the book, visit the authors online at www.travelers-tool-kit.com.



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Walking the Cape and Islands, 2nd edition
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Walking the Cape and Islands, 2nd edition
David Weintraub


The best walking and hiking trails in the beloved Massachusetts region

Pine forests, windswept dunes, freshwater ponds, salt marshes, and wave-washed beaches, enjoy it all as you stroll along the beautiful trails of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Walking the Cape and Islands is the only comprehensive guide to this incredible area. Experience scenic Cape Cod National Seashore, Nickerson State Park, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket land bank and conservation areas, Massachusetts Audubon properties, and many other parks and open spaces.

Suitable for all abilities, the book’s 72 walks and hikes range in length from less than a mile to just under 11 miles. Families with children will especially enjoy many of the shorter, easier walks. Each entry includes a Walk Summary, which provides a helpful snapshot of the route. Plus, the book describes the area’s rich human and natural history, climate, geology, and more. At-a-Glance Info offers details such as distance, difficulty, walk time, trail surface, facilities available, and whether bicycles, dogs, or hunting area allowed.

Now in full color, the new edition offers photographs and professionally drawn maps, paired with descriptions that take you step by step along the route. So whether you are a visitor or resident, let author David Weintraub guide you to some of the best walking and hiking trails in coastal New England.



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Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia
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Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia
Kevin Adams


UPDATE: The Falls of Tumbling Creek, featured on pages 28-31 are inaccessible for the foreseeable future due to a road failure. Please consult www.dgif.virginia.gov/wma/clinch-mountain/ before travelling to this remote location."   

Their grandeur takes our breath away. Their gentle sound compliments periods of meditation. Regardless of their size, waterfalls create in the observer a feeling of serenity, a sense of restrained power. To discover a falls is sublime, and now Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia is available to guide willing adventurers to easily accessible as well as remote waterfalls in the Old Dominion and Mountain States.   

    This complete and comprehensive guide offers clear directions to over 200 waterfalls open to the public. In addition to a brief description of each falls, at-a-glance information including height, type, size of watershed, and difficulty of access helps readers choose which waterfall to visit and when. Directions on photography, including how to set up the best shot - from time of day to angle and direction - makes this book indispensable to professional and amateur photographers.

    From Shenandoah National Park to New River Gorge National River, from the Monongahela National Forest to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, this book has a waterfall to fit any readers mood or sense of adventure. Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia is the only guidebook to the waterfalls of these two states.


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