Culture Trails

Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Vintage Hollywood alongside 51 other perfect weekends for culture lovers around the world.

Culture Trails Book CoverCulture Trails Cover

We worked with publishers Lonely Planet to bring readers of Pacific Coast Highway Travel an extract from their new book Culture Trails. Click over to Vintage Hollywood and you can read a typical spread from the book. You can also visit one of our other travel websites, Greece Travel Secrets, to read a second extract: Artistic Athens. If you want to know about the rest of the book, read on.

Culture Trails Book ContentsCulture Trails Contents

We were impressed with the extracts we saw, and even more impressed when a finished copy of the book reached us. It's a big and handsome coffee table book that will make a great present for anyone you know with a bad case of wanderlust, or indeed a wonderful treat for yourself.

Culture Trails Sample SpreadCulture Trails Sample Spread

You can see sample spreads from the book on this page and on the two extracts from the book, so we don't need to tell you how good it looks. Just imagine them blown up to full size. Each spread picks a cultural theme that's appropriate to the destination, so for Havana it's music, for Copenhagen it's design and for Ethiopia it's ancient religions. You can see that the cultural topics are quite wide-ranging, as are the destinations, from Australia to the USA. The 52 perfect weekends are spread across 33 countries.

For travel in the USA there are some interesting options, in addition to Vintage Hollywood. For the Deep South the natural choice is the Blues Trail, from Memphis into Mississippi. It's a route we've driven ourselves, to places like Clarksdale and Greenwood, and the author Joe Bindloss captures the atmosphere well. 

Culture Trails Sample SpreadCulture Trails Sample Spread

The same author also writes about New York, covering Bob Dylan and Greenwich Village. This is another place we've been lucky enough to visit and wander around, and again the spread reads well and mentions all the best places, like the Chelsea Hotel and the Bitter End. The other two US entries are Cape Cod's literary landscapes and Washington DC as portrayed in political TV dramas like House of Cards.

The spreads each have an introductory essay followed by a route linking all the main places. There are then suggestions on Where to Stay, Where to Eat and Drink, and Celebrations. This bit lists any special events related to the cultural theme so you can plan your visit to take them in, if you want to.

Culture Trails Sample SpreadCulture Trails Sample Spread

A few of the other topics covered around the world include:
• On a Classical High in Vienna
• Confronting Soviet Ghosts in Bulgaria
• Literary Paris through the Eyes of Hemingway
• Traditional Music in the Wild West, Ireland
• Mackintosh & the Glasgow Style
• Aboriginal Art in the Northern Territory, Australia
• Tokyo Pop Culture
• Finnish Sauna Culture

If that doesn't get your travel bug itching, there's also Bob Marley's Jamaica, Venice's art masterpieces, comic-strip art in Brussels (great choice!), and the creative artisans of Marrakesh. We loved the eclectic collection and it's certainly fired us up to take some of these culture trails.

Culture Trails Sample SpreadCulture Trails Sample Spread

Don't expect the thoroughness of a guidebook, as the strength of this book is in enjoying the readable essays. The practical sections are limited to a couple of hotels and a couple of eating or drinking recommendations, though they're usually ones that link with the theme.

You'll still need to do a little bit of work to turn these culture trails into perfect weekends. Other than that, you're good to go with this highly enjoyable book. You can buy it on Amazon.

Other books pages

  • Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.

    Vintage Hollywood

    Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.

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  • Lonely Planet's Guide to Cycling the USA West Coast is a bicycling guidebook for anyone touring California, Oregon and Washington by bike.

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  • Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, published by Voyageur Press, is a guide in words and pictures to historic lighthouses along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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  • The guide to California Bed and Breakfast Inns lists over 250 boutique hotels, wine country cottages and more.

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  • The Napa and Sonoma Guidebook to California Wine Country is from the Moon Handbooks’ travel guide series with reviews of wineries,vineyards, and wine tastings.

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  • Brewpubs and good beer are at the heart of the Good Beer Guide to the West Coast USA which lists the best bars and breweries from Seattle to San Diego.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks the best museums in Los Angeles including the top art museums and museums for families.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks the best hotels for families in Los Angeles, whether you want to be close to Universal Studios or the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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  • Epic Drives of the World from Lonely Planet describes 50 of the world's most exciting road trips, including, of course, the Pacific Coast Highway.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten of the best views in Los Angeles, including Malibu, Santa Monica, the Griffith Observatory and the Getty Center.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide book covering the drive from Vancouver to San Diego.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip guide from Moon covering California, Oregon and Washington

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews an Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide published by the Beautiful Pacific Northwest website.

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  • Pacific Coast Highway Guides. Book and ebook hotel guides to PCH

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  • Lonely Planet's Coastal California guidebook is the ideal travel guide for driving or cycling the Pacific Coast Highway from the Oregon border to Mexico.

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  • The Best Coast is a west coast travel guide, sub-titled A Road Trip Atlas it doesn't use photos but instead has hundreds of beautiful illustrations.

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