36 Hours Book

It’s easy to get lost in Internet-search bunny trails when trip planning. To add a little focus to your exploration, a great jumping off point is The New York Times ”36 Hours” series. I love the hit list of off-the-beaten-path attractions it offers. Convenient color-coded ribbons help mark your spot in its five geographical sections.

From headline cities like Boston and Los Angeles to the more sedate Boise, Idaho, and St. Simons Island, Ga., there’s a place for any mood or interest. The index in the back even lists cities by outdoor activities, nightlife, atmosphere, culture type, special interests, history and one-of-a-kind features.

While it’s not a substitute for other reference points, it’s a great resource for your first look at a location or pondering your next weekend getaway.

As we plan our return road trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with a stop along the way in Death Valley National Park, it has been a source for fresh and fun ideas. Some suggestions include stargazing at Griffith Park Observatory in LA and visiting Death Valley’s sand dunes in mid-morning when the shadows are long and cool.

My only disappointment with “36 Hours” is Tulsa wasn’t included in the collection of 150 places. With the great strides in development my hometown is making, I hope it won’t be long before Tulsa is on the map and in the book.

If you have some other go-to travel research books, apps or website suggestions, I’m all ears.