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The Great Escapes series of pocket guides deliver a wealth of information about regional short break and holiday escapes in a handy and easy-to-use package.

It's not often we encounter a guidebook whose author is so knowledgeable about a destination that we trust his or her taste immediately. Yet such is the case with this "selective" guide to only 25 of New England's many treasures.

Families looking for a weekend getaway, day trip, or short break at any time of year can rest easy that author Felicity Long (also a contributing editor to FamilyTravelForum.com), has included only the "best places to visit" and "the most worthwhile events and activities" in a region packed with too many treasures to see in a lifetime.

Most impressive about this sleek, 200-page pocket guide is just how much detail Ms. Long fits in. With a breezy, insider tone, she reviews her favorite destinations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. The sights and attractions are grouped by type of vacation, with chapters organized around beaches, islands, villages, urban and mountain escapes.

Each destination has practical information and prices for where to sleep and dine, getting around, what to see and do (from museums to kayaking, hiking, biking, skiing and where to rent the gear you don't have), special annual events, local resources and more.

Ms. Long's affection for her environs is apparent throughout, making this a fun read for adults and older kids. In her writeup of Nantasket Beach, for example, she notes that the Hull Lifesaving Museum offers open water rowing three times per week and "first-timers are encouraged to come on Saturday mornings." Elsewhere, tucked between practical details, a sidebar gleefully recounts the ghost story of the Lady In Black who lives on one of the Boston Harbor's 34 islands. Of the Heritage Walk in Providence, Rhode Island, Long writes, "it packs a wallop in terms of historic sites."

Great Escapes is our pick for busy parents because there's no need to read front to back every time you want to plan an outing, and certainly no need to spend hours searching online.  An expert author's quick, on-the-nose insights make books like "Great Escapes New England" worth every penny.

Other guidebooks currently included in the series are Long Island, Chicago, Arizona, Northern California and Southern California.

 

Product Review Data

Name: Great Escapes New England
www.amazon.com
By: Felicity Long
Best for Ages: ages 10+
Price: $16.95
User Rating:
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