Planning your next getaway

If you are anything like me, you’ve been counting down to the end of winter since the last few leaves dropped off the trees at the end of fall. While most people are able to find some good about the season, such as the beauty of the snow or fun outdoor activities like ice fishing, I am a cranky curmudgeon any time snow is in the forecast or on the ground. One way I’ve found to improve my mood is to think of warmer times-either in tropical locations or during summer months. Planning trips helps me get out of my funk, even if for a short period of time. The following are some of my favorites for getting through the next inevitable blizzard.

We’ll start with Iowa. Outside of the state, Iowa gets a bad rap as being flat and boring. Those that live here, however, know the opposite is true. Iowa has plenty of interesting sites and beauty, you may just have to look a little harder for it. The Iowa travel guides in the collection help you find those spots. Some focus on short trip ideas, like Fun with Family in Iowa by Betsy Rubiner or Backroads and Byways of Iowa by Michael Ream. Others look at the stranger things found in Iowa, such as the World’s Largest Bullhead. Try Oddball Iowa by Jerome Pohlen or The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations by Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk for some Iowa adventures that are off the beaten path.

Maybe you want to head someplace farther from home and explore the US on a good old fashioned road trip. Lonely Planet’s USA is a comprehensive guide to the whole country. Find restaurant and activity guides for every region and major city in the country to help guide you to a perfect trip. Want to take the back roads? Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen provides the same cross-country coverage, but only using two-lane highways to get you to your next location. Want to break out the tent and experience the beauty of nature up close and personal? National Geographic’s Guide to the National Parks of the United State has you covered. It covers the history of each park and includes itineraries, activities, lodging, maps, hike suggestions, and more for National Parks all around the country.

If you are headed out of the country, stop and check out the shelves as well. We have travel guide books for most major tourist destinations, from Costa Rica to Thailand. These books help you design a trip suited to your personality, with activity suggestions based on your interests and hotel and restaurant tips from experts. Plus, if you are planning a trip to a location we don’t have a book for, just let us know and we will add one to the collection or borrow it from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

So stop by the library sometime and check out some my favorites the next time the 10-day forecast of snow and wind chills of -25 below get you down.