For some travelers, where they go is secondary to how they spend their time when they get there. “These days, people are thinking of something they want to do and then deciding where to do it,” says DK Travel publishing director Georgina Dee. In these forthcoming titles, the journey is the destination.

Discovering the Outlaw Trail

Mike Bezemek. Mountaineers, Sept.

Adventure writer Bezemek leads Wild West buffs along the routes notorious gunslingers including Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and Queen Ann Bassett used to dodge the law. Storytelling and folksy language undergird practical info on where to hike, bike, paddle, or drive, as well as bunk down along the way.


Hotel Kitsch

Margaret and Corey Bienert. Artisan, Oct.

Some 1.2 million fans of the glam and gaudy follow the Bienerts’ A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour account on TikTok, which, like the book it inspired, revels in heart-shaped bathtubs, champagne-glass whirlpools, and other legacies from the Poconos’ heyday as the “honeymoon capital of the world.” The nostalgia and whimsy extends well beyond Pennsylvania borders—to Wisconsin’s Don Q Inn, where vintage barbershop chairs surround a lobby fireplace crafted from a locomotive engine; California’s fairy tale–themed Castle Wood Cottages, whose rooms include costumes to borrow; and beyond.


The Joy of Exploring Gardens

Lonely Planet, Sept.

Horticulture is hot, if the explosion of plant-friendly Instagram accounts is to be believed. One of two new books in Lonely Planet’s Joy series this season speaks to the trend, cataloging 180 gardens across six continents (sorry, Antarctic lichen lovers). A third of the green grounds receive in-depth treatment, including photos, a map, and a q&a with a local expert.


The Joy of Wild Swimming

Lonely Planet, Sept.

Like bread-making and remote office work, wild swimming, or plunging into a natural body of water, got a pandemic-era boost. Following a similar format to The Joy of Exploring Gardens—180 listings, 60 of them deep dives—this book homes in on the meditative aspects of the pastime, whether it’s a tropical dip along Hawaii’s Kona coast or an urban escape.


The Screen Traveler’s Guide

DK, Oct.

This compendium of 70-plus films and TV series is aimed at setjetters, or people who draw vacation inspiration from movie and television locales. Entries are enhanced by maps, photos, stills, and trivia—for instance, George Lucas, who shot Star Wars on location throughout southern Tunisia, took the name of Luke Skywalker’s desert home planet, Tatooine, from the Berber city of Tataouine. 


Wonder Year

Julie Frieder, Angela Heisten, and Annika Paradise. Wonderwell, Sept.

Starting from the premise that “long-term family travel is more attractive and attainable than ever before,” the authors, each of whom has traveled for longer than a year with children in tow, map out the financial, educational, and safety practicalities of life on the road. Augmenting their how-tos with photos and anecdotes, they make a case for worldschooling, or learning through direct interaction with the world.

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