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Travel books provide inspiration, information

| Friday, July 5, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Sure, there are apps and websites — not to mention Facebook posts from all your friends and relatives — to help you decide where to go and what to do on your next trip. But there's still a place in travel for the old-fashioned book — from lavishly illustrated hardcovers to information-packed guides.

Here are a few recently published books with grand itineraries to inspire you and practical advice to help you plan.

• Lonely Planet's “Best Trips” series, which includes first-ever editions for Italy, Ireland and France ($25 each), along with fully updated second editions for California, New England and the Pacific Northwest ($23 each). Each book includes about three dozen itineraries for road trips.

• Travel + Leisure's “100 Greatest Trips” ($35). This collection of stories from the magazine and its international editions features memorable destinations from exotic locales like Zanzibar to driving itineraries in Florida and Texas.

• ”500+ All-American Family Adventures” by Debbie K. Hardin (Countryman Press, $25). The book is designed to help families plan vacations and day trips that are educational and entertaining, all centered around the American experience. The book has a chapter on every state plus Washington, D.C.

• ”Hiking and Traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway: The Only Guide You Will Ever Need, Including GPS, Detailed Maps & More,” by Leonard M. Adkins (University of North Carolina Press, $18). The book advertises a “detailed description of every official trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway,” which stretches 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It also includes information on trails that connect to the parkway, including the Appalachian and Mountains-to-Sea trails.

Beth J. Harpaz is the AP travel editor.

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