Best spots for a US getaway


Although many individuals are tightening their purse strings, they’re still looking for ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Traveling within the continental United States – whether by plane, train, or automobile – doesn’t only help Americans save money, but exposes them to the sights and sounds their country has to offer.

In the new travel guide series, Tourist Town Guides, founder Dirk Vanderwilt and his team of travel enthusiasts share a comprehensive look at 18 of America’s popular regional tourist destinations. Current titles include Williamsburg, VA; Niagara Falls; Myrtle Beach; Atlantic City; Wisconsin Dells; Mackinac; and Key West.

Vanderwilt, author of Niagara Falls: With the Niagara Parks, Clifton Hill, and Other Area Attractions, noticed that many of these famous vacation getaways were included in travel books covering larger areas, with only a small section dedicated to that specific town. His love of travel, especially within the United States, inspired him to give these towns the attention they deserved, and visitors an alternative companion to the promotional literature they’ll find online and in town.

“Our goal with Tourist Town Guides is to ensure visitors get an honest review of the local hotels, restaurants, and activities, without the influence of promotional information,” said Vanderwilt. “All of our writers are local to the area or frequent visitors exposing not only first-time visitors to the unique treasures of the area, but regulars as well.”

Each guide begins with a friendly introduction and a general area orientation chapter, to inform readers of certain areas in the region. The guide then continues with personalized sections for the area of focus. In the Myrtle Beach, SC, edition, sections include “The Beach,” “Golf,” “Fishing,” and “Water Sports,” as well as the usual “Entertainment,” “Dining,” and “Attractions.”

The guides are updated every 1-3 years to ensure travelers have the most up-to-date information. Vanderwilt’s personal research into America’s tourist towns, along with proposals from writers, have been the inspiration for the towns selected for the series. Moving forward into 2011, Tourist Town Guides will add 12 new titles to the series.

Published by Channel Lake, Inc., Tourist Town Guides was created by Dirk Vanderwilt as an alternative to the barrage of promotional information found in America’s favorite tourist towns. Inspired by family trips to Wisconsin Dells as a child, Vanderwilt teamed up with writers across the country to share the ins and outs of these vacation hotspots. A graduate of New York University, Vanderwilt resides in New York City and frequently visits his favorite regional tourist town, Niagara Falls.