The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of California
Eloquent and eye-opening, this sumptuous new book expansively captures the quintessential character and allure of California’s small-town treasures.
I moved to California a quarter-century ago, and over the years – resist it as I tried – I’ve inevitably become indifferent to some of the scenic wonders of my adopted home. So it was with a heightened sense of invigoration and appreciation that I discovered this sumptuous new celebration of California by Joan Tapper and Nik Wheeler. Though I’ve been to virtually every place they portray in this book, Wheeler’s wonderfully evocative photographs and Tapper’s informed, eloquent text made me see these places with new eyes and re-appreciate them with a fresh mind. Tapper and Wheeler move roughly from north to south in their book, beginning with such North Coast icons as Ferndale, Point Reyes Station – one of my all-time favorite getaways – and Sausalito. From there they cover the Wine Country, the Gold Country (including Nevada City, Sonora, Sutter Creek), Ghost Towns, the Central and Southern Coast (Cambria, Carmel-by-the-Sea, San Juan Capistrano), and the Missions, before ending with the Central and Southern Mountains and Valleys (Joshua Tree, Ojai, San Juan Batista). Whether you live here or are planning a visit from halfway around the globe, “The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of California” is a soaring, soul-stirring guide to the small-town treasures of the Golden State. I’ve visited more than 60 countries in the 25 years since I moved to California, and no matter how deeply I’m enjoying the country I’m in, I’ve steadfastly told people that I cannot imagine living anywhere else but here. This beautiful new book gives that emotion artful expression.
[The Most Beautiful Villages and Towns of California; text by Joan Tapper and photography by Nik Wheeler; published by Thames & Hudson; hardcover; 208 pages; $40.]
Adventure Collection members Backroads, O.A.R.S., and Off the Beaten Path offer a wide range of trips throughout California. For more information on their itineraries, visit their web sites: Backroads, O.A.R.S., and Off the Beaten Path.