National Geographic’s 50 States 5000 Ideas, A Book Review

I consider myself well read when it comes to U. S. history and travel, so when I find a book that challenges what I know I feel compelled to share. The book, National Geographic’s 50 States, 5000 Ideas made me realize I still have a lot to learn about states. This book is the perfect companion for those who want to explore the country and dive a little deeper into the diversity of each one.

National Geographic's 50 States 5000 Ideas Book Review - Kids Are A Trip

What’s inside

The book runs alphabetically from Alabama to Wyoming and includes the 10 Canadian provinces. Each state features 4 to 6 pages filled with detailed information about the major cities. This can include everything from tourism information (think tourist office addresses and e-mails) to types of landscapes found in each state. The accompanying photography is spectacular. Inset boxes on each page feature “Hidden Treasures”, “State of the Art”, and “Local Flavor” to inspire visitors to explore off the beaten path.

National Geographic's 50 States 5000 Ideas What's Inside - Kids Are A Trip

Check it out

Of course I have to pick a state to investigate, so I chose my home state, Arizona. I was pleasantly surprised by the facts shared in the book. Not only does it share major city highlights, it offers up some of the lesser known attractions. Phoenix has a Musical Instrument Museum people love to visit and Tucson has Mission San Xavier del Bac, the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. These aren’t the most common places to explore, but they are definitely worth visiting.

National Geographic's 50 States 5000 Ideas lots of travel information. - Kids Are A Trip
Plenty of travel inspiration.

I love the “State of the Art” boxes for each state where they shares famous books, songs, movies, etc. connected to the destination. For Arizona they chose “The Painted Desert” song by 10,000 Maniacs and the original Psycho movie. I had no idea either one was related to the state, but now I want to go find them and see if I can make the connection.

Another favorite is “Local Favor”. The book is spot on for Arizona. They share the ingredients for Sonoran hot dogs (a favorite of mine), and explain the importance of date fruit in local communities. There are only a few foods for each state, but the author did a nice job selecting some of the more interesting options.

Who should read this book

If you’re a fan of travel in general, this is the book for you. Gorgeous photography, fun facts, interesting history, this book has it all. Kids will enjoy reading it too and you probably find inspiration for your next family trip. I can see this being a book I leave on the table for the kids to pick up and leaf through. Odds are they will find several road trip ideas in this book and we’ll be off exploring in no time.

National Geographic's 50 States 5000 Ideas a wealth of inspiration. - Kids Are A Trip
It didn’t take long for him to find it.

About National Geographic’s 50 States 5000 Ideas

• Paperback: 288 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (February 7, 2017)

Best Travel Books for Kids

This richly illustrated book from the travel experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, Civil War battlefields, dude ranches, out-of-the-way museums, and more. You’ll discover the world’s longest yard sale in Tennessee, swamp tours in Louisiana, dinosaur trails in Colorado, America’s oldest street in NYC, and the best spot to watch for sea otters on the central California coast. Each entry provides detailed travel information as well as fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. In addition to 50 states in the U.S., the book includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories.

Purchase Links

National Geographic Store | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Joe Yogerst

During three decades as an editor, writer, and photographer, Joe Yogerst has lived and worked on four continents—Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. His writing has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Islands magazine, The New York Times (Paris), and numerous National Geographic books. During that time, he has won four Lowell Thomas Awards, including one for Long Road South, his National Geographic book about driving the Pan American Highway from Texas to Argentina.