My first book, Eating & Drinking in Spanish, was published 25 years ago by Capra Press of Santa Barbara, CA. When it went out of business, the travel guides were picked up by Open Road Publishing/Simon & Schuster in New York. Some of those early guides are now in their 11th edition. Here's a look at how that first Spain guide changed over the years. Barcelona and Madrid books have been added to our Spain travel guides.
Made Easy Travel Guides has four guides to Southern California.
Here are a few more quirky sights we've included in our desert travel guide.
THE WORLD’S TALLEST THERMOMETER
This steel sign commemorates the weather record of 134°F (57°C) recorded in nearby Death Valley on July 10, 1913. In honor of that temperature record, the sign is 134 feet (41 meters) tall and the maximum temperature that it can record is 134°F (57°C). It had to be reinforced when high desert winds snapped it in half in 1992. Although it stopped working for a while, the family of Willis Herron (the builder of the monument) rescued and renovated this quirky sight. There’s a touristy gift shop here. Info: 72157 Baker Blvd. in Baker, California. It’s visible from Interstate 15. worldstallestthermometer.com.
This quirky attraction off Interstate 10 as you approach the Coachella Valley from Los Angeles is a fun excursion, especially for kids. Two enormous steel-and-concrete dinosaurs are named Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex. These roadside dinosaurs are best known for their appearance in the mid-1980s film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and the music video Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears.
In 1964, theme-park artist Claude Bell began construction of the dinosaurs to draw more customers to a restaurant he had on the premises. Dinny and Mr. Rex were both created from material salvaged from the construction of Interstate 10 and covered with spray concrete. Dinny was the first dinosaur to be used as a building. Today you can climb inside and take in the desert landscape. The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs Museum here includes 50 robotic dinosaurs, a dinosaur garden, and the Wafflesaurus Truck serving snacks and ice cream on weekends. You can get pretty close to the dinosaurs to take photos, but you must pay to enter the museum, and to climb into the structures. Info: 50800 Seminole Dr, Cabazon. Tel. 909/272-8164. Open daily 8am-8pm. Admission: $13, ages 3-12 $11. www.cabazondinosaurs.com. From Palm Springs: 17 miles (27 km) on Interstate 10 west toward Los Angeles (exit 106).
We’ve included some quirky sights like the world’s largest thermometer, enormous steel-and-concrete dinosaurs, and a dome said to have been designed by aliens. Here are two of these interesting sights from our book.
“Big Josh,” formerly known as “The Mecca Cowboy,” is one of the statues known as “Muffler Men.” International Fiberglass Company of Venice, California constructed most of the fiberglass statues before closing in the mid-1990s. The owners of Joshua Tree’s The Station, a former gas station built in 1949, rescued the gentle giant from a swap meet. For years, he stood in the town of Mecca near the Salton Sea. There are a handful of “Muffler Men” still around, like “Chicken Boy” in Highland Park, California and “Mutant Man” in Yuma, Arizona. They were created in an era where roadside businesses needed to catch the eye of potential customers speeding along the highways. Come check out “Big Josh” and see what he’s holding or wearing. During the pandemic, he covered his face with a mask!
Integratron: Aeronautical engineer George Van Tassel was obsessed with UFOs. He built this dome structure after he claimed that extraterrestrials from Venus gave him the blueprint. He wanted the dome to promote time travel and be an “electrostatic generator.” Today you can reserve a spot to have a sound bath, said to relax and rejuvenate. If taking a break from your life and listening to the music of crystal bowls appeals to you, then this is the ticket. The Integratron is in the Hi-Desert town of Landers (15 miles (24 km) north of Highway 62 on Highway 247 /Old Woman Springs Road).
"The Amazing California Desert" now available! Our new guide to Joshua Tree, Hi-Desert, Salton Sea, Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, Anza-Borrego, Death Valley, Mojave Desert, and more!
The amazing California desert has something for everyone, from the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park to the fascinating Salton Sea. In Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, you can visit the Living Zoo and Gardens, where you can feed the giraffes, or escape the heat by taking a ride on the breathtaking Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
We’ve included some quirky sights like the world’s largest thermometer, enormous steel-and-concrete dinosaurs, and a dome said to have been designed by aliens. We’ll also guide you to the spectacular hiking trails in the state and national parks in the desert.
And when you need to refuel, we’ve included insider tips on cafes, restaurants, and shops that are scattered throughout the desert. This concise pocket guide will help you plan your trip with confidence. Get ready to explore the hidden, offbeat, and captivating attractions of the California desert.
Palm Springs has something for everyone. If you love nature, there are spectacular hiking trails to explore, and the breathtaking Aerial Tramway. If art is your passion, take in the Palm Springs Art Museum, or the Uptown District’s galleries. How about architecture? After all, you’ll be in the heart of Mid-Century Modern and Spanish Revival! And when you need to refuel, take your pick from the many friendly (and festive!) restaurants and bars all over downtown, and throughout the Coachella Valley.
From the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park to exciting nightlife and resorts—including insider tips on cafes, restaurants, and shops—this concise little pocket guide will help you plan your trip with confidence. However short your stay, it’s all you’ll need to make your visit enjoyable, memorable—and easy! (And trust us: We think you’ll be back…)
Sample pages of our new "The Next Time I See Paris" guide to unique and hidden sights, museums, and churches.
The waiting is the hardest part! Our guide to the unique sights, museums, and churches of Paris is now available!
The pandemic delayed the release of "The Next Time I See Paris." Now that France is opening up to foreign travelers, it's time to start planning your next trip to Paris.
Palm Springs has something for everyone. If you love nature, there are spectacular hiking trails to explore, and the breath-taking Aerial Tramway. If art is your passion, take in the Palm Springs Art Museum, or the Uptown District’s galleries. How about architecture? After all, you’ll be in the heart of Mid-Century Modern and Spanish Revival! And when you need to refuel, take your pick from the many friendly (and festive!) restaurants and bars all over downtown, and throughout the Coachella Valley. From the stark beauty of Joshua Tree National Park to exciting gay nightlife and resorts—including insider tips on cafes, restaurants, and shops—this concise little pocket guide will help you plan your trip with confidence. However short your stay, it’s all you’ll need to make your visit enjoyable, memorable—and easy! (And trust us: We think you’ll be back…) After writing 50 European travel guides, the authors have turned their attention to their home town. Palm Springs Made Easy includes insider tips on what to see, where to sleep, where to eat, and where to shop!
Andy Herbach is the author of the Eating & Drinking series of menu translators and restaurant guides, including Eating & Drinking in Italy , Eating & Drinking in Paris , and Eating & Drinking in Spain and Portugal . He is also the co-author of Wining & Dining in Paris and
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