i am not much on instruction manuals or guidebooks (or just being told what to do, where to go or how to do things in general – but that’s another post.)  however, the ‘lonely planet’ guidebook to traveling the country has been a great resource.  it details just enough information on just enough corners of different regions.  not too much direction and not too little.  it also covers a wide variety of geographic and cultural destinations.  have used it so far for california, arizona, nevada, washington d.c., new york, massachusetts, indiana, illinois and south carolina – and has added to each trip.