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Daily Deal: Tourism guides profile every state, and they're free

March 25, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A map inside the Official State of Alaska Tourism Guide, as displayed digitally.
A map inside the Official State of Alaska Tourism Guide, as displayed digitally. (Screen grab from Alaska…)

Are you in summer vacation planning mode? Every state and many cities in America publish their own tourism guides, vacation planners, whatever you want to call them -- and they're usually free for the asking.

Sure, the glossy, color magazines are out to lure you to visit, but they're also packed with good information and maps.

The deal: You can find guides by searching online for state or local tourism offices. For example, the 108-page Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner is offered in hard copy (it takes three weeks by mail) or for immediate download. Inside are itinerary ideas, details about national and state parks and lots of event listings by region too.

I also called up the Minnesota 2013 Travel Guide, also available in digital format. It points out the Great River Road along the Mississippi River turns 75 this year, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, which turns 50.

When: State and regional tourism guides are available year-round.

Details: I found a one-stop website, Free-Travel-Guides.us, that provides links to U.S. states and Canadian provinces all on one page. In clicking through, I found four states (starting withi Alabama) that didn't work but it's a useful shortcut for the majority that do connect.

Info: Search for individual state or city tourism offices, or check the Travel and Tourism Sites for U.S. States and Territories at USA.gov. You can find the state tourism sites at the L.A. Times trip planning page, along with foreign government tourist offices.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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