Tag: maps

Free Maps and Travel Guides – New for 2019

Free Maps and Travel Guides – New for 2019

Looking for free paper maps by mail? This is the guide for you.

Though most people these days have a GPS, a paper map does come in handy. Mishaps take place, things get broken, and signals get lost. Not to mention, some folks just like using maps.

Thankfully, many states offer free state highway maps and travel guides by mail.

Today’s travel guide packets often arrive in your mailbox, with a highway map, a book or magazine, historical information and sometimes coupons for dinners or lodging. State tourism boards have upped their game!

Free Paper Maps by Mail – US Maps

Alaska
Alabama
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

It is important to note that you should give yourself some lead time when requesting maps and guides. It may take a few weeks for processing time.

Canadian Maps and Travel Guides

Other Free Maps, Guides and Brochures

AAA Maps & TourBooks

Does AAA still give free maps?

If you are a AAA member, they do provide maps at the office locations. And, when logged in to the website, you can request maps and TourBooks be mailed to your home.

Does AAA still give free maps?

If you are a AAA member, they do provide maps at the office locations. And, when logged in to the website, you can request maps and TourBooks be mailed to your home.

Free AAA Maps and Tour Books Order form

If you’re in a hurry, AAA also offers printable maps online.

More Free Map Resources and Tips

Don’t forget! Highway welcome centers are a great resource for free maps. Plus, there are often brochures for local attractions and sometimes local scenic drives. These displays are worth a look.

The Secretive Lives of Motorcyclists: Finding Your Way

The Secretive Lives of Motorcyclists: Finding Your Way

A few weeks ago I was speaking to Rich, the publisher of AutomotiveTraveler.com because he wanted to use one of my photos for a story.  In the course of our conversation he said something to the gist of, ‘motorcyclists know the best roads.’ I think he’s right on the money. One thing that many motorcyclists don’t know, is how to share. In this digital age of communication motorcyclist who frequent online hangouts like forums or message boards have been known to hold their road cards close to their vests.

Guilty as Charged

I am guilty of keeping mum on my roads. Are you? The reality of the matter is of course that there are no secrets. Anyone that can buy a map or look at Google Maps online can know what you know. Yet, somehow we feel the need to protect our knowledge for fear of the word getting out. It all comes down to one word. Trouble. People who draw complaints from whizzing past driveways, bringing the noise, stunting shenanigans and heaven forbid accidents, all bring the police. Who wants to encounter the police on their roads?

Today when I was messaging back and forth with Goldenchild who writes the SteadyOntheHumble.com blog, he readily tipped his hand to me on a road loop he likes to use. I immediately thought, ‘Wow! Alright, this is nice!’ I was honestly shocked that someone would share their treasures with me and I really appreciated it. I hope I am able to return the favor some time.

How do you find your way?

So how do you do it? How do you find roads in areas that you’ve never been to? My personal preference is to get a paper map of the area I will be traveling to. A paper map gives a high level overview of where I’m headed. I then zero in on where I think I may be going and start picking off routes that look interesting. I look for lakes, rivers, and mountains. My experience so far has taught me that these things are rarely square, so aside from lovely vistas they often provide the twisties. If I’m near a computer, I usually follow up with checking my route on Google Maps to see if I‘ve come up with something good. When have you ever ridden a ‘Snake Hill Road’ or ‘So and So Mountain Road’ that really stunk?

For trips to faraway places I check regional forums on message boards whose membership are sport or sport touring oriented. I look for ride reports and photographs that are centered around the state I’ll be traveling in and jot down any interesting tidbits that I find. I then go back to my paper maps and to Google to see how everything begins to gel. Routes will then begin to materialize naturally.

Perhaps the most important thing that I have learned to do over the years is just to wander. Explore. Make a left when left looks like it might hold some promise even if I haven’t the foggiest idea of where I will end up. True, this often works best when riding alone as I most often do. But, from many of my conversations with other riders it seems that some have a hard time letting go and just winging it.What is that saying? All who wander are not lost.

Fuzzygalore's Triumph Speed Triple in Columbia County New York

Everything you could possibly want is on the internet, good motorcycle road suggestions included. Here are some websites that offer road suggestions:

I’d love to hear your feedback on the topic. Please, don’t be shy!

Fuzzygalore’s GPS 1.0

Fuzzygalore’s GPS 1.0

My disinterest in using a GPS to ride with is well documented. I’ve been mocked. Endlessly. I’m not talking about wanting to know where the next hotel or gas station is because I see the value in that. Especially if you’ve only got 15 miles left on reserve and you’ve come to a fork in an unfamiliar road with no signs pointing to gas. Then the GPS is a gem.

So far, I seem to be able to find my way along the roads of life with my oldskool paper route sheets and a sharpie pen. AND.. get this.. people actually have fun riding with me inspite of it! Go figure. [insert smirk here] It’s simply a preference thing. When I’m already out on the road, I get an overall view and understanding with a paper map that I cannot personally get on a 5 inch screen.

So here it is, my riding map stash:

If you really want to get technical, I’ve got a map wheel too.

Visting the DeLorme Map Store in Yarmouth Maine

Visting the DeLorme Map Store in Yarmouth Maine

Right outside of Freeport in Yarmouth, Maine is the DeLorme map store. If you’ve travelled I-95 north through Maine, no doubt you’ve seen the giant globe named Eartha in it’s glass house too. We’ve driven past it for years now but time always has a way of getting away from us so we’ve never stopped in. As luck would have it yesterday, we weren’t in any kind of hurry to get anywhere and had no real timetable other than making sure we got to the last ferry across the sound, so we took the opportunity to finally go in.

Its no secret that I’m a bit of a map lover. I don’t covet them like a collection, but rather love them for their intended use. I’ve got a stack of poorly folded, creased, tattered, torn, highlighted, written-on maps here at my desk just begging to be used. Sadly the truth is, they don’t get nearly as much exercise as I’d like them to but I’m working on it.

Come for the globe, stay for the maps.

I’m fairly certain that most people are drawn in by the big globe, and rightfully so… but, the maps. The Maps! The store is filled with Lonely Planet type travel books for just about everywhere and nestled neatly beside the books are the accompanying maps for those far away places.

It felt rather serendipitous that we did stop. Not 10 minutes earlier, I had asked Kenny to pick the destination of our yearly ‘big motorcycle trip’ for 2009, and he did. We walked in and were able to get some lovely low-level maps to begin planning our journey. As I sit here now and type this I feel giddy with idea of going away again, even if it is a year out.

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