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moon northern california road trips travel guidebook author writer stuart thorntonI am excited to announce the release of Moon Northern California Road Trips!

This book is the ideal guide and companion for a trip around the northern section of the Golden State. For this special Moon Travel Guide, I detail the coastal route through this part of California (Mendocino, Humboldt County, and more), while my co-author Kayla Anderson undertakes the inland mountainous route through iconic destinations including Lassen Volcanic National Park and Yosemite National Park.

While researching my part of this 600-page book, there were many personal discoveries and lifelong memories made. I learned more about the Russians in California at Fort Ross State Historic Park and enjoyed the famed beer Pliny the Elder at its source in Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company. I finally saw the magnificent natural phenomenon of Bowling Ball Beach and enjoyed community and killer food at Stewarts Point Store’s Friday pizza night. With my wingman Dan, I took in some of the largest waves I’ve ever seen from Patrick Point. We also explored Redwood National Park and State Parks’ redwood forests with Redwood Adventures Eco Tours during a memorable but wet day. 

I made so many memories while researching this book. I hope you make your own memories with Moon Northern California Road Trips!

Click here to buy Moon Northern California Road Trips online!

Sure, I have a fondness for each of my guidebooks, but the newest edition of Moon Monterey & Carmel might be my favorite.

Doing a 304-page book on my longtime stomping grounds has been one of my best writing experiences because I really get to share my passion for Monterey County and give readers of this book my inside knowledge.

The guide, which covers from Santa Cruz down to Morro Bay with a focus on Monterey and Carmel, includes all of the local favorites here including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Big Sur’s Highway 1. But it also includes under-the-radar destinations including the Santa Cruz Buddhist retreat Land of the Medicine Buddha, the remote Hearst Hacienda Lodge, and Casa Serrano, a frequently overlooked adobe in downtown Monterey that happens to have one of the best collections of early California art anywhere.

The book has all of the information to make your trip to the Monterey/Carmel region one of your best vacations ever. And there’s a handpicked list of songs about Big Sur to play while you are cruising down scenic Highway 1. Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Click here to buy Moon Monterey & Carmel online!

It is my pleasure to introduce to you the latest Moon Coastal California Guidebook!

This sleek and compact beauty is crammed with the latest information about one of the world’s most popular coastlines and dotted with arresting color photographs of the region’s attractions, natural features, dining options, hotels, hiking trails, and more!

At an impressive 467 pages, this companion for the road speaks eloquently about the 854 miles between San Diego and Crescent City. It is impressively fluent when describing the latest developments in locales including Humboldt County, downtown Los Angeles, the Monterey Peninsula, and Big Sur. This fine guide perfectly fits on bookshelves and in glove compartments!

Click here to buy Moon Coastal California online!


The third edition of my most popular book - California Road Trip - is perfect for anyone who wants to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime road trip around the iconic sights of the American West.

Major points of interest in this 480-page guide include San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, and the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and unexpected attractions along the way including the Area 51 Travel Center and Watts Towers.

In this outing, I am most excited about my finds in in the Yosemite area and in a resurgent downtown Los Angeles. With so many new venues in L.A. covered in this edition, the image of the city’s Griffith Observatory on the book’s cover is ideal.

In the meantime, pick up a copy of the new Moon California Road Trip at your favorite bookstore or click here or the book image for info on how to purchase the book online.


stuart thornton travel guide book author and writer of Moon California Road Trip gold medal winner 2016 independent publisher book awards ippyI am proud and pleased to announce that Moon California Road Trip won the gold medal for best travel guidebook from the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards! It’s a true pleasure to know that California Road Trip has taken home a coveted IPPY Award! This is the world’s largest international and regional book awards competition, so I am humbled to be recognized by this fine organization. 

stuart thornton writer and author of moon travel handbooks and articles for national geographic education monterey county weekly and relix magazine california road tripI am really excited to also have my other Moon travel guidebooks on bookshelves and available on websites including and other fine online retailers:

Moon Coastal California,
Moon California Road Trip

Moon Monterey & Carmel,
Moon Santa Barbara & The Central Coast,
Moon Spotlight Mendocino & Redwood Country
Moon Spotlight Cambria & San Simeon

In addition, I contributed 13 write-ups about the Golden State’s piers and wharves to Piers of the California Coast, a soft cover coffee table book spearheaded by photographer and publisher Ed Grant. That book is available on websites including and other fine online retailers.

stuart thornton author and writer of travel guidebooks for moon california coastal road trip monterey carmel santa barabara cambria mendocino redwoods san simeon

This site also includes some links to articles I have done for National Geographic Education, Relix Magazine, Paste Magazine, and the Monterey County Weekly. Take a gander and enjoy!

stuart thornton california author and writer travel guidebooks moon national geographic education relix monterey county weekly paste magazine

travel guidebook moon writer and author stuart thornton is on twitter @StuartThornton2Hey Tweeters! I'm also now on Twitter. Follow me if you like: @StuartThornton2

I also have a blog if you're into that kind of thing - I write about all sorts of things that I like: Travel, Surfing, Music, Literature, Film and more...Click here!