PLATTSBURGH - Get ready ... get set ... travel!
Summer travel is just around the corner and two destinations local author and travel expert Steve Howell says are important to consider are Boston and Quebec City.
Howell's new travel guide book, "Photographic Boston," hit shelves last week and "Quebec City Complete," an application he created for use on the iPhone and iTouch, is due out any day now.
Photographic Boston, published by Countryman Press, covers tips for locals and tourists alike. The book includes Boston spring, summer and fall photos, destinations from downtown to Cambridge are some of the highlighted places which inspired Howell to take more than 70 photos.
Howell said he took the approach like a tourist, including as much of the city as possible in his book. He pounded the pavement, looked at maps and used a Boston iPhone app published by Sutro Media - the same company that helped him publish his Quebec City iPhone app.
"It's affordable, an easy to carry book that can almost double as a souvenir because even if you're not a photographer it just has beautiful color photos," said Howell.
Photographic Boston goes outside the normal tourist box and explores a different part of Boston neighborhoods that you might not normally think to go to in Boston, Howell said, like the Emerald Necklace - a series of nine parks designed by Fredrick Olmsted, landscaper artist and architect of Central Park in New York City.
The Emerald Necklace is strung along for many miles, starting with the formal gardens of Boston Common, the Boston Garden, the Commonwealth Mall, then to near where the Boston Red Sox play, then it gets into a more natural state and ends.
Howell visits the Harvard University-run horticultural park.
"Its landscaped and natural setting is gorgeous," said Howell. "You can climb these little mountains there and see the skyline of Boston; it's a little bit outside the city of Boston."
South Boston destinations include beautiful seaside scenery in the book and big touristy spots, and other neighborhoods with over a dozen entries in each chapter. The book includes 90 entries; including a side trip Salem on how to hop on the commuter train.
The T-subway stations, including stops, are covered as well, to familiarize readers with one form of transportation available.
Howell covers tips on basic photo shooting for the novice to the expert. For example, how to get copyright or press release info from the press department at fine arts museum, photo gallery included highlighting museums, what a visitor might expect, the best time to visit, what type of lighting will visitors see, will it cost money.
"St. Patrick's Day in Boston is a hoot; don't miss it," said Howell. "Boston is the best place ever to be for St. Patrick's Day."
Howell's iPhone app includes the restaurants and history of Quebec, Canada with things to do, and the tasty cultural foods.
"It's a big major metropolitan area and in 15 minutes you can be in the middle of a forest; it's amazing for that fact. Quebec is so gorgeous and it's so green," Howell said.
The app has at least 20 entries, and is less expensive than a book at $2.99 and is always up to date, said Howell.
"If a restaurant closes, I just delete that entry," Howell said. "You can't do that with a travel guide book. With the app you can delete entries, it's so easy, and you can add comments."