Anyone who travels wants to see a city's famous attractions. However, "Secret" guidebooks offer another perspective by showing visitors places many locals might not realize are in their community.
Written by local experts, the guides help locals, visitors, and armchair travelers find the unusual and unfamiliar in several cities featured in the series. These Jonglez Publishing gems start where other guidebooks leave off.
In Chichester, West Sussex is the Chichester Cathedral. The church is beautiful and is, at times, open for tour. However, the peregrine falcons are the unusual part of a visit here. From May to July, adults and their young are swooping in and out of the spire.
Hammerwood Park is Led Zeppelin's former mansion. Located in East Grinstead, East Sussex, there are many intriguing facts about the manor house. One I found interesting is Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the Yorkshire-born architect who also designed the US Capitol and the White House porticos, also built this house in 1792. It is one of the first examples of the Greek Revival movement in Britain with Doric columns and classical inscriptions.
Another favorite of mine is "Secret New Orleans" by Chris Champagne. Anyone visiting this city won't be surprised at its many secrets, but you'll miss many of them without the guidebook. The William Burroughs House, for example, is located in an otherwise typical residential neighborhood. This where the author lived with his family from 1948 to 1949.
Today the house is a private residence.
The Mardi Gras Fountain features large ceramic plaques featuring the crests of all the city's krewes. Krewes are private social clubs that put on the balls and parades that make up most of the city's events.
Located on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, it was popular in the 1960s and 70s. Unfortunately, the public forgot about it for decades until the new century, when the city and later FEMA and the Army Corp Engineers renovated it.
This guidebook won the Bronze Medal in the Travel Guidebook category at the Independent Publisher Book Awards competition, USA, 2018.
I have several of these guidebooks in my library, and I enjoy every one whether I have been to the city or not.
For other "Secret" book titles, check the website.
Photos via Wikimedia Commons: Chichester Cathedral, Evgeniy Podkopaev; Mardi Gras Fountain, Dan Soto