The story of Highway A1A--running north to south along 500 miles of famous Florida coastline--and its crucial role in the historic settlement and the future of a state adapting to 21st century demands.
Highway A1A: Florida at the Edge is more than an insightful guide to the cities and towns along Florida’s Atlantic coast. It is also the dramatic story of how tourism begat development, how development begat sprawl, and how this coastal corridor, almost out of the blue, created Florida’s original year-round residential downtowns with the power to transform how Floridians live and how the world vacations in the Sunshine State. Highway A1A is anecdotal, authoritative, humorous, and wide-ranging. Passionately Floridian travel writer and tourism analyst Herbert Hiller offers a fuller and more balanced story about Florida’s Atlantic coast than any other guidebook.
Exploring towns from Callahan to Key West, Hiller covers Florida’s 13 Atlantic counties, providing maps, historical and present-day photographs, and recommendations for places to visit, lodge, eat, and shop that are truly local in character. Whether you’re a tourist or a roving Floridian looking for some diversion not far from home, Highway A1A will put you in touch with what makes the Atlantic coast special--its dynamic sites and sights.
On his web site, author Herbert L. Hiller offers a one-sentence summary of Florida's central paradox: "A propensity to squander drives everything, yet challenged by a growing urge to protect." In Highway A1A, he describes the rampant tourism, runaway real estate speculation, and unbridled development that continue to transform the Sunshine State.
Fernandina Beach News-Leader
"How did we get to this situation? Hiller’s book is revealing. "
"Hiller offers a passionate and up-to-date biography of the highway and its adjacent communities. "
Wichita Sunday Eagle
"A must for any thinking traveler."
Both of these titles address travel in Florida in different and distinctive ways. In 30 Eco-Trips, part of the new "Wild Florida" series that will focus on outdoor activities and environmental aspects of the Sunshine State, Ambrose, editor of EcoFlorida magazine, divides the state by geographic region and for each region provides eco-activities like trail tripping, boating, tours, and attractions as well as information about the area's wildlife, habitats, and, briefly, camping and lodging. Three appendixes furnish further resources and wildlife information. While rather standard in format and presentation, this book nonetheless provides a unique focus. Highway A1A, conversely, is different from Eco-Trips and other standard travel books in both presentation and content. Hiller, who has worked extensively in the tourism field and is currently a speaker and consultant on alternative forms of tourism, has something of a love-hate relationship with the state he has lived in and written about since 1958. Part 1 of his book offers narratives that examine tourism and the history and impact of development on each county along the A1A highway (which follows the eastern coastline of Florida). Part 2 provides annotated listings of information sources, attractions, dining, and lodging. Readers will come away feeling that they have just been handed an insider's view of where to go, what to see, and what it's all about down the southern Atlantic coast. Both books are recommended for all travel collections.-Louise Feldmann, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Herbert Hiller has written for Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Traveler, and Land and People. He is the author of Guide to the Small and Historic Lodgings of Florida, winner of a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award as best travel guidebook in America, and coauthor of Season of Innocence. He lives in Putnam County, Florida, and is at work on a new book about Florida downtowns, small towns, and the trails that connect them.