Post Summary: Coffee Table Travel Books To Inspire Your Wanderlust This Christmas Season!
You can tell a lot from a person by the books they have.
Most often by their coffee table books, which are the ones on full-display for their guests, friends, and family!
From food to travel, architecture to gardening, book collections are a little glimpse into that person’s life and what inspires them.
This is why we think coffee table books are the perfect gift any time of year.
We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite photographers, inspirational collections, and more to bring you a unique list of gifts for all kinds of world travelers.
In this post, we’re sharing our favorite coffee table travel books, and why they deserve to be on full display!
The Best Coffee Table Travel Books To Inspire Your Next Adventure
This list is curated from a collection of books we have, books we want, and inspirational photographers we admire. These links are affiliate links!
Epic Drives Of The World
Author: Lonely Planet – Publisher: Lonely Planet
Epic Drives Of The World is the perfect coffee table travel book to buy for that person who is obsessed with planning their next road trip. This book is teeming with inspiration, from iconic routes like a Pacific Coast Highway road trip on the US West Coast to incredible jaw-dropping routes like the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Perfect For: Road trippers and people who like to travel on a budget
Powder: The Greatest Ski Runs On The Planet
Author: Patrick Thorne – Publisher: Quercus
Visiting British Columbia this winter season? After picking up some classic Vancouver gifts, consider grabbing this coffee table travel book as well, highlighting some of the best ski runs in the world! Captured by one of the leading ski experts in the world, Powder: The 50 Greatest Ski Runs On The Planet showcases visually stunning mountain sport destinations, including some Canadian favorites like Whistler, BC, and Lake Louise, Alberta.
Perfect For: Ski bums looking for the next epic mountain to shred
Roaming America: Exploring All the National Parks
Author: Renee and Matthew Hahnel – Publisher: Lannoo Publishers
Both extremely beautiful and exceptionally practical, Renee and Matthew Hahnel captured their journey through all of America’s National Parks in their recent book, Roaming America: Exploring All The National Parks.
Roaming America includes practical information about all 59 National Parks, including best hiking trails, photo spots, and even maps and mini-guides to make the most of your trip. This book is a beautiful resource for anyone planning to visit the National Parks, and a perfect gift for outdoorsy women and men alike!
Perfect for: Roadtrippers, people seeking beautiful places in the United States
Ron Timehin: London Fog
Author: Ron Timehin, Photographer – Publisher: Trope Publishing Co.
Ron Timehin is a London-based photographer capturing the endless moody skies of this English city.
His book, Ron Timehin: London Fog, is a collection of moody mornings, fog-covered bridges, and ethereal city scenes that bring a unique perspective to London. He isn’t afraid to wake up at 4:00 am to capture the sleeping city before the morning dew lifts!
His atmospheric images will inspire you to think about capturing scenes from a different perspective. Who knew that Big Ben could look so beautiful in a blanket of fog?
Perfect for: City photographers, aspiring UK travelers
Poolside With Slim Aarons
Author: Slim Aarons – Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Ever wondered how the rich and famous spend their vacation days?
Glamour photographer Slim Aarons was frequently invited to elite-society parties, capturing the luxurious, private lives of the wealthy. This coffee table travel book is filled with vintage-feel photos from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, depicting what life is like by the poolside of the rich. It’s a twist on street photography – but just capturing the wealthy in their own environment.
Perfect For: Vintage photography lovers, film fanatics
How Does It Feel?
Author: Andrew Kearns – Publisher: Thought Catalog Books
Andrew Kearns’ photography collection in How Does It Feel? is an artful masterpiece collage from the mountains to the sea. In each of his images, the question “how does it feel?” is the main thought behind the photos, bringing out raw, authentic musings with friends and nature alike.
You’ll feel a lot of nostalgia in this book – from spontaneous adventures to film-like wanderings, it will make you think deeply about the memories you capture for yourself.
Perfect for: People who seek a deeper connection between photography and their subject
Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 Of The World’s Most Amazing Places
Author: National Geographic – Publisher: National Geographic
Destinations of a Lifetime: 224 Of The World’s Most Amazing Places is a book that will fuel your wanderlust and help you plan your next epic escape! This book is can be one of the most perfect wedding gifts for outdoorsy couples, or even a gift just for someone who loves solo adventures.
Cabin Porn: Inspiration For Your Quiet Place Somewhere
Editors and Authors: Zach Klein, Steven Leckart, Noah Kalina – Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Have you ever dreamed about owning your own cabin, but don’t know where to begin? Cabin Porn will awaken your inner yearning for a quiet existence, giving you the inspiration to create your own hideaway.
From secluded woodsy cabins to hideaways on the edge of a cliff, it will give you a close-up view of some of the most unique and beautiful man-built architecture today. (And if you need some inspiration, check out these incredible Pacific Northwest cabins to rent!)
Perfect for: The DIYer, renovators, or aspiring cabin-owners
Cabin Porn: Inside
Editor and Authors: Zach Klein, Freda Moon – Publisher: Particular Books
Cabin Porn: Inside is the second edition of the Cabin Porn series. This time, we get to take a peek inside some of these gorgeous cabins that inspire readers to unplug and escape the busy-ness of everyday life.
Filled with everything from tiny house living to fire lookout escapes (yes, even Crystal Peak Lookout is included!), cozy up with a blanket and a cup of coffee to get lost inside this book!
Perfect for: Interior lovers, hygge enthusiasts, aspiring cabin owners
Steve McCurry: A Life In Pictures
Author: Steve McCurry and Bonnie McCurry – Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
With 40 years of McCurry’s best photography compiled into A Life In Pictures, this is an excellent coffee table travel book for people who love raw and candid life moments.
From his early days in the US, capturing hidden moments of the mujahideen in Afghanistan, and documenting events like 9/11 and the Gulf War, his photos tell the story of iconic moments that go down in history.
Perfect for: Aspiring photojournalists, history buffs, and anthropologists
Wanderlust: A Hiker’s Companion
Author: Cam Honan and Die Gestalten Verla – Publisher: Gestalten
Wanderlust: A Hiker’s Companion illustrates some of the world’s most famous, beautiful, and awe-inspiring trails. From the Salkantay Trail into Machu Picchu to the Canyon Trail (Zion) in the middle of the Utah desert, this book takes you on a journey to all corners of the earth.
With easy to follow maps, practical tips, and inspiring photography, you’ll be getting your hiking boots on before you turn the last page.
Perfect for: Trail lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, nature photographers
Van Life: Your Home On The Road
Author: Foster Huntington – Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a van, Foster Huntington’s book Van Life: Your Home On Wheels does a pretty darn good job of giving you a practical and unique insight into this nomadic lifestyle. Many of the most iconic backpacking books evoke wanderlust by the words on the page, but Van Life brings that feeling in the images!
This book is a perfect mix of cleverly designed interiors, eclectic homes on wheels, and the stunning landscapes they can lead to.
Foster Huntington is the creator of the #vanlife hashtag, bringing a community of independence-seeking travelers together in this beautifully curated book.
Perfect for: People who are curious about Van Life, roamers, spontaneous adventurers
High Tide: A Surf Odyssey – Photography By Chris Burkard
Author: Chris Burkard – Publisher: Lannoo Publishers
High Tide: A Surf Odyssey is a collection of photos curated by Chris Burkard on his surfing quests around the world. From surfing in the arctic circle all the way to tropical paradises, Chris captures his quests for the perfect wave all over the world.
From the bright whites of Noway to the rich greens of the Pacific islands, you’ll be inspired to explore the open oceans for yourself!
Perfect For: People who love extreme sports, epic photography landscapes
Humans Of New York
Author: Brandon Stanton – Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Humans of New York became an instant success in 2010, and continues to be published still today! Brandon Stanton, a photojournalist armed with a camera and determined to share the diversity of people and stories in New York City. This is one of the best coffee table travel books to give for the person who loves getting to know people!
Perfect For: People who love street photographer and real human stories
Author: Gray Malin – Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Escape is just one of Gray Malin’s recent masterpieces. His other books Italy and Beaches became a huge success for their unique perspectives and idyllic, pastel colors. Malin continues with this trend of dreamy scenes and landscapes but in more exotic locations in Escape.
From dry deserts to downtown scenes, cliffside pools and mountain tops, this coffee table travel book will be one you flip through again and again.
Perfect For: Readers who love to plan once-in-a-lifetime adventures