Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Niche Directories

VegGuide logoWhether you're staying home or traveling this season, there are online directories for particular dining and shopping needs. For the vegan, vegetarian or health-conscious diner, VegGuide.org will direct you to a suitable restaurant or grocer no matter where you are. Descriptions about eateries and shops include addresses, summaries, average prices, and often, customer reviews. So if you have trouble finding good food while traveling, or if you'd like to try out more local options, check out VegGuide to see what's available.

IndieBound logoFor bibliophiles who love to shop locally or online, IndieBound is a useful directory to independent book shops. You can locate your neighborhood booksellers and other businesses, as well as search to see if those stores have specific books. It's a member of the American Booksellers Association, and has online shopping features such as Wish Lists, New and Notable releases and Indie Bestsellers. Best of all, you can plan a road trip itinerary by touring bookshop to bookshop across the land.

Trip Advisor logoThe librarians get several requests each week about where to stay in Santa Fe. As residents, some of us have limited knowledge of the interiors and full amenities of all the places to stay in town, relying mostly on second-hand recommendations from family and friends who've passed through. Fortunately, there are dozens of travel sites online, many of which have traveler reviews and descriptions including price, desired amenities, location and ambiance. A useful portal is TripAdvisor, which has free reviews and links to several commercial travel sites when you're ready to make a reservation.

If you are going to drive around town or farther afield this season, Cost To Drive is a nifty site to check out. It calculates how much a trip costs in terms of gasoline usage and make and model of your vehicle. At this writing, their price per gallon estimate was about 10 cents lower than reality, but it was still neat to see about how much that mini-trip over the holiday will impact my budget.

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