New travel book highlights crafts in 70 cities, including Maine

Daniel Seddiqui’s latest travel book, “Piecing Together America,” highlights craftsmanship in 70 cities nationwide.

PORTLAND, Maine — There are many travel books on the market, but few authors can say they’ve traveled to every state in America at least 20 times.

Daniel Seddiqui has been crisscrossing the nation since 2008, searching for places off the beaten path and highlighting the people who make them special.

In his latest book, “Piecing Together America: Serving the Best Features and Craftsmanship of Every Major City,” Seddiqui visited 70 cities, starting in Portland to highlight the crafts and its makers in each place.

Maine has more breweries per capita than any other state. In Portland, Seddiqui visited Geary’s Brewing Company, New England’s first craft brewery, and worked with brewers there to learn more about what they do.

“I got to be with locals who are very prideful of their work and it was a great authentic experience,” Seddiqui said.

While in Portland, Seddiqui stayed at the Regency Hotel and Spa in the Old Port area, which was once an armory used by the National Guard.

Seddiqui features the historical hotel in his book and suggests travelers stay in bed and breakfasts or independent hotels whenever possible to better connect with places and locals.

From making surfboards in San Diego to learning latte art from the man who brought the practice to America from Italy, Seddiqui’s tried his hand at engaging activities in cities in every state.

His book suggests places to eat and stay, and activities that help travelers connect with their local senses, which Seddiqui said is the biggest mistake travelers make.

“Stay away from the limelight … The real experiences are away from the statues, away from the monuments, away from the hustle-bustle. I think it’s in the communities outside of the touristy spots,” Seddiqui said.

Seddiqui, who lives in Bend, Oregon, is currently working on a series of ten regional travel guides, each with a different theme. New England’s theme will be nautical and is expected to be published next year.

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