The 14 Best Coffee Table Books of 2021

Turn these glorious pages to explore the world from your sofa

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The Rundown

Paris Chic by Alexandra Senes at Amazon

"This book shows the human side of one of the most stylish cities on the planet."

Travel Home: Design with a Global Spirit by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel at Amazon

"Get inspired to curate interiors that reflect your most cherished places and experiences."

Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval at Amazon

"If you like Wes Anderson movies, you need this book in your life."

Escape by Gray Malin at Amazon

"Escape to beaches and mountains through Gray Malin's evocative photography."

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small by Kath Stathers at Amazon

"Let this book help inspire you to build your own bucket list."

Cereal City Guide: London by Rosa Park and Rich Stapleton at Amazon

"Go beyond the tourist stops with this local guide to London."

Poolside With Slim Aarons by Slim Aarons at Amazon

"Flip through for a luxe trip through the Caribbean, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, and more."

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips by National Geographic at Amazon

"National Geographic’s best-selling travel guide contains 500 destinations and experiences across the world."

Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise by Tim Street-Porter at Amazon

"Inform your next desert trip with this book's modernist furniture shopping guide."

Los Angeles. Portrait of a City by Kevin Starr, David L. Ulin, and Jim Heimann at Amazon

"This comprehensive collection journeys through the city’s cultural and political history."

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton at Amazon

"Derived from Brandon Stanton’s blog, this book includes more than 500 deeply personal stories."

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton at Amazon

"Unlike a traditional guidebook, Atlas Obscura focuses instead on outlandish curiosities."

Turquoise Coast by Kinay at Amazon

"Dive into the Turkish riviera's scenery and folklore with this stunning book."

She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild by Gale Straub at Amazon

"Travel photography combines with the personal stories of 40 women on their journeys through nature."

Even the most mobile jet-setters spend some time at home—especially when a global pandemic leaves many travelers around the world temporarily grounded. So make your home the kind of place that inspires and indulges your wanderlust every day.

Start by stacking up a few coffee table books packed with stunning photographs to take you on a journey right from the comfort of your sofa. Our collection of travel-themed coffee table books captures places, people, culture, and experiences, with images from iconic travel photographers including Slim Arons and Gray Malin. These make ideal gifts for travelers and photo fans. And they make great gifts for yourself, investments that inspire your travels and keep your wanderlust burning brightly even as you kick your feet up at home.

Here, the best coffee table books for travelers.

Paris Chic by Alexandra Senes

Paris is the metropolitan embodiment of chicness. And this book captures that with everyday Parisian scenes: bistros, alleyways, artist studios, and more. Author Alexandra Senes and photographer Oliver Pilcher show the human side of one of the most stylish cities on the planet.

Travel Home: Design with a Global Spirit by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel

This book is for the globetrotters intent on bringing stunning style and cultural inspiration from around the globe into the design of their homes. Get inspired to curate gracious interiors that reflect your most cherished places and experiences. And peek into 20 sophisticated homes of designers who did the same.

Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval

If you like Wes Anderson movies, you need this book in your life. Wally Koval’s New York Times-bestselling collection of photographs, authorized by the iconic filmmaker, captures the real-life places around the world that look like they’re plucked right out of Anderson’s movies. All are presented alongside the human stories behind the images.

Escape by Gray Malin

Gray Malin is well known for his evocative overhead beach photography; this book expands on the niche, taking it beyond the beach to locales around the world. Yes, you get Bora Bora—but also snow in Aspen, dry plains in Namibia, and other remarkably colorful places.

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small by Kath Stathers

Sure, the whole notion of a “bucket list” is derived from the idea of eventually dying, but what’s a more optimistic exercise than planning to experience the world’s most magical places before you go? Let this book help inspire you to build your own bucket list—from beautiful beaches to world-class museums and more.

Cereal City Guide: London by Rosa Park and Rich Stapleton

The founders of indie travel and style magazine Cereal bring you this carefully curated book covering what to do in the English capital city. Far from just the top-trafficked sightseeing stops, this list is a well-edited collection of local shops, galleries, architectural points of interest, day trips outside the city, and more.

Poolside With Slim Aarons by Slim Aarons

Whether you jet-set like the rich and famous or simply aspire to, this book will get your heart pumping for a posh adventure. The pages star the world’s most glamorous pools, surrounded by the world's most perfectly tan, oiled-up, teeny-swimsuit-clad globetrotters. Flip through for a luxe trip through the Caribbean, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, and more.

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips by National Geographic

National Geographic’s best-selling travel guide contains 500 destinations and experiences across every continent. Think ocean cruising in Antarctica and horse trekking through the Andes, all compiled from the favorite trips of NatGeo travel writers.

Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise by Tim Street-Porter

The pull of Palm Springs has been irresistible for decades, but it’s the desert city’s modernist architecture that still defines the destination. This book showcases that iconic design with photos of homes designed by the likes of Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, and Paul Williams. There’s also a resource for modernist furniture shopping to inform your next desert trip.

Los Angeles. Portrait of a City by Kevin Starr, David L. Ulin, and Jim Heimann

Beyond the beaches and the Hollywood sign, Los Angeles offers so much to see—and so much to love. This comprehensive collection includes the first known photograph taken in L.A. and journeys through the city’s cultural and political history for a portrait that is rich and layered.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton

Sure, New York City has the Chrysler Building and the Empire State—but its real magic lies in its 8 million people. Derived from Brandon Stanton’s blog Humans of New York, this book includes more than 500 vibrant images that tell deeply personal stories, from amusing to heartbreaking.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton

Atlas Obscura’s travel book, which soared to the top of bestseller lists at first publishing, is now in its second edition. It includes more than 100 new places and photographs, 12 city guides, and even a foldout map with a bucket-list itinerary for the ultimate road trip around the world. Unlike a traditional guidebook, this Atlas Obscura gem focuses instead on outlandish curiosities and oddities—like a baobab tree in South Africa so large it has a pub inside with room for 15.

Turquoise Coast by Kinay

This stunning book derives its name from the nickname for the Turkish riviera. It features the region’s scenery and folklore, all captured in eye-popping photography of the shores of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. This coastline is such a glorious standout that Mark Antony was said to have chosen as a wedding gift for Cleopatra. Oliver Pilcher’s photos transport you right onto a yacht to breathe in all that geographic and cultural drama.

She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild by Gale Straub

This tribute to female voyagers combines travel photography with the personal stories of 40 women on their journeys through nature as they live out of vans, trailers, and trucks, cooking over campfires and sleeping under the stars. In addition to the narratives are trip ideas for readers inspired to do the same.

Final Verdict

Palm Springs Modernist (view at Amazon) is a standout because it covers one of my favorite and most frequent destinations, a desert city whose vibe has the power to transform my entire mindset, even though it’s just 120 miles from home.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Alesandra Dubin is a frequent traveler and a perpetual wanderluster. She fills her Los Angeles home with art, photos, and mementos from her travels (Morocco, Tahiti, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Turkey, and more), and seeks evocative objects that bring that sense of global adventure into the home.

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