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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Comprehensive As A Nationwide Travel Guide Can Be
A travel guide that covers the ENTIRE United States? Can it really be any good? Yes.

I've spent the last two years road tripping around the country and plan to go for two more. My focus has been mostly national and state parks and traveling on a budget. Up to this point I've used an Atlas, a GPS and a variety of national park books to plan and determine...
Published on April 26, 2012 by Adam F. Jewell

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smarmy, Smug and at times Obnoxious
This book is not primarily written for Americans; it has large sections on how to "survive" in America that would only be useful to foreigners, covering issues such as driving, smoking, and not being overly physical when greeting people. It categorizes each state's politics and gives an incredibly slanted brief history of America, which clearly shows the authors'...
Published on May 6, 2012 by Daniel Weitz


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Comprehensive As A Nationwide Travel Guide Can Be, April 26, 2012
By 
Adam F. Jewell (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A travel guide that covers the ENTIRE United States? Can it really be any good? Yes.

I've spent the last two years road tripping around the country and plan to go for two more. My focus has been mostly national and state parks and traveling on a budget. Up to this point I've used an Atlas, a GPS and a variety of national park books to plan and determine what to see and where to go. When I get to a big city or other signs of civilization I've had to rely on local recommendations and travel brochures to figure out where to go and what to do.

Much to my delight there is a centerfold section featuring photos and basic information about the national parks. The book is divided up by section of the country. These include the Southwest, The Rocky Mountains, NY, New Jersey and PA, Alaska and Hawaii among others. Within each of these "big sections" there are smaller sections that may be a metro area as in Los Angeles in the case of the California section or "Western Nevada" in the case of the "Southwest" section of the book.

At over 1,000 pages, I'd never be able to go through and evaluate this entire book. However, by looking at sections like Yosemite, Eastern Sierras, Yellowstone, Cody, Wyoming and the Jackson Hole/Grand Teton Areas it is possible to evaluate the book based on the areas with which I am familiar. Coverage for these areas is outstanding and includes most but not all of the best sights to see in those areas.

In the Eastern Sierras around Mammoth Mountain the guide highlights some relatively off the beaten path attractions including the Bristlecone Pine Forest (where you will see the oldest living things on the planet) but misses things like Obsidian Dome. Though it includes the Bristlecone Pine Forest as an attraction it does not mention the campground at the Bristlecone Pine Forest. When it comes to lodging, not every hotel (by a long shot) is included in the book but many are. The authors seem to have made an effort to include hostels all across the country which are often the cheapest (non-campground) places to stay.

When it comes to somewhere like Yellowstone National Park, the coverage is relatively comprehensive and includes all the campgrounds in the park as well as some of the more popular attractions and hiking trails within the park. The book casually mentions West Yellowstone as a place where you can find lodging and restaurants but goes into zero detail about West Yellowstone (where tens of thousands of people stay every year when they visit Yellowstone National Park). In a book attempting to cover an area as vast as the entire United States some things are going to be left out.

Coverage of Yosemite National Park is similar to that of Yellowstone. The book highlights the campgrounds, lodges, main attractions and provides suggestions on when to go to avoid crowds.

For Cody, Wyoming the guide includes most of the attractions but misses "Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue", by far one of the best things to experience in the town of Cody, Wyoming.

The book contains many maps of the areas covered and includes web addresses and phone numbers for the attractions. This makes it easy for you to call for reservations. For many areas there are tips like "Vegas Clubbing 101" "Cool Pools" in Vegas and "Las Vegas For Children" as well as itineraries for specific time periods in specific areas of the country. Do you have a day, a week, 10 days, then here is a list of suggested sights to see in the time you have available.

Who would this book be helpful for?

If you want to go on a trip and don't know where you want to go, this would be a good book to browse through. You can look through different areas of the country to figure out what there is to see, where it is and about how much it would cost to see what you want to see, eat and do.

If you will find yourself in a particular area of the country you are not familiar with (a business trip, for example) and you want to see what the local attractions are, where exactly they are and how to get in touch with them or what the websites are. If you take lots of business trips to new areas, this book will come in handy on every trip!

If you'll be road tripping through large areas of the country and want one reference to use to add some cool stops to your trip that you may not already be aware of this book would come in handy.

As part of the Amazon Vine program my copy of this book was complimentary but would I still buy it and use it if I was paying for it? Yes. While on the road camping much of the time my Internet access is often very limited. While it might be possible to access a site like Trip Advisor, it is MUCH, MUCH easier to have all this information to reference in one relatively small (considering it is 1,000+ pages) reference manual than trying to piece together all this information on the web. With this book I've got maps, addresses, phone numbers and don't need a net connection to research where to go and what to see.

If you already know where you want to go and are planning a trip to Yellowstone, San Francisco or somewhere like that then skip this book and get a book on Yellowstone, San Francisco or wherever you want to go that goes into more detail for your particular destination.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile overview of the USA from a European view, June 27, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Trying to jam information about visiting a country as large and diverse as the USA into a single guidebook is a formidable task. Inevitably there will be things left out and people will wonder why the editors picked some attractions while skipping over others. Lonely Planet did a commendable job of providing an overview of the United States, with enough detail to help a person planning a trip know the best spots to go. It is comprehensive enough that combined with the Internet, this could be the only guidebook you need when seeking to explore a new state in the US.

The book is arranged by regions, not by state, likely a more logical way to lay out the country for a person planning a visit. Each region describes the flavor of the area with a list of great cities to see, and within each city, sites to explore. There are some color photos in here, but the book is more about information that the photos themselves. Hence the book is packed with text.

The only downside of the book is that it has a distinctly European viewpoint on the US, and American readers may be a little offended by some of the regional descriptions. In fact, some of the political observations were laughably naive, and it made me wonder what wrong impressions I get when I read guidebooks for other countries. In truth, you visit a place to discover it for yourself and not to let a guide book tell you about it. The purpose of the guide book is to give you a start - pointing out key sites and places to go. The journey fills in the rest. For that purpose, Lonely Planet has written an effective guide to the US and I recommend it for travelers looking to go to the US for the first time, or Americans who want to take a road trip to a new city and need to know what to do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide for road trip if you use it correctly (i.e. interest in: local favorite, outdoor, scenery, art, museum), May 10, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lonely Planet USA (Country Guide) is a very comprehensive USA travel guide. Comprehensive in a way that it covers most area in USA, but the coverage in each place (or for each point of interest mentioned) is not as comprehensive/detail as some other guide especially those who specialized on that particular city or state (which makes sense cause you can't put the whole country in one book without losing some details and of course it can't cover every single parks or lakes or restaurant out there in USA). But the bigger cities like New York and San Francisco for example, it does have quite comprehensive list of hotels and restaurants.

What I find this guide working really well is for the kind of travelers who are interested in:
1. Road trips
2. Beautiful scenery
3. Not staying in one location for too long
4. Local favorites
5. Art and cultural / museum
6. National parks / outdoor
7. Don't mind driving away from the town (i.e. point of interest located outside town or in between cities)

If you like to travel upscale such as luxury hotels, fine dining or zagat survey restaurant, fine shopping, nightclubs/nightlife, formal wear event or dining, then in my personal opinion there is probably a better guide for you out there. Having said that this book do list some luxury hotels and expensive restaurant especially in the bigger cities but I think they aren't primarily focusing on that segment.

I tested using the recommendation from this book last week during my relatively short trip to Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota and I am very happy to follow Lonely Planet USA recommendations (For example: Old Market and Falls Park are beautiful, and Bob's cafe is tasty, and the restaurant staff are very friendly, and thanks Bob for the restaurant tour). I also tried visiting some places not mentioned by Lonely Planet USA (following some suggestion from tripadvisor which does have more choices if you want to stay longer and see more stuff in a specific location) and I concluded that the Lonely Planet suggestions are more interesting and has more local feel (especially the restaurant, more local favorite/gem, and not always necessarily #1 restaurant in town which is fine).

Here's what you will get with this book:
- Most comprehensive guidebook to the USA on the market
- 26 authors, 65 scenic drives, 103 maps, 105 weeks of research
- Inspirational photos
- Clear, easy-to-use maps
- Comprehensive planning tools
- Road Trips & Scenic Drives feature
- In-depth background
- At-a-glance practical info
- Coast-to-coast itineraries
- Route 66 essentials

Region covered (pretty much the entire USA that has interesting point of interest):
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England, Washington DC & the Capital Region, The South, Florida, Great Lakes, Great Plains, Texas, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii

Sidarta Tanu
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smarmy, Smug and at times Obnoxious, May 6, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is not primarily written for Americans; it has large sections on how to "survive" in America that would only be useful to foreigners, covering issues such as driving, smoking, and not being overly physical when greeting people. It categorizes each state's politics and gives an incredibly slanted brief history of America, which clearly shows the authors' prejudices. The lists of famous people from each state is bizarre in its selections.

I can only comment about the areas I know best:
1)DO NOT refer to the Princeton area as the "armpit" of New Jersey
2)The description of the Palm Springs area and desert is excellent.
3)Hilton Head doesn't have that many traffic lights; and the "plantation system" is to ensure the privacy of residents and vacationers from day-tourists.

The book is great for trip planning before you go. I cannot see anyone lugging around this massive 1200 page (which includes bios and photos of the 25 authors; note the virtual identical age, ethnicity, and background) book as they walk the streets of a city or hike in Joshua Tree.
It contains too much, but not enough. Trying to be incredibly comprehensive it will seemingly inevitably be noticeable for omissions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good road trip companion ..., October 7, 2012
By 
L. Mountford (Bellingham, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love road trips, and I'm finally at a place in my life where I have the time to spend exploring by car. I've become a sort of road trip book junkie, so I was thrilled to be able to read and review this one.

First, it's huge -- 1200 or so pages -- but is still of a size that I can tuck it into my smaller overnight bag that I use for my hotel stays (leaving my larger suitcases in the car's trunk). This way I can peruse the planned route while I'm kicking back in my favorite Holiday Inn Express or Best Western and plan the next day's itinerary.

Second, this book covers the entire US. I was impressed at the level of detail included, and have found it to be current and accurate for everything I've been able to check directly (Washington State, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).

I'm just starting to plan another cross country road trip for next summer, and plan to use this book (along with a couple of others) as a resource for that trip (Seattle to Maine to Key West and back to Seattle). Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing some features, new and old, May 8, 2012
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The 2012 edition of Lonely Planet's USA guide mostly lives up to LP's usual standards. The guide contains a blend of practical advice, historical facts, travelers' stories, and inspiring photographs. It is the sort of guide that can be used both for trip planning and for taking along on the trip itself.

Long-time LP readers will quickly see there has been a substantial redesign of the look and feel of LP guidebooks. Most of the information you've relied upon in the past is still there but there are several new features as well. One of the best is a FAQ of sorts near the beginning of the book called "Need to Know." It gathers together critical information that is frequently needed both pre-trip and intra-trip. Also, LP has done away with the glossy-paper photo sections and now uses color throughout the entire book. This change has especially improved the local maps by making them immensely easier to read.

Those who are unfamiliar with Lonely Planet should know a few things before purchasing this book:
* LP targets independent, do-it-yourself types of travelers (who often have backpacks, railpasses, and youth hostel cards).
* Travelers who are focused on staying in top-ranked hotels and eating at expensive restaurants probably won't find LP's sleeping and eating recommendations to be extensive enough. While there is some coverage of high-end, trendy, and luxurious places in this guide, it is not LP's strength.
* Most LP guides that cover large regions, including this one, are written by a team of contributors.
* New editions of a guide usually are updates of previous versions and are not entirely rewritten from scratch.

So, how useful is this guide to the United States? As with most things, it depends. If you want to travel around the US in DIY style or you want better coverage of cultural and outdoor activities than is offered by more mainstream guides, such as Fodor's or Frommer's, then LP is a good guidebook for you. On the other hand, if you aren't interested in straying off the beaten path much or aren't open to trading off comfort and predictability for character and the unexpected, the LP ethos may not be a good fit for you.

Also, if you are only visiting a single region or just a couple of cities, this guide might be overkill because it covers the entire country. There are plenty of city and regional guides from LP and other guidebook publishers that will cover, say, Chicago or the Southwest in much greater detail than a national guide and omit several hundred pages of information you won't need.

Bottom line: I have used LP guidebooks for many years and have always found them to be very useful. This guide to the USA is no exception. However, some sections that used to be included in all LP guidebooks were removed in the redesign. While the omission of these sections won't have much effect on trip planning, the missing information, especially from the old Dangers & Annoyances and Health chapters, was often invaluable during a trip. In addition, LP has not included a pullout street map of a popular city with this book as it does in virtually every other of its redesigned country guides. For me, this brings what could be a 4 or 5 star rating to a 3 star rating.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Overview but..., May 29, 2012
By 
Charles M. Nobles (Tulsa, OK United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This guide book is long, at over 1200 pages including index, very long. It is also very ambitious in that it attempts to cover the entire US.
As a result, it is able to only cover most areas in a superficial manner and seems to be more for foreign travelers than those from the US. I did find that some areas I am familiar with were mentioned in the book but usually in an overview manner and many places I personally feel should have been included are not mentioned at all.

I have a lot of guidebooks, many of them covering a large geographical area, and find a number of them much better than this one. It is simply too large for the material it provides and seems to be more for the traveler short on time that just wants to touch the surface of any given area. I would not recommend it for those more experienced travelers that are looking for a more comprehensive treatment of any given area. For those first timers on a limited schedule it may work but not for those more experienced or discerning in their travel plans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but not Excellent, March 19, 2014
By 
DeeWhit (Ochelata, OK United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lonely Planet USA (Travel Guide) (Kindle Edition)
Lets face it, how do you write a travel guide for the whole U.S. in a book like this...

With that said it does a good job presenting options for travel and seems through about them. I can't rate more than 3 because I just call it ok. I didn't see anything that a google search would also reveal.

Having said that, I recommend it to anyone that has a preference for a book over the internet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made travel so much easier!, February 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lonely Planet USA (Travel Guide) (Kindle Edition)
This travel guide is the best thing I could have bought for my trip to the states! The paperback version is really bi and bulky so to lug it around the continent would not have worked so, getting the electronic version makes a hell of a lot of sence. Using it on my ipad it connected me to all the little links and extra info. LOVED IT!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, kindles probably not the best format, February 3, 2014
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This review is from: Lonely Planet USA (Travel Guide) (Kindle Edition)
I have used many Lonely Planets before, but never on a kindle. They are usually good read and also provide instant help when you feel lost on the streets. The electronic version, however, is not easy to navigate, specially a bulky item like this. I gave up on it after having to flick through too many pages to what I wanted.
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