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Lonely Planet Southwest USA (Regional Guide) Paperback – October 1, 2005
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...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005
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In the Southwest book, much of this information was not present (for example, 'Many campgrounds are available in local state parks' is one of the entries, but no phone numbers, maps nor details given. Not only were options for lodging half-heartedly described, often food options and maps were entirely missing or erroneously described.
The cities are a bit better described, but that isn't offering much of an excuse for an area and geography that is utterly unlike any on earth.
It is not surprising that this particular book is so short on useful information given its small size, but I found it egregious that LP would compromise so heavily on its core responsibility - providing useful, practical information that saves time and enhances the travel experience.
I highly recommend flipping through another guidebook in your local bookstore or experimenting with one of the other brands before relying on the Lonely Planet in this case. I plan to do so for the near future.
The Lonely Planet guide is divided into tabbed chapters by state (the guide covers Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Las Vegas, and Southwestern Colorado). Maps cover both regions and downtown areas of the major cities and towns in the Southwest. For each city, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and essentials like internet access, post offices, bookstores, and medical facilities are listed. The sidebars contain information from a historical or side note perspective--these are perfect for reading aloud during the inevitable driving time for any Southwest adventure.
If you are planning to spend a long time in the Grand Canyon or other attraction area, I recommend purchasing an additional supplemental guidebook. As a road warrior, I appreciated that this book has all the essentials, but leaves week-long trips to Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon to other guidebooks.