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Lonely Planet USA's Best Trips (Travel Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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About the Author

Michael Benanav is a writer and photographer whose work appears in The New York Times, Geographical Magazine, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, CNN.com, and other publications. He is the author of two previous, critically acclaimed books: Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, and The Luck of the Jews: An Incredible Story of Loss, Love, and Survival in the Holocaust. He lives in a small village not far from Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. He visits India frequently.
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Product Details

  • Series: Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 2 edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 174220063X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742200637
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Mountford TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've used the Lonely Planet guides for years, and they're usually quite good. And I LOVE taking road trips, so anything that helps with planning is a good thing.

This new release from LP is quite good in certain areas, and not so good in others. It's clear there were multiple authors with very different approaches/insights. Some chapters are filled with towns and attractions that are "off the beaten path," or less obvious; others contain the same old tired tourist traps, with no real new and exciting places to go and things to see.

I decided to check out the treatment of places I'm most familiar with: Pacific NW (specifically WA state), California (specifically northern CA), and the Great Plains. I grew up in the midwest, live in CA for 28 yrs, and now call the Pacific NW home.

The good stuff: the Pacific NW section is good, as far as it goes. It doesn't include a lot of "trips," but the included trips are detailed enough, and include enough esoteric info to make them standouts. The Cascade Drive and the Olympic Peninsula Loop are filled with enough detail to keep one occupied for 4 or 5 days (and I've done both of these trips).

The Great Plains trips are likewise detailed enough to spark interest. Again, there aren't very many trips, and nothing, really, in Iowa (where I can personally recommend a day or two in the Amana Colonies), but the ones that are presented are quite good.

The California section was a definite let-down. On the Pacific Coast Highways trip, for example, virtually every "highlight" is a well-known tourist mecca (Golden Gate Park? Hearst Castle? Monterey Bay Aquarium? really? Nothing new here ...).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
According to the product description, you should have the following features available on your Kindle for this guide book:

Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
Add notes to personalize your guidebook experience
Seamlessly flip between pages
Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
Embedded links to recommendations' websites
Zoom-in maps and images
Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

You get NONE of that. You can't even bring up the settings toolbar along the top to navigate through, make notes, comments, bookmarks, etc. It's also only in landscape mode. It will not toggle between landscape/portrait as you move your device. I have sent an email to Amazon and will be returning and requesting a refund. Per the other review at the time of my purchase, I don't think it's just me having issues.

I have purchased a previous Lonely Planet Guide for my Kindle and loved the ease it provided with traveling versus having a physical book to thumb through. I travel all the time and have begun to enjoy the Kindle for this purpose. However, this book is not made to be electronic. I think if you really want it, looks potentially great in hard copy, so I would consider that over the e-version.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Summer is the time for road trips so I got this book to plan a few down West Coast. This book divides up the country into a few sections like - New York and the Mid Atlantic, New England, Florida and South, Great Lakes, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, The Southwest, California and Pacific Northwest. I am pretty familiar with some regions since I've already gone on some road trips and found although this book covers the breadth of USA it does not have much depth. I studied some of the itineraries of Pacific Northwest, California and Florida and found that it ignored some great spots to suggest some lesser known vacation spots that are not as scenic or interesting.

If the idea is to see the best a state or region has to offer than simply stopping at many cities on the way, you will have to pick and choose from the suggested stops along each trip. For instance the Cascade Drive in Washington state is suggested as a 4-5 day road trip. If one was visiting from out of state I would suggest that they spend maybe 1-2 days on a scenic spot from the Cascade Drive but also visit the beautiful wild coast, the rain forests, and the San Juan Islands, pretty easily accomplished in 5 days. Similarly the Olympic Peninsula loop drive ignores Seattle completely and starts in Olympia - the capital city, but why make the extra drive if you're interested in nature? Most people flying in would prefer starting from Seattle going to some of the points like Ruby Beach, the Hoh Rain Forest, Port Angeles and back and maybe use the remaining time (2 days) to see Seattle sights or drive out to Cascades.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This travel guide, with nearly 700 pages of information and suggestions, contains both too much and too little. While ambitiously covering short trips (1-14 days) in areas spanning the nation, not a great deal of depth can be devoted to individual drives.

The book provides a good starting point and offers excellent options, but a traveler shouldn't just pick up the guidebook and set off across country without doing a great deal of research first.

I looked carefully at the trip closest to home and found that the guide listed places to see that were great choices, well known to locals and with appeal to a wide range of travelers.

The food and lodging sections consist of very few possibilities - a sort of scattershot assortment, one or two per trip, of cabins, camping, B&Bs and good hotels with drive-ins, diners, bakeries and family restaurants. All were middle-of-the-road choices and readers should research other options to fit individual tastes and budgets.
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