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The Rough Guide to the USA Paperback – April 4, 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

A remarkably complete -- and compact -- travel guide to the entire United States. I scrutinized pages for two cities I know intimately (New Haven, CT, and Seattle, WA) and one I just visited (Palm Springs, CA) and can honestly say that this book does a very good job of capturing the essential feeling of each place, and of describing the high and low points of each locale. As is inevitable for such a copious compendium, there are entries for establishments that have gone out of business (The Unicorn and Costermonger), or entries I wished they had included (The Museum of Toasters). But on the whole, it's hard to imagine a more comprehensive and useful volume for the perennially peripatetic US traveler. Two suitcases up, up, and away! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide to the USA
  • Paperback: 1088 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 10 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848365810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848365810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,880,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just completed a 2 month trip through the US and Canada. I'm afraid to say that the Rough Guide was not always very helpful in the process. It does contain all the basic information on a lot of places, all right. And I guess it is to be expected that some of it is quite superficial as you cannot not cover everything. However, the book has some important shortcomings:
- Maps are few and poor. More often than not I found that major streets were missing, making orientation a hassle. So you have to juggle the guidebook and a separate map when walking through cities or driving around. Also, it would be very helpful to mark the recommendations on the maps in the book (which is rather rarely done), so you don't spend hours locating the addresses on the map.
- The guide does not always indicate price ranges for restaurant recommendations (especially in large cities). It is quite annoying if you travel across town to a restaurant (and spend some time on it if you don't have a car) to find that the dishes are... and up. For budget travelers, this guide might be difficult to swallow.
- There's some inaccurate info on hostels and their opening times. So you need to call ahead before you end up in front of closed doors. Also, price ranges for motels are way off.
- There is no section on dangers and annoyances for cities, a section that could be very helpful (although it sometimes warns of some dangerous areas in the text).
Also, the rough Guide might want to consider a better binding, as the book came apart after six weeks of usage. Overall, next time I'd rather go for another guide than this for a trip to the US.
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Format: Paperback
I just upgraded my old copy of the USA Rough Guide to the 2000 edition, because I think it's still one of the best USA guidebooks around. If you're visiting just one area of the US, you will find more detailed information in other books, but for those who want to travel all over the country, this guide contains a ton of information for a low price.
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Format: Paperback
I went cross-country three times this past summer and must've thumbed through this book every hour or so of my trip (sometimes even while driving!). It sometimes was a bit sparse in covering _all_ the places to see, or perhaps a few "almost essentials," but when ANY book tries to cover the entire United States (and then some), you've got to forgive it some holes. Even so, I learned so much about each area, and did find some "secrets" I would have otherwise driven right past.
The other great thing about this guide is that it's written from a European (and emigrant American) perspective. You get a view on our geography (social as well as physical) that's quite refreshing. Also, the quick guides in the back: a compact history of the United States (which was brief, skeletal, but very interesting) and brief biographies of leading figures in North American history (which was interesting if only in their selections). A great road-trip read!
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By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Rough Guide is the best guide available. They give you an insight into what you want to do and regularly point out things you would have otherwise missed. My wife & I have just completed our 3 cross country trip with this book and they are yet to fail us. The best thing, outside of the history and background information they provide you is the restaurant recommendations. None of this where to get the best tofu burger here. They send you to where the locals eat and it has never failed us for great authentic eating. We threw out our other guide books months ago and swear by this series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't understand Amazon including reviews that are up to a decade old when this book was only published in 2011. This is very well written, opinionated, general overview of the USA. Of the two recent reviews, one refers to the Kindle version, and the other wanted out of the way places than a general guide could provide. Well worth 5 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings about the Kindle version. It is great to have everything in one place (as the book has 1000 pages) and things are easy to locate and read on the iPad. The Rough Guide itself is as good and dependable as always, with interesting history and background information as well as specific local knowledge mixed in.

Everything, however, falls down with the image quality. The images are very small sizes and thus blurry at any size above a postage stamp. The maps are basically unusable, as the image quality is so bad that you cannot zoom in enough to actually read the street names and references from the text. Which basically means we will have to either download specific maps wherever we go, or buy local paper maps and carry them around too, which we were trying to avoid in the first place when we bought the kindle edition...

Am thinking of returning it, unfortunately, guide books aren't much use without the maps!
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Format: Paperback
My wife and I have covered most of the US using this book. We've found it very helpful in helping us utilize the time we had. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail that was there for a single book covering this immense country. Most recommended restaurant and sight information is still very relevant three years on. That being said, I cannot speak to the transportation or lodging information, since we didn't need or use it. Some unneeded political commentary, but I see that in most guidebooks, really.
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