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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California Flexibound – 1 Jun 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Flexibound, 1 Jun 2012
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Product details

  • Flexibound: 660 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140537067X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405370677
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.9 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Eyewitness wins hands down (The Mail on Sunday)


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Customer Reviews

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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Item reviewed: 2012 edition

This book is divided into the following sections:

- Introducing California including History (50 pp)
- Los Angeles (136 pp)
- Southern California (100 pp)
- San Francisco and the Bay Area (138 pp)
- Northern California (86 pp)
- Travellers' needs and Survival Guide (114 pp)
- Index (Good, but in small print) (23 pp).

There is also the eastern (i.e. Nevada) side of Lake Tahoe, and a page on Las Vegas. It can be seen that there is good coverage of the whole state. There are street maps of LA and Frisco.

This is more illustrated than conventional guidebooks such as Lonely Planet. With those guidebooks, when you arrive at a major sight, you have to read or reread an essay of say five hundred words, and at the end may still be confused as to where exactly things are. DK's brilliant innovation is that instead they provide a labelled diagram, a bit like an aerial photograph, that orients you immediately and shows you where to go for the most interesting items.

Another innovation is the illustrated diagrams of sightseeing walks, which make it much easier to locate the places of interest, and much harder to get lost, than with other guidebooks.

It weighs about a kg, but is still recommended for taking with you on a trip to California.
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Format: Flexibound
We used this book for touring round the west coast of the USA last year. Its got alot of good information inside and although it will make the book much fatter, it does need more of a choice of hotels in the more rural areas. The book seems to focus on the hotels/B and Bs that are on the main drag of a town, usually alot more expensive than others, which means you spend alot of your time going from hotel to hotel to search for a good price for the night. Vegas and LA were the exceptions as there is so much choice in those cities but Death Valley, Carmel and Big Sur need more hotel info to cover all budgets as opposed to just keeping to the higher end. The other info on shops, cafes, restaurants is very good though and gives a realistic price line and genre of food expected.
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As like all DK guides the pictures are great and the content well-written. It gives us a good base background on the major attractions and helps to plan your holiday.
However the restaurtant sections seems to major on the top class eating establishments that most people will know about. In the majority of areas there are some competitively priced good restaurants and help in finding these would be more useful.
Also on the bars section in major cities there could be a little more variation to help people find the best cocktail, beer bars etc.
However really good selections from the guide were Jacks Cannery in San Francisco and Kate's restaurant in Carmel amongst others.
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I am what is described as a lazy ready, I don't mind reading but pages upon pages of writing bores me hence this purchase, it is packed with information but also has pictures of the places you are likely to visit. It's easy to locate the topic you are looking for and is divided into sections. I have purchased many guides from this publisher and will continue to do so.
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
We are due to travel to California in September and this book has provided us with so much information. We now know some of the key things to see and do whilst we are there. Another great book from Eye Witness Travel :-)
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Format: Flexibound
Some good information about lots of items. Maps were not that helpful as were hard to locate. Didn't really provide any top tips of beating the queues or booking ahead which is defiantly required if you wish to visit Alcatraz.
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This helped me a lot on my travels around California with places to go and things to see. It Has good recommendations on the best places to stay and eat and has a lot of background information on various attractions and the history of places if you're into that kind of thing. If anything it's in a bit too much detail (for me anyway), you would really have to sit down and study it to read it in detail, but who wants to do that on holiday?!
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I always enjoy reading Eye Witness travel guides and this chunky tome on California is well up to the usual standard.

I especially appreciated the recommendations on tourist sights in the two big cities of LA and San Francisco. It makes it really easy to plan your itinerary ahead of your visit. Hotel recommendations aren't so useful these days when the internet provides more comprehensive and up-to-date information.

On the downside, I'm planning to visit Monterey and the map here wasn't much use. It just shows Fisherman's Wharf and a few blocks inland from there. Since it's in watercolour it all looks very pretty but a street plan covering a wider area would have been much more practical use.
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