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Lonely Planet Southwest USA's Best Trips (Travel Guide) Paperback – 14 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 2 edition (14 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1741798124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741798128
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzzersibs on 24 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We are going on a roadtrip this year covering much of the Southwest USA and this book is the perfect companion - covers virtually everywhere we're going! Brilliant!
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Amazon.com: 33 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A good start 23 Jun. 2014
By Man in the Middle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a new resident of Southern California, I was really looking forward to this book as a way of exploring the new neighborhood. Sadly, Lonely Planet appears not to consider Southern California to be part of the Southwest USA, so these trips will be most useful for us when we can add an extra 6 hours each way by car just to get to the nearest starting points.

Fortunately, we've already been to many of these destinations in previous cross-country trips and vacations, so it was fun to look up places we've been and see what the authors thought of them. From that, we concluded that this book is just a quick overview of the places described. We stayed overnight in April at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ, famous from the original "Cars" movie, and pretty much as I remember it being from another vacation 30 years earller. But the info here is too sparse to know why anyone would care to stay here, let alone where to walk for dinner when you do. Same thing with Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks - some of my favorite places in the U.S., but only briefly described.

I was interested in reading about Big Bend in TX, as we haven't been there yet, but no mention was made of the safety issues recently at the border that kept us away during a recent cross country drive.

In short, this remains a good introduction to the area it covers, and is likely to form the basis for several trips with grandkids over the next few summers. But I'll be supplementing it with further necessary details. I wonder if perhaps this would be better as an Ebook - one in which you could click through several layers deeper for additional details about an area or location of interest?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My First Lonely Planet Book - I'm a Fan! 8 Jun. 2014
By Susan W - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have never read a Lonely Planet book before. Usually when we're going on a car trip I get some AAA maps and Tour Guides, then spend lots of time doing internet research and taking copious notes to fill in the blanks and come up with a plan. I feel that the people at The Lonely Planet have done all the research for me - just the way I would do it and packaged it up in a colorful, compact, well-thought out book. The Lonely Planet Southwest USA's Best Trips (Travel Guide) is an amazing book. It is small enough to take along in your backpack and big enough to contain a huge amount of information, right there at your fingertips.

It contains the information for 32 road trips throughout the Southwest - certainly enough to keep us busy for quite a while. Once I started reading this, it was hard to put it down. In addition to maps, it has facts, history, places to eat and sleep (not exhaustive but certainly a good place to start). For some of the larger cities, there is a feature called "Stretch Your Legs" - gives you an idea of what to see on a short walk in the city - usually 1/2- 2 miles by foot depending on the city.

It's divided into several sections: Plan Your Trip - this includes a welcome to the southwest, some information on "classic trips", highlights, "need to know" facts. Then the On the Road section is divided up into states and the different states are color coded so it is easier to find information, i.e., Arizona (green), New Mexico (red), Texas (blue) Utah/Colorado/New Mexico (orange). It finishes up with a little section on Driving in the Southwest. In summary, it is a good all-around planning book with maps, thoughtfully researched and presented.

So far, I have used it for planning purposes (the reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5) but am looking forward to putting it to the test on a road trip soon and will report back further. From what I have read, I would recommend this book highly to anyone thinking of a Southwest road trip and will certainly look for other Lonely Planet books.

I received this book from Amazon Prime for my honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Itineraries & Sights, Needs Some Improvements 7 Jun. 2014
By Janet Perry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love the American Southwest and I love road trips. This book has 32 trips within Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Nevada. They are short and long, each with some kind of theme. they certainly give you a good flavor of this area.

The book is, mostly, organized by trip. The first page has a thumbnail map with summary information (length, etc). The second page has a more detailed map, often with references points you've heard of and other tours that link up with it. Both maps point out highlights that are described in the text.

Each highlighted point has a short entry with information, schedule and costs. The strong emphasis of most entries is on nature and hiking. Scenic drives, good places for kids and handicapped accessibility are pointed out. But I do not know that they are always pointed out. To me that's a flaw. It's also a flaw that often less nature-oriented activities are neglected. The book would be better if more comprehensive.

A nice feature is that at the end of each entry is driving directions to the next highlight.

Nearby but off the tour sites are in boxes.

At the end of each drive there is a one-page eat & stay summary. For most possibilities this means, at most 2 restaurants and 2 lodgings. With many of these being campgrounds, the choices for more traditional lodgings are slim, you'll have to find them somewhere else. For many trips this just isn't enough to plan the trip properly. Many of the lodgings they present are quite small or fill fast. You'll need other listings to supplement these short lists.

A great thing the guide does is point out where access is restricted in some way. When traveling in the Southwest, particularly in Arizona and New Mexico, photography may be restricted, you may have to make reservations in advance and some areas may be off limits. It's important to follow these rules and it's good to know them.

Unhappily in the back section of basic information they copied the material from other books. In these states the rental car info is incomplete. Many car companies don't allow their vehicles on unpaved roads and there are many, including several recommended in this guide. Check about this with your car company.

I certainly got plenty of ideas for trips from this book.

But if you will have to do the planning of your trip yourself. For example the "High Road to Taos" tour goes from Santa Fe to Taos and has a suggested length of 2 days. But there is no suggestion that you could spend 3 days in Santa Fe, one driving to Taos, one in Taos and another driving back. To give this trip only 2 days would shortchange yourself.

I would find the book more useful if it took a page or so for each tour and gave that kind of summary. This would be so useful for people completely unfamiliar with these areas.

Finally, some of the tours seem to be interrupted by other information. It was worst in the last tour, 'The Loneliest Road" which is on US 50 and covers 3 states. However only Nevada is in the tour and it is laid out for three days. It's perhaps the most noticeable example of a disconnect between recommended trip length and things to do.

There's plenty of great ideas in this book, but with better organization, a bit more thought, and some more information this would deserve five-stars.

In the meantime I'll bring my gazetteer or maps and a more traditional guidebook on these trips.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Decent quick starting point for American Southwest road trips 29 May 2014
By Michael McKee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Obviously, a guidebook that covers six large states in 340 some odd pages is going to only offer brief descriptions, so I would consider this book to be a starting point for some interesting road trips, not a definitive guide. As long as one doesn't consider this to be definitive, it can be a very useful book. It is focused on road trips not long stays in any one place.

I was actually surprised that there are many reasonably out of the way trips mentioned and some fairly obscure destinations. There are also some very busy spots including Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce National Parks and Santa Fe, NM, as well as Sedona, AZ. As someone who went to high school only 40 miles from Zion National Park in Utah and who has a vacation condo in Prescott, AZ, this is home country for me. I'm an avid landscape photographer and there's an immense number of stunning locales covered in this book that I've visited.

Some personal favorites include the Georgia O'Keffe country trip in New Mexico, The "Loneliest Road" on Hwy 50 across Nevada, and Utah's Scenic Byway 12, which includes the single most spectacular section of road (The Hogback) I've ever driven. A close second for spectacular views is also included, the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. The latter two are not for those afraid of heights. This is just a start as there are enough beautiful trips here to last an avid traveler for decades. Don't forget that there's a lot of history here, too, from ancient native cliff dwellings to old Spanish towns to the American Old West of mining and cattle towns and the hideouts of fabled outlaws.

On the down side, there really isn't enough information on any one place to do more than start one on planning, and some of the things mentioned are very touristy, such as the concrete teepees shown on the front cover. Also, there are a few inaccuracies I've caught such as the caption for the photo on page 99, which labels a photo of a bighorn sheep as an ibex and the photo of the Grand Canyon shown on page 80-81 that is outside of the described route. All in all, it's a useful place to whet a travel appetite for some great trips.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another in an excellent series 2 Jun. 2014
By RMurray847 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
These "Best Trips" books are a lot of fun. I like them because even if you aren't specifically planning a trip, the book has more of a narrative approach...each trip is sorta like a little short story. A short story full of urls, phone numbers, hints, sidebars, etc...but in the end, by organizing around trips rather than locations, it makes it easier for a casual reader to imagine themselves taking the trip.

I live in Southwest (Albuquerque) so I enjoyed reading the New Mexico specific tours to see if they were accurate, made sense, etc. I found that they are indeed pretty reliable. Did I think every single restaurant or hotel or location was the PERFECT one...no, but I also can't fault any of the suggestions. So much of travel comes down to opinion.

The books are easy to read, better organized than many travel books I have, and they have nice thick pages for easy turning and bookmarking (sounds small, but I hate finding some obscure item in a travel book and then either having my bookmark slip out of the slick pages, or my dogear just come undone). There are a lot of pictures...it's not a picture book, but the photos are well-selected. Overall, if you're planning a trip to this area of the country, I highly recommend this book.
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