This 160-page book is a colourful and informative guide to the attractions of the New England city of Boston, Massachusetts; for real visitors and armchair travellers alike. It has all the usual features, including excellent maps and articles. There are excellent colour photos breaking up the text columns, so you can see what you are looking for. It is a handy up-to-date guidebook, with all the usual topics a tourist guide provides, as well as chapters on the top ten sites (The Freedom Trail; Faneuil Hall Marketplace; Boston Common & Public Garden; Harvard University; Around Newbury Street; Museum of Fine Arts; Trinity Church; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Charlestown Navy Yard; New England Aquarium).
The Contents include -
P007: Boston’s Top 10
P074: Around Town
P126: South of Boston
P134: Streetsmart (practical touristy information)
P146: Places to Stay
P152: General Index
Boston is a truly exceptional city with a rich cultural history. The waterfront resonates with echoes from the Tea Party (if you're down that way, check out some of the stores opposite the waterfront harbour. They have real bargains in outerwear and quality sweatshirts). Move a few hundred yards inland and you could be in some British cities; parks with statues, university and civic buildings similar in style to many British buildings. It's difficult to know where to start.
I love Boston both as a city in its own right and as a starting point for so many potential adventures. To get the best experience, whether you're a short stay tripper or staying longer with time to explore, you will need a guide. I used the DK Travel Guide and I liked the information and layout of the guide. My only user niggle would be it's not a spiral guide; but that's not affecting the overall content.
DK Guides are well laid out, They're colourful, with plenty of supporting photos, maps, local insider tips and packed with information. The main attractions are detailed and with information about public transport services, it's easy to plan trips a little further afield. Salem, for example, is less than an hour away and directly accessible. So is the home town of Lloyd Grossman, a charming and unspoilt area less than 30 minutes outside the city.
So, all in all, this guide is great value to plan both the city sights and how to incorporate a wider experience within the area. Great guide, well set out and easy to use.
I have a large number of these travel guides. What I like about them is their format - each book gives an overview (rather than lots of detail). It provides a summary of what is on offer. Inside is not just the obvious i.e. the Top 10 sights to see. Also you get things like the Top 10 museums & galleries, Top 10 markets, Top 10 Arts & Crafts, Top 10 events etc. - even the Top 10 things to avoid. That makes them very useful, and a unique approach to travel guides. I use them to decide what to do, and then use another book (or a website) to give me more detail if I need that.
The book in its physical format is small - just small enough to fit inside a DL envelope (i.e. the standard white envelope, designed to accept a sheet of A4 paper folded twice). It is actually a few centimetres shorter than a DL envelope. This compact size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.
This book can't provide detail - it can provide `the big picture'. I now normally take two travel guides with me - a DK Top 10 one like this and a detailed travel guide, to get the best of both worlds. If you just have a detailed travel guide, you can miss out on things that you wish you had visited.
On a separate issue, I originally bought my Top 10 books in the Kindle format (because I am a Kindle lover) and to my surprise found the Kindle format terribly irritating. It taught me that when using a travel guide, you want to be able to flick quickly through it and jump around easily - that's SO much easier with a physical book. In addition, you want it to be in colour - you can cure that by taking your iPad with you but an iPad is bigger and heavier than this book in its paperback version. You can get round that if you have an iPad mini or a large screen smartphone (neither of which I had when I bought this) but you are still left with the problem of being unable to flick around the book quickly. Travel guides just don't work well in the Kindle format, in my opinion.
You may feel otherwise but that is how I feel. I found the relative awkwardness in flicking around the Kindle book a major handicap. And this is despite the fact that I buy most of my books in Kindle format.
The beauty of these books is that they give you an overview, which means that you end up doing things that you would not have done otherwise.
on 18 November 2015
The dorling kindersley books as travel guides are brilliant. There's nothing like a picture or two to help you out in a strange place and their street-by-street drawings are excellent. Good guide book. If you're heading to Boston for a few days, the first thing you do is go to the top of the Prudential building and using the headset get a sort of guided tour of the sights. Then decide where you're heading to after that. Go an hour before sunset and watch the sun go down - its beautiful. Also do one of the boat trips from Long Wharf - definitely worthwhile.
on 16 April 2013
I am going to Boston for the first time in June, and so I ordered this travel guide. It is a very handy size, and is better organised than travel guides I have used from other well known publishers. The real test will be when I actually go to Boston, and I will update this review on my return, but I have little doubt this will be very useful. I wish I had ordered the San Francisco guide from this publisher last year as the Lonely Planet book was far less well organised. The best feature of this product is the top 10 lists for each catagory. The included map is OK, but with Google maps is a little redundant.