The Rough Guide to Florida Paperback – 2 Jul 2012
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Reliable, readable Rough Guides (Conde Nast Traveller)
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst there are still elements of that in this book, large chunks of it concentrated on Disney, Universal and other top tourist sites.
If you're going to Florida you may well want to visit these areas, but then this is not the book I'd choose for those anyway, as there are countless other books that describe the theme parks in the most minute detail and give tips on how to get rides before the queues build up, for example.
This book fails to fully cover the tourist places (not that I'd expect it to) but neither does it cover in the depth I've come to expect those unknown gems that tourists looking for non-Disney entertainment hope to find.
And so this book falls between two stools and has forced me into time-intensive research on the 'net, something I'd hoped to have avoided.
Incidentally, its major competitive book - Lonely Planet - which I bought at the same time has identical failings. It seems a cheap cop-out to stuff a Rough Guide book with several pages of major, well-known theme parks.
Come on guys, there's so much more to Florida than Orlando, and so much more than theme parks!
As the Rough Guides are aimed at independent travellers some of their comments on the more commercial aspects of Florida can be a bit harsh, but that shouldn't put you off visiting them.
No matter where I travel I always have the Rough Guide with me.
The good news is that this kind of inside info is still there - the 'challenge' is that RGs have gone slightly upmarket and tried to reach out to a wider cross-section of travellers. Out go the boring brown covers and in come shiny, colourful jackets with nice piccies. So, the Rough Guide to Florida still points you away from the theme parks and studio tours, to find the real Florida - if you want it - lurking on the outskirts of towns, away from Disneyville. But interpersed amongst this lot is, for example, a blow-by-blow account of all the rides at Disneyland (and tips on how to beat the queues), detailed listings of hotels in Palm Beach that don't seem to accept YHA cards as far as I can see, and some fairly pricey restaurants.
Taken on its merits, it's great. The honest views are still there (not everything is "wonderful" or "delightful" as in some guide books) and you could put together a very good value, non-conformist tour of Florida based on this book.Read more ›
It is not so long ago that the Rough Guide travel series mainly covered off beat locations for the backpackers/budget traveller, with details of budget accommodation and eateries. There were often historical and geographical reviews of the areas. Maps were in glorious monochrome and pictures of the locations were rare or non existent.
In the last 2-3 years all travel guides appear to have undergone a radical rethink with the use of colour pictures. There is more focus on itineraries and activities for all ages and "must see" areas.
At last the Rough Guide series has come of age with a full colour guide , this one focuses on 9 specific areas ( in ca 488 pages) with key highlights , possible itineraries , travel options , local festivals , culture and cuisine , as well as the traditional accommodation suggestions.
For those with young families targeting the joys of Orlando ( Disneyland , Universal Studios) the attractions are well covered ( I presume the prices are reasonably up to date - take out a mortgage with a large family) as are recommendations for getting the best our of the visits and possible ways of avoiding the worst of the crowds.
The coastal towns Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Florida's own Hollywood are well covered and for the seekers of wildlife, the parks and the Everglades are described in detail and best visiting times quoted.
The Keys and Key West attract their own section
I found this guide an excellent overview. Any greater detail will be available on the internet. But this will be the starting point for planning their trip for most people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Used on recent trip. Helped plan trip and all worked out really well. Guide made trip easy and totally enjoyable.Published 14 months ago by Guff
I already have the previous rough guide and needed a more up to date version - this is perfect. Easy to find information and very informative. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mac
Needed info for a summer holiday in Florida & I found the descriptions extremely clear & accurate, as usual with rough guides. Buy with confidencePublished 23 months ago by Mr A
Excellent service arrived over 4000 miles away in less than a week great books thankyouPublished on 17 July 2014 by Elvis Rocks