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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars

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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is something for everyone in Florida, and this Rough Guide delivers well for this diverse and always interesting US State. I love the way the guide presents information in easily comprehensible and logical categories, and allowing different types of travelers to find what they want for their tastes. We're going in November and I will be using the guide extensively to help us get the best out of our two weeks, Can't wait.

There is only one gripe and that is the section dedicated to Orlando and surrounding theme parks. It's a place I know well and I do find the guide a little snobbish towards the place. Their write up on International Drive area for example hasn't changed much over the years, it is minimal in content compared to the attention the writers give to the rest of the similar sized places, even though It is the place where most Tourists to the area go and stay because it is well situated for massive choice or hotels and great amenities for families, couples and single alike.

For that reason (i.e. the usual Rough Guide snobbery towards popular, modern, places) it's 4 stars instead of 5.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I particularly like this Rough Guide. It's a weighty tome and very detailed; one section I've just read tells you precisely how to get to a particularly out of the way beach on the west coast (I mean like, turn left at the second palm tree precise!). Of course there are big sections on Disney etc. and it would be weird if there weren't but I didn't feel the Magic Kingdom was given too much precedence over the other many attractions that Florida has to offer. Space coast gets a good write up- I'm off there soon and have certainly had my
anticipation enhanced by this book's description.
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on 4 May 2010
This is my third edition of this book and bought this time for more up-to-date information on a forthcoming trip to the sunshine state. I always buy the Rough Guides and like the way the information is set out in a logical and easy to follow way. Overall information on the country followed by sections on each area that work from place to place as you might travel around that area. Each town is then split down into accommodation, attractions, eating & drinking always with a selection of places to suit all budgets.

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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 February 2012
Years ago I used the buy the Rough Guides to get an insight into a country's less well known spots, something off the beaten path.

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!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We're going back to Florida for the first time in 14 years and a lot has obviously changed in Central Florida and Florida in general during that time; theme parks have been added and expanded being the main, and it was time to update the guides we had. This edition of the RG series is a typical RG book in that it covers the basics well and as I read through it began to be reminded of some of the sights and sounds of our last trip to the Sunshine State way back in '98.

There is a fairly large section devoted to the theme parks but this is balanced by the area by area breakdown of Florida and the delights each of those very different areas have. We'll be doing a fair bit of travelling whilst we're there and this RG has all the usual information about local eateries and places to stay as well as comprehensive information on things to do.

I'll still buy another guide; probably Florida (Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides) as I find it useful to get different viewpoint, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this has a lot of good and sound information packed into it's pages.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
FLORIDA - Rough Guide 2012

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.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These guides in general are best for travellers who wish to explore `off the beaten track'. The introductory section sets the section with where and when to go along. The authors give their own take on `things not to miss' in terms of sights, events, food, and other activities.

There is then a good inclusive 50 page Basics chapter giving you details on everything from pre-departure planning to getting around, travelling on your own or with children, food and accommodation plus company contact information.
The main guide then splits Florida into nine regions from Miami and the Keys all the way up to the Panhandle and the Northeast. Each chapter starts with the highlights of the region and a regional map and then goes on with specific details of how to get there and then how to get around each of the major areas or cities within the region. Each city or area is described in detail with lots of aside information on things to see and do such as the best beaches, theme parks, museums, state parks and outdoor activities.

An otherwise informative guide that is well indexed and a guide broken down into useful its constituent sections from the basics, just mentioned, to the broad spectrum of accommodation on offer. At the end of the guide we find Florida's history and the natural Florida. For film fans there are a list of films that feature Florida plus a list of books about Florida and its inhabitants, both factual and fiction.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Rough guides made a name for themselves in the eighties as a kind of 'alternative' guide book for (possibly) young and (maybe) unorthodox travellers, who wanted to see things off the normal tourist trail without breaking the bank. The whole vibe was low-budget, with dull brown covers and no glossy pictures. Whereas your 'traditional' guide book would wax lyrical about some stately home or chateaux (entry fee: £££), Rough Guides steered you to bars where the locals drank, sights that the package tours avoided, and hostels that would - on a good night - keep the rain out.

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. On the other hand, if you've just dropped off the 4x4 at the Airport and are wondering where to take the kids during those long Private School holidays, there's probably plenty here to help you shift that troublesome surplus cash while you're in Florida. It's both Janet Street-Porter *and* Private Eye's Polly Filla in one handy volume.

Incidentally, the section I found really interesting was the Historical Perspectives chapter, which tells you so much about how modern-day Florida has been shaped, and makes a visit there a much richer experience as a result.

Buy with confidence, as always with Rough Guides, but make sure you know what kind of holiday or trip you want before you dip in.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Just back from three weeks trundling around South Florida, where we found this edition of the Rough Guide to be more than up to usual standards. Miami is very well covered, as you would expect, but we spent more time in the Florida Keys and in smaller towns on the Gulf Coast, where guide coverage becomes extremely useful.

In short:
- We booked Hotels using a combo of TripAdvisor reviews and recommendations from the Guide: all were accurate and great choices, from the more-expensive (Tropical Breeze, Siesta Key) to the cheap gem (Hotel Ponce de Leon, Miami)
- Every restaurant/diner recommendation was spot on
- Recommendations on things to see and do tallied closely with our actual experiences
- Loads of useful detail on smaller locations, diversions and places

In particular, the guide was very good when it came to A/B choices: this museum over that museum, etc. Which had us visiting the sublime Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole indians rather than the tacky Muskogee indian village. It got us to the parts of the Florida Keys that most suited our tastes (you could have had a totally different Keys experience using the guide too - the options are all covered), and it helped massively with selecting places to visit on the stretch of Gulf Coast up to Tampa.

Rough Guides are known for the ability to get you to see places a little off the beaten track and in the case of the Everglades it delivered on that promise - we took tracks where other vehicles and people were rare and saw a whole load of remarkable things as a result.

Very pleased.
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is exactly what it says it is, no qualms, it is a ROUGH guide only.

I was going on holiday to Orlando, Florida so thought this would be great or giving tips and it is. It has a great section on Disneyland, Universal, Sea World, Bush Gardens, Gatorland etc in the way of theme parks which is what we were going to Florida mainly for. While paragraphs were short, they got to the point and showed what these parks were about, whether family orientated etc which was very handy. They also gave tips like for Disneyland; using the fast pass which is available to everyone for free to come back at the times allocated for bigger rides which we done for the likes of the Tower of Terror and the Aerosmith roller coaster in Hollywood.

As well as this there were a number of loose maps including of the Universal Drive and Universal Boulevard area which was where we were to be staying. This helped us plan out before what we might want to do and see before we went. With every holiday though, you never keep to it but it was nice to know our way a little before we went especially in terms of the places to eat available around us or ones a not far a walk away. What was even better was that we had no idea how close we were to the Premium outlets shopping mall and because this book showed us we were made aware and made a point of going which everyone should do if they go to Orlando with all the best brands at knock down prices!

It really was a good wee guide on what the state has to offer (lots) and there was plenty more as it covers all of Florida. While we concentrated on the Florida capital there was plenty on the other states and what was shown for Orlando is likely the same format for all the others.

So if you haven't been before, I would recommend getting this as it has the right balance without being too in your face of what you have to do and not to miss. A more laid back approach which suited my planning perfectly.

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