DK guides are terrific. With a combination of pictures, maps, bird's eye plans, walking tours, and so on, they give you a real sense of where you are going. They also make it easy to pick out the highlights and things of particular interest to you. This volume is well up to standard.
The only slight issue is that, because of all the photos and illustrations, DK guides don't go into as much depth as the likes of Lonely Planet and Rough Guide. But, then, no single guide is perfect, and we always take at least two - usually a DK and something recently published that's crammed with text.
Keep in mind that California is a big state, something approaching 800 miles long and about twice the area of Great Britain. Few visitors will cover the whole state in a single trip. So, if visiting only SF, outlying areas and anywhere north of SF such as the wine counbtry, you might prefer DK's SF & Northern California guide.
One other thing - be aware that this is a very heavy book, so not the easiest to carry around.
But do buy it, and immerse yourself in California before you travel.
on 14 December 2007
Very well illustrated guide, most informative. For visitors from other counties the guide to US coins is a help. The advice on sales tax is a practical help. I love the US but find it most confusing that because of sales tax one is never sure how much cash to produce in excess of the price marked on goods for sale.