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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 August 2013
Item reviewed: 2012 edition

This book is divided into the following sections:

- Introducing California including History (50 pp)
- Los Angeles (136 pp)
- Southern California (100 pp)
- San Francisco and the Bay Area (138 pp)
- Northern California (86 pp)
- Travellers' needs and Survival Guide (114 pp)
- Index (Good, but in small print) (23 pp).

There is also the eastern (i.e. Nevada) side of Lake Tahoe, and a page on Las Vegas. It can be seen that there is good coverage of the whole state. There are street maps of LA and Frisco.

This is more illustrated than conventional guidebooks such as Lonely Planet. With those guidebooks, when you arrive at a major sight, you have to read or reread an essay of say five hundred words, and at the end may still be confused as to where exactly things are. DK's brilliant innovation is that instead they provide a labelled diagram, a bit like an aerial photograph, that orients you immediately and shows you where to go for the most interesting items.

Another innovation is the illustrated diagrams of sightseeing walks, which make it much easier to locate the places of interest, and much harder to get lost, than with other guidebooks.

It weighs about a kg, but is still recommended for taking with you on a trip to California.
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on 15 May 2017
I almost exclusively use Eyewitness Guides when I purchase travel books. my husband and I decided to go around California after one of his conference in San Francisco, so my first travel guide choice wouldn't be anything else than this guide.
We started from San Francisco and after that went to Sequoia National Park, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles. This guide, although is less precise than a city guide, is amazing, you can find all you need to know the place of interest, the history, the tradition.
The maps of the towns and the street-by-street maps what absolutely perfect for us, great notion of where to go and what to see (I think it is very easy to walk in a city like LA o San Diego and don't know if you are near a important building or theater).
It's plenty of useful and essential tourist information, it's really a great guide!
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on 17 March 2017
We used this for 6 weeks in California in 2017 and although ok I really will buy a different make next time. My advice is go tp a book shop and look at all the choices first. This had too much stuff that you find out without the book.
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on 24 July 2017
I bought the very first edition on this guide many years ago and a lot of the info and photos are carried over from that. Not a bad guide but I feel that quite a few of the photos within are completely unnecessary; the space could be filled with more info/text re other attractions etc. Still, for the price I paid it is an absolute bargain!
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on 18 July 2017
Very happy with my purchase
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on 26 July 2017
I had the previous California DK Eyewitness Travel Guide which was so informative I bought this updated version. Excellent information on all areas of California.
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on 17 December 2014
Excellent detail, comprehensive enough for holiday - bought as travelling from Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite NP, San Francisco and down west coast to Los Angeles.
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on 27 April 2017
I bought this for an upcoming California road trip with my boyfriend. We were beginning in San Francisco and ending in Las Vegas, going via Yosemite, Big Sur and Los Angeles. This book was absolutely perfect for it. It had information, tips, photos and maps for all of the places we went to and was easy to use on the road the make sure we didn't miss any of the sights on the way. It was such a bonus that it also covered Vegas.

As with all DK books, I love how they are written and this one held up my high expectations. The book is written well but simply and gives you just the right amount of information without overloading you with unnecessary information. There are photos for most things on the book which is ideal if you can't access the internet to find out what sights you do want to stop and see.

All in all - perfect. I will be recommending it to friends who are planning a similar trip.
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on 28 January 2011
We used this book for touring round the west coast of the USA last year. Its got alot of good information inside and although it will make the book much fatter, it does need more of a choice of hotels in the more rural areas. The book seems to focus on the hotels/B and Bs that are on the main drag of a town, usually alot more expensive than others, which means you spend alot of your time going from hotel to hotel to search for a good price for the night. Vegas and LA were the exceptions as there is so much choice in those cities but Death Valley, Carmel and Big Sur need more hotel info to cover all budgets as opposed to just keeping to the higher end. The other info on shops, cafes, restaurants is very good though and gives a realistic price line and genre of food expected.
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on 9 February 2015
Great detail for the various areas of California with great suggested walking routes in cities.
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