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on 28 February 2016
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on 2 April 2013
I bought this for a lengthy road trip in California thinking it would give me a good insight into places I did not know so well. Lots of the information is out of date and frankly I found that a quick online search gave me more information than the book and much easier to navigate. For hotels it still has some merit but I find the ratings of little use but at least it provides a starting point.
Perhaps LP has had its day because it is very difficult to keep any print volume up to date and I think in a fully wired state like CA you'd be far better off just taking a tablet or smartphone and having a browse over coffee.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2012
They've changed the format of the Lonely Planet guides since I last looked at them. This one is more colourful with more photos and generally a clearer layout than I remember.

I particularly liked the large maps and generally the presentation is very clear-cut and easy to follow, perfect for people who struggle to read the tiny print you often find in tourist material.

On the other hand, when I checked the information on the places I've already visited in California, I found a mistake straight away. Monterey certainly isn't 'working-class'. It was in the early 20thC when John Steinbeck wrote 'Cannery Row' but today it's a modern, well-maintained coastal resort. Some re-writing needed!

Also, it suffers in comparison to the Eyewitness series, which is much more visually imaginative, and the Rough Guides, which contain greater depth of information and insight. Overall, this is a good, middle-of-the-road introduction to the state.
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on 13 December 2012
A truly thorough guide to California , filled with useful info yet concise . a good read and helpful planner for your trip .
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on 21 February 2013
This book is awesome and holds to the high standard I have experienced with all lonely planet guides. It has very useful maps and a lot of interesting things to do throughout California. I'm an exchange student studying in California for a year so I've had a lot of use out of this book from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Brilliant book for a general overview of a lot of places and the best of each area.

I would however recommend the Lonely Planet Pocket guides for anyone wanting to travel to a specific city and get the most out of that place. I know for a fact that the San Francisco one for example is amazingly useful and well worth the money.

This book has maps for everywhere I've wanted one for and I use it a lot and really love it!! Can't recommend it highly enough to anybody that needs info on a few places throughout California.

Well done Lonely Planet!
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on 17 November 2013
This is a good guide in that there is a great deal in it. Covers the whole state though so it is a bit thin in places. Not really good for the whole family as it has very few illustrations. If you are going to California with kids I would recommend the DK guide as they will have much more fun looking up things to see in it. More like a telephone directory of information about how to find things that you already know about rather than something that gives you new ideas. Lots of solid content though.
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on 15 January 2014
This is my fourteenth LP guide and it is the poorest by far. The editor/authors appear to want to entertain rather than inform and I am sure that the size of the book could be halved by eliminating some of the more verbose intros and descriptions.
The format, font and colours used make it an unpleasant guide to use. Have a look at the LP guide to the Western Balkans for a good guide.
I shall be more careful in future.
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on 19 September 2013
Haven't yet taken the trip but from what I have read so far it seems to be concise and up to date. I really like the Lonely Planet books. I find the format easy to use and I like the insights in to all the little towns round and about. We tend to base what we go and see from what we read in the guide and they are often full of hidden gems. I am looking forward to getting the use out of this.
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on 24 October 2013
Some guides seem out of my league, but the lonely planet series is usually excellent. This one contained several excellent recommendations for sleeping and eating. Mariposa Lodge - now an America's Best - is a beautiful motel and not expensive, and we'd never have found Manny's in Stockton - excellent American food, and where the locals eat - without this book. A great guide.
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on 28 May 2014
Contains lots of useful information.
However I bought printed copy as well, and printed one is much, much easier to read and follow. Electronic version is very badly formatted and extremely difficult to search through by chapters.
That's not the first time I got such badly formatted book, which means that most probably I will stop buying them.
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