Escape on endless roads through fiery-red canyons and Dr Seussian spires. Mingle with ghosts at the ancient Mesa Verde ruins. Traverse the world and celebrate excess in flirty, fabulous Las Vegas. Whether you’re a geology nut, a Wild West buff or an adventure hound, grab this definitive guide and prepare to soak up the Southwest, Lonely Planet style.
Get Your Kicks On Route 66 – more than 70 detailed maps steer you to this legendary route and beyond
Become The Expert – special environment and culture chapters demystify the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce, and shed light on Native American and Mormon lifestyles
Take It Outside – rafting, skiing & snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking…tips on all the area’s hottest activities
Snack, Sip & Sleep – where to get the yummiest green chile cheeseburgers and microbrews, plus lodging from wigwams to New Agey inns to desert spa resorts
Bask In The Bizarre – coverage of the region’s quirkiest gems: the Elvis-A-Rama Museum, OK Corral, UFO landing sites, kitschy gift shops and more!
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Customer Reviews (10)
Good overview and plenty of ideas
Really good to build and itinerary and pinpoint the most important stuff to do. Can work as the sole information source, but I would recommend to do additional research to find more details and advices about areas named in the book.
A great outline of travel in southwest; strong writing, great regional maps
Every time I've used a Lonely Planet guide book I've always been entertained by the fun and educational writing, spot-on and occasionally quirky pictures, and accurate, up-to-date descriptions. This Southwest USA guide is no exception. I like to use this one to plan long-distance road trips - I can get an overall picture of not-to-miss highlights here; if I need more details, I can go to other sources of course. I think the best use of this book is to give the reader a great starting point for any southwest travels. I'm pretty sure Lonely Planet has several other guides to specific destinations - those guides have more details, say for example Las Vegas - one critic here says there's not enough about LV - they clearly haven't seen the great LV guides available from Lonely Planet - they're the places to look for insider's tips and extra details. This book is an excellent regional guide.
Not on par with Lonely Planet Standards
There don't seem to be many all-encompassing guides that address travel in the Southwestern US. However, I was excited to see that Lonely Planet was among them. After reading some of the reviews on this site, I was a bit apprehensive about purchasing it, but a combination of my high regard for Lonely Planet and the alternative of having to purchase several books convinced me to buy it. After spending the past month trying to use this book as a resource for planning a week long vacation in the Southwest, I have to agree with the critical reviews.
Perhaps the editor of this text had a trigger-happy finger with the delete key; whatever the reason may be, this text is missing a good bit. There are many generalizations and few applicable insights. I found myself having to rent other texts from the library, do a good bit of research online, and print maps of the bigger parks from their websites. The maps that are included are difficult to read and a good portion of notable features are missing.Many areas and parks don't have real maps though, including Mesa Verde. The attention given to state parks is even worse. Their treatment of Monument Valley was especially disappointing, as there is less than half page on it, no mention the park's lodge or area's restaurants and statement like, "There are tours" that leave much be further researched. I'm also wondering why the dinosaur tracks outside of Tuba City aren't mentioned; why the IMAX theater outside the Grand Canyon isn't noted; why there isn't any mention of famed attractions inside some of the parks (such as Double Arch in Arches and Angel Arch in Canyonlands); why multi-award winning Las Vegas restaurants such as Bouchon (whose founder was recognized by Time magazine as "Best Chef in America") aren't noted; and so on.
Obviously, there is a lot to cover, but I'd happily pay an extra $5 - 10for a slightly thicker book that does the region more justice. If I could revisit my purchasing decision, I'd look at Moon's Four Corners guide a bit more (their guides have been just as good and even better than Lonely Planet's in my experience) and supplement it with a small Vegas guide.
Good travel book, but a little weak in details.
I feel this book has been very helpful in planning my forthcoming trip to the area.However, compared to other lonely planet volumes, I feel the details concerning points of interest, lodging and dining are a little skimpy.
I am a major, lifelong supporter of Lonely Planet from the first core Asia books. I have till date not filed a review of a book online, but felt compelled to highlight some major deficiencies in this product and make a recommendation to look elsewhere for information on the American Southwest. Of late, I have begun branching away from Lonely Planet for more detailed information, but still rely on it for useful phone numbers, maps and other logistical information. For a three week camping trip in the Southwest with a few splurges along the way, I wanted to rely heavily on just such a book.
In the Southwest book, much of this information was not present (for example, 'Many campgrounds are available in local state parks' is one of the entries, but no phone numbers, maps nor details given. Not only were options for lodging half-heartedly described, often food options and maps were entirely missing or erroneously described.
The cities are a bit better described, but that isn't offering much of an excuse for an area and geography that is utterly unlike any on earth.
It is not surprising that this particular book is so short on useful information given its small size, but I found it egregious that LP would compromise so heavily on its core responsibility - providing useful, practical information that saves time and enhances the travel experience.
I highly recommend flipping through another guidebook in your local bookstore or experimenting with one of the other brands before relying on the Lonely Planet in this case. I plan to do so for the near future.
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