Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Access Travel Guides

The Access Travel Guides
by various editors

Everyone is probably already aware of the fine travel guides put out by such publishers as Fodors, Frommers, and Baedecker. A somewhat lesser-known publisher of travel guides that I'd like to recommend is the Access Guides, put out by Access Press. These tall, narrow books cram an intense amount of information into each volume. Each Access Guide breaks a city down into distinct geographic areas, then gives you a detailed map, with icons for hotels, restaurants, shops, parks, notable architectural landmarks and other types of touristy stops, for each of those "districts". Each district then has a section of the book dedicated to detailed descriptions of all the features itemized in the maps -- told in "walking tour" style. At the back of each Access Guide, in addition to a master index, you'll find indexes to all the restaurants (including their ★-to-★★★★ star ratings), and hotels, broken down by price ranges from $ to $$$$. You'll find special sections dedicated to public transportation methods, annual events in each given city, and contact methods for all the businesses listed, as well as various tourism bureaus. Access Guides also include a section at the back of each volume focusing on travel information for gay travellers. Finally, each volume also includes information of Day Trips near the primary city, and a chronology of the city's history. Most of the information available in Access Guides can be found in other travel books. Personally, I find the structure of the way that the info is organized to be very helpful. I've taken Access Guides with me on vacations to San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago and they've proven very useful to have along on walking tours. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Access Press web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide web site. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to mirror the author's comments. I've been using Access Guides for over 15 years and when they are available for my destination, I don't bother with another guide. Their breakdown by neighborhood makes them more user friendly than any other guide. They also nicely bridge between key tourist locations to lesser known places of interest and local haunts - so they suit the needs of many different types of travelers and budgets. All in all, the best travel guides out there.