The Unofficial Guide to San Francisco Paperback – Apr 26 2010
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From the Publisher
The renowned Unofficial Guides are trusted by millions of readers. No other series offers such candid evaluations; every hotel and attraction is rated and ranked by a team of unbiased inspectors, so readers can be sure they're spending their time and money wisely.
Each guide features detailed descriptions of a wide range of hotels and restaurants in all price categories, with all the details pulled out so they're extremely easy to scan. Readers love the rating system used to objectively evaluate attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Handy charts demonstrate how each place stacks up against the competition. There's a wealth of information -- enough to satisfy even the most compulsive planner.
Each Unofficial Guide is tailored to provide convenience and insider advice on the destination it covers, and addresses the needs of everyone from families to business travelers. Also included are accurate maps, plus detailed information on shopping, nightlife, sports, and more. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
From the publishers of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
"A Tourist's Best Friend!"
—The New York Times
Five Great Features and Benefits offered ONLY by The Unofficial Guide:
Hotels, motels, and inns ranked and rated for value and quality—plus proven strategies for getting the best deals
Detailed restaurant reviews, including the best of Chinatown
Driving and walking tours of the city's top neighborhoods
The straight truth on all the attractions, from Alcatraz to the Golden Gate Bridge
The best day trips in the surrounding Bay Area and beyond, including the Wine Country
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sadly, no. This is a pretty basic, no-frills guide to the city. The worst part about it is that it uses thick paper, a large font, and rambling paragraphs to present information. It comes in twice as thick as other guidebooks, and offers no extra information for that extra bulk. However, there is some good information in here, including some background and travel tips I didn't find in other guides.
As a general rule, I don't believe that there is one-size-fits all guidebook, and when I travel, I get an arsenal of books and select the top three to use on the road. This guide should be a part of your pre-trip planning, but it is not a good choice for the one book you tuck in your purse or backpack for a week in the city. The book follows a pretty standard format, opening with history, times of year to visit, accommodation selection, and then tips on getting around. Bonus sections not found in other guidebooks include details for business travelers, the most detail on public transportation that I have found in any book, and an extensive section on excursions to locales in the surrounding area outside the city proper.
The book is heavy on restaurant profiles and reviews, almost at the expense of details on attractions and entertainment. Most guidebooks have the opposite split--heavy on attractions, light on the restaurants--so this actually makes a good companion to a book such as the Lonely Planet guide to San Francisco.
The only drawback is that there are no pictures at all and SF is a visually exciting and diverse city. When deciding what you want to visit, a picture or two could go a long way in deciding what is a must see and what is not. For example, I had never heard of the Palace of Fine Arts but when I saw a picture of it in another book I knew I had to go there. This is an excellent book but it would be better still if they could add some color photos in the next edition.