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Marco Polo guides are among our favourites for planning trips abroad, certainly to the USA. We’ve used a number on our USA trips over the last couple of years.
One guide that would certainly have been well used on our trip to the south west in 2015 is this Marco Polo USA Southwest guide. It’s a Pocket Guide format which means it’s slightly smaller and thinner than a standard paperback novel.
The area covered by the guide includes Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. The pull-out map also includes areas of neighbouring states such as Nevada and Texas.
The guide also includes a pull-out road map which would, at a push, be enough to enable you to navigate the region using major roads.
As we’ve found with all the Marco Polo guides we’ve used, the pages of USA Southwest are well illustrated with photos integrated into the text. Listings for attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc are all grouped together for each location. I find this more usable than the alternative approach where facilities of different types are listed in different sections of the book.
All the big national park-type attractions are includes, starting with the Grand Canyon and including others you might not have heard of, such as the stunning Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.
There are also “Best of…” lists and insider tips — plus, my personal favourite, “Tips and Tours”. These suggested tour routes are excellent for giving you an idea of what’s possible in a given timeframe and suggesting logical routes. Examples include “Highlights of the Canyonlands” and “Cowboys and Cacti in Southern Arizona”. You get the idea.
Cities such as Las Vegas and Denver are well covered, as are most of the main towns you’re likely to visit. There’s also a good selection of useful background information for travellers unfamiliar with this area of the USA.
Overall, this is an extremely usable guide, with a lot packed into a small format. Recommended.
Title: USA Southwest (1st edition, 2013)
Publisher: Marco Polo