“We were lucky enough to receive review samples of guide books for the areas we were visiting on our USA 2015 trip from both Rough Guide and Marco Polo. Here’s a list of the books we used:
- Pocket Rough Guide Las Vegas
- Pocket Rough Guide San Francisco
So which guides came out on top? Which were kept in the glovebox and thumbed intensively at each place we visited?
City Guides – Rough Guide vs. Marco Polo
Before this trip, we’d never used Marco Polo travel guides before, but that could now change.
Reading and comparing the Las Vegas and San Francisco guides from Rough Guide and Marco Polo, we both preferred the Marco Polo guides.
In fairness, both guides are similar and both are well up to the job. Both use a two-column layout and have similar content.
Our preference for the Marco Polo guides was mainly because we preferred the organisation of the content and the more modern formatting of the guide. It seemed more readable and easier to find what you want — e.g. suggested eateries, grouped by budget, or details of casino attractions in each section of the strip.
Both guides included pocket maps of the central areas of each city, but with differences. The Marco Polo maps were physically larger and included more detail. For example, in San Francisco the bus routes were marked on the map. Very useful.
In Las Vegas, the Marco Polo map covered a wider area and was far more useful for driving. As it happens, the Rough Guide pocket map was the best for a walking tour of the main strip area as it was very large scale and showed all the main casinos in enough detail to plan an efficient route.
There weren’t any bad guides here. The four city guides were all good, but Marco Polo Guides had the edge and I’d now like to try one of their full-size country/region guides.”
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Roland Head, from Motorhome Planet.