New York is not only the Big Apple, it's a really big city with so much to see and do for the visitor that even long-time residents cannot keep up with it — that's why you need a good travel guide. The comprehensive Rough Guide to New York City is a jam-packed guide with so many options and ideas that you will be grateful for the simple lists like "20 Things Not to Miss" and the sample three-, five- and seven-day itineraries.
The guide begins with a "Basics" section with resources, contacts and essentials, then quickly dives into the city's many neighborhoods, in this case, 21 chapters' worth.
In addition to the expected — Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island — there's even a whole chapter on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which the authors consider to be the foremost art museum in America. Couple the Met Museum map with their detailed reviews of the top galleries, and the neighborhood guide to the Upper East Side (certainly an area that anyone with "Gossip Girl" fans will want to visit), and you have a full day's sightseeing organized for you.
Our only quibble is that the book is somewhat Manhattan centric, so a foreigner interested in what's hip and happening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn may be disappointed.
Within the dense sections, listings include phone numbers, hours of operation, admission fees and websites for more information if you need it on the road. Eleven more chapters outline hotels by neighborhood, restaurants, bakeries and cafes, festivals, sports, gay venues and more.
The "Kids' New York" section suggests events, specialized museums, theatres, shops and even childcare options for family visitors. The "Contexts" section goes into New York's history and gives potential visitors a reading list and filmography that should satisfy anyone's curiousity about the city.
Although there's a lot crammed into the 480 pages and maps throughout the book, it's so much more than an introduction to New York City that we know you'll keep it for the second, third and fourth visit as well.
The Rough Guide to New York City by Martin Dunford, Stephen Keeling, and Andrew Rosenberg (Rough Guides; 13 edition -January 30, 2012) sells for $23 and gets a 4* rating by our editors for adult users.
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