Get Some Fun PCH Gifts Here
Green Guide USA West
Includes California, Pacific North West
The Green Guide to the USA West from Michelin covers California, the Pacific North West, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and even Kansas and Alaska.
Even Alaska Is Covered
Michelin’s Green Guide to the USA West covers California and the Pacific North West, both of interest to anyone driving the Pacific Coast Highway. However, these are just part of a huge 510-page guide that covers half the USA.
There’s a companion Green Guide to the USA East, and between them these two books cover the entire United States. This USA West guide stretches all the way from Texas and parts of the Midwest right across to Alaska and Hawaii – that’s a lot of ground to cover.
Green Guide USA West
For anyone who’s only driving the Pacific Coast Highway there are better guides around, but the Green Guide to the USA West might be worth a look if you’re planning a longer road trip.
It also covers some places that we know visitors to our site sometimes combine with their PCH drive, such as Las Vegas, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and the Grand Canyon (a long day’s drive of 500 miles from Los Angeles).
You won’t find the Pacific Coast Highway in the index, but all of the major cities and sights along the way do get some coverage. This is quite brief for places such as Big Sur and Hearst Castle, which get just a couple of paragraphs each, but as potted summaries go, they’re pretty good.
Santa Barbara gets about ¾ of a page, while Ventura merits just 12 words – you have to ask if that was even worth including! Smaller places you might want to stop off at or stay overnight - like Dana Point, Cambria, Huntington Beach – aren’t mentioned at all.
However, that’s not a criticism of the book as it’s a guide to the whole of the western USA, and they can’t cover everything. If you plan to spend more of your time in the big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, then these places do get lengthy sections.
There are also decent maps for San Francisco, the LA area, and downtown Los Angeles. The guide sensibly says that in order to enjoy San Francisco, you really need a week there, while there’s so much to see and do in Los Angeles that you need to focus on your main interests.
Oregon and Washington
Oregon and Washington get about 20 pages each, with just two pages for the whole of the Oregon Coast. The Olympic Peninsula manages three pages, including a short entry for the Olympic National Park, which shows the difficulty of covering a vast area like the western half of the USA in even 500 pages.
Is the Green Guide USA West Worth Buying?
If you’re only driving the Pacific Coast Highway then no, this isn’t the book for you. You’d be better off buying something like Lonely Planet’s Coastal California or our choice as best guide for a PCH road trip, the Moon Handbook to the Pacific Coast Highway.
But if you’re doing a much bigger trip, maybe taking in Vegas and the Grand Canyon, or driving through the Rockies and planning trips to Alaska and Hawaii too, then this Green Guide to the USA West does take in everywhere that’s important.
Most places have some recommendations of hotels and restaurants, and there’s good coverage of other organizations that can help you find somewhere to stay too. It’s a Jack of All Trades guide, if that’s what you want.
Buying this Green Guide USA West
You can buy the guide on Amazon here, but as the latest edition was published back in 2014 you might want to consider getting one of these more recent west coast guides.
Other books pages
Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.
Soul of Los Angeles from French publishers Jonglez is a travel guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences in California's largest city.
Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, published by Voyageur Press, is a guide in words and pictures to historic lighthouses along the Pacific Coast Highway.
One of the best guides to West Coast RV Parks, covering campgrounds in California, Oregon, and Washington, is West Coast RV Camping from Moon Guides.
The Washington State travel guide from Frommer's covers hotels in Seattle, driving the Pacific Coast Highway, Olympic National Park, where to eat and more.
The Frommer's Guide to Seattle has good information about the city and side excursions to the Olympic National Park and elsewhere, plus free city and area map.
Some of the best California Backroads are included in Backroads of the California Coast, with 24 highly recommended driving tours off the Pacific Coast Highway.
Northwest Wine Country is a food and wine lover's guide to vineyards, fine dining, accommodation, restaurants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia.
The guide to California Bed and Breakfast Inns lists over 250 boutique hotels, wine country cottages and more.
This John Steinbeck California Guide, A Journey into Steinbeck's California, shows readers how towns like Monterey, Carmel and Salinas influenced the author.
Pacific Coast Highway Travel's California Camping book review rates the 20th anniversary edition of Moon's complete guide to over 1400 tent and RV campgrounds.
The Michelin Green Guide to California covers the whole state and is good on maps, the sights, major cities and towns, less good on hotels and restaurants.
Brewpubs and good beer are at the heart of the Good Beer Guide to the West Coast USA which lists the best bars and breweries from Seattle to San Diego.
Greetings from California is a beautiful coffee-table book which describes the legends, landmarks and lore of California, including the Pacific Coast Highway.
To John Steinbeck Monterey's Cannery Row was a place of sardine canneries, bums and honky tonks, but today the Monterey Aquarium attracts visitors.
Lonely Planet's Guide to Cycling the USA West Coast is a bicycling guidebook for anyone touring California, Oregon and Washington by bike.
The Napa and Sonoma Guidebook to California Wine Country is from the Moon Handbooks’ travel guide series with reviews of wineries,vineyards, and wine tastings.
West Coast Road Eats is a road food guide covering the Pacific Coast from California through Oregon to Washington, giving the best road trip food stops.
Moon's Spotlight Guide to the Olympic Peninsula covers hotels, restaurants, and sights, including Forks, the Olympic National Park and other places.
Plant lovers can visit hundreds of gardens along or near the Pacific Coast Highway,ranging from lush gardens in the Pacific North-West to southern California.
The Frommer's Guide to Oregon has good information on hotels, restaurants and what to see in Portland, and along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Pacific Coast Highway in California book shows in historic photos the building of the Pacific Coast Highway from its earliest beginnings in 1911.
Epic Drives of the World from Lonely Planet describes 50 of the world's most exciting road trips, including, of course, the Pacific Coast Highway.
Pacific Coast Highway guides include our own printed book and ebook guides to the best hotels along the PCH, available in paperback, PDF and Kindle formats.
The Best Coast is a west coast travel guide, sub-titled A Road Trip Atlas it doesn't use photos but instead has hundreds of beautiful illustrations.
May 10, 23 09:47 AM
A food and drink expert charts the perfect course from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Apr 26, 23 10:07 AM
California is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful natural landscapes in the world, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The state of California offers a wide range of outdoor activiti…
Apr 25, 23 11:08 AM
The latest study by Upgraded Points sets gas cars against electric vehicles to see which vehicle is truly the most economical on five American road trips. Examining the time and fuel costs along iconi…