The 8th edition of Florida by Lonely Planet Publications was published on January 16, 2018, again after a 3 year gap.
Lonely Planet Publications are the largest independent travel guide publisher in the world
Florida by Lonely Planet is similar in style to a number of other Florida guides like the Rough Guide to Florida with a selection of colour photographs at the start of the book. Whilst the Rough Guide has a few monochrome images illustrating the rest of the book, the Lonely Planet now has a few colour images dotted throughout.
The book is co-written by four authors; Adam Karlin, Kate Armstrong, Regis St Louis and Ashley Harrell and each author covers a couple of the regions.
The Preface covers the usual topics including the history of Florida, culture, the environment, outdoor activities, food and drink plus a series of classic and tailored itineraries.
The main chapters of the book are split into regions with an overview map, climate, tourist information offices, sights and activities, tours, festivals, accommodation by budget, eating, entertainment, sports and shopping.
The book notes that the research for this edition was completed before Hurricane Irma hit on September 10, 2017 so readers are advised to check official websites before making plans, especially if visiting the Florida Keys
Each entry is well described with its address (plus website), telephone number, opening times and admission prices.
There is one colour map of Florida inside the front cover and then a few local maps within each regional chapter. There is also a highlighted set of 15 top experiences, keyed from the main map.
The writing style is easy going and does not pull any punches. The coverage is good though not as comprehensive as some other guides.
The last two chapters provide a comprehensive directory with useful information on everything from business hours to advice for women travellers and a separate chapter on transportation both to Florida and getting around Florida including sample Greyhound bus fares.
Note that most guide books are re-published annually so you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind last year’s edition.