Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Insiders’ Guide to El Paso--a border explorer’s new best friend

Border exploring has just become significantly easier with Insiders’ Guide’s newest offering: El Paso.

Megan Eaves, after returning to her roots in the Southwestern to compose her latest guidebook, puts the city of El Paso into the palm of the reader’s hand. Comprehensive yet compact, this first edition book covers all the basics of the Sun City and appropriately adds plenty of border flavor for accent.

Arranged in traditional travel guide format, each chapter treats a foundational aspect of the area. Together, they will help you arrive in El Paso, will orient you to border life, and will ease both your daily functioning and your access to the city’s special activities. All the anticipated topics are accounted for: transportation, border history and geography, accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, attractions, the arts, parks and recreation, “kidstuff,” shopping, and day trips from El Paso.

As an area native daughter, Eaves ably includes details others may miss. The “Close Up” sidebar articles, for instance, reveal local color and spotlight El Paso specialties. For instance, important personalities, both contemporary and historic, receive due focus—from Pancho Villa to Sandra Day O’Connor. The colorful murals, trademark bootmakers, and Tex-Mex cuisine are all explained in a clear, understandable text.

Some opinions and recommendations in the guide surprised me, and there were some with which I didn’t agree. But, that is wonderful. The best use of a travel guide is when it successfully points you in an interesting direction. This allows you the pleasure of experiencing the city for yourself and forming your own conclusions. Insiders’ Guide to El Paso steers you accurately to wherever your interests lead you.

El Paso is burgeoning with new development. While that's good for El Paso, it's difficult for book publishers who must meet deadlines. As a result, the city's new Union Plaza sector is notably missing from this guide. However, the guide's media section provides all the tools you need to obtain the latest information, on this or any other more recent development.

Whether you’re retiring here (as I did some years ago), relocating to El Paso or just visiting, with this book in your hand you’ll be holding a gold mine of information in a convenient format. I know that even as a seasoned new settler of the city I’ll be referring to mine often. The book is readily available on Amazon, just in time for incoming Sun Bowl game visitors and the influx of new troops to Fort Bliss.


Big Mark 243 said...

Fort Bliss and the White Sands installation are what had me in the area for a HOT second while I was in the Army.

I don't comment frequently but I do peek in and I envy your ability to give yourself to what you believe in.

Take care and be well!!



Border Explorer said...

Glad to know that about you, Mark. I'm a wimpy Texan, only around for the more comfortable months, I must confess. But there's something about the border...gets into my blood. Thanks for your good words! Appreciatively, Billie

Bill said...

Nice review Billie! I think this book and the rest of the Insider's Guide series add a lot of extra value to the region and state level guides already out there.