I know it’s almost two months away, but we didn’t want to risk not receiving them in time or receiving them late. We want to study everything a little before we reach our destination. 🙂
We already hear your grumblings and comments: with the internet, what do you need a visitor kit with a paper map? We are fortunate, we live in a smart age with the internet and thousands of apps useful to the cause, but in recent weeks the need to have detailed paper maps of some areas that we will visit has grown. Not so much for cities, but the paths inside the parks.
We tried to print some routes from Google Maps, but we were not satisfied. The print resolution from images taken from the internet is not ideal, so we went to visit all the official US government sites and … as we imagined, we found everything we were looking for.
All the official websites of the American states we have visited have a dedicated section – generally called VISITOR’S GUIDE which contains all the useful information material for a thorough visit: brochures, maps, and magazines. You can choose to download them electronically for PC and mobile devices, or you can ask to receive them at home at no cost.
Here is our direct experience
Just today, we made our requests, and we saw that not all states behave the same way. For the state of California, Arizona, and Nevada, the request was speedy. Fill out a form with all the shipping details, and it’s done. In 7-11 days we should receive everything. We are already waiting for them – 3 visitor kits with only the brochures and maps that interested us.
It did not go the same way for the state of Utah that provides for the sending of information material ONLY to residents in the US or Canada. In any case, it is possible to download guides and maps in electronic format. Better than nothing.
City Visitor Kit
Even the official website of the city of San Francisco releases the Visitor Kit both in digital and paper format, but if you want a physical copy of everything, the shipment is at your expense. With about 5 euros, you can have a guide and map. We ordered it. Browsing the site, however, we found a lot of useful information and the map section that offers different routes to do in the city on foot and by bicycle. Also present is the San Francisco MUNI ROUTE MAP metro map and the BART map – the rail network that connects the entire Bay Area.
Let’s now move on to the city of Los Angeles, which offers a website that is certainly well done, easy to navigate, and with lots of interactive material, but no paper guides. Of any kind. 🙁 Only PDF guides can be downloaded.