Aside from its spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife, much of the allure of Montana is in its wide open spaces and sparse population. It¹s not uncommon to travel 80-100 miles between inhabited towns (yes, there are towns that are virtually uninhabited!), and find nothing more than a bar and a church. This can be pretty unnerving if the gas gauge is near empty, the stomach is growling, the kids are screaming for food, and it¹s getting late enough to think of bedding down.
When traveling in most populated states, it is a safe assumption that just about any town on the map will have basic services (gas, dining, and lodging). T¹aint so in Montana. In January of this year, over 250 gas stations had to close or stop selling gas because of EPA tank regulations. This left many small towns without a place to fill up. And most are too small for any type of familiar food franchise, or even a place to eat other than the local bar.
This is the ultimate Montana travel guide. This remarkable guide was over three years in development. During that time the authors drove over 20,000 miles, personally interviewed over 4,000 businesses and checked out hundreds of attractions. They spent thousands of collective hours putting everything they gathered into what you will agree is a truly remarkable tool for anyone traveling by automobile or planning a trip in this state.
The book is very friendly and easy to use. In fact, this was the number one priority in producing the book. 320 full color 8-1/2² x 11² pages printed on heavy stock pack in more information about this state than any other Montana guide book in print. Everything you need to know to plan your trip, or to help you while you¹re on it, is included in this book. Once you see it, you¹ll wonder how we were able to put such an incredible book together at such a low price. The book is divided into 27 logical stretches of highway. Each section includes literally a mile-by-mile description of what you will find on your journey.
Each section opens with a general description of the route, a little history of the area, towns along the way, and anything else of interest.
That is followed with detailed, easy-to-read maps of the section and any towns that have more than one commercial street. On these maps they indicate by number the specific location of every gas stop, place to eat, lodging facility, and attraction along the way‹every single one that was in business when they surveyed the area. If there¹s a fast food franchise, hot dog stand, burger palace, hometown cafe, or fine dining establishment‹they'll tell you. If they have a single gas pump‹the book lists them. If they fix any part of your car‹it's listed. If they rent even a few rooms‹they're in there. If its anything worth stopping (or even slowing down) for‹a historical site, state park, museum, point of interest, etc.‹it's listed. They even include retail establishments that feel you would find them of interest. There are over 70 highway and town maps in this book.
Following the maps in the listing section, the authors tie the number on the map to each of the services and attractions. They provide basic information such as the name, address, and phone number of the service. Following the name they provide easy-to-read symbols indicating the type of service or services provided. In many cases there is a paragraph giving additional information about the service or attraction. For many of them, there are photos.
If that isn¹t enough, the listings are followed with a quick reference chart for each of the three critical categories of interest to a traveler: dining, lodging, and auto. Each of these charts allows the reader to scan through all of the businesses in that category for a quick comparison. If you're looking for fast food, quickly see which places fit that description and where they are. Need diesel? See which stations sell it. Looking for a motel with an indoor pool? Scan through quickly and find all of the ones in that section.
There's a lot of information packed into these tables. For instance:
Dining: Tells you the type of food served, the price range, if they have a kid¹s menu, do they serve beer? wine? cocktails?, what meals do they serve, if they take reservations, and what credit cards they take. Their number on the map and in the listing section is also provided for easy cross reference.
Lodging: Tells you how big they are (number of rooms), what price range they are in, if they serve breakfast (continental or full), if they have a swimming pool (indoor or outdoor) or hot tub, if they have non-smoking rooms, other amenities they provide (kitchenette, refrigerator, or microwave), what credit cards they take, do they allow pets, and again their reference number on the map and listing section.
Auto: Tells you what kind of fuel they sell (gas, diesel, or propane), what types of repair services they provide, if they have a convenience store, if there is a mechanic on duty, what credit cards they take, and yes‹what their reference number is on the map and listing section.
Now if all of that isn¹t already worth the price of the book several times over, here¹s what makes it a no-brainer. Many of these businesses have offered substantial discounts to owners of this book. Over $5,000 in discounts! No, that¹s not a typo. These are real‹and really serious discounts. How about over 165 restaurants offering everything from free drinks (often beer, wine, and cocktails) to free meals; almost 100 motels offering reduced rates; over 100 gas and auto stops offering free beverages with fill-ups or discounted service; not to mention the other miscellaneous businesses offering special discounts to readers. The fact is, you will probably get back the price you paid for this book your first day on the road.
Finally, there is a wealth of other information in this book: a calendar of events broken out by section; a listing of radio stations throughout the state; population, elevation, annual precipitation and temperatures by town; chamber of commerce phone numbers; and a large listing of other important phone numbers relevant to travel. A guarantee--you will spend more money on a trip to Montana without this book, than with it.
|Publisher:||Champions Publishing/Ultimate Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.97(w) x 10.69(h) x 0.85(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just logged on to let your customers know what a great book I found the Montana Roadside Directory to be. My husband and I have been pouring over it for the past week and it¿s become our main book for planning our trip to Montana in May. I found the charts to be extremely useful and the discounts are abundant. I found the layout to be a little confusing at first, but once I understood the flow, it became very easy to use. My husband would liked to have seen more fishing and hiking info. But I figure this is a book on the roads of Montana, not the wilderness. I guess there¿s only so much you can pack into a book. Maybe next edition. I also liked the way every restaurant, motel, and gas stop is marked directly on the map with a number. This makes it very easy to visualize the trip, and should be real useful in finding places while we¿re driving. I can¿t give anything a perfect score, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone planning a trip to Montana.