www.about.com/travel

PROS:

Information is up to date; for example, to mark Republican National Convention, site featured article on the top 10 NYC attractions and landmarks. Detailed info on both domestic and international destinations. Caribbean islands particularly well covered.

CONS:

Disconcerting audio pop-up ads are difficult to shut down.

NEW & NOTABLE:

Can sign up to receive free travel newsletters.

www.fodors.com

PROS:

Sections on hotels and restaurants -- with reader reviews and ratings -- are extensive; for example, 153 restaurants in Washington are discussed. Mini-guides about many North American destinations are posted. The feature "Right This Way: The Fodor's Blogs" contains interesting, timely travel articles.

CONS:

Pop-ups are difficult to close. Info on international destinations not as extensive.

NEW & NOTABLE:

Offers fun, off-beat features, such as excerpts from book "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" by J. Maarten Troost.

www.lonelyplanet.com

PROS:

Designed for the traveler who doesn't do tours. Features include the "Thorn Tree" travelers forum, a good source of firsthand information, especially for out-of-the-way destinations. Travel advisories and warnings are up to date.

CONS:

Travel guides are good, but they're also designed to whet your appetite just enough to buy the book. Postcards feature is out of date.

NEW & NOTABLE:

Has given up on posting downloadable upgrades to its guidebooks.

www.timeout.com

PROS:

Chock full of information on eating, drinking and lodging for major cities around the globe. Includes cool tidbits, such as drinking ages and last-call times.

CONS:

Pushes the sale of its books. Many cluttering advertisements for other products.

NEW & NOTABLE:

This London-based company does its home town and New York City best.

www.viamichelin.com

PROS:

Best guide for driving directions in Europe. Also offers hotel and restaurant listings from Michelin Red guides.

CONS:

Like most guidebook sites, too many opportunities to buy the book.

NEW & NOTABLE:

Redesigned Web page is much easier to navigate.