Rick Steves Spain 2013 doesn't even mention Valencia which is the third largest city in Spain. It has a great historic city center with cathedrals and musuems. The ultra modern City of Arts and Sciences is a huge attraction. Add in Mediterranean beaches and you have a great city to visit. What am I missing?
There certainly are things to enjoy in Valencia, but it just doesn't make Rick's cut for his favorite places for a first-time, one-month visit to Spain, or to fit into one book that is already straining its 980-page limit. Being big isn't what makes a city great, either; including a mix of smaller towns gives you a much different flavor of a country.
He ignores almost all of northern Spain, as well. There are great things to see all over Spain, and everyone has their own opinions. Try another guidebook.
An impartial guide to any nation for which it's published is a Michelin Green Guide.
Nancy was not suggesting Valencia was in northern Spain. She was lamenting that RS also does not cover it so well, though I think he does hit the main highlights.
Casey - I have followed you here from TA. Valencia is a fantastic place - it is not a big city, but a welcoming, compact place you can easily walk around. Rick is missing out: has he even been to Valencia? If he has (the response from Laura makes me doubt that), he should re-visit and reconsider.
It does not matter if RS has been there or not and likes it or not. If you enjoyed it then just start a post advocating what you liked about the place.
The OP has done just that Marble
In case you haven't noticed, Rick has a penchant for trains. In Spain, the best train routes operate in roughly a "C" pattern that includes Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Granada. Valencia isn't part of that curcuit, which is why I think Rick skips it - other than giving it a mention as a second choice destination.
Every one has their own opinions. For my money, Costa del Sol is the place to skip in favor of Costa de la Luz - but that's because I prefer quiet, uncrowded beaches to resorts. Others love Costa del Sol and plan their entire vacation there.