BUSY PLACES: NATURAL SPACES – PART I

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesFavorite Places

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

To keep my often too-long RV.net blogs a bit shorter, I posted an excerpt of this article on that site:  this is the full article, subdivided into two parts.  Part I is about favorite cities; Part II is a list of all National Parks from the most visited to Lake Clark in Alaska at the bottom of the ratings – a shame since it is absolutely stunning in the Alaskan sunshine.  I wrote an article a year ago about the destinations chosen by RV.net readers.  Since it vanished somewhere between Point A and Point B, I’ve republished it.  I assure you, I’m not trying to sell anything (unless you’re interested in one or more of my photos of North America).

BUSY PLACES:  Enough pregame chatter, time to get to the good stuff.  I recently came across two “favorite lists” that I found interesting.  The first lists the “Travelers’ Choice 2013” of favorite cities to visit published by Tripadvisor.  I’m not sure how the “travelers” made their selections, but the number of attractions in the selected areas probably influences it.  For instance, New York, the #1 choice, has dozens of museums, historic sites, entertainment, etc.

So now, the Top 10 American cities, from the Big Apple to the Big Easy:  After New York in first place comes San Francisco, then Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando finish out the first five.

The sights and sounds of Chinatown in San Francisco make visiting a unique experience.

The sights and sounds of Chinatown in San Francisco make visiting a unique experience.

My comments:  San Francisco is a beautiful, fun town, and if you visit Chicago, we strongly recommend taking the American Institute of Architects boat tour along the Chicago River.  I

"The Bean" at left is the most interesting feature of Millennium Park in Chicago

“The Bean” at left is the most interesting feature of Millennium Park in Chicago

got a whole new favorable impression of the city.  Some people avoid Las Vegas thinking it’s SinCity, but it’s so much more than gambling and risqué shows.  There’s entertainment galore and lots of interesting desert.  Need I comment on Orlando – home of numerous family-oriented attractions?

The only thing I can say about Washington, D.C., No 6 on the list, is that you can’t stay long enough to see it all – a week minimum – and we started out with the Gray Line tour “D.C. After Dark.”  The history in Boston is obviously legendary (maybe “legendary” is the wrong word since the courage of our founding fathers is factual).  It’s mostly what Boston is all about … plus the Boston Pops Orchestra.  Los Angeles is a metropolis that never ends, with museums, entertainment, 20th Century history, family amusement parks … whatever you’re looking for, it’s probably there.  No. 9 is Honolulu.  I’m not sure why, except that the airport is the jumping off point for much of the South Pacific islands.

And No. 10 – New Orleans.  I’m a bit prejudiced about this one – it’s my hometown.  Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, Creole food and nearby Cajun Country are the traditional main attractions, but I strong recommend the incredible World War II Museum.  Just watching the Tom Hanks-narrated video is worth the price of admission.

And now for the final 15 cities to visit in the U.S.:

11. Seattle, Washington

12. Miami, Florida

13. Sedona, Arizona

14. Savannah, Georgia

15. Charleston, South Carolina

16. Napa (Wine Country), California

17. San Antonio, Texas

18. Lahaina, Hawaii

19. Portland, Oregon

20. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

21. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

22. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

23. Palm Springs, California

24. Naples, Florida

25. Houston, Texas

We rarely assign major cities as destinations, but we do have favorites.  Monique puts

The quaintness of Savannah, Georgia, lies in its preservation of its glorious history.

The quaintness of Savannah, Georgia, lies in its preservation of its glorious history.

Charleston or Savannah at the top of her list.  I still have to say I really appreciate the unique culture of New Orleans … and both of us like Washington, D.C., not only for the attractions, but for the cleanliness and grandeur.  My favorite town is Mountain View, Arkansas (population:  less than 3,800 and not on the list), where the folk music never stops.

I doubt if you’ll get bored in any of them … so you can join us as being “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.

© All photos by Barry Zander.   All rights reserved