Tag: Tourist TrapsView All Tags
With the warmer weather right around the corner, we’ve started to plan our spring and summer road trips. Sure there are the usual locations that are always a good choice, but we’re looking to also to be entertained on the way there. That’s why we’re recommending a few good distractions, with what we’re calling the five things you just got to drive past:
Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota
It’s exactly what it sounds like, and is clearly a road trip must. It’s one part civic center and one part awesome, as the exterior decorations of corn, grain, and grass are refreshed and renewed each and every year. They’d love for you to stop in and visit, and they don’t even charge you for checking things out. Oh—and don’t worry about finding it—type “Corn Palace” into Google Maps, and it’ll know exactly where you want to head. At least it did for us!
World’s Tallest Thermometer – Baker, California
You’re driving towards the desert, and you just need to know how hot it is outside—problem solved. Just swing by the world’s tallest thermometer and you’ll be all set. It’s right by a Bob's Big Boy restaurant—another road trip must—and is in the town lovingly referred to as the gateway to Death Valley. We’d recommend filling up the tank in Baker before continuing on your journey, and of course be sure to snap a photo of the thermometer as well.
So you want to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Join the club, or rather the crowds as the Rock Center tree spectacle clogs the plaza and Fifth Avenue sidewalks starting November 28, when the official tree lighting ceremony goes down.
The 80-ft tall spruce is from Mount Olive, NJ and weathered the winds of Hurricane Sandy just fine. It was chopped down today and will head into Manhattan to be secured and decorated starting from November 14 (tomorrow!).
If you'll be in Manhattan on November 28 and want to soak up a bit of that Miracle on 34th Street-style, wholesome holiday spirit, here's the details you need to know:
London 2012 Olympics / Olympics Travel / London Travel / Tourists / Tourism / Foursquare / Social Media / Tourist Traps / → All Tags
In case you haven't heard it a gazillion times already, the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics are tonight. The athletes and their families have arrived, as have the majority of tourists who purchased the 8 million tickets for the 17 days of events.
This means that while Heathrow and other London airports aren't nearly as crazy as they were earlier this week, the center of the city is swelling with sightseers. So, for locals who'd like to stay as far away from all that as possible, or for visitors who want to know where all the action's at, location-sharing social app Foursquare has tapped their stats to discover the busiest venues around London:
Top 10 - Great Outdoors
Oxford Circus X Crossing
St James' Park
The Regent's Park
If there’s one city around the globe that doesn’t need any more attention—or tourists—this summer it’s got to be London. The UK is throwing a sick anniversary party for the Queen, Will and Kate are doing their thing, and there’s a little sporting event rolling into town as well. Some added excitement comes from the city’s latest addition to the Olympic landscape, and it’s known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit. However, we're just going to call it the Olympic Tower.
Rising almost 400-feet into the sky, the steel sculpture sits right by the Olympic Stadium, so you can kind of use it to find your way while meandering between venues and events in just a couple of months. Obviously the design is causing mixed reactions, especially as some think this could be London’s version of the Eiffel Tower. We’re not going to jump that far, but we’d definitely take a snapshot.
There’s a new tourist trap set to debut in Tokyo before too long, as the city’s Sky Tree has recently been completed. It’s a couple months late, but we kind of consider that to be expected as this sucker is the world’s tallest communication tower. There’s all kinds of criteria about tallest this and tallest that, so we’re not going to argue semantics—it’s a pretty big building and the Tokyo Sky Tree is a neat addition to the city’s skyline.
The final bits and pieces were put into place at the end of February, and now the thing rises to like 634 meters—that’s like 2,080 feet—towards the sky. If you’re looking to build something similar in your backyard you can expect to need close to a billion dollars to do so, as the construction costs for this build were just around $800 million bucks.
So you want to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Join the club, or rather the crowds as the Rock Center tree spectacle clogs the plaza and Fifth Avenue sidewalks starting November 30, when the official tree lighting ceremony goes down.
The 74-foot-tall Norway spruce cut from Pennsylvania is already upright in Rockefeller Plaza, but you'd barely know it from all the scaffolding surrounding the site. We stopped by yesterday for these photos, and noted that the tree's lower hanging branches are currently being delicately trimmed, a la ikebana times a thousand, to prep for its moment in the spotlights.
If you'll be in Manhattan on November 30 and want to soak up a bit of that Miracle on 34th Street-style, wholesome holiday spirit, here's the details you need to know:
Apocalypse Travel / Thanatourism / Religious Travel / Egypt Travel / Ancient History Travel / Tourist Traps / Tourism / → All Tags
It's Veterans Day today, and it's also 11.11.11 as the date goes. Naturally tourist sites have been preparing for both, but with the major difference that Veterans Day takes place in the US and focuses on looking at history and remembering while 11.11.11 happens around the world, with a focus on the future.
For some however, it's actually a lack thereof (the future) with the belief that the world will end today. Well it hasn't yet, and Egypt's Great Pyramid can attest to this. Fearing negative attention and spiritual ceremonies, the Great Pyramid was closed to tourists. The AP notes that only the pyramid was on lock-down:
Tourist Traps / California Travel / Los Angeles Travel / Landmarks / Tourists / Movie Travel / → All Tags
Ever wanted your picture with the famous white "HOLLYWOOD" sign above Los Angeles? Of course you do, who doesn't? Well, LA residents apparently aren't a fan of the practice of hiking up into the hills for the bucket list photograph, especially LA residents who happen to live in the shadow of the letters themselves. They're fuming about a recent increase in tourists trekking near their property, and they're meeting to (try to) do something about it.
NBC Los Angeles fills us in on the NIMBY debate:
The homeowners trying to discourage sightseers, led by the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association, say the roads beneath the Hollywood sign are too narrow to accommodate both the residents and tourists who often come in tour vans and buses.
Tourists using smartphones can find a variety of suggestions when it comes to finding a viewing area, and some "rogue" websites encourage visitors to use private roads to reach the sign.
Tourist Traps / Tourists / New York City / Tokyo Travel / London Travel / Beatles Travel / Landmarks / Videos / → All Tags
Sometimes there's no better way to gloat about your travels than doing right in someone's face...virtually. This is why God made webcams (okay maybe also for security, weather and checking on traffic, but whatever). We've gather our three favorite major city street webcams together, for your future bragging pleasure:
· Abbey Road, London, UK
Hands down this is our favorite webcam on the internet. Not only is it huge with okay video quality and sound, but it's run by a legitimate website (Abbey Road Studios itself) and the thing has been around since at least 2003. We can vouch for it ourselves, having Beatles-walked across the zebra-stripe crossing a couple times, though we've yet to go barefoot a la Paul McCartney. In case you have no idea why this pedestrian crossing in the north of London is so famous, take a look at this.
London Travel / Shakespeare Travel / Theatre Travel / Arts Travel / Literary Travel / Tourist Traps / → All Tags
The quintessential London theatre experience, at least for Bard fanatics, is an afternoon or evening at Shakespeare's Globe. In the open-air structure on the Thames' South Bank, visitors take in stripped-down stagings of the classics. There are no elaborate sets, no breathtakingly beautiful costumes, and the most hard-core—or spendthrift—theatregoers will find themselves standing for three hours or more just as their entertainment-hungry counterparts of yesteryear used to in the Yard.
Those who prefer comfort over historical fidelity can sit of course, on tufted cushions if they so choose. Based on our experience sitting in a slightly cheaper section with partially-blocked views, pinpointing a "bad seat in the house" proves challenging. So, good news for those looking to save a bit of cash on tickets. Just remember this Globe isn't actually the original Globe, but that's a factual matter for Wiki-ing.
Space Travel / Tourist Traps / Florida Travel / NASA / Space Shuttles / Washington DC Travel / Los Angeles Travel / New York City / Tourism / Museum Travel / Science Travel / → All Tags
Houston is so pissed right now. Why? Because they were passed over in NASA's decision on where to retire the four remaining space shuttles. Instead, four other US cities will welcome different crafts for permanent exhibits, reaping in the tourist dollars that follow anything space travel-related. Let's see who got what, shall we?
· Cape Canaveral, FL: The original home of the shuttles is Kennedy Space Center, so of course they get to keep one. The Space Shuttle Atlantis, which originally launched in 1985 and completed 35 flights, will settle in for posterity at the Visitor Center. Atlantis will fly again before powering down, with a final launch scheduled for June 28.
New York City / Tourists / Tourism / Landmarks / Skyscrapers / World Trade Center / Tourist Traps / New York Travel / → All Tags
Freedom Tower (left, under construction), as seen from 5th floor of the W Downtown
It's 75 degrees outside right now in New York City, and though it's technically still spring, the summer tourist season is ramping up. As usual, visitors will be making the rounds of the Empire State Building, Macy's Herald Square, Central Park, Apple 5th Avenue and the World Trade Center site, but unlike in recent years, there's actually something to see now at Ground Zero.
That's right; Freedom Tower is making serious headway.