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Author Topic: 15 Tourist Traps to Avoid.
WildaBeast
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http://travel.msn.com/Guides/article.aspx?cp-documentid=347546>1=8489

Comments?

The only place on that list I've ever been to is Wisherman's Wharf, and I didn't spend all that much time there. (I actually did spend more time on Alcatraz). My one impression was that Wisherman's Wharf was horribly crowded, both with pedestrians and vehicle traffic on the streets and parking lots (that was a holiday weekend, though). Some of the street preformers were kind of fun, though the band I saw playing on a street corner near Market Street on another visit to San Francisco was probably more fun. One good thing, though, was the clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl I got from a little stand near where the USS Pampanito is docked.

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Gibbie
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I've been to seven of those places and outside of an other one (we went to the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle which is in the same building as the Music experience thing). Personally, I liked them all. I knew the Sears Tower was over priced, but dammit, I wanted to go in it. Of course Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap, that's why it's fun. On the other hand, the Stratosphere in Las Vegas was a blissful respite from the hubbub of the Casinos and worth every penny.

I think the author is a fuddy duddy. [Big Grin]

Gibbie

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EarhornJones
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DW and I went to San Francisco on our honeymoon, and we absolutely loved Fisherman's Wharf. There were a ton of things to do, including small museums, an aquarium, and some genuinely odd shops, plus the previously mentioned clam chowder was amazing. I guess we're just clueless tourists. I can live with that.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I think Fanieul Hall, Navy Pier, and Times Square are musts. You don't have to spend a lot of time there, but you should at least see them. I do agree that the Hancock is better than the Sears Tower, though.

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DawnStorm
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I liked the Spy Museum--it covered the history of spying/intel gathering and espionage from all corners of the globe from all times.
Can't help it if the writer hated it.

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Canuckistan
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I do and don't agree with them on Pisa. It certainly isn't worth a daytrip, but Pisa can easily be done in half-a-day from Florence. That's what I did years ago.

Seeing the tower is quite the sight. Seeing the rest of the town ... eh, I could have done without. But our group spent all of one hour there, and that was enough.

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DawnStorm
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Canuk, did someone photograph you 'holding' up the Tower? [Big Grin]

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Rhiandmoi
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Love Fisherman's Wharf (Not much to do? What about feast on Dungeness Crab until you explode?). Didn't really get to do Sear's Tower, it was closed. Didn't make it to the shark reef or Stratosphere tower when I was in Las Vegas. Loved the leaning tower of Pisa. Loved Times Square. Love Hollywood.
The point of all these places is that they are tourist meccas. I like looking at tourists. I think a good vacation takes in a little authentic local flavor and a little toursit glitz and glam.

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by DawnStorm:
Canuk, did someone photograph you 'holding' up the Tower? [Big Grin]

But of course. In fact, everyone in the group had a picture of them holding up the tower.

I thought it was a by-law of Pisa that such pictures were mandatory.

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chillas
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Agree with AnglRdr that Hancock is better than Sears, but I still think Sears was good. Of course we were there off season, towards the end of the day and had excellent weather.

I also agree with her that Faneuil Hall and Navy Pier are must-sees.

This bothered me a bit:
quote:

4. Las Vegas: Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

Lose your money at the blackjack table, not at the fish tank.

I thought the "Shark Reef" was the blackjack table. [Confused]

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Ms Congeniality
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I've been to Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz. I"ve also been on a tour of Hollywood. We loved it. It depends on where your interests lie. Half of the tourist attractions mentioned are places I would be going there to see.

Key West is a huge tourist trap. If you are not planning on bar hopping up and down Duval street or going out on a tour boat, there is nothing to do.

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Zorro
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I agree with him on Times Square- walk through the area so you can see it, but don't spend that much time there. (Whenever I have friends visiting from out-of-town and I am playing tour guid, I make sure we always walk through that area, but we never stop for more than five minutes or so.) I haven't been to too many places on this list, actually, so I can't comment on most of them.

I think part of the fun of travel, aside from the obvious in discovering new places, cultures, etc., is seeing all these places that you read about. But maybe that's just me.

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DemonWolf
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I will agree that Fanueil Hall is overrated as a destination, and even for shopping. But if you are visiting the city, I think that it is a fascinating peice of Boston's history and not to be missed if you are into history.

Also, if you are a snopester and you are in Fanueil Hall, let me know, we can meet for lunch. I only work a short distance away. [Big Grin]

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finger stutters
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I thought Shark Reef was kinda cool.

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KingoHrts
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Working in DC, I have been to the Spy Museum a couple of times. I have to agree the entry fee seems a little high for a family, and most of the exhibits would probably bore younger kids to death. That said however, my wife and I loved it and we felt it was quite worth it when it took over 2 hours for us to see most of the exhibits. (We got tired and skipped the last two rooms.)

Everyone we have taken there has enjoyed it as well. I think that since most of the stuff in DC is free, the charge for this place is just a little more off-putting than it would seem in Las Vegas, for instance, where everything seems to have a charge.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Ah, but Canuck, did you buy a bottle of lemoncello *shaped like the leaning tower*?

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Runaway Dog
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Absolutely agree with the author on Times Square; it doesn't offer much besides a few large lit-up billboards and a ton of chain stores and restaurants (why come to New York on vacation and then eat at Applebees or Olive Garden?)...
There are also huge crowds of people, and tourists really (and I mean really) stand out, often with a deer-caught-in-the-headlights sort of look. While there is nothing wrong with that, it really does make a tourist a very easy mark for various hoodlums and pickpockets (of which there are plenty). Oh, and everything is much more expensive than elsewhere in the city...
My company is moving next month to a new location that will be much closer to Times Square... Damn it [Mad]

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ThistleSoftware
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Caveat emptor: my boyfriend has seen some of the clam chowder joint operators on Fisherman's Wharf empyting gallon cans of Campbell's into heating vats. Some places probably make their own but at least a few are charging you $5.75 for half a can of Campbell's in a stale bread bowl.

Other than that I think Fisherman's Wharf is okay for a half-day as a tourist, especially the penny arcade and the aquarium. Spend the rest of your time in other parts of the city, though- like Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, and North Beach's Little Italy, which are all walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf.

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
Ah, but Canuck, did you buy a bottle of lemoncello *shaped like the leaning tower*?

Oh come on, Chloe. That would be so cliché. [Razz]

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Ophiuchus
Deck the Malls


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Considering where I live, I've been to Fisherman's Wharf several times. Yes, there are a lot of neat little shops there but ultimately I really never considered it much more than a stop-over and time killer before going to Alcatraz (or Angel Island if you want to do some biking) anyway.

In fact, there are probably 2 dozen other more interesting places to be in San Fransico.

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TwoGuyswithaHat
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quote:
7. Seattle: Experience Music Project

The interior of this museum doesn't fulfill the promise of its unconventional building—a Frank Gehry design. We brought friends here recently, expecting the exhibits to be as edgy as Seattle music in the '90s, but came away disappointed. For $19.95, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about “Louie, Louie” and see some historic guitars.

What's the problem here? Oh right, not everyone is as big a dork as I am. [Big Grin]

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MissEltoe
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One of my favorite places in NY to go is Times Square. What's wrong with Times Square? You don't have to spend a ton of money on anything and you'll always get an eyeful. Plus, there's always a good chance you'll see someone famous.

I do agree that Hollywood is kind of a waste. Actually, I thought it looked just like Times Square. (However, it's FREE to just hang out, so who cares?) And if you've never been to Times Square it is something to do!

Gibbie, I like the word fuddy-duddy. [Big Grin]

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Esprise Me
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quote:
10. Dublin: Guinness Storehouse

Most travelers to Ireland say that Guinness tastes better in the Emerald Isle. We're inclined to agree, but we don't think you need to visit the exhibits at the Guinness Storehouse to prove the theory. If you've ever been on a brewery tour, you probably won't learn anything more here. The building itself is shaped like a giant glass of stout; your patience is rewarded when you reach the head on the seventh floor, where you can quaff a “complimentary” pint while enjoying panoramic views of the city. But unless your heart is set on drinking from the source, just walk down almost any Dublin street. Raise a glass in one of the city's many neighborhood pubs—and save yourself the price of admission, approximately $18.

I was in Dublin two years ago, and the Guinness Brewery tour was only seven euro. Have they upped their prices recently?
At nine bucks a pop (given the exchange rate at the time), I thought the tour was a steal. The displays were interesting, and the gift shop was fun, but the view from the top of the tower was to die for. We went on a clear day and could see every landmark on our map--not only that, but the glass walls are labeled so you can tell what it is you're seeing, and each one is adorned with a quote from some great work of literature that features that particular site. Add in the giant beer they serve at the top (plus you can buy more fairly cheaply and stay as long as you like) and it was probably the most I got out of my tourist dollars anywhere in the city. But maybe I'm just biased 'cuz I love beer so much [Wink] .

ETA: I guess they have changed their prices, but mostly the disconnect was because I got the student admission, which was and is much cheaper than the adult price. Here's their website with price list: http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/tickets.asp?sid=1&prid=16

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ThornyWreath
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He's definitely a fuddy-duddy.

Like Canuckistan, I spent a half-day here , and I wouldn't trade those memories for the world. I've also been to the changing of the guard, which I enjoyed.

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Macheath
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Madame Tussauds certainly ranks up there with overpriced tourist traps. My wife and I have been to London several times, and on one of those trips we went to the wax museum. I remember the end of the visit featured a ride (The Spirit of London or something) that seemed to be trying to tap into the Disney experience, but without the animatronics. Even so, I did have fun there. It just wasn't a good "return on investment" as far as fun to dollars goes. [Wink]

Another London trap that could have made the list is the London Dungeon, a museum that focuses on torture, famous criminals, and related themes. It's like the Chamber section of Tussauds, but is very campy. I did enjoy the one section where visitors are herded into a "courtroom" and are sentenced by a magistrate. You then get on a ride that culminates in an encounter with a firing squad. Quirky, odd, and way overpriced.

Mack da "I lost a lot of pounds in London" Knife

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleS:
Other than that I think Fisherman's Wharf is okay for a half-day as a tourist, especially the penny arcade and the aquarium. Spend the rest of your time in other parts of the city, though- like Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, and North Beach's Little Italy, which are all walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf.

Yeah, that's what our guidebook said. It failed to say how strenous the uphill walks were!

We did Alcatraz in the morning, walked around the Wharf before it got too crowded (I liked the penny arcade), then we walked from Lombard Street to Coit Tower and then to North Beach.

It is not something I recommend. All those things can be seen in one day, but take the bus instead!

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
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Of those, I've only ever been to Faneuil Hall and Times Square - and I love them both. Nothing wrong with tourist traps if you are a tourist! [Smile]

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Andrew of Ware, England
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Another nomination for 'Madame Tussauds. Ghastly. It's like looking at mummies of dead people. Dressed corpses.

Can I nominate another free London attraction as a tourist trap? Some snopesters will hate me for this. Tate Modern. It is full of the most appalling modern art imaginable. Anyone who thinks the Turner Prize is good will love it. Art lovers will not. There is some good stuff (Dali and some French Impressionists, for example) but go to Tate Britain instead. It's also free and sublime. [Smile] (Even better go the the National Gallery - also free. [Smile] )

P.S. I'm going to Florence next month - landing at Pisa Airport. As a lover of historic churches I will be going to the Leaning Tower. I'm going on my own so I can't take a photograph of myself holding it up. [Frown]

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus nippon:
quote:
Originally posted by ThistleS:
Other than that I think Fisherman's Wharf is okay for a half-day as a tourist, especially the penny arcade and the aquarium. Spend the rest of your time in other parts of the city, though- like Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, and North Beach's Little Italy, which are all walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf.

Yeah, that's what our guidebook said. It failed to say how strenous the uphill walks were!

We did Alcatraz in the morning, walked around the Wharf before it got too crowded (I liked the penny arcade), then we walked from Lombard Street to Coit Tower and then to North Beach.

It is not something I recommend. All those things can be seen in one day, but take the bus instead!

Yeah I suppose after hiking all over Alcatraz and being on your feet at Fisherman's Wharf the uphill walk to North Beach would be pretty exhausting. Getting up to Coit Tower alone is a whole day's worth of exercise.

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Grumpy
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Fisherman's Wharf: I don't see how Alcatraz is a better alternative; it literally is a tourist trap. Plus, you'll end up loitering at the Wharf waiting for the ferry anyway.

Times Square: I haven't been there, but I did visit Picadilly Circus once. Ooh, advertising! Move along. Speaking of which...

Buckingham Palace: Tourists taking pictures of tourists taking pictures of tourists. Leave that poor woman (the Queen) alone!

In my neck of the woods, I'd advise careful consideration before paying money for the ever popular glacier cruise. If you've seen one, you've seen them all -- and there are grueling cruises that visit over two dozen.

Oh, and Wisconsin Dells. [flame]

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Freshman
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I liked Maddame Tussaud's in London! it was cute and fun, dammit!

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Macheath
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quote:
Originally posted by HSSenior:
I liked Maddame Tussaud's in London! it was cute and fun, dammit!

I did say I had fun, I just felt it was overpriced.

Or put it this way: I've been to London several times. The places I've visited multiple times include The Globe Theatre, the Tower of London, and several of the museums. The places I visited once and will never need to go again include Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon, the Sherlock Holmes museum, etc.

Mack da "picky" Knife

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Jaguar
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quote:
As a lover of historic churches I will be going to the Leaning Tower. [/QB]
Andrew:
See if you can get one of the guards at the Baptistry to chant from the alter...what an absolutely, chillingly, wonderful once in a lifetime experience.

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Freshman
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quote:
Originally posted by Macheath:
quote:
Originally posted by HSSenior:
I liked Maddame Tussaud's in London! it was cute and fun, dammit!

I did say I had fun, I just felt it was overpriced.

Or put it this way: I've been to London several times. The places I've visited multiple times include The Globe Theatre, the Tower of London, and several of the museums. The places I visited once and will never need to go again include Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon, the Sherlock Holmes museum, etc.

Mack da "picky" Knife

I was responding to the article,actually..sorry for the misunderstanding

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"High-Five!" - Borat

Posts: 1056 | From: Racine, WI | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard1978
Deck the Malls


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Being British & living away from London means that I don't get much chance to see the sights there.

Madame Tussauds seemed fine to me, in one section there was a shelf of unused heads, including a young Prince Charles & a Tom Baker / Cactus hybrid from the Dr Who story Meglos.

Posts: 372 | From: Marple, UK | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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