When you’re going on vacation, you usually have a list of places you want to see. More often than not, those places are tourist destinations that every website recommends as the “top” attraction for the city. The thing about that is that everyone will do the same thing and visit the same location. That fun tourist destination turns into an overcrowded, overpriced journey where you probably won’t have half as much fun as you want.
For example, you’ve probably been told that you have to kiss the Blarney Stone if you ever visit Ireland. We’re here to tell you that any vision you may have of the Blarney Stone is probably wrong. It’s nothing more than a wall people lean backward and kiss. If you think about the millions of people that have visited the castle to get their smooch on, you may not want to put your lips on the smooth surface – by the way, it’s only smooth because so many people have rubbed their lips against the stone. Instead, you can visit another place, but we’ll leave that for later.
Unless you want to go there just to say you've been, we’re going to recommend that it’s best to avoid them altogether. Instead, we’re listing attractions that are actually worth visiting. Most of these places are far less crowded and give you the experience you’re looking for.
New York: Don’t See Times Square
Unless it's New Year's Eve, there's really no reason to hang out in Times Square. It's overcrowded, under constant construction, filled with mascots begging you to pay them for a picture, and lined with overpriced chain restaurants.
Times Square is easily the biggest waste of time when there are so many other things to see in New York. If you simply must see times Square, wait till you can go at New Year's when there is actually something worth doing there - that is if you can handle the crowds. Otherwise, you might want to consider this better activity...
New York: See the High Line
For a more authentic NYC experience, visit the High Line in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. You'll get to experience some nature, and you can stop at a local eatery to grab some takeout for a picnic. it's easily one of the most relaxing spots in the city that never sleeps.
if you aren't familiar with the High Line at all, it's an elevated linear park located where once stood the New York Central Railroad. Having opened in 2009, it's already become one of the most iconic modern architectural wonders of the city.
Did you know...
- You've heard of the phrase "wanderlust," but do you know the German word "fernweh"? It means "far sickness" or an intensely strong urge to travel. The next time you feel the need to head out on a road trip, you've got a case of fernweh. And the only cure is to travel somewhere new!
- The largest pool in the world can be found at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile. It has 66 million gallons (enough water to fill 100 Olympic-sized pools). It's 3,323 feet in length, over twice the length of the next biggest pool. At a cost of $3,000,000, that sounds like a pretty good deal.
- The surface area of Pluto is just under 6.5 million square miles. The CIA Factbook lists the area of Russia to be just over 6.6 million square miles. That makes Russia bigger than Pluto (and much closer to visit). Are you still very upset that Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?
- Taking a vacation is good for your health! Studies have shown that a vacation can help to lower your risk of heart disease. It's also a proven way to improve your creativity. So if you have some writer's block or need to lower your stress, grab a friend and go on an adventure!
- Jet lag is worse when you're traveling from west to east. That's because the changes in time zones become not only more physically apparent on your body, but they are also more culturally apparent. If restaurants close at 10pm on the East Coast, you'll just be getting hungry since it will feel like 7pm on your West Coast-adjusted body.