Horse and carriage

Real carriage. Fake horse.  It’s a small lane in the middle of the old Gettysburg.

This is one of the many things I love about tourist towns. I know people get all snobby about “tourist traps,” but towns set up for the tourists, while heavily commercial, also have plenty of places to eat, lots of motels, and activities for everyone. Best of all, they are always glad to see you.


That’s no small matter, especially if you have been harassed in less hospitable destinations. No matter what your color or nationality, your money is good in a tourist town. It’s also an easy venue for people who have disabilities and special needs. These towns are ready to cater to your unique requirements.

Blue and gray souvenirs

There’s always a reason a town becomes a tourist mecca. It holds attractions or is very near them. Nice beaches. Historic sites. Skiing. Roller coasters. Gambling. Fabulous food.Terrific views. Wonderful weather. Amazing shopping.

Gettysburg faux horse

A town doesn’t draw crowds without a reason.

The down sides to popular destinations are obvious. Higher prices, crowds and traffic. If you want to travel  where everyone else also wants to go, try to find schedule it off-season. Even a few days before or after peak can make a huge difference in the size of the crowds and the price of accommodations.

Ghoul Soldier


But check it out. Some places close down right after Labor Day, or have nothing open except during peak periods. Beach towns are particularly likely to be locked up tight by early September.

main street Gettysburg

Martha’s Vineyard, for example, bustles with life on Labor Day. The next day, more than half the restaurants and shops are closed. A few stay open longer or are open year round — but that may not be what interests you.

Just make sure the stuff you really want to do and see is available before you book a bargain vacation.

Gettysburg buggy

Categories: Architecture, Holidays, Photography, Travel, Vacation

Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Reminds me of Sainte Augustine in Florida. I didn’t go yet but it’s on my to-visit list.


    • I haven’t been to St. Augustine. It’s much older than Gettysburg. I think it’s the oldest city on the continent. But tourist towns in the U.S. tend to look alike, no matter where they are. A style of architecture maybe? Facilities? Chains of motels and restaurants? Something, anyhow.


  2. I love these kinds of posts Marilyn. I suppose I’m a hopeless tourist at heart having been to Hannibal, Missouri, home of Mark Twain. Then there’s Lambertville, NJ, with it’s steam powered locomotive that ferries tourists to Flemington, NJ. Here in Oregon it’s Sisters, Oregon with it’s world famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show & Sisters Folk Festival. Life is good, enjoy it and support your local economy.


    • Us too. When I was REALLY young I scorned the well-trodden path … but then I grew up and embraced the whole tourism thing. It was Disney World that finished me off. We had such a great time there and it is the ultimate tourist destination … Garry looked up one day and said “I have seen God and he is a Mouse.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not to mention that tourists spend money that many of these economies really depend on.


    • And of course, that’s why they are so very glad to see you … and your credit cards, cash, and travelers checks. It isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts. Whatever the reason, it beats out the hostility one often encounters in non-tourist destinations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I was working for a nature park in San Diego, I wrote a grant proposal to build a wheelchair accessible walkway in an important historic and local spot where people have taken their kids for generations. Most tourists never hear of it, but it was paid for completely by money from transient occupancy taxes — tourists. 🙂


        • A lot of places people would have no work at all if it weren’t for tourism. The Vineyard, for one. There are a LOT of very poor people whose only work is seasonal – tourism. Poverty tends to be invisible in tourist towns, but it’s there. They cater to tourists and in turn, we give them our vacation dollars. It’s a good deal. And a pretty clean industry without a lot of pollution, except for overcrowding in season.

          Liked by 1 person

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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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