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Biases and Preferences
My Biases and
People sometimes write and ask for
my advice about interesting places to visit in America. The problem,
though, is that everybody has different tastes and interests; what one person thinks is
interesting, the next will find boring, so I hesitate to give advice unless I
know the person's likes and dislikes.
a lot of comments and recommendations in this website about places to visit or
not to visit, but before you take them to heart, you should understand
my biases and preferences to give you a better idea about where I'm
coming from. I've listed these below as best I can. Based on these biases
and preferences, you can
form your own opinion about my recommendations... and about whether you'd enjoy
reading my website.
I Like (and The Kinds of Places I'll Be Visiting)
natural areas, especially areas that aren't very well known. I'd much
rather visit a lesser-known area like Utah's Capitol Reef National Park or
the Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia than crowded places like
Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. I'm pretty sensitive to crowding.
Although I'm more of
a "small town person," I
enjoy visiting both large cities and small towns. Although I wouldn't
especially care to live in a large city, I find them fascinating and during
my travels I like
to learn about a particular city's history, why it's there, and what people there do.
terms of lodging, I prefer staying in campgrounds or natural areas instead
of in fancy resorts that cater to money-laden tourists, or even in motels. That's because I really enjoy nature. And because I'm
with locals and long-time residents and learning about the area.
on two-lane roads instead of freeways. I like stopping to take
pictures and visiting small towns, things you can't easily do on a freeway.
Not following a group or being told what to do and when to
do it (like on guided tours). I'm pretty independent and I like taking
things at my own pace.
a big history buff, so I really enjoy visiting historical sites and museums.
off-the-wall quirky places, and lesser-known roadside attractions.
Examples include Route 66, the International Vinegar Museum in Roslyn, South Dakota, and the
world's only Potato Exposition in Blackfoot, Idaho. I find these types
of quirky places amusing and interesting because they each tell a story
about a part of America. In fact, I'll stop at just about any roadside
attraction, as long as it contributes something to the American Story and
isn't just some hokey tourist trap.
I Don't Like (and The Kinds of Places I Won't Be Visiting)
overbuilt, crowded areas that cater to tourists and consumers (like Disneyland, Las
Vegas, or Gatlinburg, Tennessee).
traps, which I define as any
place designed primarily to separate a visitor from his money.
bars, noisy restaurants, shopping malls, discos, congested freeways... you get the
general, over-publicized, over-rated and over-crowded places that
everyone knows about and that everyone wants to see. From my
experience, the most interesting places to visit are often those that few
people know about.
these lists, you can get a pretty good idea of the kinds of sites I'll be
seeking out on my trip and writing about.