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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Top Dozen Destinations in US

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released their list of 2007 top distinctive destinations. A favorite of mine, Woodstock, Illinois, made it this year. See Groundhog Day.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been to any of the others, but will try to put them on my itinerary this summer. Others include Charlottesville, Va., West Hollywood, Ca. (well I drove through it on our way to the end of 66), and Chatham, Mass.

    I'd be interested in finding out what others have to say about these places.

    To find the whole list and writeups:

    www.nationaltrust.org

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Visited Some

    I've been to three on the list -
    Chatham, MA
    Providence, RI
    Charlottesville, VA

    and have passed by Morgantown, WV, a few times, but have yet to stop in for a visit.

    Driving through Charlottesville early on a Sunday morning, we were quite surprised that there was literally nobody around. The area around this town is one of my favorites in the country, the nearby Shenandoah being our most frequented location more than 300 miles from home. There is a reason our founding fathers found so much to love about the area, and much of that is still there.

    A curious mention is that of the wineries in the region - I was reading an older book about the area (from 1972), and it was mentioned that wineries were popular in the area around the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The book stated that this was surprising - so this industry is something that has reappeared within the last twenty years or so, I gather.

    I do know that Thomas Jefferson dabbled in viticulture, and the region does seem well-suited to that task.

    Providence, RI is a lesson in urban planning. In the past ten - fifteen years, it has really turned itself around, and there is still a healthy amount of construction (new buildings) in the area. This turn around has been attributed to "Buddy" Cianci - the mayor - who is currently in prison. One of those off-beat stories to be sure.

    While the other cities around here are still struggling to find their identities, Providence is turning into what many consider a fairly affordable alternative to Boston, while offering most of what that city has.

    The Waterfire celebration (mentioned on the National Trust page) runs through the Summer and is definitely worth a trip. Good memories of waiting in a line for some great Indian food while looking over the Italianesque waterways, listening to music from all over the world.

    Chatham, MA, is a place we have been a few times, though we tend to be there in the winter, off-season. Even still, you can get a sense of the history of the place. I like going to these shoreline locations in the winter to get a real sense of what it must have been like to make a living off of the sea in years past, facing the bitter winds of the Atlantic.

  3. #3

    Default skip it!

    I spent a night in West Hollywood, CA. It was one of the strangest places I've been to. Maybe it's just me being used to the new york city grit and dirt, but everything there was clean, sparkly, immaculate- weird! The people were indifferent, seemed to be on their own little masquerades... didn't get too good a vibe there. Everything seems very 'movie'- made up.
    *sigh*...It's not my cup of tea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default West Hollywood - part of the "LA" scene

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    ... but everything there was clean, sparkly, immaculate- weird! The people were indifferent, seemed to be on their own little masquerades...
    Thanks for the report - -actually, I expect that some people would find all of those attributes to be "good things." I like West Hollywood for the shopping and the public art. Where did you stay? I've heard it described in many ways, but "...The people were indifferent..." has not been my experience -- how long were you there?

    As a way of kick-starting this discussion --- here are those designated cities according to the Historic Trust Preservation (for 2007) -- I found the descriptions of each to be pretty fair, but I would love some more local input!

    Charlottesville, VA
    Chatham, MA
    Chestertown, MD
    Durango, CO
    Ellensburg, WA
    Hillsborough, NC
    Little Rock, AR
    Mineral Point, WI
    Morgantown, WV
    Providence, RI
    West Hollywood, CA
    Woodstock, IL
    New Orleans, LA

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-21-2007 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Added the navigational links for discussion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One of Many, But...

    Well, I've been to 9 of the 13 cities (It's a baker's dozen), which isn't bad, I suppose. Just keep in mind that this is an annual list, and to date there have been 96 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. What I really like about all of them is that these are not places that, even with this notoriety, are going to draw crowds. These are by and large towns and regions where one can go to refresh one's soul.

    Such is the case with the city on this year's list that I am most familiar with, Chestertown, MD. I was most recently there just last fall, in fact. My wife and sister and I had a great stroll through the historic district and a great, relaxing lunch overlooking the Chester River. Unfortunately, the Sultana was not in town, but there were plenty of geese and ducks in migration mode and the foliage was in its fall colors.

    Those of you who may have read some of my other posts, know that I am a fan of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Chestertown is another of the reasons why I often recommend that people travel down the Delmarva Peninsula when going north or south along the east coast. But it is not the only one. If you ever want to spend a week or so, or even a weekend, away from the rat race of the larger cities of the area, by all means check yourself in to Chestertown or one of the other great towns of this area including Oxford, Easton, Federalsburg or Chrisfield, and watch time slow down.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default

    I've been close to a few of those places, but the only one I've actually been to is New Orleans. Of course, this was for Halloween in 2004, so it was pre-Katrina. Ironically enough, I have friends that are getting married there next month, so I will be visiting again.

  7. #7

    Default

    I was there for a couple days last year.

    They were 'indifferent' as opposed to other people I met along the way through different states, that would usually look at you curiously, or strike up a conversation...they would more likely 'see through you'. I found it very similar to 5th Av nyc in attitude...know I'm probably hurtling myself into a deeper hole by saying this :{
    -but that's just me!

    And the clean immaculate part is good- just strange to my experience :) I've been in nyc too long!

    Didn't mean to offend if I did.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-30-2007 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Added the navigation link

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Real life IS acceptable herein

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    And the clean immaculate part is good- just strange to my experience :) I've been in nyc too long! Didn't mean to offend if I did.
    Within reason, you will never be censured here for reporting personal observations about places. We do fully support and encourage members to post specific information about what they found and saw on their trips -- even if it might appear to be negative -- where we draw the line (and you may have seen references to editing of certain posts based on infractions on the "RTA Good Neighbor Policy") are posts made that are broad, (negative) generalizations with little actual on-the-ground experiences. Sometimes, stuff happens on road trips -- that is what makes them real and not a ride on an amusement park attraction.

    Mark

  9. #9
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    I spent a night in West Hollywood, CA. It was one of the strangest places I've been to. Maybe it's just me being used to the new york city grit and dirt, but everything there was clean, sparkly, immaculate- weird! The people were indifferent, seemed to be on their own little masquerades... didn't get too good a vibe there. Everything seems very 'movie'- made up.
    *sigh*...It's not my cup of tea.
    If you're not from there I can see how the tinsletown culture could be what you may not be used to.
    We love the restaurants and walking around there on a warm nite.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Movies Made in Woodstock, Illinois

    Besides the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray being shot mostly in Woodstock, a part of the movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" was also shot there. It is the part when John Candy and Steve Martin have just been told they can't drive the car they wrecked by the cop.

    Every annual Groundhog Days celebration has a free showing of the movie at the theater where Bill Murray did his best Clint Eastwood impersonation.

    Regular prices for first run movies at the four screen complex is just $5. Wednesday matinees are $3!!!!!! Good Deal these days.

    If you want to see small town America at its best, make a stop. It is about ten miles south of the Wisconsin border and maybe 50 miles northwest of Chicago.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

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