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the art of travel
November 20, 2003 1:33 PM   Subscribe

BBC lists 50 places to see before you die. Overall, choices are a bit too exotic for my own taste (only four European cities???) and I still consider Bali a wildly overrated place, but what's really shocking is kitschy Las Vegas at #7 and La Serenissa Repubblica di Venezia at #18. What happened to the British tradition of extolling Italy's beauty? via Attu
posted by 111 (54 comments total)

 
Wait, FLORIDA is #3?!? OK, this list is worthless...
posted by gwint at 1:37 PM on November 20, 2003


I have seen 2. . .alas I think I will die before seeing them all.
posted by Danf at 1:38 PM on November 20, 2003


How does one see Florida? From a plane?
posted by Outlawyr at 1:41 PM on November 20, 2003


Having hiked the Grand Canyon, I'm pleasantly surprised to see it #1.

Rome at 35, though? Significantly behind Florida?? Uh, no. Mad Englishmen! Mad Englishmen!
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2003


Maybe if someone dumped Florida in the Grand Canyon. . .
posted by the fire you left me at 1:48 PM on November 20, 2003


I wonder if the paucity of European destinations could be attributed to the proliferation of dirt cheap European airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet. but Las Vegas over Venice? Sheesh.
posted by romakimmy at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2003


I think I would have placed every single place on that list above Florida....even Niagra Falls.
posted by Durwood at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2003


IHateFloridaFilter

Seriously, though. What's to see in Florida? It's flatter than the f*cking midwest... and twice as humid.
posted by psmealey at 1:58 PM on November 20, 2003


I only hit 12 out of 50, guess I got some travelin' to do.
posted by luriete at 2:01 PM on November 20, 2003


I hear Baffin Island is nice in November.
posted by troutfishing at 2:04 PM on November 20, 2003


but Las Vegas over Venice? Sheesh.

well, at least they remade the Campiello pretty well...

*cries*
posted by matteo at 2:09 PM on November 20, 2003


What! No Disneyland? No DisneyWashingtonDC?
posted by brownpau at 2:11 PM on November 20, 2003


I think he really meant #3 to be Disneyworld even though Miami is far better.
posted by oh posey at 2:23 PM on November 20, 2003


Their number 29 is my number 1 And has been since I was about eight.
posted by tcskeptic at 2:25 PM on November 20, 2003


The blame for these unspeakable travesties of Florida & Las Vegas' high rankings lie directly in the bloody hands of George W. Bush and Tony Blair.....right????
posted by bwinnard at 2:25 PM on November 20, 2003


Wait, ladies, they left out "my bedroom." Awww yeah.

/derail
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:27 PM on November 20, 2003


I love Las Vegas. And this kind of thing is always stupid.

"Florida"? WTF? A parking lot in Jacksonville? Sanibel Island (very pretty)? Key West (very pretty, but too touristy)? The newsstand across from the Legislature in Tallahassee? There's no such thing as "Florida".

The best place I've ever seen is Easter Island. Even better than the Grand Canyon.

But I desperately want to see Angkor Wat.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:30 PM on November 20, 2003


Yeah, if you click on the Florida item, it's pretty obvious that they meant "DisneyWorld". Which - if you're gonna put Vegas on the list - definitely should be there, I think.
posted by web-goddess at 2:38 PM on November 20, 2003


What??! No Battle Creek? But! But! But THAT'S G-R-R-R-R-REAT!!!
posted by ZachsMind at 2:49 PM on November 20, 2003


Geez, 111, there you go bashing the BBC again...
I kid because I'm evil

I think Auntie Beeb called it "Florida" instead of "DisneyWorld" out of some outdated rule against billboarding corporate names, although I'd hate to think its placement got raised because they lumped in votes for Miami and Key West and the Everglades.

Of course, I'm mourning the absence of Los Angeles.
I Love L.A.!!! (Victory Boulevard, I love it...)
posted by wendell at 2:59 PM on November 20, 2003


The Niagara Falls are ranked ahead of Iguacu, the Victoria Falls and the Angel Falls? It must be the presence of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.
posted by liam at 3:06 PM on November 20, 2003


All of my snide comments aside, if you take this list with a grain of salt, it is reasonably fun reading and excellent water cooler fodder. Thanks for the link!
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2003


Seriously you haven't lived until you drive down Elm street through Dealey Plaza on the way to I-35 in a convertible on a bright sunny Dallas day in 1963 and... no waitaminute I'm all wrong and stuff. Actually that's not all that great a place to see... Although to be fair the Zapruder film didn't do the place justice. Neither did Oliver Stone's little film come to think of it. The sounds of Deep Ellum are a lot greater than what most tourists skim off the surface.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:11 PM on November 20, 2003


The Niagara Falls are ranked ahead of Iguacu, the Victoria Falls and the Angel Falls?

Can you gamble at them-there other fallses?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:17 PM on November 20, 2003


top ten in pictures: Grand Canyon, Queensland, Florida, South Island, Cape Town, Golden Temple, Las Vegas, Sydney, New York, and Taj Mahal. [trekearth]
posted by eddydamascene at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2003


Angkor Wat

It has been the scene of many a great RISK 2210 battle betwixt my friends and I.
posted by Mick at 3:49 PM on November 20, 2003


I've been to Iguazu and let me tell you, it's way better than a lot of them other places (including Niagara, which is like a bathtub leak beside it). Take some Neruda with you for added value!
posted by languagehat at 4:01 PM on November 20, 2003


well, at least they remade the Campiello pretty well...

One cannot have the Rialto sans opaque, bottle green, slightly odiferous (in the heat) water running beneath it. At least ditch the chlorine blue colouring...
posted by romakimmy at 4:07 PM on November 20, 2003


*sniff*
posted by planetkyoto at 4:58 PM on November 20, 2003


No Barcelona?
posted by rdr at 5:00 PM on November 20, 2003


Seriously you haven't lived until you drive down Elm street through Dealey Plaza on the way to I-35 in a convertible on a bright sunny Dallas day in 1963 and..
Done it minus the 1963, add: 24 hours prior to the actual time riding through the parade route with most living wittiness in their actual places and the actual sounds replayed. I sat in Mrs Kennedy's spot minus the pill hat. That had to be the most bizarre thing I've ever done because some of the same folks whom took original pictures took them again when the limo went by.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:06 PM on November 20, 2003


A few places I've been to that I think should be on the list:
Isla Inca Huasi, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Atacama Desert, Chile
Sahara Desert
Antarctica
Trindade Island
Buracão Falls, Ibicoara, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil
Marrakesh
posted by ig at 5:14 PM on November 20, 2003


No Barcelona?

Number 37.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:18 PM on November 20, 2003


what's really shocking is kitschy Las Vegas at #7

Want to know why? Really?

Where else can you, in one weekend, see #9 New York, #18 Venice, #27 Paris, #31 Rio, #34 Luxor, and #35 Rome? Oh, and a shark reef, a Jungle Garden, and a roller coaster on top of a tall building? And you can do a day trip, by helicopter no less, to #1 The Grand Canyon.

And that's assuming you don't shell out for any of the live shows. Excellent cuisine available all over town, and you can order in English without fear. The Beeb is on to something.
posted by ilsa at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2003


23, including Angkor. Better start packing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:44 PM on November 20, 2003


And putting Florida on the list is absurd. Might as well put Western Europe, which is better, anyway.

Additional suggestions:
Atacama, Chile
Yulong Canyon, Tibet
Yangon, Myanmar
Luang Prabang, Laos
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:00 PM on November 20, 2003


A few places (I can name drop on you) I've been to (that you surely haven't) that I think should be on the list:
Isla Inca Huasi, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Atacama Desert, Chile
Sahara Desert
Antarctica
Trindade Island
Buracão Falls, Ibicoara, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil
Marrakesh

posted by bwinnard at 7:03 PM on November 20, 2003


i too am mourning the absence of l.a. roscoe's and amoeba are reason enough to visit.
posted by joedan at 7:04 PM on November 20, 2003


Florida?! More like a place to go TO die.
posted by photoslob at 7:09 PM on November 20, 2003


I spent a semester studying abroad in Britain. When I asked the British students what place in the USA they would like to visit the most, the answer was almost exclusively Florida. (And if they'd visited the USA before, the destination was, again, almost always Florida.) What's up with the British and the Florida fixation?
posted by split atom at 7:29 PM on November 20, 2003


IHateFloridaFilter

translation: MoronFilter
posted by oaf at 8:52 PM on November 20, 2003


I think he really meant #3 to be Disneyworld even though Miami is far better.

Too crowded, too hot, and north west florida has far more beautiful beaches. Miami (and I lived there for a while) is truly hell on earth.

But each to his own of course. ;)
posted by justgary at 9:46 PM on November 20, 2003


I think everybody should go to MetaFilter before they die.

I also think everybody should see the film Dogma before they die.

Then there's having sex with Janeane Garofalo. That's something everybody... no wait that's a different list: Things I Want To Do Before I Die But Definitely Never Will. I got my lists mixed up. ...Actually that's probably something that would kill me. I mean she's amazing and I.. uhm, got a weak ticker.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:55 PM on November 20, 2003


Rightttt, I'm supposed to take this seriously when Yosemity comes in at 23 and Yellowstone doesn't even make the list? NO fuckin' way.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:11 PM on November 20, 2003


Makes plenty of sense to me, Wulfgar!; Yosemite is the most beautiful place in the world, without exception. Absolutely. :-)
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:09 PM on November 20, 2003


Woohoo I livein in #5! See you on the beach!
posted by PenDevil at 11:52 PM on November 20, 2003


I think that the list says more about the people who tend to vote in BBC polls than anything else. It's full of places that people went to on their package holiday - the Iguassu Falls is probably the highest entry that isn't a standard brochure destination.
posted by daveg at 3:11 AM on November 21, 2003


Well, I've seen Florida... from 30,000ft on my way into Cuba. It's the closest I'm ever intending to get too...
posted by twine42 at 6:15 AM on November 21, 2003


Living in Florida and having just gotten back from Rio de Janeiro, I can state without reservation that Rio does belong on that list (probably deserves higher) and Florida does not.
posted by eas98 at 6:49 AM on November 21, 2003


Excuse me. Being a Florida resident I must speak up. No one, and I mean no one, should be allowed to slander this state WITHOUT seeing more than a) Disneyworld b) I-95 or c) any inland city (orlando included). To see the real Florida, you must visit places like Ichetucknee Springs, The Everglades, or just sit on the gulf and see a Florida sunset. Then you all can have the right to talk sh!t about this state.

It does NOT deserve to be #3 on that list for sure, but to equate Florida with Orlando, parking lots in Jacksonville, or touristy Key West (which, I might add indignantly has the best diving in this country) is to equate any beautiful place with it's less-appealing areas. It's not fair and you all should be ASHAMED! This state is stunning in it's beauty. Far more than a good chunk of the other 49 (though I would say Hawaii, Alaska, Northern California, Montana, and a few others outrank Florida).

(whew...how unlike me to defend this place! I'm dreaming of moving to Oregon anyway!)
posted by Dantien at 7:21 AM on November 21, 2003


I think everyone should see "American Splendour" before they die.

Lady, standing in doorway, to kids in Halloween costumes (except one who is wearing street clothes): "What wonderfull costumes. You're Batman, and you're a witch! How wonderfull. And you're a tramp......and what is your costume, little boy?"

Little boy (the young Harvey Pekar): "Lady, I'm me, Harvey Pekar. I'm just some kid from the neighborhood."

* walk home sulking, thinks to himself "People are all so stupid!" *
posted by troutfishing at 8:16 AM on November 21, 2003


No one, and I mean no one, should be allowed to slander this state WITHOUT seeing more than a) Disneyworld b) I-95 or c) any inland city (orlando included). To see the real Florida, you must visit places like Ichetucknee Springs, The Everglades, or just sit on the gulf and see a Florida sunset. Then you all can have the right to talk sh!t about this state.

Dantien, having lived in Florida for 10 years of my life, having seen the Everglades, the gulf beaches, and Ichetucknee Springs, as well as a host of other places, I shit on it all. Florida is probably the most god-forsaken piece of real estate on the planet, populated by some of the oldest, dumbest bastards available in the U.S., which is really saying something. There are two industries in the state that keep it afloat: serving tourists and serving the dying. I could write volumes on all the different aspects of how these two industries suck, but even with the least amount of imaginative powers it should be obvious. Think drooling, demanding fogies acting like assholes because they only have a year to live, or demeaning, demanding tourists acting like assholes because they only have a week to "see" Florida.

And the gulf smells like dead fish. No thanks. Just about the only thing Florida has going for it is that Tampa is the lightning capital of the world, which is cool until you realize that it has to rain a lot to win this title. All those pictures of sunny beaches are a crock. It rains practically every day during the summer, and it's 100 degrees in the shade to boot. Soggy, hot, filled with idiots who can't drive let alone make their way through a drive-through window at a fast-food joint without reading the entire menu and comprehending what effects it will have on their medication/soul -- this is not a place that should have even been considered for a top-50 spot.

Sorry for the rant.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:01 PM on November 21, 2003


And Civil, if you reread my comment, you'll surmise that I support YOUR right to shit on it all. It's the State-haters who slam Florida without having stepped one foot outside Orlando that bug me.

Though I must wonder at where you lived. Not nearly that many retirees here in Jacksonville.

Nonetheless, no need to apologize for the rant. As I said, I'm moving to Oregon the second I can find a job there.
posted by Dantien at 8:43 PM on November 21, 2003


I support YOUR right to shit on it

I missed that part, sorry. And the rant was not directed at you, but the state, so sorry for the spleen. As for location: Tampa. Next-door to God's Waiting Room, St. Petersburg.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:28 PM on November 23, 2003


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