America’s problems with vacations

Robert J. Samuelson says that Americans have a hard time with the concept of a vacation:

In the global rivalry of economic models and lifestyles, the United States ranks dead last among advanced countries in one category: vacations.

It’s not that millions of Americans don’t annually flock to beaches, climb mountains, invade national parks or just hang around the house. We do. But we seem to have a harder time than other peoples in distancing ourselves from work. The office (also, the store, factory or warehouse) is routinely an uninvited guest on our holidays. [Read more...]

Your Local Attractions

We are getting ready to set forth on an epic road trip, going the length and breadth of this great land of ours.  I’ve always wanted to do that.  To get our minds ready for summer vacations and as an experiment in localism, I would like to ask you this:

If I or any other reader of this blog were to come through your neck of the woods, what should we see?  What should we do?  Where should we eat?  And if we eat there, what should we order?  Is there any historical fact, cultural curiosity, or quirky inside information that we should know about?

I realize that some places may not have all that much to them, but I have found that if you scratch the surface, interesting things are everywhere.  Other places, like big cities, have an overabundance of things to do, and what visitors need are recommendations and inside information.

I’d like to hear about natural vistas, odd museums, and local industries.  And food:  I’m a diners, drive-in, and dives kind of guy.  Particularly serious BBQ.  Chicago has deep-dish pizza and otherworldly hot dogs.  What food stands out in your city, region, or locale?  As for tourist traps, well, I’m going to be a tourist.

HT:  Jackie

UPDATE:  Everybody, these are priceless suggestions.  I will make a pilgrimage to some of these places.  Some I’ve been to already and concur about how great they are.  And some actually will be on our route this summer!   I urge all of you to refer to this as an online travel guide.

Vacation tips

Well, we just got back from another grueling road trip, whereupon I have to get ready for an even more grueling trip abroad next week. (You will note that despite the grueling nature of said road trip, I managed to keep up my blogging pretty well, missing only one day, by my reckoning.) So, as the summer unfolds and many of us hit the road, let’s talk about vacation tips.

I like to patronize the independent businesses and roadside joints with a big EAT sign out in front, but those are sometimes hard to find in today’s interstate travel and sometimes one’s travel companions require certain standards of reliability. So let’s talk about chains and franchises.

BEST MOTEL CHAIN. Hampton Inn, for spacious rooms and really comfortable beds.

BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Famous Dave’s, Longhorn, Chili’s

BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST. IHOP, Bob Evan’s

BEST FAST FOOD. KFC, Long John Silver’s

BEST BATHROOMS. You tell me.

BEST TOURIST TRAPS. Missouri

These are not ex cathedra declarations, just my views so far. I am totally open to other suggestions. If you have other road trip tips (BEST GASOLINE STATIONS, BEST CONVENIENCE STORES, etc.), please let us all know.


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