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Tourist Traps That Are Worth It

by Staff

Tourist traps are to travel as death and taxes are to life: irritating and inescapable. Unless you're making fresh tracks in Siberia, wherever you travel you're bound to find restaurants with cheesy themes or costumed wait staff, historical sites turned into theme parks, even entire cities whose charm and beauty are all but obliterated by camera-wielding tour groups. But not all tourist traps are created equal. Some "must-sees" on the well-trodden tourist circuit—such as our Ten Things Not to Do in New York City—should be written off altogether, while the 12 sites we've listed here turn out to be authentic, worthwhile experiences…once you scratch beneath the kitsch and push through the crowds. So, go on, you know you want to. Do the tourist thing. Just once.

Pictured: Tiki Village Theatre, French Polynesia
Published July 2009

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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