I recently read an article on a travel website, (which will remain nameless). It was one in there “What not to do” series and to be honest I was quite disappointed. To be fair this article of one of many, that does this sort of thing.

They are much like those articles (reports on TV shows) that go to Florida and completely avoid the Theme Parks. I take no issue with this most of the time, but there is in some cases the feeling the reporter or writer considers it not worth looking at because they don’t like it. In the case of those who do this with Disney and  similar I feel they are joyless individuals.

Maybe I am being a little harsh, I would like nothing more than a few weeks wandering with a backpack, its so much fun; but I am proud to admit two weeks of Theme Parks and the other joys of Orlando can easily be as much fun. I have been fortunate enough to spend many a family holiday in Orland (and yes farther afield in Florida)., but one of the days my family talks about and remembers details from is a day a Gatorland. It is a much poorer cousin of the bigger glitzier parks but well over 10 years on and I am guessing for the rest of my life my family will remember the visit. Just as we will remember a certain small aquarium on the Florida Keys and a moped in Key West. Its not always about where you are – it who you are with and what happens.

Back to the article I was moaning about earlier – it was advising people to avoid Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Now it was slated as a tourist trap – too right it is – but some people like like. Some people will spend thousands of pounds travelling across the globe to lay on a beach – some like the flashy tacky tourist shops. I love them, where else would you find a truly hideous plastic snow dome or a handful of postcards for home.

I would advise you do what you want to if you are luck enough to go to Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a bar at the end of the famous Pier 39, where a group of us from the local hostel demonstrated how to drink pitchers of beer for a few hours, that was a great afternoon. More importantly if you do find yourself on the wharf head north to The Cannery (some slightly more upmarket shops and a fantastic bar) and close by is Lou’s Pier 47, a fantastic restaurant with live blues.

All I can advise you is this – go where you want, see what you want, eat and drink what you want (as long as its legal) and try to travel with an open mind – some of the best experiences are unplanned.

Happy travelling!

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