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Who Lives In A Vacation Destination and What Are Your Observations?

Who Lives In A Vacation Destination and What Are Your Observations?

Jun 5th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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Who Lives In A Vacation Destination and What Are Your Observations?

Okay fodorites! I know I'm not the only one who lives near a vacation destination. Who else and what are your observations?

What I observe:

Locals do not vacation June-August because that is our peak season.

Mom and Dad usually don't work 9-5 Mon-Fri jobs, more like nights and weekends.

Locals don't pay for attractions. Things like golf, water parks, amusement parks, etc.
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and now live just over the hill in San Jose. Although Santa Cruz is a popular tourist destination, my parents and the parents of most of the kids I grew up with worked in jobs totally unrelated to tourism. So my observations are totally different.

1. Locals tend to avoid places like the Boardwalk and main beaches on holiday weekends in favor of staying home - or they leave town entirely.

2. Locals go to more out-of-the-way beaches to avoid the crowds.

3. Since a lot of people surf, work schedules for those fortunate enough to have the flexibility revolve around the tides.

4. A lot of people choose to ride bikes in the summer instead of drive their cars so as to get through traffic more quickly.

5. Locals don't buy gas on the main tourist routes because the prices are always higher.

6. A lot of people go out to eat during the week and avoid restaurants anywhere near the beach on the weekends.

7. Septemper is a fabulous month - the summer crowds are gone and the weather is sunny and warm.

J_Correa is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,557
I live at a summer vacation destination but not many of us locals are involved in the tourist industry. Summer means crowds and more crowds everywhere we go...that is the price we pay to live here, so I'm not complaining.
The adjustments we have to make are generally in eating out and allowing more time to get anything done, and that's about it. We also enjoy doing the same things that Tourists do which aren't available off season such as the beach, amusement parks, boardwalks, race tracks, outdoor dining, boating,etc.
SusieQQ is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I live in the Northern CA "Wine Country"and my experiences are:

1.Locals don't go to tourist beaten wineries June-Sept unless they have out of town guests
and cringe if weekends are suggested.
They would prefer primitive types of torture to Hwy 29 in Napa County in the summer.

2. Same with the hyped restaurants.
Although, some restaurants close more often on Tuesday here.

3. People work in every type of profession here, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief(we have Native American owned casinos here.) At the wineries, production and admin.labors M-F, 9-5, the tasting room staff
works weekends, but more like 10-4.

4. Locals don't buy gas near Hwy 101.

5. October is a marvelous month here.

6. Marketing is an amazing thing to observe
in connection with wine-fascinating
how they sell this place-simply fascinating.

razzledazzle is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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I live at the beach in La Jolla, California and it is a zoo during the summer and I must say that all of us locals look forward to after Labor Day because we get our beaches back, restaurants are jammed for 2 hour waits and the traffic which is crazy to begin with relaxes and I think we all let out a sigh of Aaaaahhhh..
We are not in the tourist trade but I must say that from my observations every year they seem to get a little more rude and disrespectful and they really don't care that people live in these lovely neighborhoods..

Jun 5th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 476
New Orleans, Boston, Tampa Bay, Savannah and now San Antonio. One of us is in the tourist industry, the other gets dragged here and there every few years to a new location, willing or not, ready or not.

Some of these places have "in season" more or less all year round. One thing that strikes me in many posts on Fodors is the number of people asking to dine in non-touristy locations in a city...dine where the locals dine, but in most all these locations, the locals also dined exactly where the tourists did, because this was the best food the area had to offer! We ate at all the "in restaurants" right along with the tourists.

We never could vacation "in season" for our locales, nor could we leave town during hurricane season in New Orleans, Savannah or Tampa. Our vacations were/are timed for periods when the average person doesn't travel and stay in hotels...Thanksgiving, Christmas. We have yet to find a down time in San Antonio! Maybe January when the river is drained.

We rarely swam in the Tampa area when tourists did...parking was hard to come by, traffic abominable, and the water too cold in March and most of April. Summer was great at the beach there and that's when we did most of our traveling in state. That's when we go back now.

We often had an "in" for things like Gasparilla boat parade, Bucs/Spurs/Lightning games, golf tournaments so don't pay, nor does my husband pay for any golf he plays. You know people...Sea World would be free here, we could get into Universal in Orlando at no cost....but we often don't do it. Have yet to go to Sea World since we've lived here, did Universal once. It's always there, so you don't take advantage of it as you should...and that includes Tanglewood when I was growing up in the Berkshires, sadly! In fact there, we avoided Lenox and Stockbridge like the plague in the summertime.

We have loved most all the tourist aspects of every city, although my DH did get tired of the French Quarter where his hotel was located, and rarely wanted to go down when he didn't have to work...much to my dismay. Things like St Patrick's Day in Savannah and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, meant one thing...work and headaches.

It has been a fantastic ride and as much as I've hated moving and reestablishing ourselves every few years, I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Malesherbes is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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I live in suburban San Diego so I do not interact with tourists on a daily basis (nor do I work in an industry associated with tourism), but I know when it is tourist season by the way folks drive on the freeway. Scooting along at a normal pace, then slooow, slooow, slooow near any of the exits close to a)the zoo/park, b) Sea World or c) any beach. I feel their pain since I do the exact same thing in other cities when I vacation there, and I try to give them a break by letting them merge in at the last minute or driving slower so as not to rush them.

Some other observations: I haven't been to Mission Beach/Bay for years. Literally. I don't recognize the names of many restaurants recommended on this board. There are a lot of people from Arizona who vacation here in August! I have never spent Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day at one of our beaches. It is too crowded for me!

Overall, I feel very lucky to have ended up living in someone else's postcard. It is truly a beautiful city.
kmpordagee is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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I live in San Francisco.

The tourists never go in pairs, they go in bunches taking up all the sidewalk space and it's impossible to pass.

They love to take pictures of... so many times I've asked myself this question: what's that they're snapping at? There is nothing to see!

They give change (and bills!!) to panhandlers thus encouraging them to beg, and then complain: the city is taken over by homeless. HELLOOOOO!!!!

Sometimes I like to be a tourist in my own city. Comes the weekend, I get the Barbary Trail map or something similar, and get out. This is fun!!
FainaAgain is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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Living in the Shenandoah Valley is as relaxing and laid back as can be. Residents avoid using I-81 for trips up to Harrisonburg and down to Winchester, prefering scenic route 11. There is Skyline Drive nearby, wineries, battlefields galore, canoeing and camping on the Shenandoah Rivers, visits to the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory, berry picking, and when all that is done, we go to the river to watch the good ol' boys fishing.
ronkala is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Well - obviously this is a mjaor tourist destination - but there are so many more of us than them it rarely has much impact. (And tourism is such a relatively small part of the overall economy.)

What's most noticeable is if you're in midtown (or near a major tourist attraction) is the number of groups of people staring up and clogging the sidewalk.

It never occurs to many how rude it is to try to walk 4 or 5 across - at snail speed - while they discuss something or other - when everyone else is trying to get to work or do an errand - or get anywhere at a normal speed. I think they've never heard about pull over to the side til you've decided what you're going to do - and don't walk more than 2 abreast - esp if it's a slow stroll.

And I've noticed it seems to be American tourists more than europeans who do this - perhaps people just not used to cities and the sidewalk rules of etiquette.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:35 PM
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I live in suburban New Orleans. My husband and I work in the Central Business District of New Orleans. If you work in the CBD, you are generally a lawyer or you work in a low-paying, service industry job. This dichotomy was exposed to the rest of the country post-Katrina.

That means no visits to the FQ unless friends/family are visiting, vacations somewhere else during Mardi Gras, and going to the beach during the awful humidity of July and August.

However, eating out all of the time at some of the best restaurants in the country is part of most residents' lives. That is probably what we share most with tourists.
mah1980 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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Good post gotravel! Live in Fort Lauderdale near the beach and the Galleria, so I really am in the thick of things. . This is our "off" season here and I am so glad! During season (winter & spring), this place is a madhouse!!! It still feels totally weird to me to have summer being an "off season" time! I do like to go outside on the waterside places even if tourists are there. We still do Las Olas, cause it is lovely. It is wonderful to finally have our restaurants back however. Towards the end of this season, we were getting mighty grumpy about all the packed restaurants. Now we can get out of Dodge, er, I mean the heat ;-).
Judyrem is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:34 PM
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When I worked in downtown Chicago, I would sometimes be bothered by the slow movers in packs as well- but now I am more amused than irritated.

What really floors me is the way things are marketed to the tourist. They take "them" on high priced tours to see bullet holes. That really makes me laugh. I could see them all the time without having to pay for the priviledge.

And an old place suddenly becomes "fashionable" to view, when you know that it used to be a bus garage. LOL!

There are places, like Navy Pier, that I haven't visited in a couple years, because the quality of goods/services has decreased with the exploded service needs, IMHO. I also think that is true in summer, that the crowd density is unappealing. One of my students was just complaining to me today that the Shedd was a zoo last weekend with a 1 hour wait to get in before she started. That's too crowded to be enjoyable.

I love Chicago downtown in winter and winter delights program buys because the service people aren't run to death, and everyone is more relaxed overall.
JJ5 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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I grew up in Nashville and hardly knew anybody who ever went to the Grand Ole Opry, then lived close to New Orleans and few locals went to the FC for Mardi Gras, preferring the less crowded small town celebrations. Now I live in the center of Cajun , LA and we do participate in some of the local festivals. There are so many- any reason for a party. We forgot to go to the Buggy festival on Saturday- too bad!
Saraho is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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I live in Myrtle Beach,

we get the obligatory millions of visitors in the summer (mid-June through mid-August), and then specialty tourists throughout the year: snowbirds January to March, golfers in the spring & fall, high-school seniors in June, surprisingly quite a few folks spend Thanksgiving here, and of course, the bike rallies that take up 3/4 of May.


everyone's a tourist at some point--it just depends on where you happen to be at any given time.

Roads have vastly improved here, but the only problem I have in driving is the proliferation of slow drivers in the left lane (even on the highways).

In case you didn't get the memo, if you're in the U.S., no matter where, with a multi-lane roadway, the left lane is the FAST (or better yet, PASSING) lane, the right lane is the SLOW lane.

Lots of locals here are in the service industry, so they make their money in the Summer. But there are also lots who work outside the industry or have moved here in retirement.

Favorite ugly American story? Aside from obnoxious biker incidents during the rallies, they are just too easy . . . Here it is: a group of golfers heads into our neighborhood grocery at about 6:00 p.m. (post-golf, pre-strip club I guess), all with open beers in their hands, proclaiming loudly "we're on vacation, we can do what we want!" Oh well.
beach_dweller is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Interesting observations and thanks y'all!

Cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco that are also tourist destinations have quite a few things to deal with.

It is also surprising to see so many that are in tourist destinations that don't know many that work in the industry.

I think just about everyone I know is affected. One of my best friends is a stock broker (investment consultant, whatever they are called these days) but all of her clients are in the hospitality business.

Another of my friends who is a college professor only teaches hotel, motel, and restaurant classes.

All of my other friends are directly in the business.
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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I work in NYC and avoid Times Square area whenever possible. It's really not difficult to pick out the tourists - they are the ones walking while looking up at all the big buildings, and then they stop dead ahead of you!
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 500
I live in Orange County, CA on the beach and have similar tourist reports as other beach city dwellers. It's crowded in the summer. Some fun restaurants are off limits until after Labor Day. Disneyland is awful during summer, as is South Coast Plaza. But there are tricks to avoid crowds, and nothing beats the summer image of the kids holding surfboards above their heads as they skateboard down Pacific Coast Highway.
sfamylou is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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For some reason, there are tourists that come to Portland just to "tour" hotels vs actually staying in them
mms is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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I don't live in a tourist destination now, but as a kid I lived in New Orleans. I heard my parents remark several times that relatives we never even heard from suddenly found a need to visit us when we moved to New Orleans. I can remember 2nd or 3rd cousins I haven't seen since coming to stay at our house for a few days!! I guess living in a touristy place makes you more popular with distant family!!!
snowrooster is offline  

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