A city lined with one of the most famous waterfronts in England, celebrated around the world as the birthplace of the Beatles, and still the place to catch that "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey," Liverpool reversed a downturn in its fortunes with late 1980s developments, such as the impressively refurbished Albert Dock area. In 2004, UNESCO named six historic areas in the city center together as one World Heritage Site, in recognition of the city’s maritime and mercantile achievements during the height of Britain's global influence. The city's heritage, together with famous attractions and a legacy of cultural vibrancy that includes an ever-growing events program, draws an increasing number of visitors each year—in turn impacting its growing hotel and dining scenes.
The 1960s produced Liverpool's most famous export: the Beatles. The group was one of hundreds influenced by the rock and roll they heard from visiting American GIs and merchant seamen in the late 1950s and one of many that played local venues such as the Cavern Club (demolished but rebuilt nearby). All four Beatles were born in Liverpool, but the group's success dates from the time they left for London. Nevertheless, the city has milked the group's Liverpool connections for all they’re worth, with a multitude of local attractions such as Paul McCartney's and John Lennon's childhood homes.