Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Gilded Grasshopper Edges Jiminy Cricket has come out with a ranking of America's 25 most-visited tourist sites, and the list is pretty interesting. (For example, more people visit the Delaware Water Gap than the Grand Canyon? Who knew?)

One of the surprises to me was that Faneuil Hall Marketplace was fourth on the list--ahead of Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim. According to, 20 million people visited Faneuil Hall Marketplace last year, while 17.1 million visited the Magic Kingdom and 14.9 million people visited Disneyland. Now before we go thinking that Peter Faneuil's gift to Boston holds a greater place in the heart of Americans than Cinderella's castle and the country's most beloved rodent, most of the visitors to Faneuil Hall Marketplace undoubtedly are hitting the stores and eateries of Quincy Market and skipping a visit to the Cradle of Liberty--Faneuil Hall itself. (And I think the Disney World number may be undercounted because the story just mentions the Magic Kingdom and not the other theme parks at Disney World.) Still, we can delude ourselves in thinking that Faneuil Hall's gilded grasshopper is more of a draw than Jiminy Cricket.

The top 10 most-visited sites in America are:
1. Times Square
2. Las Vegas Strip
3. Washington, DC Mall and Monuments
4. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
5. Disney Magic Kingdom
6. Disneyland
7. Fisherman's Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area (San Francisco)
8. Niagara Falls
9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
10. Chicago Navy Pier

Looking at the list, I realize I've been pretty fortunate to have been to each one of these places. Guess I have to get cracking to visit the Delaware Water Gap.

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