Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What does 'America's Favorite Place' have that Charlotte doesn't? A statue of a gigantic termite, for starters

Want to have a good time? Head to Providence, R.I.

That city topped the list of "America's Favorite Places," a survey of readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.

The rest of the top five? Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles.

People could vote for 38 cities in six categories -- culture, shopping, quality of life, people, nightlife and food and drink -- that were in turn broken out into 67 subcategories.

Travel + Leisure said the results are based on more than 50,000 votes that ranked  cities. The results will be featured in the magazine's November issue, which will be on newsstands Oct. 17.

Don't get your hopes up. Charlotte has no bragging rights here.

 In fact, no cities in North Carolina made any top-five "best of," though the link at the bottom of the online roster has a link to a page where you can type in an N.C.  metro area -- from Boone and Asheville all the way to Wilmington -- and vote if you disagree with the survey results.

However you vote (choices run from Anchorage, Alaska, to Key West, Fla.), your completing the online do-you-disagree  survey enters you for a chance at a vacation getaway.

But it doesn't change the published overall results.

The only place in the two-state area to win any nods was Charleston:

No. 1 for architecture/cool buildings
No. 1 for romantic escape
No. 2 for shopping at antiques stores
No. 2 for relaxing weekend
No. 3 for historical sites
No. 4 for cleanliness
No. 4 for public parks/gardens
No. 4 for public safety
No. 4 for notable restaurants
No. 4 for girlfriend getaway
No. 3 for attractive people
No. 5 for stylish people
No. 5 for brunch places

If it makes you feel any better, New York City cane in first for people who were rude and also for people who were snobby.

Providence, an old New England city, was the hometown of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Perhaps more relevant, Bank of America is the city's third-largest employer; naming rights extend there to the Bank of America Skating Center -- which Wikipedia lists among Providence's "Sites of Interest."

Another attraction of interest: Nibbles Woodaway, a roadside sculpture belonging to a pest-extermination company. Nibbles Woodaway, also known as the "Big Blue Bug," is billed as "the world's largest termite."

You'll see an AP photo of it at the top of this post; you may have also spied it in scenes from the movie "Dumb and Dumber."

I wouldn't be surprised at all if  you'll be seeing it eventually in uptown Charlotte after it is shipped here and the price tag is removed.