It won’t be east to pick the top ten you should visit, but I can name some you shouldn’t …. Tehran, Baghdad, Newark NJ, Tijuana, Kabul … nah, that’s enough of the negatives. Here are my positive favorites:
1. Las Vegas NV: Once there, you don’t need to go anywhere else. For the fake US experience, check into the New York New York Hotel. For France, visit the Paris Resort. For Italy, go for Bellagio and The Venetian. For the Caribbean, go to Mandalay Bay. For phony old Rome, try Caesars Palace. For almost ancient Egypt, try the Luxor. For losing all your money, just go into any casino. Seriously, some of the best entertainment and dining in the world can be found in just within a few blocks of the famous Las Vegas Strip. All right, now I’ll talk about the others.
2. New York NY: If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. The city that never sleeps offers overpriced sleeping quarters, endless entertainment, dining and shopping. Note: In Las Vegas, New York or Paris, don’t take taxis unless absolutely necessary. And even then, it is better to walk.
3. London: This old town is a nostalgic haven for those looking for history, charm and entertainment. I admit, the food ain’t so good, but the wonderful sights and classic theater almost make up for boiled beef pie.
4. Paris: Ah, the traditional city for romantics. Prices are sky-high, people are rude, accommodations aren’t the most modern, and if you’re lonely, you’ll have to pay for the romance. But the food, wine, historic sites and ambiance are still there. The sidewalk cafes are charming if you love sipping your cafe au lait in a cloud of cheap cigarette smoke.
5. Helsinki: A mixture of historic past and contemporary pizazz. The seafood in restaurants and at the harbor shops is the freshest and best in Europe. The people are friendly, the prices are still relatively moderate, but don’t go there in the wintertime unless you enjoy shivering.
6. Venice: Also a city of infinite charm and history, with stinky waterways as added tourist enticements. If you know the special restaurants where tourists never venture, the dining experience is one of the best in the world. Venetians are a handsome people, but can’t quite hide their disdain for tourists and their tendency to relieve them of as much money as possible. Shopping is great, but if you’re venturing through Italy, Rome has somewhat better bargains.
7. Amsterdam: Beautiful old city, with great museums, lovely canals and legal drugs. The famed red light district boasts the best bordellos in Europe, but there are also many interesting streets and shops for families to roam.
8. Los Angeles: All right, it is mostly a spread of bedroom communities that are connected only by impassably crowded freeways. But Hollywood and Beverly Hills are there, with all their glamor and glitz. Climate and beaches are attractive, and restaurants are varied and plentiful.
9. San Francisco: You won’t find Tony Bennett’s heart there, unless it is served sauteed in some exotic restaurant. This is a beautiful town, but don’t expect to make it up and down its steep hills on foot. Riding cable cars makes for an inexpensive and most enjoyable day. Dining at Fisherman’s Wharf can be fun for the entire family. The ethnic Chinese and Italian neighborhoods also boast great restaurants.
10. Shanghai: Although Hong Kong and Singapore are still wonderful cities to visit, Shanghai, with its super-modern buildings, restaurants, shops and busy streets. has surpassed them as a clean, safe tourist destination.