Fort Negley Nashville Tenn

Fort Negley Nashville Tenn
Nashville Skyline from Fort Negley in Tennessee

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Clifton Hill Niagara Falls Canada

There are several great natural and historic places that develop.... well, a Clifton Hill.  You know, rows of fudge shops, rides, restaurants, museums, mini golf, a Hard Rock Café, etc. etc. pop up near that amazing place.

In general, I am very OK with this.  You can go to Niagara Falls and not even bother with Clifton Hill.  You can visit the Smoky Mountains, and deal with the actual park, while avoiding the lights and shows of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge if you want.

Some places, you can't avoid the "other attractions".  We visited the Alamo in San Antonio Texas earlier this year and there is no way to avoid all that has popped up around the remnants of the legendary Fort.  A mall, hotels, a Ripley's and infinite shops are all within view of the Alamo.  You would have a hard time standing in front of the Alamo and imagining the landscape of the battle.

To be honest, I think a lot of people LIKE having so much to do near a park.  You can enjoy the natural beauty of a place during the day, and see a show or visit the shops in the evening.  For a family with young kids, this might be a good way to introduce them to parks, nature, and history, while still holding their interest with promises of a festive carnival experience too.

There are some areas that have been resistant to allowing an excessive amount of over the top businesses take over a historic site.

Some towns that have benefited from Civil War tourism in particular have even worked hard to reclaim and restore land in an effort to see the battlefields look like they did at the time of the battles.  Franklin Tennessee and Gettysburg Pennsylvania both come to mind when I think of areas making an effort to get back to what they once were.  With the help of the Civil War Trust (a charity of which I am personally very fond) pieces of battlefields have been purchased from private owners, and donated back to the parks.  Hotels, and fast food buildings have been removed.

Could something like this ever happen to Niagara Falls, or the Smoky Mountains?  I don't think so.  AND, there is something historic and attractive about some of that too.  I remember my dad asking me, after our first trip to Gatlinburg, if we saw the lights and shows.  He told me that when he was younger and passed through the town, he thought a huge carnival had come through.  He asked a local about it, and they told him that it was always there.

I think Clifton Hill and Gatlinburg are part of the experiences that go along with their respective parks.

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