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Old 10-04-2011, 09:59 AM
Location: Back and Forth FRANCE
2,714 posts, read 2,969,969 times
Reputation: 1483


Have you guys ever been to a place that you thought you would hate but actually enjoyed it?

Maybe you had to go on a Business trip, take care of family business, maybe had a long layover, in a place that you never really wanted to go, based on stereotypes, generalizations, stuff you may hear about in the media, or from friends, pictures on the internet, but while you were there you realize it was actually better then you thought it would be?

That place for me is Charlotte, NC I had a long layover. I heard so much about North Carolina. Right when I got off the plane I knew that I was entering the southeast. Some had the southern/(country??) accent.
"Honey, Sweetie, Son."

I got a chance to walk around the city, talk to people. The people were pretty polite. Though I was there for only a few hours it seemed to pretty clean. The food was good, prices actually weren't too bad.

My Sister went to New Mexico, Mainly Albuquerque and Roswell(UFO Fans).
We were concerned the whole time she was there, we heard so much in the news about "Invading Mexican Gangs," Kidnappings, Right Wing Radicals in Arizona and Texas, we just assumed guilt by shared borders.

She had a blast, had no issues what so ever. Made a few friend share some pictures brought home a load of souvenirs.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:31 AM
Location: East Boston, MA
11,947 posts, read 20,929,654 times
Reputation: 13599
Definitely Dallas for me.

On paper, Dallas isn't my type of city. I like cold weather cities. I prefer my cities to be on the coast (or at least a large body of water) and have a great public transit network in addition to being walkable. Boston, San Francisco, New York, DC, Philly, etc. are what I consider to be "ideal." So heading into Dallas, I wasn't expecting to really like it (didn't expect to hate it, either).

I loved it. Not because it surprised me by fitting into some of the criteria for my ideal cities (DART was mediocre, poor even for a city that size, there was no water in sight, outside of a few small pockets, it's not particularly walkable, etc); but because it worked very well in its own way. The people were friendly, fun and outgoing. While I couldn't rely on transit to get around, renting and driving a car was cheap and easy. The food I had was fantastic (from Truck Stop tacos to authentic German food to yes, great BBQ) and even some of the neighborhoods outside of downtown were fun (with walkable centers). Dallas introduced me to Whirleyball which may be the greatest game ever known to mankind.

I wouldn't move to Dallas. It still doesn't fit what I'm looking for in a city. However, I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it. I'd definitely go back.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:34 PM
Location: Fairfax
2,904 posts, read 6,822,457 times
Reputation: 1282
I was expecting some mixed emotions about San Francisco. Online sources, stereotypes, etc told me that the people were snobbish and unfriendly. Instead, I found strangers to be approachable, smiling, and even keen for a quick conversation. People riding their bikes past me said "excuse me" more times than a Southerner with a shopping cart!

I was only there for 10 hours but I approached and talked to a lot of strangers on the street, on trams, and at bus stations. Partially because I was curious/needed advice and partially because it had been a year since I had been in an English-speaking city. I know people's friendliness was because I was a tourist and they found my travels interesting, but I've been a tourist in dozens of cities and was very impressed by SF.

I also loved the architecture, seafood, and vistas but I already knew I would like those.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:54 AM
Location: Center of the universe
24,657 posts, read 38,091,857 times
Reputation: 11780
Orange County, Calif. My job sent me there for half a year, and I dreaded the move.

I thought I would hate it because it was swarming with rabid conservatives and racist cops.
While they do exist there, there are also wonderful, openminded, intelligent people in OC as well. And the first cop I ran into in Newport Beach, where I lived and was warned to be scared of the police, was black.

It was one of the nicest, most beautiful places I ever lived, and I didn't want to leave. In fact, I'd move back there to raise my family in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:59 PM
2,502 posts, read 8,786,456 times
Reputation: 905
Salt Lake City. I had no idea what to expect before I visited, but I pleasantly surprised. I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants a blend of skiing and nearby city amenities on their next vacation.

-The city is very clean and very pretty. The mountains are beautiful. I also remember seeing lots of green and trees, which is a pleasant surprise when you compare it to other mountain west cities (which tend to be more brown).

-Downtown has nice architecture and is well-maintained. Despite being a young/western city, there's actually a lot of character and history in the architecture. You will see some cookie-cutter suburbs, but even in the suburbs, the homes appear to be built well, and everything looks nice.

-There are no bad areas. The areas that the locals describe as being "bad" are actually very nice compared to the ghettos you'll see in any other city.

-Everyone was very nice and polite. I don't think I met a single rude person while I was there.

-I'm not Mormon. Before I visited, I was afraid that religion would be pushed on me all the time and that people would treat me differently for not belonging to the church. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. The LDS culture is very obvious in some small ways (you'll notice if you try to buy alcohol, etc.), but no one ever asked me about my religious affiliation while I was there, and I never felt like I didn't belong. Granted, it might be different if you live there - I have no idea.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:10 PM
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,889 posts, read 12,734,167 times
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Utah in general is a very pleasant surprise. Beautiful scenery, plenty of activities, and some of the nicest people you ever want to meet.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:16 PM
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,746 posts, read 16,439,497 times
Reputation: 14885
Though I'll admit, I simply drove through on my way West, I was pleasantly surprised at Wisconsin along I90 and the first part of Minnesota. Some of it was truly beautiful, especially near Lake Onalaska. That area really shocked me. After I got out of the hillier part of Minnesota I found it pretty boring, though not bad or anything. And it's not like I expected to hate driving through, I just hadn't really expected anything. I'd like to go back some time when I can stay longer.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:49 PM
Location: Cleveland Suburbs
2,554 posts, read 6,764,483 times
Reputation: 619
Omaha, Nebraska

I had a meeting in Omaha last year. I was expecting the normal middle of the country blandness, flat and boring. Omaha was a really cool city actually, and I tell people all the time how underrated it is. Home to plenty of large companies, great parks, and the Old Market district was nice. Downtown Omaha has a lot of work to do though, but I found the riverfront to be ok. Omaha has a lot of suprising potential considering it is in Nebraska.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:58 PM
Location: Salt Lake City
26,997 posts, read 28,836,291 times
Reputation: 12739
Pittsburgh. I went there on business a couple of years ago. Was expecting a dirty, run-down steel town. Instead, it was really an attractive city.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:23 PM
Location: LBC
4,155 posts, read 5,396,799 times
Reputation: 3573
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Pittsburgh. I went there on business a couple of years ago. Was expecting a dirty, run-down steel town. Instead, it was really an attractive city.
I vote Pittsburgh as well. Even though my expectations were probably greater than yours, it exceeded them. I was not prepared for "quaint" and "picturesque".
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