February 09, 2016
Lonely Planet has unveiled yet another listicle of recommended places, and Philadelphia has been featured once again. In fact, Philly tops Lonely Planet's 2016 "Best in the U.S." travel list, beating out Natchez, Mississippi, and Yellowstone National Park in a race sure to send each spot's marketing department into a tizzy.
In its paragraph about why Philly is so great to visit, the site mentions craft breweries, locavore eateries, history and, of course, "Rocky." But it says absolutely nothing about cheesesteaks, so that's a win, right?
While it's always nice when Philadelphia is recognized as a cool place to visit, the subheading on Lonely Planet's list reads like a bit of a backhanded compliment: "Our most unexpectedly exciting places to see in the United States in 2016."
Why is Philadelphia unexpectedly exciting, Lonely Planet? Pope Francis expected it to be pretty exciting. The DNC expects it to be pretty exciting. Even The New York Times expected it to be pretty exciting when the city made its 2015 tourism listicle, as did Fodor's in its 2016 list. The Organization of World Heritage Cities expects Philly to be pretty exciting basically forever, according to our recent designation.
It's fine, Lonely Planet. We're secure enough in our excitingness to let that subtext roll off our backs. We'll just continue to bask in the glory of topping another listicle. As the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity, no?
Update: We take that back. Lonely Planet released a video to go along with the listicle, and cheesesteaks are literally the second thing they mention after the Liberty Bell. Sigh.