Travel Lists Gone Wild!

This past Sunday’s 10/10/10 date was a natural for Top-10 lists. Our favorite was the Los Angeles Times’ “Our Lucky 10,” featuring 10 lists covering everything from art museums to nude beaches.

Disney Hall

Disney Hall. Photo: Federico Zignani

A date as auspicious as last Sunday’s 10/10/10 doesn’t go by without couples planning weddings, gamblers laying down extra hopeful bets at casinos, and publications making “10 Best” lists.  We love a list too, especially if it has some great travel information, and our favorite from the past weekend was the Los Angeles Times’ “Our Lucky 10” set of lists comprised of 10 (of course) travel-savvy topics – each with 10 selections — covering various topics like “Great hikes in the West,” “Places less than a decade old,” and “Family friendly destinations in the West.”

We spoke with veteran Times Travel Writer Christopher Reynolds, one of the contributors to the lists, about how the Times made their choices, if he had any favorites, and if he personally visited the nude sunbathing beach covered in the section’s “Top 10 travel temptations” list.

EH:  From all your personal experiences and those of the various contributors to the 10 lists, how did you manage to choose these 100 experiences?

CR: First, it was well into September before we realized this significant date was imminent and fell on a Sunday, but it made it fun and that much more of a challenge. The staff and contributors basically batted ideas around, so at this point, it would be hard to say whose idea was what, but virtually everything on the lists has been experienced by one of us. We have been there and done that.

EH: Any personal favorites on the lists?

CR: Regarding the list of Top 10 places for 10 bucks and under, I thought this was going to be hard, but the only thing that was difficult was narrowing down the list. One favorite has to be the Getty Center. Parking is only $15 and there is no entrance fee, so if there are a few people going, it’s well under $10 a person and a bargain. Basically from the day it opened, the Getty vaulted onto the list of one of the top five things to do in LA. It’s the views, gardens and a great collection. The Getty Center is really more than a museum.

I also worked on the Top 10 family-friendly destinations list. I have a six-year-old, and we know people are looking now for things to do with their kids that are not going to break the bank. Something I enjoy and that my daughter loves is San Francisco’s cable cars. Is there a kid out there who doesn’t love a cable car?

EH: On the other side of the coin, I noticed the section also included a Top 10 Travel Temptations list that mentioned Vegas, cigars and a nude beach in Maui. How was that to work on?

CR: I didn’t do that one, but I’m glad we included it! One of my favorites on this list has to be Recchiuti Confections in the old Ferry Building in San Francisco. They do amazing things with chocolate like slices of pear with key lime coated in dark chocolate. Very decadent.

EH:  Another list that caught my eye was Top 10 must-see places less than a decade old

CR: Yeah, this turned out to be the hardest list to do, in part because of the recessionary climate the last ten years, there aren’t that many great new buildings. For LA, you immediately come up with Disney Hall. But after that, in the American West you have to look pretty hard. Some highlights that made the list though include San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences with its undulating green roof, which is located in Golden Gate Park. Another is the Denver Art Museum. It’s full of shiny metal exteriors and crazy angles, a very cool building right near downtown that has lots of people talking.

End interview.

And we suspect people will be talking about and referencing this list well beyond 10/10/10. To check out the Los Angeles Times’ full Lucky 10 list with its 10 themes covering everything from art museums to nude beaches, click here…

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