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Which places deserve a repeat visit? by Pauline Frommer

Several months ago, a caller to the radio show I host with my father asked our advice on his wife’s plan to take their 16-year-old daughter to Paris. He wasn’t interested in which sights to see, or which hotel to stay in. Instead, he questioned whether the trip itself was a wise move. Seeing Paris, he said, was something his daughter should do on her own when she was an adult. Having visited it once, he reasoned, she wouldn’t want to go back later.

We tried to assuage his fears (and salvage his marriage!) by assuring him that if ever there were a destination worthy of a repeat visit, it was Paris. But his query got me thinking: What makes a destination worthy of visiting again and again? And are there certain destinations one shouldn’t return to?

I’d have to answer a resounding “no” to the second question. Even the smallest towns, the seemingly “stuck in time” backwaters, can change drastically over the course of several years. Just ask anyone who’s visited her hometown after a long time away.

But will that one new thing be worth planning an entire vacation around? Let’s be realistic: We all have limited time, and most of us have limited funds. Revisiting a destination, rather than going somewhere new, only makes sense when:

  • It can’t be swallowed in one gulp. Some places are so jam-packed with cultural attractions, with natural wonders, with great nightlife opportunities or extraordinary restaurants, that they inspire repeat visits. Going there just once practically infects travelers with the nagging itch to return.
  • It actively engages you. Destinations where one can practice a skill or pursue a hobby also win travelers’ loyalty. My friend Will first visited Arizona’s Lake Havasu when he was 17, and so loved the boating and fishing opportunities there that he bought a vacation home in the area 10 years later. Golf destinations, scuba-diving hotspots, areas with great antiquing, hiking meccas and even simple beach destinations often inspire this sort of loyalty.
  • It’s a chameleon. To quote the well-worn phrase, the only thing that doesn’t “stay in Vegas” is Vegas itself. Like the theme parks of Orlando or the city of Dubai, it’s a destination that’s constantly reinventing itself. For a certain type of traveler, the creatively manufactured thrills these types of destinations offer provide ample incentive to return.

Here’s my list of places that fit some or all of those criteria; they’re destinations that I could revisit endlessly without feeling in some way gypped. (I’d add New York City to the list, except I live there and so can’t count myself as a visitor.)

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Washington, D.C.
  • London
  • The Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
  • Paris
  • Barcelona
  • Istanbul
  • Beijing
  • Bali

So that’s my list, in no particular order. Which destinations would make it onto yours? And are there any places you wouldn’t want to visit a second time? Share your thoughts with other travelers in the comments section. And then, check out which destinations Bing Travel readers named as the ones they’d most like to revisit.


  • Aruba


    Bora Bora & Moorea - French Polynesia

    New Zealand

  • Aruba

    Bora Bora & Moorea - French Polynesia


    New Zealand

  • I have been to many places but I must say that my must re-visit list consist of:

    the Caribbean; especially Aruba and Jamaica,


    Washington DC



    and Hawaii, especially Oahu and Maui -

    In fact, I loved visiting the islands of Hawaii so much that I ended up living there for some time.

  • Paris...

    "Till april in Paris

    Whom can I run to

    What have you done to my heart"

    (F. Sinatra - April in Paris)


  • Amazed so many people loved Aruba. I was bored out of my wits there!

    My list would consist of:

    -New Zealand


    -The Masai Mara (amazing!)


    And my don't return to EVER list would be centered on the state of Ohio. Uggh! My ex-in-laws lived there and I think having to go to that boring state so often was one of the things that helped kill my marriage!

  • I forgot to include:




  • Italy- Rome,Calabria, My friends in Pria Mara so I could see Dino Island.

  • Ah, Italy -Rome, Calabria, Pria Mar (so I can see Dino Island on a calm day).  Never tire of Washington D.C.

  • Rome

    Dingle Peninsula



  • Skiing in Innsbruck

  • This is a tough one. There are a lot of places I would revisit (or already did :)






    6.New Zealand


    I can go on and on. I'm glad I've already revisited some of these. Like NY! But it's a good question! The thing is, there are so many other places I still want to see. So, I try to see new ones first ;-)

  • Venice, Italy

    Salzburg, Austria

    Ondo, Nigeria

    Lome, Togo

    Loreto, Mexico

    Bahia de Kino, Mexico

    Alamos, Mexico

    Lake Como, Italy

  • I forgot to add

    Key west

  • Venice, Italy

    Paris, France

    The Caribbean, epecially Jamaica and Guyana

    Rio de Janerio, Brazil

  • Moorea (Tahiti)

    San Blas/Kuna Yala (Panama)



    San Francisco


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