Places that became tourist attractions for one reason

Did tourists go to Liverpool before the Beatles?
Would Gettysburg be anything but a small PA town if not for the battle?
Would Pisa be a world destination if not for the tower?

Any other examples? It doesn’t have to be somewhere with only one attraction now, just somewhere that became interesting for only one reason.

There are a number of them which owe their original appeal to an interesting/beautiful natural feature, and then saw other attractions built up in the area as a result. Niagara Falls is an obvious one; at a more regional level, the Wisconsin Dells (a popular tourist destination in central Wisconsin) originally drew tourists to see the area’s rock formations and river canyons.

Valley Forge Park. I live near there. I guess the King of Prussia Mall is not too far away.

I’m guessing many battlefields would fit the category. I was in Gettysburg this summer, and there is not much else around there.

Does South of the Border count? Tho it exists only as a tourist attraction…

Newfoundland (in Canada) gets a lot of “Anne of Green Gables” tourists.

Would Frankenmuth Michigan have become a tourist attraction if it weren’t for Bronner’s Christmas store? Of course, the chicken dinners might have had something to do with it, but there are many places to eat between Detroit and Mackinac City.

Or, if you prefer, Wall Drug. Must get that free ice water.

Plane crash sites (Patsy Cline, Buddy Holley, Gambler’s Special and a bunch of others), Shalom, CA where James Dean got whacked.

Not much reason ever to go there before, and damn little afterward.

Delphi, Greece, is a tiny town up in the mountains. I doubt it would have any reason to exist if it weren’t for tourists coming to see the the ruins of the temple and other ancient structures surrounding the famous oracle.

As much as Wall Drug does.

Florida doesn’t have much going for it except sunshine.

I doubt many tourists were taking photos in front of 55 Central Park West until it was featured as “Spook Central” in Ghostbusters.

The city of Harbin in China features temperatures of around -30 degrees c (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter, but millions still go there every year for the winter festival which features massive ice castles and such.

Although it dates back to the 60s, my understanding is it was massively expanded about 30 years ago deliberately to transform the city into a tourist hub.

Many natural features would fit – The Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, for instance.

Las Vegas became a tourist attraction when they added the big casinos.

Hoover Dam had to be built before becoming tourist attractions.

That’s Prince Edward Island, I’m pretty sure.

I first visited Cardiff because I’d just recently become a big Doctor Who fan. On my initial visits there, there was a huge Who vibe: a prop exhibit at the Red Dragon Centre that was expanded to fill an airplane hanger-sized shell at the Bay a couple of years later, filming location tours, the stars turning on the Christmas lights in late November, show souvenirs widely available…when I met Billie Piper years later and told her that I’d actually been studying Welsh for years and it was as an indirect result of Doctor Who, she said “Look what Doctor Who’s doing for tourism in Cardiff!” It’s died down a lot (I’ve visited the city seven times in a bit under a decade) but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the show brought a lot of people to the city who may not have visited Glamorgan otherwise.

What about places that became tourist attractions for zero reasons?

Some places had nothing to attract tourists, until someone built something there solely for the purpose of attracting tourists. But those may not count, as some people have no regard for tourist attractions that exist just to be tourist attractions.

What did Anaheim have before Disneyland was built just to be Disneyland?

Of course you’re right. Thank you.

I passed through Orlando a year or two before Disney World opened, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go there then.

I do lots of events/festivals where you get lots of people for that one day/weekend.

How many people go to Punxsutawney other than on Feb 2nd?
Just looked it up, their population anywhere from doubles to quadruples on that day.

Cholame, CA.