Chapter

“A jaunt … agreeable and instructive”: The Vacationer as Tourist

Cindy S. Aron

in Working at Play

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195142341
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195142341.003.0006
“A jaunt … agreeable and instructive”: The Vacationer as Tourist

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The history of tourism cannot be entirely subsumed within the history of vacations. Some people became tourists without being on vacation at all; business travelers, for example, who “did” the sights on the way to or from their destination. Moreover, elite Americans were touring and sightseeing decades before vacationing had become a familiar middle-class experience. This chapter explores the origins of tourism in the United States in the travels and expeditions of a small group of early 19th-century elite men and women. The sorts of places that these “pioneer tourists” visited became the established American tourist attractions—spots that would continue to draw people for at least the next hundred years. Understanding the growth and significance of tourism in the last half of the 19th century requires its consideration within the context of the development of vacationing.

Keywords: United States; tourism; vacations; history; nineteenth century; travels; expeditions; elite; tourist attractions; vacationing

Chapter.  12836 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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