Then promptly say "No Thanks".
In reality you would have just passed up on a trip to a place filled with modern architecture, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks dating back to 950 BC and natural wonders like the Jeitta Grotto. The photo to the left, was taken in downtown Beirut in their Souk area.
When we first booked our flight & hotel we based our decision strictly on the friendliness of people we knew from Lebanon, the great food we've eaten from the Lebanese places we frequent and the recommendations we received from people vacationed there previously. As luck would have it, just as we booked our non-refundable ticket, we discovered a US issued travel warning for Beirut & the country of Lebanon in general. Needless to say our excitement quickly turned into apprehension and anxiety. After much deliberation and consulting of friends we decided to make the trip, ignoring the travel warning.
Stepping off the plane at BEY, I never noticed how much the visual appearance of an airport has to do with the initial perception of a city/country. The airport was obviously old and to put it nicely, let's just say BEY is in need of a makeover. Once we made it through passport control our driver was late picking us up so my nerves were yet to be settled. He finally arrived, driving a new Jaguar XJL, which marked the turning point for our trip! We were chauffeured through the city to our sea side hotel which was in view of the Lebanese landmark, the Raouche Rock. Our hotel was on the Corniche strip in a tourist area close to the boardwalk. The boardwalk hosted a number of small shops, restaurants, coffee shops, street vendors and a small casino/club/amusement park complex.
We didn't venture far from the hotel the 1st day, but we walked the boardwalk and explored the surrounding areas for hours. Here are a few photos from our 1st day.