I visited Christchurch, New Zealand before the recent earthquakes, back in 2009, on my way north to Auckland. I had a two day stop there on my way north and was very charmed by Christchurch. It was a relaxed city, with lots of pretty older buildings, free tourist activities, great second-hand bookstores and a great local sense of humour.
This was posted as a sign on a storefront window:
“Attention customers… we would like to inform you that our business will not be participating in the recession.”
-Barbershop, Manchester St.