Two years ago as part of a story I was doing about cruise ships popping into the Bay to give their passengers a few hours of colourful R&R;, I chatted with six couples - all from Australia.
They were seasoned travellers, so their comments were valuable.
I asked them what they were likely to remember most about their wanderings in Napier and got a 50-50 split.
Three said the "pretty" Art Deco buildings and three said the Marine Parade seafront.
The three who went for the buildings chose the seafront as their second choice.
And all six remarked on just how tidy everything was.
The Marine Parade is the city's, and effectively the region's, front-of-house.
People instinctively track to a waterfront to look at the sea and to stroll ... even passengers of cruise liners whose temporary mobile homes are surrounded by the stuff.
The fledgling town's pioneers back in the 19th century viewed the stretch where land meets sea as a friend and a foe.
A friend that when the waters were calm it was a fine and peaceful place to stroll and take the air.
But a foe when the easterly storms rolled in ... bringing great seas which swept up the beachfront and into the edge of town.
Sea walls were built, and broken, and built again.
There was a stoic determination to create a seafront which would be familiar to the new settlers, many of whom came from places such as Bournemouth, Brighton and Blackpool.
A place of attractions and places to stay and dine. Lined with trees and paths.
The forces of nature, which creates things such as big seas, emerged in 1931 and effectively made that noble vision possible through a destructive, but geologically enhancing, earthquake.
The sea retreated as the land rose and the seawalls became historic ornaments.
Through the years, the Marine Parade evolved and changed.
Fixtures and features came and went as the years passed and the themes of life changed.
Everyone who grew up in the Bay has a memory of the parade, be it the boating lake, the paddling pool or the Kiwi House.
The kids of today will have their own memories of bicycle parks, putting greens, a place to fly (the SK8 Zone) and a place to play or swim ... and of attractions yet to surface.
The Marine Parade, after too many years in the doldrums, is beginning to sparkle more with the "Big Picture" developments under way, and that is the way it should be.
I'm not averse to ending on a cliche so here it is.
It is, and should always be, our jewel in the crown.