Land actually hasn't increased in price by all that much historically. In the past 20 years, yes (although much of that was wiped away in 2008) but the 100 years prior? Not really at all. In fact, IIRC prior to 1990ish land prices in the US increased at a rate less than inflation. There were localized pockets where it did better but then there were localized pockets where it was worse, and people never say "investment in real estate in places that will be big in 20 years is always a good deal", they just leave it at real estate.
I mean, that's not an argument for "investing" in gold either, but as I am not an economist I'm not going to argue that.