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Avoid These 17 Awful U.S. Tourist Spots, According to Americans

Tourism is a booming industry in the United States, with millions of visitors traveling to various destinations yearly. However, not all tourist destinations are created equal, and some may leave visitors feeling disappointed or underwhelmed. Recently on an online platform, Americans have shared their thoughts on the worst tourist destinations in the U.S.

1. Las Vegas: Dirty. Smelly. Crowded.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Las Vegas was one of the most popular answers among Americans when asked what the most overrated tourist destinations in the U.S. are. The first person described it as, “Dirty. Smelly. Crowded.” The next said, “Las Vegas. And I enjoy Las Vegas. But I don’t understand why it’s the first place so many tourists want to visit.”

2. Wall Drug: Doesn’t Live Up to the Hype

WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Famous Wall Drug Store on September 26, 2008 in Wall, South Dakota. This attractions draws some 2 million tourists a year with its gift shop and restaurants.
Editorial credit: Frank Romeo / Shutterstock.com

Wall Drug is a famous tourist attraction located in Wall, South Dakota. It’s perhaps best known for its extensive advertising campaign, featuring signs placed along highways around the United States. However, many visitors were left feeling unimpressed after visiting. One visitor stated, “Wall Drug is so underwhelming. You see signs for a thousand miles to discover a little store selling crap trinkets, a loud overcrowded restaurant with subpar food, and an old cruddy-looking dinosaur statue behind a gas station.”  Another stated, “Drive through the state and the number of billboards is unbelievable and unworthy!”

3. Mall of America: Just a Big Mall

07/13/2016 Minneapolis MN- The Front entrance of the mall of America.
Photo credit: Nick Lundgren // Shutterstock.com

The Mall of America offers a more standardized shopping experience that you can find in malls across the country. “I don’t know what people are expecting, but it’s just a big shopping mall,” the first American said. It also may not provide the same local flavor and authenticity that other tourist destinations can offer. Others complained that there are fewer unique stores and more chain stores now.  

4. Plymouth Rock: More Like Plymouth Pebble

Plymouth Rock Massachusetts
Photo credit: Michael Sean OLeary / Shutterstock.com

Many Americans reported being very underwhelmed after visiting Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Rock is known as the traditional site where the Pilgrims first stepped ashore when they arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. One commenter said, “It’s more like the Plymouth Pebble.”  Another added, “Don’t forget that it’s fenced off and people love to throw trash in the pit.”

5. Branson, Missouri: Hillbilly Vegas?

Skyline view of Branson, Missouri with the display showing at the landing waterfront park area. The fountain has fire reflection into the water with tourist watching as they shop.
Photo credit: TommyBrison / Shutterstock.com

Branson, Missouri is a popular tourist destination located in the Ozark Mountains in the southern part of the state. However, despite its popularity, many Americans bashed this tourist destination saying, “It’s basically hillbilly Vegas.” Another traveler added, “It’s Vegas if it was run by Ned Flanders. It’s like Vegas without booze, gambling, and fun.”

6. Hollywood: A Dirty and Overpriced Destination

Photo credit: Canva
Photo credit: Canva

Hollywood, the once-glamorous and fascinating city that’s often been glorified in movies and T.V. shows, has received some criticism from Americans who believe it to be the worst tourist destination in the United States. According to them, the city’s filthy surroundings, overpriced attractions, and overall bleak atmosphere make it a far cry from the glitz and glamour that it’s often portrayed to be.

7. Niagara Falls: Cool Views but Disaster Towns

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While Niagara Falls may still be an awe-inspiring natural wonder, the second user has expressed disappointment with the surrounding towns. The user believes the tourist destination has lost its charm due to rampant commercialization and lack of maintenance, leaving the towns unappealing. Despite the magnificence of the falls, the user suggests that the overall experience of visiting the area may be better.

8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: A Hollow Tourist Trap

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA city skyline.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.com

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, once considered a glamorous and attractive destination, has received criticism from other Americans who suggest it is a tourist trap devoid of meaningful experiences. Instead, they recommend exploring other areas that offer more authentic and enriching travel experiences.

9. Great Salt Lake, Utah: A Disappointing Destination

Great Salt Lake, Utah
Photo credit: Canva

Picture this: you’re planning your next vacation, and you come across a review that labels a popular tourist spot as the worst destination in the entire country. That’s exactly what happened to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, which a disgruntled traveler slammed. According to them, the lake is underwhelming and downright unpleasant, with a pungent odor and stinging water caused by its high salt content. As if that’s not bad enough, there’s also a severe lack of things to see and do in the area, making the journey not worth the hassle.

10. Mount Rushmore: Underwhelming or a Patriotic Marvel?

Mount Rushmore
Photo credit: Canva

While Mount Rushmore is undoubtedly an impressive engineering feat, a user notes that the surrounding area may be underwhelming. Visitors may be disappointed by the lack of amenities and activities in the immediate vicinity. Additionally, some Native American groups have criticized the monument for being built on sacred land and promoting a distorted version of history.

11. Bourbon Street, New Orleans: A Depressing Tourist Trap

Bourbon Street
Photo credit: Canva

While Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans may be a popular attraction for tourists, an adventurer suggests that it is the worst tourist destination in the U.S. They describe it as a trashy, overpriced, and depressing spot for drunken revelry. The user suggests exploring other parts of the city, such as Faubourg Marigny, the Garden District, and Audubon Park and Zoo, for a more authentic and enjoyable New Orleans experience. They also recommend visiting museums, antique shops, bookstores, and French Quarter art galleries outside Bourbon Street.

12. Lancaster, Pa: Staring at Amish People as a Vacation?

Amish horse buggy
Photo credit: Canva

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has received criticism from a wandering soul who finds it hard to believe anyone would visit to stare at the Amish people living in the area. The commenter finds this aspect of Lancaster’s tourism industry exploitative and distasteful.

13. Times Square: Expensive Stores and Tacky Gift Shops

Times Square
Photo credit: Canva

Times Square, once considered a must-visit destination for tourists, has disappointed some Americans who found it a waste of time. These travelers describe the area as filled with expensive stores, cheap, tacky gift shops, giant signs, and an overwhelming number of people. They suggest that the area is overhyped and needs to live up to expectations.

14. Atlantic City: A Gambler’s Paradise or a Tourist’s Nightmare?

Atlantic City
Photo credit: Canva

A travel enthusiast describes Atlantic City as a once-glittering seaside resort that has lost its shine. Crowded and pricey, the city is known for its casinos and boardwalk, but visitors may feel unsafe due to crime and homelessness. Despite this, the historic district offers a glimpse into the city’s past and may hold some nostalgic charm.

15. Criticisms of Wisconsin Dells: A Noisy Theme Park Town

Water park
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Wisconsin Dells, a popular Midwest destination, is criticized by several locals as a flashy and noisy theme park town trapped in the 80s. Although families with young children may appreciate the water parks and other attractions, the constant noise and commercialism may be overwhelming. During peak season, the town is crowded and expensive, and visitors may feel constantly pressured to buy more.

16. Nashville’s Commercialization: Tourist Traps and Crowded Streets

Photo credit: Canva

An explorer claims that Nashville, the Music City, has become excessively commercialized, with some famous attractions feeling like tourist traps. Downtown can be noisy and crowded, filled with bachelorette parties and other groups. Despite this, music lovers may still find joy in the city’s many live music venues, and there are quieter neighborhoods and parks to explore.

17. Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD: Repeatedly Underwhelming

Corn Palace
Photo credit: Canva

Step right up and behold the wonder of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD! With its intricate murals and unique decorations made entirely of corn, this attraction is billed as one of South Dakota’s most popular tourist destinations. However, only some people who set foot inside are blown away by its corn-plastic charms. In fact, one visitor was left feeling a bit let down, finding the experience less impressive than they were led to believe. 

Source: Reddit

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Snorkeling with Manatees in Crystal River
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