10 of the most overrated tourist attractions in the United States (and what to see instead)



It’s geographically huge, it’s constantly in the spotlight, and it’s a nation full of diversity, culture, and people on many levels. So it makes sense that the United States of America is one of the most revered international tourist destinations. Hollywood has helped put Los Angeles on the map, Broadway in New York has drawn theatergoers from near and far, and the vast array of national parks is a nature lover’s paradise.

With so much time in the public eye, it is only fitting that some of the attention is focused too heavily on particular attractions. For every undiscovered gem, there are a handful of places overrun with obnoxious tourists and riddled with con artists who simply cannot match their glorified reputation.

ten Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame may draw tourists from near and far with its star-lined sidewalks, but the harsh reality is that the majority of visitors leave the area completely disappointed. It’s dirty, there are crooks on the streets waiting to take advantage of unknown tourists, the attractions are out of date and the homeless population is a real problem. It was recently voted the world’s worst tourist destination – need I say more?

If celebrity sightings are your main focus, head to The Grove and its Farmers Market, a quaint pedestrianized street for shopping, entertainment, and dining that’s known as an A-List hotspot.

9 Times Square, New York

The Center of the Universe is officially the most visited tourist attraction in the whole country. For that reason and that reason alone, it’s nothing more than a chaotic mess of foot traffic, car horns, crooks, and visitors wielding selfie-sticks. New Yorkers are doing everything in their power to avoid the busy Times Square, which should say enough about the area.

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Instead, for something a little less crowded and a lot more authentic, head further south for a bite to eat at Chelsea Market and admire the city’s skyline as you stroll along the High Line.

8 Empire State Building, New York

As the most visited city in the United States with more than 13 million delighted tourists flocking to the Big Apple year after year, it’s no surprise that it features some of the most overrated attractions, just by because of its stint in the spotlight. While it may be an icon of New York City and one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers, a trip to the Empire State Building Observatory is just not worth it. your time. The lines are usually long, the tickets aren’t cheap, and because you stick to them, you can’t see the city’s most famous landmark.

For views from above with shorter lines and an actual view of the Empire State Building, head to Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

7 Brooklyn Bridge, New York

We’ll preface this one by saying that a walk along this iconic bridge in the off-season is worth it. However, during popular tourist times of the year (summer, most of the time), it becomes the epitome of hell on Earth. Selfie-obsessed tourists line the bridge, ignoring the hundreds of local cyclists trying to cross from Brooklyn to Manhattan. This not only makes it overcrowded, but also incredibly dangerous at times.

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Additionally, in a similar vein to the Empire State Building vs. Top of the Rock debate, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge cannot be seen as you cross it. Your best bet is to stroll across the adjacent Manhattan Bridge – not only are the crowds smaller, but you’ll also be able to see the Brooklyn Bridge along the skyline from afar.

6 Disney theme parks

Yes, we have been there. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Disneyland in Anaheim, California, or Disney World in Orlando, Florida – Disney is overrated. As amazing as the parks are, they just can’t live up to the international hype of “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Maybe they would have come close, if it weren’t for the extraordinarily inflated ticket prices, the long lines of several hours and the screaming children running left, right and center. .

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For an alternative theme park, head to one of the many Six Flags sites across the states. The number of visitors is lower, the park is more geared towards adults, and the roller coasters are bigger, faster and more breathtaking.

5 The Four Corners Monument (NM, AZ, CO, UT)

Unless we can time travel, it’s extremely difficult to be in two places at once, let alone four. Well, that’s what the Four Corners monument tries to present itself as – the intersection of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. It’s a good idea in theory, but here’s the problem: Other than a lack of phone and internet service, it’s right in the middle of nowhere and the monument is said to be about 1,800 feet from the actual intersection. of these four states.

Visitors would do much better to avoid the monument altogether and visit Grand Canyon National Park a few hours drive west.

4 Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

South Dakota doesn’t have much to boast about, so it’s pretty darn proud of its Mount Rushmore monument. While its display of important American historical figures is synonymous with grandeur, to be fair, as a monument, it’s pretty darn boring. First, it’s at the intersection of nothing and nowhere, so you have to walk further than you would like. The size is also much smaller than most would expect, and the novelty is short lived.

If you’re in South Dakota (ask why you’re there and) head to Badlands National Park instead. It’s arguably the best thing in the state, with endless panoramic views and plenty of epic hiking trails.

3 The Liberty Bell, Philadelphia

From its sports to its food scene, Philadelphia has so much to offer tourists. So it’s bewildering that the majority of visitors to Pennsylvania flock to a cracked church bell in Philly Independence National Historic Park. It might be a symbol of freedom, but in the end, it’s still just a disappointing bell, faded and smaller than expected.

Instead, stroll among the vendors at Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s oldest farmer’s markets and a true example of foodie heaven. Here you can try the world-famous dish that is synonymous with the city: Gooey, Filling Philly Cheesesteak.

2 America Mall, Minneapolis

In Minneapolis, we will find the largest mall in the country. It might sound alluring at first, however, on second thought you’ll quickly realize that it’s nothing more than the same local mall, offering the same local department stores, often overpriced, just bigger. It tries to attract additional visitors with a Nickelodeon playground and aquarium, however, they are both below par when compared to their staunch rivals.

Avoid the Mall of America and head to the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis or one of the city’s other great museums or parks. Nowadays, doesn’t everyone shop online anyway?

1 The Statue of Liberty, New York

There is just something about American freedom (the bell, and now the statue) that draws hordes of tourists to make them leave disappointed. Although she may be an icon of New York City and appear on nine out of ten postcards, Lady Liberty is much smaller in real life than most people imagine. Plus, a visit to Liberty Island is expensive, and climbing the statue itself means you’ll pass through tour groups only to spot a mediocre glimpse out the window.

Instead of sailing to his island, take the Staten Island ferry from lower Manhattan. It’s free and will allow you to see the statue from a distance, but you’ll also get stunning views of the Freedom Tower and the lower Manhattan skyline.

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