- The US is full of incredible attractions, but some aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
- The Empire State Building is an architectural marvel with amazing views, but the inside is nothing to write home about, and you’ll spend a lot of time there thanks to massive lines.
- Las Vegas’ famous Strip by day is barely more than a strip mall.
Keep scrolling to see what 24 major attractions in the USactually look like in real life.
San Francisco’s beautiful Lombard Street calls itself “the crookedest street in the world.”
Lombard Street is home to what could be San Francisco’s most expensive home.
Its eight famously steep hairpin turns are fun if you enjoy bumper-to-bumper traffic and spending twice the time advancing down a single block than normal.
It’s estimated that around 6,000 people visit the street daily in the summer.
The lights, the gambling, the colourful characters. The Strip is a big part of what makes Vegas “Sin City.”
It comes as no surprise that Las Vegas was voted the most fun city in the US.
But by day, it’s more strip mall than the Strip.
This road could be literally anywhere.
Looking to get a cute pic of Vegas’ iconic welcome sign?
Vegas saw over 42 million visitors in 2018.
You’ll have to wait in line for your turn.
Keep in mind it’s probably super hot and there’s no shade for you to wait in.
The Empire State Building is a must-see when in New York City. It’s an architectural marvel, a romantic-date spot, and an epic site for selfies.
The 102-story Empire State Building was completed in 1931 and is still one of the tallest skyscrapers in the country (the fifth tallest actually). Including its antenna, it’s 1,454 feet tall.
The inside, however, looks like a crowded convention center or something.
Not only will you have to wait in an endless, crowded line, but it will cost you at least $US57 to get to the top. And the best part? All of your photos will be missing a vital New York City landmark: the Empire State Building!
Click here to see the 15 other tourist traps in New York City, and where to go instead.
Plymouth Rock marks the location where the Mayflower Pilgrims disembarked before founding Plymouth Colony in 1620.
There’s actually no proof that the Pilgrims used this particular rock as a steppingstone. In fact, they first exited at Cape Cod.
It’s a rock.
It’s also cracked from an ill-dated attempt at moving it to Plymouth’s Town Square.
Disney World, the most magical place on earth.
Click here for 22 secrets every Disney lover should know.
If you don’t suffer from claustrophobia, that is.
There are more than a few disappointing photos that show what Disney parks look like in real life.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most visited attractions in the world.
Its distinct orange hue is custom made.
But a lot of the time, you won’t see much of it.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, San Francisco is the third-foggiest place in the US. The fog even has a name – Karl.
Niagara Falls is magical.
But getting up close to the Falls is more of a poncho-clad nightmare.
It attracts 14 million visitors annually – though sometimes it may feel like all 14 million people are there at the same time as you, jostling for the perfect Instagram.
Visiting Mount Rushmore is like taking a page out of your history book.
Until you realise the picture in your history book was basically to scale.
The profiles of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt may be 60 feet, but that’s actually not that huge.
Mount Rushmore is also falling apart and in need of constant maintenance.
Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market in Boston is a historic site and filled with delicious restaurants.
Sure, it’s been open since 1742, but these days it’s a glorified food court teeming with tourists that sells mediocre food and tacky souvenirs.
Do like a local and avoid it.
While a gondola ride may sound romantic…
You may change your mind once you see the gamblers and shoppers strolling by as you float through what is essentially a shopping mall in dirty pool water.
Even worse, a private gondola for two will set you back $US144.
Not much comes closer to paradise than the white sand and blue waters of Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach.
This year, flights to Hawaii are cheaper than ever.
Good luck finding your patch of paradise in this sweaty, sticky hell.
See more overrated attractions in Hawaii, and where to go instead.
Yellowstone Park is the perfect place for the quiet contemplation of nature’s beauty.
People flock to Yellowstone National Park for a variety of incredible natural sites, but most come to see Old Faithful, a geyser that’s the oldest tourist attraction in Wyoming, and sometimes erupts snow.
If you can find some quiet.
The lights of New York City’s Times Square are world famous.
If you have to eat around Times Square, these are the only restaurants worth trying.
But there’s a reason locals avoid the area at all costs.
Locals avoid this spot at all costs, and so should you. Not only is it overcrowded, it’s also full of expensive souvenirs and tacky chain restaurants that you can find anywhere else in the country.
Salvation Mountain in California beckons with its bright colours and psychedelic artwork.
People from all over the country flock to the Colorado Desert in Southern California to explore this colourful religious shrine and work of art.
In reality, its just a little painted hill in the desert.
The Liberty Bell embodies American independence.
Formerly in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, today it’s housed inside the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
But really, it’s just a very small, very cracked bell made of copper and tin.
Small children tower over this bell.
Who doesn’t want to take a detour off of the Atlantic City Expressway to climb inside a six-story elephant?
Though in the middle of a parking lot isn’t the most scenic of stops.
At least you don’t have to get out of your car for an up-close look.
Hawaii’s steam vents give the landscape an otherworldly look.
Steam is released when groundwater trickles down to hot volcanic rocks.
But up close, they’re glorified holes in the ground.
It’s basically a manhole.
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
But you’re far from the only one trying to catch a glimpse.
There were 6.25 million visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park in 2017 alone.
There’s always something to see or do on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
It is one of the world’s most famous streets, after all.
But it can get messy. Really messy.
Do yourself a favour and check out the many other things New Orleans has to offer.
Hoping to ride Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster in the world?
A 456 feet, Kingda Ka is the tallest roller coaster in the world.
Don’t count on it — Kingda Ka is frequently closed.
Being that tall comes with a lot of problems. Once it was struck by lightning and closed for months. In fact, Kingda Ka is closed so often there’s both a Quora thread and a TripAdvisor thread discussing the frequent “technical difficulties.”
The Hollywood Walk of Fame has become one of the biggest hotspots for tourists visiting California.
Sadly, the stars that celebrities are so proud of are on a dirty, crowded footpath, in a seedy neighbourhood filled with tacky street performers and bootleg costumed characters.
It’s a tourist trap.
Who wouldn’t want to visit the well-manicured sandy oasis of Clearwater Beach, Florida?
Which is exactly why Clearwater won’t actually look so manicured when you visit.
The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine conjures up images of a grand, gushing spring.
Find the Fountain of Youth in Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. The attraction is named for the eponymous Spanish conquistador who colonised Florida in the 16th century while searching for the fountain.
The reality is more of a dried-up well.
- Read more:
- The worst tourist trap in every state
- The one ‘tourist trap’ that’s actually worth visiting in every state
- 20 tourist traps in Europe to avoid – and where to go instead
- 17 bucket list destinations that are overrated – sorry
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