Mira Silverwood

26 Cities in the US That Will Make You Want to Go Home

The US is home to a plethora of vibrant, historic cities, providing visitors with a unique experience. But like in any country, there are plenty of urban centers worth avoiding at all costs, whether they’re run-down, dangerous, or just plain dull. Here are 26 American cities that shouldn’t appear on anyone’s travel itinerary. 

Los Angeles, California

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The “City of Angels” has been an iconic tourist destination for decades, with millions drawn to the promise of Hollywood glamour and year-round sun. But many tourists leave Los Angeles feeling disappointed by the city’s glaring issues. With soaring crime rates, blatant homelessness issues, and overwhelming pollution, there are frequently more cons than pros to visiting LA. 

Detroit, Michigan

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With crime and murder rates significantly above the national average, Detroit is considered America’s most dangerous city. While some neighborhoods are considered safe for tourists, many people are put off by high instances of petty crime. 

Memphis, Tennesse

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Known as the birthplace of “Rock N Roll”, Memphis draws large crowds of music lovers and Elvis Presley fans. Despite increased police presence in tourist hotspots, the city faces numerous vehicle break-ins, theft, and reports of violent crime. 

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Colorado’s second-largest city is within striking distance of natural wonders and ski resorts, but the town itself is reportedly underwhelming. Tourists bemoan the unfriendly locals, lack of things to do, and infuriating traffic situation. 

Baltimore, Maryland

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With its numerous run-down neighborhoods and reports of tourist uneasiness, Baltimore is experiencing major difficulties. Visitors are discouraged by its infamously high crime rates, as well as the distance between its nicer areas. 

St. Louis, Missouri

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St.Louis is rarely described as a booming tourist destination or staycation haven. While there are some noteworthy museums and free cultural activities, activities for visitors are thin on the ground. What’s more, the extreme summer heat and limited options for staying cool keep many from visiting during peak season. 

Birmingham, Alabama

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Its contribution to the American Civil Rights Movement draws visitors, but Birmingham is far from a safe place to visit. The city’s central area is considered dangerous, with most residents keeping to the northern, safer areas. 

Anchorage, Alaska

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A huge influx of new residents has turned the once sleepy Anchorage into Alaska’s largest city, and with this comes various issues. Its growing size means crime rates have increased, with many previously safe neighborhoods facing socio-economic problems. With various natural wonders nearby, it’s best to stay outside of the city.  

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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The “City of Brotherly Love” is a beloved east-coast destination, but is it safe for tourists? Frequently, answers are mixed. While densely populated areas are considered visitor-friendly, crime is never far away, with Philly experiencing a worrying spike in cases of violence

Indianapolis, Indiana

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With its center nicknamed “Naptown” due to its dull energy, Indianapolis is considered one of America’s most boring cities. For such a large metropolitan area, this city has surprisingly few attractions, restaurants, and bars. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Most people who visit Chayenne vow to never return, but probably not for the reasons you’d expect. Rather than being dangerous, many avoid this city due to the lack of stimulation for visitors. The lack of job opportunities and recreational activities makes Cheyenne an undesirable tourist location. 

Seattle, Washington

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Sadly, Seattle has gone downhill in recent years, with its decline attributed to increased crime and poverty. While it still boasts popular attractions, tourist areas are increasingly rundown and trash-filled. What’s more, prevalent wildfires have presented new safety challenges during the summer months. 

Mesa, Arizona

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Mesa offers very little in the way of excitement or cultural enrichment, despite its beautiful surroundings. The hot climate reduces the amount of time you can spend exploring outside. As such, there’s not much going on. 

New Orleans, Louisiana 

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Affectionately nicknamed “the Big Easy”, New Orleans is a melting pot of different cultures. But in recent years, an increase in crime has meant there are less safe areas than ever before. Visitors are advised to choose where they go wisely and to exercise caution after dark. 

Inglewood, California

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With crimes reported every 1 hour and 44 minutes on average, Inglewood is struggling to shift its dangerous reputation. With a higher rate of violence than the rest of LA, Inglewood is a city you’ll want to avoid. 

Jackson, Mississippi

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As the capital of Mississippi, Jackson is a sprawling city with plenty of soul. Despite its literary history and art scene, Jackson has undeniable issues, including increased homelessness, poor infrastructure, and population loss. As such, reasons to visit are dwindling each year.

Provo, Utah

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Despite its impressive historical architecture, Provo fails to attract the waves of tourists you’d expect. Its conservative religious population means nightlife is limited, restaurants close early, and visitors are soon bored out of their minds. 

Cleveland, Ohio

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Due to high unemployment and inflation, Cleveland is facing serious issues and a steep decrease in tourism as a result. While the city addresses these problems and makes headway, there’s a long road ahead.

Flint, Michigan 

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Only 65 miles from Detroit, Flint shares many of its neighbor’s problems. Crime rates and poverty continue to surge, with more gang-related violence recorded each year. For the time being, it’s best to avoid this statistically unsafe city. 

Portsmouth, Virginia

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Branded as “The Pill Mill Capital of The World”, Portsmouth has a significant drug problem and an uptick in violent crime rates. In the city’s southern neighborhoods, visitors have a 1 in 5 chance of becoming the victims of crime. While safer, the west side of Portsmouth has a run-down feel and many failing businesses. 

Jacksonville, Florida

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Its beaches may be packed during peak season, but Jacksonville rarely makes it as a bucket list destination. Poverty and homelessness remain high, bringing an air of hopelessness to many of the city’s neighborhoods. While there are a zoo, museum, and beaches, Jacksonville offers slim pickings in the way of activities. 

Omaha, Nebraska

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Nebraska’s largest city has never been known as a tourist destination or a place to spend the weekend. During the winter, icy winds sweep through the city, and when the weather improves, there’s simply not much to do in this quiet city. 

Oakland, California

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With numerous crime-prone areas and reports of theft, Oakland has various safety challenges. While exploring the city, visitors are encouraged to keep an eye on their belongings and not to attract unwanted attention. This hardly makes for a relaxing stay-cation. 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Known as a retirement city, Fort Wayne has relatively few activities to offer visitors and is described as incredibly boring by those who pass through. With limited restaurant options, music venues, and nothing in the way of sports venues, this city is far from hype-worthy. 

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Known for its vibrant nightlife and gambling culture, Sin City has become rather dilapidated in recent years, though prices continue to soar. Coupled with ridiculously high hotel prices are the worrying crime rates, homelessness issues, and prostitution. 

Pheonix, Arizona

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It might be rising from the ashes economically, but Phoenix is far from the number one tourist destination in the US. Unbearably hot and sunny, many people avoid visiting during the summer which coincidentally, is the only time they can get time off work. What’s more, crime rates in 2020 were the highest in 30 years, and this problem won’t go away overnight. 

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