Mary Anna Thomas

21 Vacation Destinations in America That Disappoint Visitors

The United States of America has many desirable tourist destinations, with Florida and New York being the most popular states. While everyone has a different idea of the perfect vacation spot, we take a look at 21 of the most overrated destinations that are often a disappointment for tourists.

San Francisco – California 

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Overall, 64,000 people lived in San Francisco between 2020 and 2022, most of them between the ages of 20 and 25. These stats indicate some of the city’s issues, in particular, homelessness, overcrowding, and cleanliness. While Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf are worthy of a visit, tourists are often disappointed by the issues experienced by residents and the high cost of living.

Disney World – Florida

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Some people may be surprised to see Disney on this list, as it is on the bucket list of millions of people around the world. Disney fans may not be able to say a bad word about the resort, but for many people, it is overcrowded and overpriced. Long lines and overpriced food can be disappointing, especially if you are unprepared on a hot day. 

Portland – Oregon

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Portland’s quirkiness appeals to many, but some tourists have been disappointed by the lack of activities. Cannon Beach is a good day out, and there are lots of foodie destinations, but life in the city is very expensive. Like San Francisco, Portland has problems with homelessness, graffiti, and overcrowding, which is not an appealing vacation for some. 

Nashville – Tennessee

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According to many tourists, overcrowding and high prices for food and drink are among the main problems in Nashville. While the music scene is amazing, people often complain of venues blasting music so loudly that it is hard to differentiate one performance from another. 

Mount Rushmore – South Dakota

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The iconic South Dakota landmark is visited by 2 million people a year, but not everyone is happy when they leave. The carving is undoubtedly amazing, but the attraction is overpriced and can often be very crowded. 

Mall of America – Minnesota 

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This massive mall in Minnesota is a popular detention for shopaholics looking to shop until they drop under one roof. While it can be fun for a short period, navigating can be overwhelming, and many stores can be found in other malls around the country.

Times Square – New York

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Times Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York, and it is certainly a treat for the senses. But standing in a crowded square surrounded by flashing lights can be overwhelming for some. People always try to sell you things, and there are no free restrooms. 

Hollywood Hall of Fame – Los Angeles, California

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In addition to being incredibly crowded, the Hollywood Walk of Fame might not live up to the glamorous image of Hollywood. The surrounding area can be dirty, and some stars are for celebrities you might not recognize.

Myrtle Beach – South Carolina

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Myrtle Beach is a budget-friendly vacation destination that focuses on making as much money as possible from tourists. The Beach caters to a large volume of tourists, with many high-rise hotels, chain restaurants, and souvenir shops that are generic to many other commercialized spots. 

Bourbon Street – New Orleans

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Bourbon Street in New Orleans can be fun and lively, but it’s not for everyone. Bourbon Street caters heavily to tourists, focusing on bars, strip clubs, and souvenir shops selling mass-produced items. 

The Statue of Liberty – New York 

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Getting to Liberty Island by ferry can involve long lines and wait times, especially during peak season. The views from Liberty Island are mostly of the surrounding harbor and the New Jersey skyline, so booking standard tickets for a ferry that goes around the attractions may be cheaper than getting onto the island itself. 

Roswell – New Mexico

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Roswell, New Mexico, trades heavily on its reputation as a UFO hotspot, but for some visitors, the reality might not live up to the hype. While Roswell has museums and events related to UFOs, the town doesn’t necessarily feel “alien” themed outside of specific attractions.

The White House

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Visitors to The White House are often underwhelmed as tours are very limited and difficult to book. You can only see the outside of the White House from a distance. Many other interesting and historic buildings in Washington D.C. are worth seeing that may make the trip worthwhile. 

The Alamo — San Antonio, Texas

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The Alamo primarily focuses on the famous 13-day battle in 1836. It doesn’t offer a broader perspective on Texas’s history or the reasons behind the fight for independence from Mexico.

Atlantic City Boardwalk – Atlantic City, New Jersey

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Atlantic City’s Boardwalk has a certain nostalgic charm but is run down compared to how it once was. The Boardwalk has an aging infrastructure and casinos that might not be as glamorous as their Las Vegas counterparts.

Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Hawaii

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While beautiful, Waikiki Beach can be incredibly crowded, especially during peak season. Finding a spot to relax on the sand can be challenging, and the overall vibe might feel too stressful if you want a relaxing vacation. 

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming

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Yellowstone National Park can be extremely crowded, especially during peak season. When you make it in, while the geysers are a major attraction, some visitors might find them repetitive after seeing a few. The wait times to see Old Faithful erupt can be long, and the experience might not live up to the hype for everyone.

Wall Street – New York 

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Most of the action on Wall Street happens within private buildings and on trading floors that are inaccessible to the public. Most people recommend a quick drive-by to say you have been there. 

The Space Needle – Seattle, Washington

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Admission to the Space Needle can be expensive, especially for families. You might be paying for a relatively short experience compared to other Seattle attractions.

Las Vegas Strip – Las Vegas, Nevada

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The Strip is heavily centered around casinos, gambling, and adult entertainment. If you’re not interested in gambling or the nightlife scene, you might find it overwhelming or lacking in appeal. It is also very pricey, with the cost of food and drinks higher than in many places in the U.S.

Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park – Orlando, Florida

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The tickets to this attraction are expensive, and, like Disney, there are long wait times for rides. The park can get very crowded, especially during peak season, and most people say there is not much to distinguish it from other water parks.

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