Locals Reveal the Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in Each State from Locals Reveal the Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in Each State

Locals Reveal the Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in Each State

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Locals Reveal the Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in Each State

If you are like most people, you have very high expectations when you go on vacation. Chances are you have been saving money for months and have thoroughly planned the perfect itinerary. Yet, the trip you planned turned into a nightmare – it was not what you expected.

The following list is based on a survey conducted by RENTCafé. More than 2,500 Americans living in all 50 states were asked which landmarks they felt were overrated. 

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Alabama – Vulcan Statue

This is the largest cast iron statue in the world. It’s reflecting the state’s roots in the iron and steel industry. However, the 56-foot tall statue not very pretty to look at. You go, spend a minute or two, and then wonder why it’s so special.

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Alaska – Denali

The highest mountain peak on the continent, Denali, is a very popular attraction, which is perhaps why it didn’t get so much love from locals. However, if you’re still wondering if you should go, here is a list of reasons why you may want to.

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Arizona – Grand Canyon

This is among the Top 3 most visited national parks in the country for several years in a row. Its immense size, 18 miles from rim-to-rim at its widest point and one mile deep, leaves many visitors weak in the knees. The colossal canyon has beckoned people to its cutaway gorges for centuries. However, the huge crowds, especially in the summer, are not helping its “favorite” status.

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Arkansas – Hot Springs

Its nickname is “The American Spa.” The healing and soothing thermal waters have not been preserved in their originally natural state, but now are conserved for the production of water for public use. Unfortunately, when masses of people come into the picture, anything can get ruined.

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California – Disneyland

Where can you take the littles ones if Disney is not high on your travel bucket list? The answer can easily be “anywhere else” to parents who are not looking to spend a fortune on a few days of entertainment, juggle massive crowds of overexcited children high on sugar, or wait in line for hours for a ride that lasts a minute or two.

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Colorado – Ski resorts

Colorado’s ski resorts are recommended for everything – from novice skiers to experienced ones and for après-ski scene. Tons of people go there in the winter for many different reasons, driving prices up, annoying skiers who want some serenity, an causing too much traffic for locals.

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Connecticut – Maritime Aquarium

“Standard typical aquarium. Nothing super special. The area is near other marine type boat stores. Kids will really enjoy the place,” a review on TripAdvisor says. Another person wrote: “For the price, you get a pretty decent aquarium, but not a top 5 experience.”

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Delaware – Rehoboth Beach

The boardwalk is lined with diverse shops, restaurants, business and family amusements. Does that sound different than any other boardwalk in the country? The small town has a lot to offer, especially in the summer when its calm shores welcome thousands of tourists.

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Florida – Disney World

How do you do Disney without losing your mind? The short answer is “not possible.” This is perhaps why locals say Disney World is overrated. Smaller amusement parks, too, offer thrilling and scary roller coasters rides, fun with animated characters and water adventures.

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Georgia – World of Coca-Cola

Located in Georgia is the one and only Coca-Cola Recipe Vault. It’s full of safe boxes, and one of their most guarded secrets – Coca Cola’s secret recipe. You’re not going to see the recipe, so why bother going?

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Hawaii – Waikiki Beach

“Waikiki” is what everyone thinks of when they think of Hawaii. And that’s the problem. This legendary beach is too often marred by big crowds and garbage.

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Idaho – Sun Valley

Many come to Sun Valley seeking powder-packed slopes drenched in sunshine, and this is the issue for many locals. Crowds are just too much during the winter season. It’s not much quieter in the summer - the mountain town is home to art festivals and hundreds of miles ideal for biking.

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Illinois – The Bean

Officially, the Millennium Park installation is called Cloud Gate, a seamless piece designed by the Mumbai-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor and made up of 168 stainless steel plates. People love to use it as a site for a slightly-warped mirror selfie.

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Indiana – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

This may be on your American bucket list, but “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is not so loved by locals. If you are into fast cars, seeing it live is a must. Its marquee event has retained its status as the most powerful one day event for a sports fan.

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Iowa – Iowa State Fair

Its motto is “Nothing Compares” but many locals disagree. “I've lived in Iowa most my life...when little went to the Fair.....Grown up now won't...Rude people, that want to drink overpriced, warm beer and create violent situations that affect too many other people,” a person wrote on TripAdvisor.

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Kansas – World’s Largest Ball of Twine

This giant object has continued to grow in size with the help of the town’s residents and has become something of a communal effort. The city holds an annual “Twine-A-Thon” during which everyone is invited to wrap more twine around the ball. (Needless to say, it’s still expanding.)

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Kentucky – Churchill Downs

This legendary American race has held every spring at Churchill Downs in Louisville continuously since 1875. More than 155,000 people each year flock to the race track to place their bets as well as don extravagant hats and sip mint juleps.

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Louisiana – Bourbon Street

Don’t make the mistake of spending too much time on Bourbon Street. You may be overwhelmed by the sight of too many drunk people being silly. Stop in the Marigny and the Bywater districts, which are not far from the Quarter, for a more serene alternative to the jumble of drinking establishments.

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Maine – Old Orchard Beach

The seven-mile sandy beach has been a favorite of people from neighboring states for more than 170 years. Most of the recreational activities are centered on the iconic Old Orchard’s Pier, which extends nearly 500 feet out over the Atlantic Ocean.

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Maryland – Ocean City

This is a famous party destination – Spring Break, bachelor/ette parties, summer fun. All of these attract the “unruly” kind of tourists. No wonder locals are not big fans.

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Massachusetts – Plymouth Rock

This is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. But it’s just a rock that, unfortunately, has been vandalized over time. Also, only a small portion of the original boulder is left.

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Michigan – Mackinac Island

The place where no cars are allowed has gotten very popular and locals are not big fans anymore. It’s as if it’s lost its charm. Trekking this Victorian treasure on bike is not what it used to be, even though there is little development land.

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Minnesota – Mall of America

It’s just a giant mall, after all, even if it’s the largest in the country. Many agree that after one visit, they will never go back. Most locals avoid this mall due to sensory overload. They find it’s great for families to spend some time the winter months, but not for general shopping.

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Mississippi – Casinos

Mississippi legalized gaming in 1990. It’s an alternatve to Vegas if you can’t or don’t want to go that far, but there is nothing unique about them. They have become famous for the cruise vessel casinos on the Gulf of Mexico.

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Missouri – The Arch

Visitors can take an elevator up to a viewing platform at the top. The biggest complaints about the monument come from the long lines to get to the top. Some wait more than an hour and a half before the tour even starts. Once you finally get to the top, there’s not much room to see out because the windows are very small. Before you even have a chance to catch the view and focus outside the windows you are being told to exit.

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Montana – Yellowstone

Similar to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone is a very popular national park that attracts millions of tourists every year, mostly in the summer. The biggest attraction is by far the renowned geyser, Old Faithful. The eruptions, which occur about every 90 minutes, reach as high as 130 feet, clearing 180 feet.

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Nebraska – Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock is perhaps the most famous and recognizable landmark in the state. It’s situated about 4 miles south of Bayard. It is a natural geologic formation that rises 325 feet. The formation is composed of layers of volcanic ash and brule clay dating back millions of years.

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Nevada – The Strip

If all you want to do is look at lights, then this is the place for you. But after an hour or two it becomes overwhelming. Believe it or not, there are many free things to do in Vegas, and visiting its (adventurous) surrounding areas is actually a much better idea.

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New Hampshire – Old Man of the Mountain

You can see where the Old Man used to be; it collapsed in 2003. A short walk down a steep hill from the visitor parking lot will take you to there. It’s overrated because it’s not even there anymore.  

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New Jersey – Jersey Shore

This is a popular destination for family vacations. Many go to see the Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the largest kite festival in North America. The boardwalk is also popular – it has three amusement piers featuring over 100 rides and attractions.

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New Mexico – Roswell/White Sands (Tied)

Locals couldn’t decide between White Sands and Roswell. White Sands is a national monument in New Mexico. It is composed of white, wave-like dunes that make up 275 square miles of desert. Roswell, among the most mysterious places in the country, is where Area 51 is. A UFO is supposed to have crashed in Roswell in 1947.

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New York – Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World. Its torch was replaced in 1984 with a new copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf. The color of the statue has changed overtime – the infrastructure is iron but the exterior is copper, resulting in oxidation, which has caused the statue to turn green.

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North Carolina – Carowinds

This is just an amusement park that feature pretty much what most other theme parks have. Roller coasters, live entertainment, family-friendly rides, and, water adventures.

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Ohio – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

It was more about the stuff and not about the music is a common theme from disappointed visitors. You have to make sure you have at least 5-6 hours to spare to go through the many areas and see the displays that are a mixture of things to see and read.

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North Dakota – Medora

Its location within the Badlands of North Dakota makes it a popular beginning of a romantic trip, especially if you explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Learn more about the history by going to the “A Teddy Roosevelt Salute to Medora” tour where a Roosevelt re-enactor educates travelers on Roosevelt’s life in the state.

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Oklahoma – Bricktown

Bricktown has become Oklahoma City's premiere entertainment district. It’s perhaps the crowds that make it annoying. “Beautifully regenerated, but not much to do, there are some sport bars around the stadium, and pleasant riverside park,” a review on TripAdvisor says.

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Oregon – Multnomah Falls/Voodoo Doughnuts (Tied)

The 611-foot-tall attraction is just about half an hour away from Portland. You can see it from the Benson Bridge for a few of the top tier's full 542-foot height and over the second tier's 69-foot drop. On the other hand, the famous doughnut shop—Voodoo Doughnut – is just that – a doughnut shop.

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Pennsylvania – Hersheypark/Liberty Bell (Tied)

Some call Hersheypark the sweetest place on Earth – chocolate is everywhere. But, at the end of the day, it’s an amusement park like every other. As for the iconic symbol of American independence – it’s a bell with a crack.

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Rhode Island – Newport Cliff Walk

Try cliff walking for 3.5 miles along the eastern shore of Newport to see why locals think it’s overrated. This is a very popular public access walk – a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District – that combines the natural beauty of the coast with the architectural history of the city’s golden age.

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South Carolina – Myrtle Beach

Way too many people come here for experiences they can have in many other cities - fun at the beach, going to the zoo, visiting an aquarium, cooling off in a waterpark.

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South Dakota – Mount Rushmore

Millions of tourists go every year to see the figures of former U.S. presidents, who laid a foundation for the country, carved in stone on Mount Rushmore, but what people see is much smaller than what they see in photos. Also, some people may not know that the monument is actually hated by Native Americans because it was built on sacred land the government took from them.

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Tennessee – Graceland

Why go to the 13.8-acre estate in Memphis that was owned by Elvis Presley when you can go have fun in one of the three cities that have contributed so much to American music? The estate is now an all-new 200,000 square foot entertainment complex featuring new museums, restaurants, gift shops and more.

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Texas – The Alamo

It’s more of a shell than a destination. By most accounts visitor expectations are too high, and the Alamo is seriously unimpressive. Most will not “Remember the Alamo!”

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Utah – Temple Square

The 10-acre complex is without a doubt the premier tourist destination in Salt Lake City. There are many visitor booths around the square. The Mormon mission students provide free tours throughout the day.

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Vermont – Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate are basic ice cream flavors that will never die, but this is not the case with some more exotic flavors. Those who are discontinued for whatever reason have a final resting place in Waterbury. The graveyard is on a hill overlooking the factory.

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Virginia – Virginia Beach

This resort city is home to miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels. It may be hard to find something that is unique about it. A water park, rides, slides, aquarium...The beach is a popular Memorial Day weekend destination, especially for families, because the number of activities is astounding.

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Washington – Space Needle

Depending on how long you wait in line to get in the elevator, your sunny view could be obscured by mist and fog once you reach the top. And it’s a little pricey for families. Valet parking and dinner at the top can add up, too. Also you can only validate your parking ticket if you have dinner.

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West Virginia – New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge, which is 876 feet tall, has been the most popular and insane BASE jumping spot in the country every year in October since 1980. You’re allowed to leap off the bridge only one day of the entire year.

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Wisconsin – Wisconsin Dells

It’s like “the Vegas of water parks.” Every hotel has its own water parks with all kinds of adventures, but, in the end, it’s just a giant, concentrated area of water parks.

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Wyoming – Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, is the most overrated place in Wyoming as well as in Montana, because the nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot is mostly in Wyoming, but the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho as well.

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District of Columbia – White House

It’s the most famous building in the world. The places you really want to see are off limits.

Locals Reveal the Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in Each State