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18 Tourist Attractions in the US You Won’t Feel Bad Skipping

  Are you planning a trip across the United States? While there are so many places to see and things to do, there are also plenty of things ...

 Are you planning a trip across the United States? While there are so many places to see and things to do, there are also plenty of things that aren’t worth your time or money. In this article, we’re sharing 18 of the most overrated tourist attractions that you should skip to avoid disappointment.

Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles

Photo Credit: nito/Shutterstock.

If this is on your bucket list of places to visit, cross it off right now. It’s really not all it’s made out to be—typically crowded with tourists and street vendors, and far less glamorous than you’d expect. Many visitors also find the area surprisingly dirty and not that safe, particularly at night.

Times Square, New York

Photo Credit: Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock.

New York is a fantastic city to visit, with many more interesting things to see and do than Times Square. It may be impressive at first glance, but it’s overcrowded with tourists and street performers, which can feel overwhelming. It can get really noisy, and most shops and restaurants nearby are overpriced. 

The Liberty Bell, Philadelphia

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As shared by the National Park Service, “The State House bell, now known as the Liberty Bell, rang in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House.” While the historical significance is interesting to some, you’ll likely find a visit underwhelming. The bell is smaller than expected and often overcrowded, meaning visitors are lucky to get a brief glance and a photo.

Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts

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We’re going to be real with you—this is basically just a rock in some sand. If you think it’s anything more, you’re going to end up disappointed. Since this is a popular spot for school trips, you might also end up being part of a crowded visit if you go, making it even less enjoyable. We vote you skip this one!

Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Photo Credit: Sean-Pavone/Shutterstock.

Famous for its nightlife, Bourbon Street does have a pretty cool vibe but can be excessively noisy and crowded. If you’re not heavily into the party-drinking atmosphere, you might find it over-the-top and rowdy. Not to mention, it can get pretty dirty. 

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Photo Credit: Pandora Pictures/Shutterstock.

This famous street is cool for a second but we don’t believe it’s worth the trip. The tight hairpin turns are unique, that’s for sure, but the area is often congested with cars. The experience of driving down it can be either quick and unremarkable or extremely slow and boring due to traffic.

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.

Travel Weekly says that “40.8 million people visited Las Vegas in 2023, a 5.2% increase over 2022.” The area, including the strip, gets extremely crowded and can feel superficial with its replicated global landmarks. In terms of dining, entertainment, and accommodation, it’s also going to cost you a pretty penny if you decide to visit. It’s definitely not for everyone!

Empire State Building, New York

Photo Credit: Felix Lipov/Shutterstock.

This may be a controversial take but we don’t think the Empire State Building is a must-visit in New York. It’s basically a long wait for a view that’s comparable to that of other tall buildings in the city. If it weren’t for the high entrance fees, we might consider it worth the trip—but considering this and the crowds, don’t feel bad about skipping it.

Santa Monica Pier, California

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Santa Monica Pier isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially in the summer when it gets extremely crowded. Ask previous visitors and you might just be told that the pier is run-down and the food options are mediocre. The pier’s attractions are also seen as overpriced and not very unique.

Four Corners Monument

Photo Credit: Dr. Alan Lipkin/Shutterstock.

This is the only spot in the U.S. where four states intersect, which in itself is pretty cool, but the actual site is underwhelming. It’s located in quite a remote area, making it a long trip for a quick visit. Aside from standing in the spot and snapping a pic, there isn’t much else to see or do here.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock.

“From 1934 to 1963 it served as a federal prison for some of the most dangerous civilian prisoners,” as per Britannica. This is largely where the fascination with visiting comes from, but while historic, the tours here can feel rushed due to the high volume of visitors and supposedly aren’t that enjoyable.

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

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This place is often described as a tourist trap, filled with pricey restaurants and shops. It’s now crowded and commercialized, has lost much of its local charm, and definitely isn’t a must-visit in the city. Better seafood can be found in less crowded areas nearby. Give it a miss!

The Bean (Cloud Gate), Chicago

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Aside from a cool photo, you’re not going to get much out of a visit to “The Bean” in Chicago, so don’t feel bad about skipping it. There’s no interactive value, it’s overcrowded, and you may not even be able to get a photo without other tourists in the background. 

Wall Drug Store, South Dakota

Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald/Shutterstock.

It may be known for its quirky advertising, but the attraction itself can largely be considered a tourist trap. Many of the items for sale in the store are tacky souvenirs rather than the special, unique finds most people are looking for. When you combine this with the fact that the store is quite remote, it’s not a very attractive visit.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Photo Credit: VidaHawaii/Shutterstock.

According to Go Hawaii, “Located on the south shore of Honolulu, the world-famous neighborhood of Waikīkī was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty.” Unfortunately, it’s often extremely crowded, which can detract from the area’s natural beauty. It’s very commercialized and surrounded by high-rise hotels and shops. There are far more beautiful sights to see on the island!

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Photo Credit: Sebastian Milatti/Shutterstock.

Mount Rushmore, for many people, is said to be smaller than expected, and viewing areas can be crowded. Besides viewing the sculpture, there’s not much to do here and it’s a considerable distance from other attractions. If you’re not in the area for long, we suggest skipping it. 

Graceland, Tennessee

Photo Credit: University of College/Shutterstock.

Unless you’re a huge fan of Elvis, the high entrance fees to visit Graceland may not be worth it to you. Unfortunately, the area around Graceland isn’t very well-maintained either, which detracts from the overall experience. It can also get pretty crowded. 

The Space Needle, Seattle

Photo Credit: Michael Warwick/Shutterstock.

Despite its iconic status, some visitors find the Space Needle to be overpriced for the views it offers. The observation deck can be extremely crowded, especially during peak tourist season, and it’s said that similar (or better) views of Seattle can be had from other less expensive locations, like Kerry Park.

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