We’re counting down our picks for the top ten worst tourist traps in the US. Are you a fan of our posts? Be sure to comment to travel and Ring the bell to be notified about our latest posts. For this list, we’re looking at American attractions that don’t exactly live up to the hype. We’re not saying that these sites aren’t without their historical or architectural merits compared to the other landmarks you could be visiting, though they don’t need to be on your bucket list.
Number 10 the Gateway Arch St. Louis, MO, Dubai
May have the world’s tallest building, but Missouri has the world’s tallest arch and cool monument. We guess even then, this stainless steel memorial is only 630 feet tall, which is kind of puny compared to the various skyscrapers that surpassed the 1000 foot threshold. While size isn’t everything, even the design is fairly underwhelming. It looks like a giant croquet hoop that’s been spray painted Chrome if you’re driving by or jogging through the gateway. Arches National Park. The monument is worth a quick gander from a distance. Don’t waste your time or money on a tram ride. However, the lines are usually long and once you arrive at the top you have to look through frustratingly tiny windows to get a halfway decent view.
9 Cloud gate, Chicago, IL
From one stainless steel structure to another, this sculpture is officially known as the Cloud Gate. Most people call it the bean, however, because let’s be honest, that’s what it looks like. An overgrown silver being plopped in Millennium Park. We suppose the design is unique, but the experience is ruined by the dozens of fellow tourists annoyingly taking selfies. So if you want a photo op all to yourself, you’re going to be out of luck because at least several strangers are going to pop up in the background since the surface reflects and distorts its surroundings. You can also count on getting dizzy after a while. The sculpture is essentially a glorified funhouse mirror, which is an amusing thing for about a minute. Until it gets old.
8 market theater gum wall Seattle, WA.
Hey kids, you want to see some chewed up gum under the cafeteria table. No alright, how about an entire brick wall covered in discarded gum? Still no. Then maybe stay away from this downtown Seattle tourist trap as well as California’s similar bubble Gum alley sometime in the early 90s. People started making the habit slash tradition of sticking coins to this wall with gum. Eventually the coins started to disappear but the gums. Stuck literally and figuratively. Although the wall was cleaned multiple times, even as recently as 2015, the gum always finds a way back. We don’t understand why because it’s a pretty gross spectacle since we’re all trying to be clear for obvious reasons. It might be time to start disposing of our gum properly.
Number 7 Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota
The heads of four iconic presidents carved into a mountain on paper. It sounds cool and from a craftsmanship POV. Mount Rushmore is impressive upon arriving, though you still can’t help but question what the fuss is all about. The monument is a hassle to drive to and once there the closest you can get is from the presidential trail. From this distance, those 60 foot heads seem rather diminutive. Dashing high expectations. Maybe it would be fun if we could all climb to the top, but anyone hoping to reenact North by Northwest is in store for disappointment. If anything, Mount Rushmore is sort of an eyesore when stacked up against the natural beauty. Surrounding Black Hills mountain range.
6 the Space Needle Seattle, WA.
Hello again Seattle. Three things might immediately come to mind. Fraser, Starbucks and the Space Needle. Although every other Seattle landmark lives in its shadow, the Space Needle isn’t even the city’s tallest structure. That distinction goes to the Columbia Center, which provides a vastly superior view of downtown Seattle. While the Space Needle’s flying saucer design is distinctive, it’s not really worth paying between 22 and $35. For general admission, it might just be us, but having a revolving glass floor and a cafe under one roof sounds like a recipe for nauja. On top of that, why have an observation tower in a city where the fog is abundant and it rains almost 150 days per year? Just saying.
5 Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, NY
Of all the sites New York has to offer, Niagara Falls shouldn’t be a top priority or even a mid tier priority. At most, it’s what you do. When you’ve seen everything else, don’t get us wrong. Niagara Falls is a marvel, but New York isn’t the ideal place to see it unless you pay for an excursion of the falls. New York doesn’t provide the best vantage points or panoramic viewing. In Canada. There are not only paid excursions for those who want an extra special experience, but even the free seats are mostly spectacular. You may assume that we’re being biased towards Canada, but rest assured that the Ontario side of the falls puts on a far better show.
Number 4 Four Corners monument southwestern United States
Four particular U.S. states are united in more ways than one. At one point in the southwest, the corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico all intersect. It’s a neat little coincidence, but is it worth seeking the Four Corners monument out? No, not really. Like have you ever stood in one state before? Well, yeah, of course standing in four different states at once isn’t much different. It’s not like the scenery. Is anything to write home about either you’re just surrounded by a dusty desert, which you’ll see plenty of no matter which direction you take next. Plus, you’re bound to run into some obnoxious tourist who keeps jumping back and forth between states.
3, Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, MA
Chances are, you read about Plymouth Rock while learning about the mayflower’s historic voyage. If there weren’t any illustrations, you probably envisioned the quote unquote Great Rock as a towering boulder or something in reality. Plymouth Rock isn’t much different from the other rocks you’ve likely seen on nature walks. The one difference is that 1620 is carved into it, coinciding with the pilgrims arrival to the New world. While it’s a significant historical site for certain, it’s still a rock and a pretty boring bland rock in a pit at that. We guess if you have a pet rock, this sort of thing might be up your alley, but we’re going to see what’s happening in Cape Cod. Instead.
2 the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA
Sometimes it’s the. Imperfections that make a landmark stand out, for example, the Liberty Bell probably wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it weren’t for its iconic crack. The various stories and theories connected to the crack have also generated plenty of interest. At the end of the day, though, the Liberty Bells history is more fascinating than the bell itself. It’s a dinghy 12 foot bell with a crack in it and can’t even be rung anymore. Does something like this demand to be seen in person? A lot of tourists seem to assume so, as the site is often packed. Liberty Bell isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. However, that pun simply couldn’t be avoided. Sorry, not sorry.
Number one, the Hollywood Walk of Fame Hollywood CA
Hollywood is the land of movie stars and with the exception of the area’s legendary mountain top sign, few sites are more iconic than the Walk of Fame. But is it worthy of such recognition? Well, let’s put it this way. The first time you see one of those stars on the sidewalks, you think to yourself, wow, I’m in a truly magical place. The further you walk, it dawns on you that almost every star is the same. Albeit with different names and emblems. Following the stars for 1.3 miles isn’t our idea of a fun time, especially if you run into St performers and other tourists hogging the sidewalk. Unless you happen upon a ceremony with a new celebrity getting their star added, it’s an easy skip.