I recently stumbled on an interesting article called The Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in the US by Explored Planet. Yes, I know with a title like that, it's totally clickbait. I don't care. As I read through the list, I found myself agreeing with a few and disagreeing with many more. There are places on the list I haven't visited, or haven't visited in so long that I can't fairly judge what they're like now. Read on for my thoughts on the places we have visited.
The Most Overrated Tourist Attractions in the US?
Seattle's Gum Wall. It is literally nothing than a lot of other people's used gum on a wall. It's awful.
Liberty Bell. Explored Planet says some feel it's "just a place where they can observe and take photos of an old piece of metal." I disagree. The Liberty Bell is interesting and significant on its own, but they've done such a good job with the building that houses it now that it's not just a photo op.
Waikiki Beach. Yes, it's crowded, but it's still beautiful. And since there are so many great hotels there, it's convenient. Make your way to other beaches in Hawaii, but experience Waikiki too. If you go at sunrise, or in the rain, you'll likely have the place to yourself!
Epcot Center. They claim it's the worst of the four parks at Disney World and I completely disagree. It's absolutely better than Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom (and those are both great). I like it better than Magic Kingdom, but maybe that's because we have Disneyland here. Either way, Epcot is definitely not overrated.
Mall of America. It's a huge mall with lots of stores, restaurants, and fun things to do. Overrated? Only if you fail to understand what a mall is.
NCAA Hall of Champions. We loved it. They say some added memorabilia wouldn't hurt, and I do agree with that.
World of Coca-Cola. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, despite it being WAY too crowded even if COVID weren't a thing. It was interesting, educational, and fun. I would happily visit again.
Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It's an area with high-end shopping and I'm not a shopper, so I feel like that part is overrated. But there is so much more to see and do.
Craters of the Moon. It is awesome! Go!
A Christmas Story House. This was the least interesting part of our very interesting Cleveland tour. It was underwhelming enough that I didn't even mention it in my blog post. It looks like just a house to me, but fans of A Christmas Story might find it worth their time.
Crater of Diamonds State Park. We didn't find diamonds and we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In fact, we really wanted to stay longer.
Obviously, one person's overrated is someone else's fabulous. Your interests, age, and preferences are going to determine whether you find something overrated or not. Other factors, like the weather or crowds or even companions when you visit a location, can also make a difference in how you feel about a place. I do enough research about our destinations ahead of time that I have a really good idea of what to expect, so it is very rare that something disappoints me.
With that said, there are times we intentionally go to places that are overrated, simply because you have to see it at least once. While we LOVED New Orleans, I found Bourbon Street to be highly overrated. But I expected that, since I don't like crowds or noise or nightlife. I visited once and now I don't need to return. We will be visiting Plymouth Rock during our New England trip. I already know that it is literally just a rock and totally overrated. But I don't care. We'll take 5 minutes out of our day to see it, then move on to the area's better attractions.
I have one more thing to point out, and that is that overrated is not necessarily bad. I've been to places that are really good that I might consider overrated simply because they are not the absolute best like others claim. And a really good tourist attraction definitely deserves a visit.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about overrated tourist attractions. Please leave a comment!