One word, and so many polarising reactions. From the politics to the sport it’s a country that has been divided for quite some time now, but in truth, it’s been that way for quite a long time now. Of course, that isn’t what we’re here to talk about, because in a general sense, you’ve seen dozens upon dozens of others talking about the same subject.
The States is full of many wonderful traits and locations, and that’s been the case ever since it was founded. Alas, while we can appreciate that some of the ‘destinations’ that are most popular are considered to be very special, they don’t all live up to that reputation. There are a variety of reasons for that and personal taste can play a big part in the process, but there are certain factors that take priority above others.
You may have visited some of these locations and had a completely different experience to the one we’re going to describe, but such is the nature of travelling. Not everything is going to be to your taste and not everything is going to be what you’re looking for, but the important thing is that you give everything a chance.
Either way visiting the States is something that we’d encourage quite literally everyone to do at one point or another in your life, because the culture is just entirely different over there. In fact, that’s probably why there’s such a variety in the good and the bad.
God bless America, right?
20 EYESORES: Four Corners - Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico
When you really think about it, it’s pretty cool that there’s a point in the USA where four different states come together - and we don’t mean that sarcastically. We honestly think that it’s something completely alternative, and sometimes, being that way can work to your advantage.
Unfortunately, the actual monument itself just isn’t up to scratch. It feels like they could do so much more with it, as opposed to what the end product actually represents. Honestly, we’ve seen more interesting marketing techniques in our local Domino’s, and that isn’t an exaggeration, although we do recommend all four of the above states as travel destinations.
19 PERFECT: Honopu Beach - Hawaii
Sometimes all you need is a nice beach in a beautiful location to escape your troubles, and that’s exactly what Honopu Beach provides you with. The untouched and natural setting makes for one hell of a visual, and it just has the feel of somewhere that nobody would be able to find you.
Hawaii as a whole offers up some pretty remarkable destinations and beaches, which is hardly going to come as a baffling revelation. Still, it feels like there are some not so hidden gems in the area that people aren’t taking advantage of, and we believe that Honopu Beach is somewhere that falls into that category.
18 EYESORES: Mount Rushmore - South Dakota
With a lot of different destinations throughout the United States, you can’t fully grasp or appreciate what’s going on unless it’s there, right in front of you. When it comes to Mount Rushmore, though, it feels like the journey there isn’t enough to warrant seeing something that - in many ways - represents some murky waters in terms of discussion amongst USA folk.
It’s all well and good being proud of where the country has been and come from over the last few hundred years, but given the position they’re in now, it feels like Rushmore is a representation of ‘false hope’ in more ways than one. Plus, the trip to get there takes you into the middle of nowhere, and the monument itself just isn’t as impressive as it’s made out to be.
17 PERFECT: Angel’s Landing - Utah
If you’re a little bit daring, or even if you just enjoy pretty cool-looking rock formations, then there’s a chance that Angel’s Landing will be right up your street. While it may not have the wow factor of many other entries on this list it certainly serves as a challenge, with it being rated as one of the more difficult hikes across the United States of America.
Utah as a whole is a pretty underrated state, and you can experience a lot of fun things there. Angel’s Landing represents that because sometimes, even if life is going perfectly, it’s important to get away and be with nature every so often. If nothing else, it’ll do wonders for your health.
16 EYESORES: Bourbon Street - New Orleans
The slogan associated with New Orleans, by many, is ‘let the good times roll’. We can appreciate the sentiment behind that idea, and most people who go there do indeed have a great time, but upon visiting Bourbon Street you’ll soon realise that it isn’t as glamorous as the promotional material may make it seem.
It kind of feels like a slightly nicer version of the strips you get in places like Ayia Napa and Magaluf, and if you don’t understand what that means then trust us, it isn’t a compliment. NOLA is great if you’re looking to have a good time and party, but if it didn’t have that reputation, then it’d go downhill pretty quickly in our estimation.
15 PERFECT: Northern Lights - Alaska
When you hear about the Northern Lights, most of the talk focuses on Norway and Iceland up in Scandinavia. The reason for that is how much emphasis they put on being able to see them when in reality, you can actually experience the phenomenon around the world - including in Alaska.
It may not be as well publicised but there are a handful of locations in the forgotten state where you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in all of their glory. Sure, heading to Norway might be easier for Europeans, but if you want to see it from an entirely different perspective, then this might be the trip for you.
14 EYESORES: Las Vegas Strip - Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas, am I right?
No. No I am not. Las Vegas is somewhere that a lot of people view as either the party capital of the world or the fight capital of the world, and in our opinion, it’s neither. If you spend longer than 24 hours in Vegas then we feel as if that’s overkill, and a big part of that is the strip.
When you’re looking at it from a distance it seems like a pretty cool thing, but once you get down there and have a chance to properly inspect it, you’ll soon realise that it’s just a little bit ‘off’ and run down in more ways than one. Vegas can be pretty special if you’re there with the right people, but not from a visual standpoint.
13 PERFECT: Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco
There are some negative connotations attached to the Golden Gate Bridge, and that’s a shame, because we happen to think it’s a pretty fine piece of architecture. It’s one of the most iconic landmarks across the States, and unlike many of the others, it’s well worth a visit.
The thing we like the most about it is that it just fits into the city so perfectly, as if it’s always been a part of its identity. You don’t often get that with places this memorable, and we’re big fans of it. Honestly, just try taking a trip across the Bridge and looking out into San Fran - it’s a great thing to experience.
12 EYESORES: Cleveland - Ohio
Cleveland is a beloved city by people who originate from Ohio, but outside of that, it’s pretty much a laughing stock. While we could just choose to focus on their failures in sport (which could probably take up five entire entries), we want to look at the city as a whole.
Aesthetically speaking, it just comes across as a pretty sad place and we don’t say that lightly. The skyline is poor, the people can often be pretty moody, and the weather is hardly consistent. Ohio is a great state and Cleveland has potential, but right now, it isn’t living up to that in any way, shape or form.
11 PERFECT: One World Trade Center - New York City
We’re all far too familiar what occurred at this site in 2001, and it’s something that will never leave our hearts. The events of that day not only changed the lives of those involved, but they also changed the face of America on a permanent basis.
Now, in a showing of just how great NYC is, One World Trade Center stands tall where those two towers fell on that infamous day. It’s a breathtaking structure and they’ve done brilliantly well to construct it, and it sits perfectly alongside the Ground Zero memorial.
10 EYESORES: Mall of America - Minnesota
A lot of people think that the Mall of America is pretty cheesy, but in truth, that isn’t our issue with it. We just aren’t big fans of the design as a whole, and we believe that if they altered some things and made it feel a little bit more accessible to unlikely target audiences, it could be a lot more successful.
It probably doesn’t help that it’s located all the way in Minnesota, which is a state that isn’t exactly known for attracting big tourist numbers. It’s great for the kids who spend weeks and months dreaming about their vacation there, but the same thing can’t be said for the parents.
9 PERFECT: Glacier National Park - Montana
Montana is full of beautiful sights as far as the eye can see, and that’ll never not be the case. The best thing that we can say for it is that it’s different, and in a country like the USA, it’s always important to stand out in one way or another. Seriously, just go take a look at some of their biggest attractions.
Somewhere that really does need to be visited by all, though, is Glacier National Park. It’s a holiday that isn’t going to be for everyone on the face of it, but upon further examination, you’ll soon see that this is a hub for all possible ‘epiphany’ type moments that you could ever dream of having. I mean come on, just look at it.
8 EYESORES: Hollywood Walk Of Fame - Los Angeles
We aren’t exactly pretentious people and we wouldn’t call ourselves high maintenance, but we understand that there’s going to be a risk associated with our comments in this entry.
Long story short: the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a great idea when it comes to remembering some of the biggest names to ever grace the big screen in one way or another, but it’s just such an inconvenience. The floor is always sticky when you walk past the stars, it’s overly crowded, and the weather often makes it almost impossible to enjoy yourself while you’re there.
It kind of sums up everything we don’t like about LA as a whole, although as we said, the sentiment itself is great.
7 PERFECT: Charleston - South Carolina
It’s been called one of the most beautiful cities in the United States of America, and we’d extend that to the world. Honestly, if America wants to bring in bigger numbers from a tourism point of view, then all they need to do is show people pictures of Charleston because it’s absolutely stunning there.
South Carolina isn’t a conventional state to go and live in by any means, and that’s especially the case if you aren’t a from the USA, but we want to try and help change that. There are so many great things about it, to the point where we’d urge you to spend even just a few days sizing it up.
6 EYESORES: Beale Street - Memphis
Memphis is a pretty cool city by all accounts, and it’s probably quite underrated when you consider how much they’ve given the world from a culture standpoint. Alas, while it may have those benefits, Beale Street serves as a pretty poor representation of that.
It’s often called one of the most important streets in the United States and while that may be true historically, that doesn’t mean we enjoy going there. It just feels really tacky and if you aren’t into the party life, then it’s probably going to be quite low down on your list of places to visit if you ever roll through Tennessee.
5 PERFECT: Lake Tahoe - California
If you ever take a trip to Lake Tahoe, would there be any need for you to leave? We’re going to go ahead and assume that everyone has answered no, because otherwise, we just don’t understand your logic. The freshwater lake is perfect if you want to spend some time with the kids away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which probably means that it’d be great for 90% of US families.
It serves as a reminder that Cali, alongside Nevada which it borders, has much more to offer than just the stereotypical cities that everyone knows about. With a few of these entries we can understand if it isn’t the kind of thing you’re into, but with Lake Tahoe, we’d be at a loss for words.
4 EYESORES: Philadelphia - Pennsylvania
Philly is a great city in terms of US history and learning about what made the United States great. For everything else, though, it isn’t a particularly pleasant place.
All you need to do is take a look at the riots that happened in the wake of their Super Bowl triumph earlier this year, and while we can understand the excitement in the air, the damage that was created helped to play up to all of the negative stereotypes associated with the city.
Plus, visually speaking, it’s just not a city that you’d look towards and think ‘wow’, which is obviously going to throw a lot of people off.
3 PERFECT: Grand Canyon - Arizona
It’s stereotypical, it’s out of your way and it’s even a little bit too warm at times, but the Grand Canyon’s magnificence speaks for itself. Sure, it can cost a little bit too much to get the full experience sometimes, but even if you go and take one look at it before leaving we’d say that you’ve had a solid time.
Nature is a scary thing sometimes, but it is admittedly awesome to realise that this thing is 18 miles long. When you’re stood over the edge looking into the distance, you’ll get a sensation that we can pretty much guarantee is unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.
2 EYESORES: Oakland - California
Oakland is a great city if you’re heading there to experience some great sport, but that’s where the joy begins and ends for us. Not only is there a hell of a lot of pollution, but the city itself is pretty poor, the skyline isn’t great, and from top to bottom it just feels like it needs a change of pace.
It doesn’t help in terms of giving California as a state a better reputation, and while it may be growing in numbers, it doesn’t really compare to San Fran in any categories. Maybe that’s one of the issues they need to rectify, but in general, we aren’t big fans.
1 PERFECT: Grand Prismatic Spring - Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is a scary place to many, and the reason for that is mainly because of how many media outlets continue to focus on what would happen there in the event of an apocalypse. Still, reputations are a funny thing, and most sane people will know that Yellowstone is actually pretty gorgeous.
A shining example of that is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is a really fun site to visit or at least marvel at if you head to Yellowstone. It’s just so mesmerising to the point where it’s hard to take your eyes off of it, and to us, that’s the sign of a great landmark.