The cool thing about traveling within the United States is that all of the regions and states are so different. The experience of someone vacationing in California is totally different from someone who decides to go to Chicago for a weekend. There are several states that are popular tourist destinations and people can easily do an internet search to determine what towns within that state are worth visiting. Most of the towns that are recommended on travel sites are worth visiting but there are some that are highly overrated. These towns have reputations as good tourist stops, but in reality, they are boring and more trouble than they are worth. This article should help you to plan your vacation, as it counts down the 20 Most Overrated Towns In Popular US States. I have tried to limit this list to the states that are most popular among tourists while at the same time giving some geographical diversity to these 20 entries. I have also tried to highlight towns that are either nationally famous or ones that people in those specific regions would have heard of. If you can think of any towns in popular states that are vastly overrated but maybe escaped the notice of this article, feel free to mention them in the comments.
20 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a popular vacation destination for millions of tourists every year. This beachside town, however, does not live up to its hype. The main problem with Fort Lauderdale is that it is entirely reliant on the spring break and summer vacation schedule. During these times of the year, it gets so crowded that you can barely get into the top attractions. But when there are not thousands of college students partying throughout the town, most businesses close down and there is almost nothing left for the remaining visitors. There is no middle ground in Fort Lauderdale, so unless either of these extremes appeals to you, try to avoid this destination.
19 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a weird state. The four most prominent cities in the state are located on each of the four corners of its boundaries and its interior is mostly sparsely-populated woodlands. There is one city in the interior worth mentioning, Harrisburg. Harrisburg would probably escape mention except for the fact that it is the state capital. Therefore, a significant number of people come to Harrisburg every year to visit the state assembly building and to learn about Pennsylvania's history. The problem is that most of the state's history occupied in major cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and most of the history tours available at Harrisburg are procedural and dull.
18 Salem, MA
If you decide to visit Salem in October, then it is anything but overrated. This small town in Massachusetts considers itself the Halloween capital of the world, and after visiting here during the Halloween season of 2017, I cannot say that I disagree. The problem is that outside of October, the pickings in Salem are slim. Some of the witch stuff go year-round (I highly recommend the Salem Witch Museum), but you can only hear the same story so many times before it becomes boring. There needs to be a secondary attraction in the area for Salem to overcome its overrated label.
17 Nantucket, MA
Before moving to Massachusetts, the only thing that I knew about Nantucket was that it was the subject of a dirty nursery rhyme that my grandparents used to sing. Upon moving to the coast of New England, however, I realized that it is a prominent destination for people in the area and is a very well-known attraction for a lot of the country north of New York City. But like many coastal destinations, there is not a lot to do in Nantucket after Labor Day. Many of the businesses and attractions are seasonal, meaning that they close down after the summer ends.
16 Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown Maryland is consistently rated as one of the most historically important destinations in Maryland. Aside from federally important destinations like Annapolis, this small town along the northern border attracts a significant number of tourists every year. That reputation may be well-deserved but Hagerstown, as a tourist destination, is very overrated. Aside from the historical sites (which do not take up much of your time), there is not much to do within the city limits. Crime is also a major problem in Hagerstown, so visitors will always have to make sure that their car is locked and all the other little annoying things that come with visiting a city with a high crime rate.
15 New York City, New York
It may be weird for some of our readers to see the most popular city on the planet on this list. But it is because New York is so vastly popular that I can categorize it as overrated. I have been to New York several times and I can attest that it has something for everyone. No matter what things you are into, New York has at least one location available that caters to your needs. The problem with New York is that there is so much going on that it is very hard to truly enjoy yourself. Whether it is the subway or the crowded sidewalks or the simple fact that you get pushed into sensory overload, New York is incredibly tiring on your mind and body. Everyone should go there once in their lives, but I am not sure if you need to visit NY any more than that.
14 Bar Harbor
If you read books that take place in Maine in the 1970's and 80's (I am mostly referring to Stephen King novels), you will see constant references to Bar Harbor. This small town along the coast is constantly ranked as one of the coolest places in the United States to visit. The people that enjoy Bar Harbor cite how different it is from the isolated wilderness that makes up most of Maine's interior. These people always ignore that Bar Harbor is also a huge tourist trap. If you visit there during the busy season, expect to pay for everything from parking to renting a beach chair.
13 Tulsa, Oklahoma
I once had to go to a conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I don't think that there is any reason for me to ever go back there. The conference itself was pretty fun, but there is simply nothing going on in that city. We frequented a couple of casinos that weekend but even these were very dark and dingy. This is sad because Tulsa is one of the only well-known cities in the state of Oklahoma. Many tourists stop there on their way to Texas but I can't imagine that they are very happy with what they find. As such, Tulsa makes are list of most overrated towns.
12 Ocean City, Maryland
There are other entries on this list we talk about the problem with beach towns that are absurdly busy during the summer but give off a ghost town-type presence during the off-season. Ocean City, Maryland is plagued by these issues, but it also has a unique problem that makes it especially worthy of a spot on this list. Even when Ocean City is fully functioning and all of its shops are open, it still is not that great. It is technically a beach but compared to the coastlines in the south or along the western coast, it leaves a lot to be desired.
11 Richmond, Virginia
The cities in the southeastern part of the United States are not like those that are found in the west and northeast. Cities like Boston and San Diego purposefully support attractions as a way to attract tourists to their state. This does not happen in the south. Tourists coming to places like South Carolina and Virginia are coming to the beach towns on the coast, not the metropolitan centers in the states interior. Therefore, while people may be attracted to Richmond as the major city in Virginia, it is not actually anything worth visiting, at least in my humble opinion.
10 Jefferson, Texas
If you do not live in Texas, you have probably never heard of the little town of Jefferson. Those who regularly travel to the Lone Star state, however, will recognize it as the town that is consistently rated as one of the most beautiful small towns in the entire country. Jefferson is very aesthetically pleasing but that is not all that there is to a tourist destination. The fact is that there is almost nothing to do in Jefferson, the beautiful views, and well-maintained infrastructure is great for the residents of Jefferson, but those the things do not make me want to travel there.
9 Los Angeles, California
Most of the previous entries have found themselves on this list because they do not have enough attractions to make a visit to their town worthwhile. Los Angeles does not fall into this category. There are several movie studios in the city that offer tours, and the Hollywood sign and famous restaurants have their own unique appeal. The problem with Los Angeles is that it is so awful being there that you cannot enjoy these dazzling attractions. Traffic is horrible, the people are mean, and the entire city is filthy. LA only has one tourist rival in the United States, but that does not mean that it is not highly overrated.
8 Jamestown, Rhode Island
Rhode Island might be the weirdest state in all of America. Not only is it extremely tiny, but it also has a lineage and history that noticeably sets it apart from the rest of the country. Despite these differences, there are some places in Rhode Island worth visiting. The capital of Providence is one of these; the nearby town of Jamestown is not. Because it is so historically famous, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. I am sure that they are disappointed by this desolate and underdeveloped little town. Historical sites need restaurants and other attractions around it to make it a viable tourist destination.
7 Grand Rapids, Michigan
I think the reason why I look on Grand Rapids with so much disdain is because there are so many other cooler cities worth visiting in Michigan. Ann Arbor on the coast and even Detroit are so interesting and have so many things going on that I cannot fathom why someone would decide to go to Grand Rapids over them. But people do, as every year, thousands of tourists come to Grand Rapids during the summer and winter months. Google ranks the Gerald R. Ford Museum as one of the top 3 attractions in Grand Rapids. That should give you a clue as to how "bustling" this town in Michigan is.
6 Springfield, Illinois
The problem with our next entry is that people believe there are two cities worth visiting in Illinois, when in reality, there is only one. Chicago is the only world city in the United States that is not along the coast, and it is a must-visit for anyone trying to travel to the country's premier destinations. The same cannot be said for Springfield. Springfield is the capital of Illinois. Partly because of this, people think that it is worth visiting, either as part of their trip to Chicago or merely to visit Springfield on its own. Springfield is not a bad city, but there is nothing there that is worth making a special trip for.
5 North Bend, Washington
There was a time when the state of Washington was only visited by nature lovers interested in the giant redwoods forest. In recent years, however, Seattle has become a major tourist destination, and several other nearby cities have received a kickback from the city that brought us Starbucks. One of these cities in North Bend. North Bend offers the aptly-named Rattlesnake Lake, as well as several accompanying trails and camping spots. Under normal circumstances, North Bend would be the type of place that I would very much like to visit. The problem is that North Bend has become so popular that it has become more expensive and prone to overcrowding.
4 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee might be the most famous city in Wisconsin but that does not mean that it is the most tourist-friendly. Thousands of tourists go to Milwaukee every year, and many of them leave the city vastly disappointed. The city has a few staple industries that do a good job of bringing in visitors. The sports teams are always popular and Milwaukee is known nationwide for being the home to several distilleries. The problem with Milwaukee is that it does not have the infrastructure to support the people coming to visit these places. There are very few hotels in the places that people would want to stay, and the public transportation is poorly set up.
3 Memphis, Tennessee
Our readers may be familiar with Memphis Tennessee as the origin and home place of blues in America. It is sometimes hard to determine what people and groups are classified as blue musicians but performers as famous as Elvis Presley are credited with being blues artists. Therefore, Memphis holds a place similar to the one held by nearby Nashville. Memphis' tourist industry caters to tourist who are fans of blues music. The problem with this is that blues is not nearly as popular as it once was. Aside from the Elvis attractions, there is nothing in Memphis that would attract people who are not rabid fans of the blues.
2 Pensacola, Florida
When I was growing up, my family did not get to take many vacations. There were a lot of us, kids, and the cost and hassle of driving to a faraway destination were too big of an obstacle for my parents. When I was in high school, however, and all my brothers and sisters had moved out, my parents announced that we were going to Florida for a week. The town that we stayed in was Pensacola. Pensacola is nice, but there are so many better places to stay and visit in Florida that I cannot wrap my head around why this place is so popular.
1 Laguna Beach, California
If you make a salary that is in six digits, then Laguna Beach is a very fun town to visit. But if you are not solidly in the upper-middle class, then you will be disappointed by what this beach town has to offer. For decades, Laguna Beach offered your typical Southern California experience—lots of sun, lots of sand, lots of surf. As more and more rich people began buying up beach houses in the area, however, the local shops and restaurants began catering to a different kind of clientele. As such, Laguna Beach has become too expensive for a regular person to have fun in.