12 of the Most Overrated Cities to Visit in The U.S. According to Americans

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii

Have you ever traveled to a city that you’ve heard endless hype about but were completely underwhelmed when you finally visited? You are not alone! Let’s go over some of the most overrated cities in the United States, according to real travelers’ experiences, so you can make more informed choices with your vacation time.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas is a bucket-list destination for many after having seen the bright lights and spectacular glitz in countless movies and TV shows. But many think that the silver screen makes this city look a lot better than it is in reality. One visitor says, “It’s a hot, crowded place full of drunk tourists. I’m sure the suburbs are nice, but hanging out on the strip gets old fast.”

2. Los Angeles, California

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 1, 2016: Traffic on Hollywood Boulevard at dusk. The theater district is a famous tourist attraction.
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The glamour of Hollywood brings millions of tourists every year, but many of them arrive disappointed when they see how different the city is when compared to what’s shown on television. The city is large, sprawling, and filled with traffic. A user said, “Los Angeles sucks as a tourist. Great place to live though.”

3. Austin, Texas

ATX City Skyline Texas Flag patriotic National Pride Displays the Lone Star State with a Colorful Austin Texas Skyline Cityscape Capital Cities Background on a Nice Sunny Summer Blue Sky Day
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“I think that living here can be really fun, but as a tourist, you’re pretty much just drinking, and there isn’t even a lot of entertainment for folks who are drinking… I think a lot of people come for festivals, so they already have something to do by default, but if you’re not coming for a festival, it can be kind of boring,” said one resident. This capital city of Texas has many festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, but outside of these events, you may not find many unique things to do.

4. Asheville, North Carolina

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina at Grove Arcade
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This southern US city is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, but despite its beautiful scenery, many complain that it’s become too crowded. “I had so much fun here 10 years ago. It’s become literally the busiest place I think I’ve ever seen now. I’m not sure what everyone’s doing there anymore. LOL. I think it’s moved from underrated to overrated in 5 years,” says one visitor.

5. Denver, Colorado

drone view above gorgeous golden hour sunrise in Downtown Denver , Colorado the Mile High City gorgeous Rocky Mountain capital city view
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“Proximity to the mountains is the appeal of Denver. I enjoy living here but I can’t say it’s a place I’d recommend for tourists to visit unless you’re coming for an event or something. Fly in and drive to the mountains instead.” Although the surrounding areas of Denver have a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty, the city itself is lacking. One user even said, “Colorado is a beautiful state but Denver has no soul.”

6. Branson, Missouri

Skyline view of Branson, Missouri with the display showing at the landing waterfront park area. The fountain has fire reflection into the water with tourist watching as they shop.
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Branson is a popular tourist destination in the Ozarks known for being family-friendly and filled with activities and entertainment. Some visitors aren’t impressed by the kitschy tourist traps. “It’s like Vegas…if it were run by Ned Flanders.” Another user describes Branson as “Hot and muggy weather, congested, overpriced, gimmicky.”

7. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida. January 11, 2019 Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area .
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People come from all over the world to visit the famous theme parks in Orlando, including Walt Disney World and the Universal Resort. One visitor says that these attractions take away from the city’s character. “The parks are expensive and crowded. There’s nothing authentic about the city — it exists only for tourism.”

8. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas, USA downtown city park and skyline.
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As the largest city in Texas, you’d think that Houston would have an endless amount of activities and attractions, but some travelers were disappointed by their trip. “The Space Center is amazing, but there really isn’t much to do, and it takes ages to get anywhere since the city is so spread out and has really bad traffic. Houston barbeque is also pretty overrated, and didn’t stand out against barbeque I’ve had elsewhere,” says one Houston visitor.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown skyline on the Cumberland River.
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As the country music capital of the US, Nashville boasts a vibrant live music scene. However, many tourists felt bombarded by the heavy crowds of drunk tourists on the main drag, Broadway Street. Some also complain that there are far too many bachelorette parties filling up the bars and clubs.

10. Honolulu, Hawaii

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
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Although Honolulu is usually the first place that a new visitor to Hawaii goes, most locals prefer to stay away from the crowds in this capital city located on the island of Oahu. “It’s a good place and all, but a little bit too obvious, and honestly the Big Island has a lot more to offer and a really good National park!” Many people prefer the islands of Maui or Kauai.

11. San Francisco, California

famous Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at night, USA
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Although some travelers felt that San Francisco was underrated, the majority seemed to point to the feeling of uncleanliness and crime as reasons not to go back. Since the tech boom, the city has become very crowded and expensive, leading to a lot of traffic and homelessness.

12. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida, USA tropical downtown skyline.
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Miami is the second-largest city in Florida and a major tourist destination thanks to its vibrant nightlife and white-sand beaches. Some visitors are less enthused to find heavy traffic, humid weather, and expensive prices when they arrive at this major metropolitan port. Several people have also complained that the locals are less than welcoming.

Source: Reddit

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Anaheim, California/United States - 04/24/2019: Tourist walk across the street towards Disneyland theme park
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Hooper, Colorado - July 14, 2014: An alien statue at the UFO watchtower near town of Hooper, in the state of Colorado, USA.
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Forrest Gump Point, red rock at Monument Valley, Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona USA. Stunning view and scenic road in Utah during sunrise. Depth of long empty road.
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