Peppered throughout the United States’ purple mountains and amber waves of grain are some of the most iconic tourist attractions on the planet. From the Lincoln Memorial to the Golden Gate Bridge, America’s best can really draw a crowd. But sometimes, even the most popular attractions aren’t all they’re made out to be.
Whether it’s tricks of the light, over-hyped travel stories, or just the never-ending crowds, America’s best and brightest spots don’t always deliver the awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime experiences travelers dream up. In fact, you might be changing your summer itinerary after learning the disappointing truths behind these 16 U.S. landmarks…
1. Disneyland: Travelers picture themselves snapping a photo in front of Sleeping Beauty’s stunning castle or screaming into the starry dark of Space Mountain at this theme park. But take a trip there and you’ll see its moniker “The Happiest Place on Earth” is really just a marketing ploy…
If you can be happy standing in hour-long lines for a three-minute ride, waddling in a sea of park goers with strollers, and paying a premium for ugh food, then sure, it might be the happiest place. But others might call it “The Most Claustrophobic Place on Earth.”
2. Niagara Falls: Here, 3,160 tons of water pours from three waterfalls every second and because of that, trying to snap a picture in the stifling mist and poncho-clad crowds can be akin to light waterboarding.
3. The Hollywood Walk of Fame: Posing beside your favorite celebrity’s star might be a bit tougher than you think. The stars are on dirty, crowded sidewalks full of street performers and shady guys in costume trying to work a few bucks out of you.
4. French Quarter: Plenty assume that the iconic Bourbon Street cutting through the part of New Orleans that preserves the wonderfully unique creole culture offers non-stop cultural enrichment. And it can—but not always.