Before you get started, you should know that we got quite a few responses.
“You can’t always get what you want,” sang the Rolling Stones, and as it turns out, this 1969 hit is quite applicable when it comes to sightseeing. We recently asked our readers via Facebook and our Fodor’s Travel Talk Forums if they had been underwhelmed by a place they had visited. The answer? A resounding “Yes.” One went so far as to say, “Frequently.” Take a look at the destinations that incited disappointment.
Let’s kick off this list with some iconic U.S. sites, such as a certain palatial South Dakota sculpture—Mount Rushmore National Memorial. “Mount Rushmore.” one reader posted, their disdain felt through the hard punctuation. “Crazy Horse Memorial made up for it in immeasurable heaps with devastating truth,” they continued. We agree that the Crazy Horse tribute is itself impressive in scope and rightfully pays appreciation to the spirit of the North American Indian people.
Continuing onward with the arguable judgment of popular tourist sites, a reader exclaimed, “PLEASE don’t hate me,” before going on to say that “The Grand Canyon was so meh! I much preferred Bryce and Zion Canyons. I’m certain my reaction was due to the crushing, shoving tourists.” Shoving tourists? Not ideal. You know what’s also not ideal (in one traveler’s eyes at least)? “Plymouth Rock—if you have been there, you know what I am talking about.”
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And for your consideration: American cities. “Chicago,” one Facebook user said, followed by, “Sorry.” No need to apologize! After all, we did ask the question. If you’re interested in irony, talk to another reader who called Las Vegas a “total buzzkill.” Also underwhelming? “New York City. LA not far behind,” said another reader who’s also not super keen on bustling metropolises.
“Plymouth Rock—if you have been there, you know what I am talking about.”
Another commenter “couldn’t find a single reason anyone would want to ever be in Ohio.” Speaking of entire states, “Florida. All of it,” was actually an answer.
There’s a good chance most bucket lists aren’t complete without at least one European destination. With that said, there’s (apparently) no guarantee said destination(s) will live up to its need to be on the list. For example, “Loved Versailles…but did not care for The Louvre! When I finally found the Mona Lisa after walking like 3 days lol…it was so small!” Anything else in Paris, you ask? “The Eiffel Tower—I think it’s hideous,” according to another reader.
Also, multiple readers pointed to “Edinburgh.” One specified that it is “kind of grey and depressing.” Speaking of moods, you’re likely to find a variety of them in your travels.
“We were so excited to go to Rome, but we were really disappointed by the crowds and the rudeness we encountered everywhere,” one reader said. “We felt like everyone just wanted our money and honestly didn’t meet one genuinely friendly helpful person in the whole town.”
The hot takes continued onward, from continent to continent. “If you want to stand on the Great Wall of China, you have to go there, however, once you’ve seen 10 Buddhas and shrines, you’ve seen them all. Shanghai, interesting but so big you can’t really appreciate it,” an audience member mused. Another traveler felt similarly about (iconic) historical sites in China: “I am upset to say that I was wholly underwhelmed by Tiananmen Square, Beijing…I didn’t even feel a sense of it having been the scene of so much relatively recent history…”
“When I finally found the Mona Lisa after walking like 3 days lol…it was so small!”
Moving southeast, one Facebook user said, “Dubai.” “Would be great for a 2-day layover. More is too long.” In an agreeing comment, another person noted that “the sandstorms didn’t help!” Also, be warned that some areas of India may not live up to the hype. Despite the country in South Asia being one of their all-time favorite destinations, one reader claims they, “we were so underwhelmed by the Kerala area that I was almost ready to leave. We found the backwaters and Cochin for the most part boring.” Sigh. So, if you’re reading this and you have yet to see some of the above-mentioned sites, we still encourage you to do so. Not everyone thinks alike. Just some people. Alternately, these reviews could be seen as helpful. With that said, thank you for your thoughts, audience!
INSIDER TIP“You need to engage my Sister to show you the ‘real’ Hokkaido,” said one particular audience member. No other information was provided.