Underrated and overrated tourist attractions in every state according to locals
Determining whether or not something is overrated, underrated or held to the perfect level of acclaim is a subjective decision that exists in two phases: one's own personalized system of metrics, and how that perception compares to that of the population at large.
When it comes to popular tourist attractions, locals must weigh their personal feelings about the place while also putting themselves in the shoes of visitors. These locations can prove controversial among natives of the same state, as there are multiple attractions that received equal numbers of “overrated” and “underrated” votes, according to data released from RENTCafé.
Stacker referenced RENTCafé’s study in reporting the most overrated and underrated tourist attractions in every state and the District of Columbia, according to residents. Each state polled a sample of 2,500 locals on their opinions. Read on to see which attractions in each state get too much and not enough hype.
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Alabama - overrated: Vulcan Statue
Originally cast for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, the 56-foot Roman god of fire now towers over Birmingham, Alabama. Vulcan is the largest statue ever made in the U.S., and the biggest cast-metal statue in the world. Though the statue’s bare buttocks did cause some controversy as to where the Roman god would permanently reside, Birmingham boldly approved Vulcan’s buns of steel.
Alabama - underrated: U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville is the largest spaceflight museum in the world. Its notable artifacts include the National Historic Landmark Saturn V Moon Rocket, Pathfinder—the world’s only full-stack space shuttle display—Apollo 16 Command Module, Skylab Orbital Workshop and Apollo 12's moon rock.
Alaska - overrated: Denali
Comprised of six million acres of mountains and wildlife, Denali National Park is bisected by a single 92-mile dirt and gravel roadway. During the summer months, tourists are permitted to drive 15 through miles of the park, with the rest accessible by bus tour. Patience is required.
Alaska - underrated: Fjords
Kenai Fjords National Park is Alaska's smallest state park, at 607,000 acres, but sometimes big things come in small packages. The park is rich in wildlife and glaciers, including Harding Icefield: a massive river of ice that’s been shaping the terrain since the Pleistocene era.
Arizona - overrated: Grand Canyon
It may appear strange to apply the word "overrated" to a canyon that’s 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep—but the locals have deemed it as such.
Arizona - underrated: Sedona
With 1.8 million acres of red rock buttes, forests and rivulets, Sedona’s mesmerizing landscape is a one-of-a-kind experience. Hike, bike, camp or spa—Sedona is a mecca for soul-seekers.
Arkansas - overrated: Hot Springs
Hot Springs National Park, nicknamed “The American Spa,” occupies the northern end of Hot Springs, Arkansas and boasts dozens of mineral-rich baths. During the "gangster era" of the 1920s and 30s, the spas were frequented by Al Capone, Frank Costello, Bugs Moran, Lucky Luciano and other infamous mobsters. Even the most notorious of the bunch knew where find a good mud mask.
Arkansas - underrated: Eureka Springs
An arts-focused community nestled in Arkansas' Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is home to more than 350 working artists, performers and musicians. This quaint town has 15 spas and 30 art galleries—impressive for a town just shy of seven square miles.
California - overrated: Disneyland
While Disneyland pulls in plenty of visitors, Californians themselves tend to look elsewhere for entertainment. Nevertheless, the Anaheim destination has been sprinkling fairy dust on adults and kids since 1955, with popular attractions like Star Tours and the newly re-vamped Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
California - underrated: Legoland/Yosemite (Tied)
Locals recommend touring the prehistoric jungle of Lego brick dinosaurs on the Coastersaurus at Legoland in Carlsbad. For the experienced outdoor adventure enthusiast, spend the day scaling Yosemite’s Half Dome, formed from molten rock during the Cretaceous period.2018 All rights reserved.