Tourist traps to avoid in every state
There are few things more American than a good old-fashioned roadside attraction. After all, they’re at the heart of almost every road trip. But just because they exist doesn’t mean they’re all worth seeing.
While most states have quirky, unique attractions that are worth your while, it’s all too easy to get suckered into a veritable tourist trap, a waste of time and—even worse—money. To avoid that dilemma on your next road trip, Stacker scoured online reviews and feedback on each state’s most popular tourist attractions to find the ones that you should avoid.
Alabama: The World's Largest Brick
This oversized ad for Jenkins Brick & Tile Company calls Montgomery, Alabama, home. The “world’s largest brick” is actually constructed from many small bricks, not one giant brick, and secondly, it can’t even boast the title anymore. In 2007, a larger clay brick, made by ACME Brick Co. in Denton, Texas, stole the honors.
Alaska: Santa Claus House
The Santa Claus House is a largely self-explanatory establishment that capitalizes on its home in North Pole, Alaska. Now, this town of 2,000 people has no relation to the real North Pole, and it’s mostly home to generic Christmas knick-knacks you can buy anywhere. Although it does have a 900-pound statue of jolly old St. Nick himself out front.
Arizona: The Thing
Anyone who’s taken a southwest road trip has probably seen mysterious billboards advertising “The Thing,” outside of Dragoon, Arizona. If the nearly 250 billboards along I-10 aren’t enough to pique your curiosity, Stacker will cue you in: “The Thing” is nothing more than an odd collection of antiquities, the centerpiece being a mummified mother and child of ambiguous origin. Save your $1.
Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State Park
If playing around in a field of dirt appeals to you, you’ll love Crater of Diamonds State Park. As the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public, Crater of Diamonds draws in loads of tourists who want to spend $8 for the minuscule chance of digging up a precious stone of their very own.
California: Venice Beach Boardwalk
It’s been immortalized in movies and TV shows for decades, but the Venice Beach boardwalk is mostly an overcrowded stretch of street performers, meatheads, and other eccentrics who hope to make a quick buck off an unsuspecting tourist. If you want an authentic L.A. beach experience, hit up Santa Monica Pier or drive up to secluded Malibu instead.
Colorado: Mike the Headless Chicken Festival
The tiny town of Fruita, Colorado, hosts a two-day festival each year to commemorate Mike, a Wyandotte chicken who met his untimely death in 1945 and proceeded to live for another 18 months—without a head. While Mike’s story is remarkable, the festival itself is not.
Connecticut: Wild Bill's Nostalgia Store
Wild Bill's is particularly creepy on the outside—thanks to a giant clown head. This Middletown, Connecticut, attraction is home to the world’s largest jack-in-the-box and store akin to a small-town flea market.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk
Once you've seen one boardwalk, you’ve seen them all. While Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach is scenic, it’s boardwalk is not—unless you’re a fan of overpriced logo T-shirts and other tourist memorabilia.
Florida: St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Florida’s famous for gators, but once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has been in existence since the late 1800s, but we’re not entirely sure. Save your time and money, unless you’re absolutely dying to zip line over a pool of the hungry reptiles.
Georgia: Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue
No disrespect to one of America's past presidents, but there are few reasons to stop at this landmark, which consists of a 13-foot statue of a smiling peanut. It was erected by the Indiana Democratic Party during Carter’s 1976 campaign, but it now lives in the former president’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.2018 All rights reserved.