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- Every state in the US has a few spots that are known for attracting massive crowds of tourists.
- But there are some tourist-filled locations and celebrations that even locals can appreciate.
- The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC and Grand Central Terminal in New York City are appreciated by locals and tourists alike.
Each state has its fair share of tourist traps that locals avoid at all costs. Although visitors might be able to endure the crowds and high prices to get a glimpse of a famous attraction they’ve always heard about, locals know it may not really be worth the hype – or at least that there are better things to see in the area instead.
Read More: The worst tourist trap in every state
Still, there are always going to be some popular tourist spots that are so genuinely awesome that even locals make it a point to stop by (although they may know the best times to do so).
Here are some tourist traps in the US that even some locals love.
Tourists and Arizona locals can appreciate the beauty of The Grand Canyon.
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Known as one of the greatest national parks in the US, the Grand Canyon is full of so many incredible rock formations and hiking trails that even those who live nearby can appreciate.
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, is a place for locals and tourists to pick up exciting wares.
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This vibrant spot in Seattle is full of history, charm, and plenty of places to shop – even locals head to this famed market to check out the wares.
“It’s not just a tourist destination,” wrote a Washington local on TripAdvisor. “It functions as a market, gift shop, meeting place and many other things for locals, and folks from the region as a whole.”
Locals and tourists alike enjoy the wares at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York.
Smorgasburg, the largest weekly open-air food market in the US, takes place in two locations in Brooklyn, New York, during certain seasons. With over 100 local vendors, Smorgasburg has food options for just about anyone who visits, whether they’re a born-and-raised New Yorker or a tourist who’s in town for a weekend.
South Beach in Miami, Florida, is known for being a popular tourist destination but some locals enjoy the area’s party atmosphere, too.
Located along the Atlantic Ocean, this small but glamorous section of Miami Beach is known all over the world for having lively clubs that are open until the early hours of the morning, occasional celebrity sightings, and luxury places to shop.
“As far as South Beach, it is a nice mix of residents, tourists, and others from around Miami that head there for a night out,” wrote one Miami local on TripAdvisor. Some Florida natives have even shared their tips for partying at the beach like a local.
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC is beloved by many locals and tourists.
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Each year around the end of March and the beginning of April, DC’s cherry blossom trees begin to bloom beautiful pink and white flowers. The Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates this colorful beginning of spring with many events that honor both American and Japanese cultures.
A popular celebration for all, more than 1.5 million visitors attend the festival each year, according to Thrillist. And locals who have lived in DC for years also can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the cherry blossoms – publications like DCist even have tips for locals who want to avoid “hordes of tourists” while still enjoying the festival.
Robert’s Western World in Nashville, Tennessee, is typically crowded with tourists and locals.
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And as those who visit might tell you, the popular tourist destination is oftentimes filled with both tourists and locals who can’t get enough of the place. “It is as old school as it gets in the land (street) of new neon bars that us locals recommend,” wrote a Nashville local on Yelp.
Grand Central Terminal in New York City can be appreciated by tourists and New Yorkers alike.
Dubbed a tourist trap by TimeOut New York, many who have seen the beautiful Grand Central Terminal in movies and television shows travel to see it in person. But Grand Central Terminal is also a place many locals have to visit as part of their daily commute – it is a train station after all.
Fortunately, it’s far from the worst commuting hub in the city – with its impressive architecture and a wide selection of restaurants and shops, Grand Central Terminal is even appreciated by New Yorkers.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is filled with art that can be enjoyed by locals and tourists.
Both locals and tourists who appreciate art and nature enjoy walking through the famous Minneapolis Structure Garden, which has been open since 1988. The garden features more than 40 works of art from the Walker Art Center’s collection.
Although it’s typically listed as one of the top things for tourists to see while visiting Minnesota, the museum also earned the top spot on TimeOut Minnesota’s 2018 list of “20 best things to do in Minneapolis according to locals.”
You’ll find locals and tourists at the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana.
There are plenty of famous events and attractions in New Orleans, Louisiana, but Mardi Gras may just be the most popular one. The huge celebration consists of parades, parties, costumes, and traditional local foods.
The San Diego Zoo in California is appreciated by locals and tourists alike.
The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous in the world and it has thousands of animals and plants for people to see. Plus, visitors can get a glimpse at animals like the giant panda that they won’t be able to see in many other places in the US.
“Tourists flock to San Diego to escape their local summer heat … while we enjoy the temperate weather year-round,” Ellen Wright, a San Diego-based writer, wrote for Thrillist in 2016. “On top of that, we have a zillion theme parks, including LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, and the San Diego Zoo, so there is always something to do.”