- Throughout the US, there are places that tourists love and locals try to avoid at all costs.
- Party locales like the Las Vegas Strip and Bourbon Street in New Orleans see high tourism rates but don’t see many locals.
- Famous sights like Mount Rushmore and the Cloud Gate can also annoy locals.
- Orlando locals are disillusioned by Disney World.
While tourism can often help struggling economies, it can also destroy entire ecosystems and even hurt the locals directly. So it makes sense that there are some places around the US that tourists love to visit but locals stay away from.
From Mount Rushmore to Bourbon Street, these are some of the places that tourists and locals cannot agree on.
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York
- Mike Steele/Flickr
When visiting New York, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is basically a rite of passage, especially because it offers some stellar views of the city. But, as the attraction becomes more and more popular among tourists, locals are starting to avoid the pedestrian walkway at all costs. One resident told the Gothamist that one time he couldn’t get through the massive crowds at the middle of the bridge. It took him 90 minutes to go from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side. In fact, the bridge sees 10,000 pedestrians and 5,000 cyclists every day.
Disney World in Orlando, Florida
- Walt Disney World/Facebook
Disney World is one of the most popular destinations in Florida, but for the locals who live in Orlando, they aren’t so swept up in the “magic.” While some prefer to avoid Disney altogether, others do get season passes at a cheaper rate. But the price still dissuades some locals. One resident told the Orlando Sentinel, “At some point, it became too expensive, [so] I might just focus my money back toward another theme park,” while another local said the park favors people who stay on Disney property so locals “get the short end of the stick.”
Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Simply Photos/Shutterstock
A trip to New Orleans is nothing without a visit to the famous Bourbon Street where bars, restaurants, and shops have everything for the perfect night out. As parties pour out onto the street, Bourbon Street has earned a reputation from locals as dirty, trashy, and even repulsive. In an Advocate article, locals described the street as “the trashiest place I’d ever seen.” Many residents avoid the party street and enjoy other options New Orleans has to offer.
Cloud Gate in Chicago, Illinois
- Shutterstock / f11photo
Tourists typically flock to Cloud Gate – commonly referred to as the Bean – to take the most epic mirror selfie. But for locals, this art installation could cause more headache than anything. Since it’s situated in Millennial Park right in the center of the city, it’s difficult to maneuver around the large crowd of tourists, which reached 12.9 million people in 2016.
Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California
- Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock
To tourists, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a way to get close to some of the biggest names in Hollywood. For locals, the Hollywood Walk of Fame might be cement and the tourists slowing down to look at each star (causing foot traffic). It’s estimated that 10 million people visit the famous street every year.
Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota
- J. Pat Hodges/Shutterstock
At the time of Mount Rushmore’s construction in the 20th century, the Lakota Sioux Native American tribe was strongly against cutting into the sacred Black Hills. They especially were opposed to putting the faces of men who supported the killing of Native Americans on the mountain. Despite the criticism, the site was erected and has 2.5 million visitors each year. Some of the town’s residents where the monument is located identify with the controversy, though, for a town with a population of 339, tourism does help the economy.
Times Square in New York City
While Times Square is a must-see for any first-time visitor to New York City, it is a place most New Yorkers try to avoid entirely. Since 50,000 people go through Times Square a day and 26 million visit per year, there is rarely a time that the location is not crowded. Tourists flock to midtown for the large screens and awe of the city lights, while locals see it as a too-crowded street of advertisements.
Grand Central Terminal in New York City
- Courtney Verrill
Grand Central Terminal is a thing of beauty, and it attracts people from all over the world to gaze up at the ornate architecture. With 60 shops and 35 eateries, it’s also a great place to spend some time if you’re a tourist. But on the other hand, it is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the tristate area, seeing 250,000 people commute through the station every day. The overcrowding and lengthy travel times make this otherwise beautiful station just another stop on a local’s busy journey.
Historic district in Savannah, Georgia
- DoNotLick on flickr
The historic district in Savannah, Georgia, has seen an influx of tourism in the past few years, as people come to visit First African Baptist Church and Old Harbor Light. Although locals don’t exactly hate the tourist district, some do hate what the rise in tourism is turning the neighborhood into. Many locals complain about the tourists constantly roaming the streets of their homes. There’s also debate and controversy about updating and redeveloping the neighborhood to accommodate the new tourists.
Lombard Street in San Francisco, California
Lombard Street has been named San Fran’s “crooked street” because of its eight, consecutive hairpin turns. Tourists now fill the area to take Instagram-worthy pictures and selfies, but locals are complaining about the mass of traffic that this has caused. In fact, some have even called for a fare so that people would have to pay to drive through the street in hopes that it cuts down traffic.
“They’re not only jamming the foot of Lombard, but tourists are now stopping their cars in the middle of the street to get out of their cars to take pics,” one local told Curbed.
Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is known for its glamour, shows, nightlife, and party scene – and that’s exactly why people come to the Strip. For locals, the Strip actually isn’t even part of the town of Las Vegas. In fact, the well-known Las Vegas Strip is in the town of Paradise, according to VICE. Many Las Vegas residents stay away from the party strip to avoid the drunks and party goers.
One local told VICE, “As the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas-but when you live here, you’re stuck cleaning up after all the other people who treat the city like a toilet.”
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