Have you ever felt like there are certain places in the world that you’re almost expected to visit? Maybe they’re one of the Wonders of the World. Or maybe they’re supposed to have historical or cultural significance. Many of us have grown up with a bucket list of such places to visit. However, the reality is that some of these places may not be worth your time and money. We’ve been to some of those places and we have news for you – if you’re thinking about visiting any of the places on this list, don’t waste your time. 🙂
(This post is written with a hefty dose of sarcasm. We understand that some of these locations have huge importance to some people. Others just seem to be tourist traps. No matter; to us, they were totally a waste of time.)
Here they are. Ten of the most disappointing places we’ve visited on our travels, in no specific order.
I know these aren’t the best images but they’re from 1996 and back then you couldn’t tell how your pictures looked until you went to get them developed.
Stonehenge is located 145km west of London in the English countryside. We took a train for 90 minutes and then had to board a bus to the location. We got to walk around and take pictures of the rocks. That’s all. Rocks in a field.
Speaking of unimpressive rocks, here’s one that’s a symbol of nothing. Sure, the legend is that the pilgrims first landed in America on Plymouth Rock, but that’s not true. They probably didn’t even land in Boston, getting to Cape Cod first. But that doesn’t stop this rock from being a tourist attraction. I went there when I was three years old. That’s when this shot was taken. I feel no need to go back.
Note from Sharon – I went to see Plymouth Rock in late 2022, when visiting relatives. The rock hasn’t really changed.
Sure, if you’ve seen the opening of Married With Children, you’ve seen this fountain. It’s an iconic landmark of Chicago. Unfortunately, it’s not as impressive if the water is turned off when you visit.
It took us the better part of a day to get to the Tulum ruins from our cruise ship in Cozumel.
Our experience in Mexico was less than enjoyable. We only had less than an hour to explore after the tender boat and bus ride. The tour guide gave us the option to stay with him and learn about the history or explore on our own. Despite the beautiful beaches and many things to explore, we didn’t get to see any of it. Before we knew it, we were back on the bus to go back to the boat and get back to the cruise ship, which was a bummer.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
On our first trip to Japan (together, in 2005. Sharon will always remind me that she went to Japan, with a friend, about a decade before then), we took a bus tour of Tokyo. Part of the day was taking part in an “authentic tea ceremony.”
We sat in a tea house and a very nice Japanese woman explained to us all of the symbolism of the tea ceremony. Then we got to try some tea and then we left. That’s over an hour of our lives we’ll never get back.
If you’re from Texas, I understand that The Alamo is a big deal. Like Buc-ees and barbecue, they’re part of your DNA.
We’ve been twice and tried, like really tried, to get the importance. In the end, it’s a rather small building sitting in the middle of San Antonio, with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not right across the street. It’s not even the same as it was during the time of Davy Crockett, as the building was changed over the years when it became an Army depot.
This one is a point of disagreement in the household.
For me, it was another National Park to check off the list and I found it fascinating they built this vast fort on an island at the very end of the Florida Keys.
Sharon, on the other hand, felt that we spent most of the day going to an old brick building in the middle of the ocean.
When we visited Ireland with Adventures By Disney, one of the side trips we took was to Blarney Castle. The castle grounds were impressive and exactly what you’d expect from Ireland.
Of course, one of the things to do once there is to kiss the Blarney Stone. If you have the chance, don’t.
You get to wait in a long line on top of the castle and eventually lie on a mat and “kiss” a stone. Even before worrying about hygiene, it wasn’t appealing.
If you’re visiting Australia, you might want to visit Uluru. First of all, understand it’s located in the middle of the desert. Like, really remote. You’ll need to fly there and once you arrive, there’s not anything else there but this huge rock. Sure, it’s impressive and has a huge meaning to the indigenous people but that’s all there is.
While you might get a beautiful picture or two, the rest of the time you’re going to be swatting flies away from your face. Good thing they sell fly netting at every gift shop.
The last thing on our list is the Hollywood Sign. Sure, it’s a metaphor for the dream of making it big in movies, but seeing it in person isn’t that impressive.
Even if you go to the “Best Spot” to view the sign at Hollywood and Highland, you’re stuck at a huge shopping mall with a bunch of tourists. It’s also a horrible place to get a selfie 🙂
We’ve been to more places that did not live up to expectations. These were just some of the big ones on the list.
One more we added to the list in the past couple of years was Georgia’s shortest covered bridge. It was exactly as exciting as the description sounds.
What are some of the places you’ve visited that didn’t live up to the hype?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary