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Old 06-02-2008, 07:41 PM
166 posts, read 633,055 times
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Just curious to see what everyone thinks is the most underated and overated travel destinations in the US.

My vote for most underated is Western South Dakota/Black Hills country. My family and I planned on just taking a quick look around there, but it turned out that we really enjoyed it and there's so much to do; Mt. Rushmore, Badlands NP, native american sights, hiking, Devil's Tower (which is technically in Wyoming, but can be grouped with the other sights). The best part was that we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves! Not many people make the trip out there, which is too bad.

My most overated would be Miami/South Florida. It was very hot, very humid, and there's really nothing special or interesting about Miami in my opinion. Miami Beach is fun, but can easily be done in a day. I'm not a beach or club person, and this is what Miami is all about. If you're looking for culture, museums, and natural beauty then Miami will dissapoint you (at least it did me).
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
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I agree about Floride being over-rated. I also agree about the Dakotas, but I don't really ever hear anyone say lets go to Northern Wisconsin. There is nothing like visiting Bayfield, WI or going up to Vilas County. I live about 3 hours south of Minocqua etc. So we get up there when the time calls for a vacation. I also don't think that the Appalachians get the attention they deserve. That's ok with me though, means less tourist.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:35 PM
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
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We really did enjoy south dakota. i have never seen anything so grand as Mt. rushmore. truly beautiful. the nighttime lighting ceremony was great.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:24 AM
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i can agree with miami - not much there that I can't get better someplace else - main appeal is if you are really into the glamour & glitz and want to show

for me underated places to visit would be Idaho, UT (SLC is beautiful and the southern canyon country with Moab as a base is incredible), upstate NY (my biased homeland) but with lakes, wineries, hiking, waterfalls, gorges, festivals, skiing, hunting/fishing, etc it's a great place to visit - i would also add TN as I absolutely loved my trip there and people thought I was nuts for doing it

overated is tough, but my benchmark is usually hype versus delivery - i would put vegas in this category - i do not know the sin city of old - but the version even from a few years ago is a lot different, very expensive and really nothing that amazing there in my opinion - if i want coasters & attractions I can find that at many real theme parks - bar scene is pretty decent, but nothing that much better than what can be found in many cities - even gambling has cost more to play - i'd rather go to reno or laughlin for pure gambling, cheap drinks and rooms under$50 - if i want wild clubs i can go to scottsdale, if i want strippers i'll make a detour next time in dallas

this one will also probably draw some ire - but the grand canyon - it's beautiful, magnificient and worth seeing - however it's crowded, expensive and a place you really need to plan a day around - if you aren't into hiking or camping you will probably get tired of it pretty quick - it's almost too much to take in, which in my opinion leaves people underwhelmed - i've had many visitors make the 4 hour trek up north and be back in phx 9 hours after departure

my international choice would be stonehedge - another nice spectacle, but after 15 minutes you are in the middle of nowhere looking at a bunch of rocks with really no more insight than you'd get watching a tv special on it
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:12 AM
Location: on an island
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Rating a place is very subjective, and researching a place beforehand is essential. Timing can matter, too.

If you know what you want and don't want, I think you can avoid disappointment. I guess some people love the *idea* of Las Vegas?
I visited Las Vegas as a young person and don't need to ever do it again. Though it would be cool to see Prince perform, I hate gambling and don't get too excited about showgirls, I probably would not go out of my way to return to Nevada.

We strolled Lincoln Road in Miami's South Beach and soaked up its cosmopolitan atmosphere. I heard 5 different languages being spoken in the space of half an hour. This might be a turn-off for some, but I loved it. I visited various museums in Miami, and would neither call this city over-rated nor lacking in culture. I've been to Miami in November, April and February and the temp and air quality was fine then.
But yeah. It helps to realize beforehand that South Florida during the summer is gonna be sultry.

It is North Florida that is truly underrated, I've seen many a shoreline in my time, and the gorgeous deserted beaches of north Florida are very special indeed. Florida is so much more than Miami and Mickey Mouse, but it seems that people just don't realize it.
Which leads me to my choice of overrated destination: Disney World. To me it is an overpriced, over-crowded, synthetic experience.

With Stonehenge; if you appreciate the fact that you are looking at a giant calendar, it's kinda cool. Avebury is just as fascinating and more approachable.
Neither are worthwhile if you don't appreciate prehistoric monuments.
I first was at Stonehenge in 1974, before the fence went up, it was better when you could walk among the stones.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:59 AM
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most overrated: Niagara falls...it is BREATHTAKING!!!! but once you are done seeing it from different perspectives--that is it. you can do it in one day.

underrated: not too sure
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:28 AM
Location: Assisi, Italy
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Originally Posted by findinghope View Post
most overrated: Niagara falls...it is BREATHTAKING!!!! but once you are done seeing it from different perspectives--that is it. you can do it in one day.

underrated: not too sure
Is it worth the haul out there? I have a few extra days on my upcoming trip and an Amtrak pass that will take me there,(But it is ALL DAY there and ALL DAY back).

BTW, underrated are the Black Hill, Devil Tower as well as the National Parks in Southern Utah.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:29 AM
Location: Western North Carolina
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The most overated vacation/tourist place I've ever been was Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, that whole area is touristy, tacky, overpriced "outlets", cheesy shows. Big dissapointment.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:41 AM
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I second the comment about the more seclude parts of Florida being under-rated...get away from the masses and crowds etc. of Disney etc. indeed.

Over-rated? Branson, MO area and its sister sprawl of tackiness that the previous poster described above. The area AROUND Branson is nice...if you can just sneak off to a corner of it.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:02 AM
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don't get me wrong - i think stonehedge is cool, but even if you know a lot of the story behind it before you go there it's just kind of like - OK, now what.....

i found the mayan ruins to be a lot more interesting and worth all the driving time to get there

as for niagara falls, i think it depends - like the canyon it's something beautiful you can look at - unlike the canyon it's very accessible to everyone with a couple different boating options, you can walk trails by the falls - if you like gambling you can package it in with the casino - all what you are looking for

would i spend all day there and all day back? - depends on what else I could be doing with that time, how much time I would have there and what else I wanted to do besides just look at the falls
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