Worst Tourist Traps in America

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It appears the land of Dolly Parton and the Great Smoky Mountains is not as big of a crowd-pleaser as many Volunteer State residents expected, as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are the national leaders when it comes to the worst tourist traps in America.  

The two tourism-centric towns on the state’s eastern fringe, which serve as the front door to the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, gathered the most votes of any tourist hotspot online when it came to the country’s worst “tourist trap.”

As the warm weather comes around the corner, Americans are looking to travel to some great destinations. But what places do Americans think you should avoid this year?

BetTennessee.com, your home to the best coverage of Tennessee sports betting, set out to find the answer by surveying 500 U.S. residents via Reddit.com’s “AskReddit” subreddit with the question, “What city is the biggest tourist trap?”

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Worst Tourist Traps in America: Survey Results

RankCity / Cities# of Votes% of Votes
1Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tenn.8617.2%
2Las Vegas7014.0%
4Niagara Falls, N.Y.428.4%
5Los Angeles346.8%
6Myrtle Beach, S.C.316.2%
T-7Branson, Mo.255.0%
T-7New York City255.0%
T-9Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.193.8%
T-9Wall, S.D.193.8%

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Tennessee Cities Win Narrow Vote

The pair of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge gathered 86 votes (or 17.2% of the total) when it came to the subject of what vaction destination was the worst “tourist trap” in the country, with the Tennessee hotspots beating out Las Vegas (70 votes/14% of total), Orlando (49 votes, 9.8%) and Niagara Falls (42 votes/6.8%).

Also on the list of America’s least favorite tourism destinations were Myrtle Beach (31 votes/6.2%), Branson and New York City (25 votes/5% each).

Luckily for state leaders, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park chips in $2.5 billion each year to Tennessee’s budget, which likely makes them sleep easier at night when they see the gateways to the park drawing scorn from the masses on Reddit.

And whether you are visiting the state or live here, you can always get Tennessee sportsbook promos at BetTennessee.com.


Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan writes for BetTennessee.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.