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    29 Popular Tourist Destinations You Should Delete From Your Bucket List Immediately And Where Locals Think You Should Visit Instead

    Now I'm adding the Dr. Pepper Museum to my bucket list!

    As someone who's lived and worked in few major tourist destinations, I'm always super curious about which popular vacation spots are actually worth the hype. A while back, I wrote about which tourist attractions you should skip, according to people who've actually been there.

    @momo_obrien / Via giphy.com

    In the comments, people who lived close to those tourist attractions or other popular vacation spots had a lot of amazing ideas for where you should visit instead.

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    So, without further ado, here are 29 tourist attractions you should skip and where you should go instead, according to locals:

    1. "As a former resident of San Francisco, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf are very meh."

    a huge crowd watching a pirate show on the pier
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    "There’s so much more there worth visiting, and you don’t have to drive to Monterrey." 

    seanmy

    "Twin Peaks (where we used to live) is stunning, especially the top of the peaks."

    mountain overlooking a town
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    seanmy

    2. "In Florida, our amusement parks are overpriced."

    Universal Studios
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    "But we have beautiful springs and beaches."

    Anna Maria Island
    Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    3. "I used to be a tour guide at the Stanley Hotel, which is famous for ghosts and its connection to The Shining. I can't tell you how many die-hard fans of Kubrick's Shining whose hearts I broke when I revealed that The Shining wasn't shot there."

    creepy Colorado hotel
    Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post via Getty Images

    "The movie with Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall was shot in the UK. Stephen King was inspired to write the book after staying at the Stanley and did film a Shining miniseries there in the '90s. Anyway, the hotel is kind of falling apart in places and has turned into a bit of a tourist trap."  

    captainkappa173

    "I'd recommend touring the Stanley Home Museum (that the Stanleys summered in) and the hydroelectric plant (that Mr. Stanley built to power the hotel and town)."

    4. "In Seattle, the Space Needle is cool and has nice views, but it’s $35 per person and not that much to do on top besides walk around in a circle."

    thin skyscraper
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    jnell

    "Go to Smith Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city."

    geometric skyscraper
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    jnell

    5. "The original Starbucks in Seattle is just like every other Starbucks you’ve ever been to."

    the Starbucks flagship store looks just like the one in your local mall
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    jnell

    "Instead, check out Pike Place Market — it IS touristy, but there’s so much to explore and tons of great food!"

    hipstery downtown market
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    jnell

    6. "Don't go to Lake Louise in Alberta in the middle of the day."

    crowded frozen lake
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    "Try going at 5 a.m. or sooner. There's almost no one there, and it's a good opportunity to take beautiful photos."

    nearly empty frozen lake you can skate on
    Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    7. "Reading Terminal in Philadelphia is cool and has lots of options, but it's not where you should go for a Philly cheesesteak."

    huge farmers market
    John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images

    "You should all go to Angelo's or Dalesandro's for a really good cheesesteak."

    8. "Leicester Square is mainly just three cinemas, a casino, and a load of chain restaurants."

    crowded downtown
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    "Occasionally, there will be something like a temporary artwork thing in the center of the square, but it is highly disappointing otherwise." 

    kerryb4e7ff4e7a

    "If you want somewhere central to eat and don’t want to do loads of googling, head to Covent Garden. It’s still a tourist area but has much better bars and restaurants than Leicester Square."

    Hoberman Collection / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    "It’s also much prettier than Leicester Square and has plenty of shops to wander around as well (especially off the main piazza in the side streets)."

    kerryb4e7ff4e7a

    9. "There was a Cake Boss (Carlo's Bake Shop) location open by me for a couple of years, and it was horrible. The desserts were always old and stale and overall just not good."

    Buddy Valastro's bakery
    The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Images

    "A lot of the time, decline in quality comes with expansion, so it's better to just buy local."

    small town bakery
    John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images

    10. "I live in Brussels, and yes, Manneken Pis is not amazing."

    statue of a little boy peeing
    Nicolas Maeterlinck / BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

    "But I love to go there for the one-euro waffles sold in the shops next to it! They’re perfectly simple and delicious."

    sweet, fluffy Belgian waffles
    Mark Renders / Getty Images

    11. "I found Mount Rushmore boring."

    four presidents carved into a mountain
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    "Honestly, I thought Wall Drug was more fun, even though it's a true tourist trap, but it had that fun 1950s 'Burma Shave' feel."

    old timey store
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    12. "Buckingham Palace is an unappealing building with crowds of people milling around it or just staring at nothing."

    Queen of England's castle
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    "London has so much more to offer. Go visit the market in Camden, for one!"

    bustling downtown market
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    13. "Don't go to Stonehenge. I expected some sort of spiritual experience, druids, magic, and whatnot. Instead, it's just a cordoned few blocks of rock and tourists."

    Imagno / Getty Images

    "There's so many fucking tourists taking pictures, being loud and annoying. I didn't find the magic there, no. Avoid at all cost."

    mazistyping

    "Instead, go anywhere in the English countryside — the magic is there."

    Lake District
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    14. "In Stockholm, the Vasa Museum is overrated and expensive ($18). It's a whole museum dedicated to a poorly built ship that never made it out of the harbor."

    reconstructed ship
    Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP via Getty Images

    "You will spend more time waiting in line than in the museum."

    shinnam

    "The Swedish Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet) is so much better with a well-curated overview of a thousand years of Swedish maritime history, and it's FREE."

    15. "In terms of cost and touristy-ness, Hershey Park is Pennsylvania's version of Disney World, basically."

    theme park
    Gary Burke / Via Getty

    "Knoebels is way more fun, way cheaper (parking, shuttle vans, and entering are free!) and has way better scenic views than Hershey Park."

    16. "I live in Los Angeles! Don't take those bus tours to see celeb houses. You're pretty much guaranteed to not actually see a celeb, or even to see a legitimate celeb home."

    TMZ celebrity tour bus
    Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

    "They're the ultimate tourist trap."

    books_baking_broadway

    "If you want to do fun entertainment industry things, go to the Warner Bros. tour or find houses from your favorite shows and movies."

    the Central Park set from friends
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    "Warner Bros. is incredibly detailed, and you can walk around their Main Street USA (Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls and Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars), see all the Batmobiles, visit the Central Perk set, and see props from Harry Potter and from classic old movies like The Music Man and My Fair Lady.

    While it's hard to find celeb houses, iconic houses from TV/movies are easy to get to, and it's so cool to take pictures at your favorite show homes! You can easily visit the houses from Modern Family, The Brady Bunch, Fresh off the Boat, Happy Days, Six Feet Under, Boy Meets World, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, among many others."

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    17. "The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas is so underwhelming."

    historic missions
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    "Instead, people should go see the OTHER missions in the area, such as Mission Concepción. There are so many you can see a bunch in one day, and it's really interesting if you're into history."

    historic church
    Josh Brasted / Getty Images

    18. "I've lived in Virginia Beach most of my life, and it AMAZES me that so many people come here for vacation."

    semi-busy beach
    Daniel Slim / AFP via Getty Images

    "There are so much better beaches just a bit south in the Outer Banks, or even right here in VB away from the tourist strip."

    Cedar Island is basically empty
    Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    19. "Branson, Missouri is not the place to be unless you like country music, driving down a two-lane strip in the middle of town, and paying a ridiculous amount of money for the other attractions."

    the Broadway of country music
    William Campbell / Getty Images

    "A common misconception is that there are casinos. There are none at all. You know what there are though? Timeshares. You might end up with one if you fall for it."

    kcm1000

    "Honestly, I would stay in Springfield, where the hotels are honestly advertised and the restaurants are better."

    20. "The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is a snore, and it's so lame that the Gene Simmons mannequin was shorter than I am with his super high boots. I'm 5'8"."

    glass pyramid
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    "The real Gene Simmons is over 6'."

    balconydrinksh20

    "The better bets are the Museum of Contemporary Art, the zoo, and most of the metroparks."

    modern architecture with glass
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    21. "In Miami, our beaches are dirty, and parking is expensive."

    muggy Miami beach
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    "Go like 30 miles north of South Beach, and you can find some beautiful beaches in Broward County."

    Fort Lauderdale
    Hoberman Collection / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    22. "I'm from the UK, and Lands End sucks! You have to pay to access it via a walkway surrounded by shops (feels very surreal), then when you actually get there, it's very mediocre."

    a sign pointing in different directions
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    "The land around the famous sign (with signpost distances to various cities) is privately owned, so you have to pay to stand in front of it for a photo!"

    hannahconstantin

    "Lizard Point (the southernmost point of mainland UK), on the other hand, is stunning, no commercialism, and exactly what I expected from Lands End."

    historic fishing village
    Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    23. "Madame Tussauds in London is claustrophobically crowded and lacking in anything that makes the admission actually worth the price. I hated every second that I was in it."

    wax figure museum
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    femkat

    "If you're in London, go to any number of its world-famous museums, especially the V&A and the Museum of Natural History. They are roomy, quiet, and educational."

    giant dinosaur skeleton inside natural history museum
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    femkat

    24. "I went to New Orleans a few years back, and we avoided doing a lot of the touristy things, such as the French Quarter, because I hate crowds."

    packed Bourbon Street
    Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

    "My two favorite things we did while I was there was a walking tour at night to learn about NOLA’s vampire history (such as the home of The Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice) and a tour of the Edgar Degas house."

    a statue of Mary and crucifixes outside of Anne Rice's home
    Universalimagesgroup / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    25. "I’m from Los Angeles and cannot believe it when visiting friends want to walk down Hollywood Boulevard! It’s crowded and touristy, and there are always wacky, pushy people all over the place trying to sell you stuff."

    walk of stars
    Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    "There are things worth visiting ON Hollywood Boulevard, such as the Hollywood and Highland Mall and the El Capitan Theatre."

    iconic theatre
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    26. "Any Irish person will tell you to avoid Temple Bar. It's overhyped and overpriced."

    iconic bar in Dublin
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    "You want a pint of Guinness, just go to any bar in Dublin or the Storehouse."

    Guinness Storehouse
    Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images

    27. "Santa Fe, New Mexico is completely tacky, and the western themes are just played up for tourists."

    southwestern cathedral
    Robert Alexander / Getty Images

    "Want authentic New Mexico? Head to old town in Albuquerque, see the top of the Sandip mountains, or head to Jemez Pueblo to experience the real beauty and southwest authenticity New Mexico has to offer."

    old town Albuquerque
    View Pictures / View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    28. "The Little Mermaid statue in Denmark is so tiny and always swarmed with tourists!"

    Hans Christian Anderson story-inspired statue
    Nick Potts - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

    "Finding the hidden Six Forgotten Giants made by local artist Thomas Dambo in the city is way more fun."

    wooden giant sculpture
    Natalie Behring / Getty Images

    "Make a day of it and bring a picnic. it's totally worth it, free, and not crowded or cheesy."

    yogadanceaz

    29. "I have zero urge to go shopping at the Silos in Waco because they’re super overrated."

    Magnolia Farms
    Fort Worth Star-telegram / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

    "Seriously though, if you’re in Waco, check out the Waco Mammoth National Monument and the Dr. Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute!"

    inside the Dr Pepper Museum is a diner
    David Butow / Corbis via Getty Images

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length/clarity.

    Now it's your turn! Which hidden gems should visitors in your area check out instead of the popular tourist traps? Let us know in the comments!

    Disclaimer: This article was written to provide future travel recommendations or suggestions. However, it’s important to keep in mind your own health, community health, and COVID-19 exposure risk.

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