My top 10 places to avoid list

What happens when a tourist destination's image and reputation doesn't mesh with one's actual experience? Disappointment with a capital D.

Having just visited Scotland, and been disappointed by one of its best-known attractions, I thought I'd compile RepMan's Top 10 places to avoid list:

December 4 - loch-ness1 1.) Loch Ness, Scotland. There are many other lochs with far more to do and see than this one. Nessie's a no-go. Instead, head northwest to the Isle of Skye. In fact, the latter would lead my top 10 best places to see list.

2) Blarney Castle, Ireland. It takes forever to get to and, once there, you pay to forage around what is little more than a damp dump of rubble. And, the Blarney Stone itself is a small hunk of rock that I wouldn't kiss for all the potatoes in Ireland.

3) The Ring of Kerry, Ireland. Billed as a magical journey around the Emerald Isle the ring ride is, instead, a long, boring tour with little, if anything, of real interest to see or experience. Stick with Dublin. It's awesome.

December 4 - couples-in-love-at-disney-world-760376 4) Disneyworld, Disneyland and anything associated with Disney. If you're looking for the worst possible cost-benefit ratio, then these theme parks are your ticket (literally). Endless lines, massive hype and outrageous a la carte pricing make the Mouse more of a rat.

5) A Norwegian cruise. Call it a Norwegian snooze instead. If you've seen one fjord, you've seen them all. Opt for an Alaskan cruise instead. You'll love it.

6) The London Eye. Another over-hyped tourist trap, the Eye is nothing more than a big Ferris Wheel that stops every five minutes or so and provides views of the city. Big bloody deal. Don't waste your time or money. Opt for the Jack the Ripper walking tour instead. It kills.

7) Fort Sumter, Charleston, S.C. I adore everything about Charleston. But, the fabled Civil War fort is a must-miss. Avoid the long ferry ride to see a mass of rocks and ruins and, instead, visit one of the working history plantations like Middleton. They're spellbinding and the nearest thing to time travel I've yet found.

December 4 - 30rock_kenneth 8) The NBC Studio Tour, NY, NY. The admission price is outrageous, the tour is underwhelming and you see little and learn even less about the fabled network. A Circle Line cruise around the island is still the best Big Apple experience in this blogger's opinion. 

9) The Eiffel Tower. Sorry mes amis, but I found the long lines and overall experience less than formidable. Sitting at the Cafe de le Paix, sipping wine and people watching is a better alternative.

10) Berlin. I'm not sure what I expected, but as a huge history buff, I was very disappointed with the ultra modern destination. Aside from the Brandenburg Gate, there's really nothing to do or see (except for Checkpoint Charlie, which is way cool).

I wanted to end my Top 10 places to avoid list with a special honorable mention for the Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth Site in St. Augustine, Fla. It's a five-and-dime version of Disneyworld with a few, trashy 'rides' that look as if they haven't been updated since Ponce himself first visited in the early 16th century.

How about you? Do you have over-hyped destinations that should be added to the list? Or, do you take exception with what I've said about one or more sites? Speak up. The plane's doors are about to close.

10 thoughts on “My top 10 places to avoid list

  1. Thanks Tim. You’re spot on. I very nearly added Plymouth Rock to the list. I remember my one and only ‘rock’ experience. It occurred in college. My buddies and I were bicycling from Boston to Falmouth and decided to stop along Route 3A in Plymouth to visit the historic rock. What a complete waste of time. How about we designate Plymouth Rock as 10A on the top 10 list?

  2. Steve, how could you have forgotten Plymouth Rock? When I was 11, my family drive 310 miles to go to this big stone canopy and there was, yes, a rock in the sand. We all laughed at the same time. Oh well, I had my first lobster dinner, for less than three bucks! It was a loooong time ago.

  3. Great stuff, Trish. Thanks for sharing the article. I especially liked the question from one tourist asking how long it took for the bullet train to go from Tokyo to Seoul. Dimwits are legion.

  4. Thanks Julie. I did the Eiffel Tower on a stifling hot August afternoon, so that may account for my poor experience. Thanks for the heads-up in Iceland. Your post certainly won’t help their anemic economy any.

  5. I must take issue with you, Bubbles, on Notre Dame. Yes, the Victorian additions are horrendous, but if you look past that, it is still a magnificent edifice (though Eglise St-Germain-des-Pres is still the finest church in all of Paris). Capping your visit with ice cream from Berthillon certainly makes it all worthwhile.
    Julie is right about Reykjavik, but Iceland is certainly worth a visit. Take the eight-hour bus tour to the surrounding countryside and see the Vatnajokull glacier before it disappears!

  6. I absolutely agree with Disneyworld/Disneyland! I’d work in a daycare if I wanted to be around that many screaming children!

  7. Hey Steve –
    I disagree with including the Eiffel Tower on your list; I went up to the top at night (as well as to the top of L’Arc de Triomphe) and the views of the City of Light were spectacular.
    One destination as a MUST-MISS that I would add to your list is Iceland. Reyjavik is a rip-off…There’s really not much to see there…and unless you go during the summertime when there’s 24-hours of daylight, it’s not worth the exorbitant prices.

  8. I’m with Steve on Fort Sumter. Those of us who live in Charleston only go to Fort Sumter when visiting family members insist. But, hey, look at the photos and judge for yourselves:
    I love Charleston’s twisted, beautiful, dark history. Fort Sumter is quite another matter.

  9. Bubbles agrees on everything but Ft. Sumter and Eiffel Tower. Add to the list:
    1.)Empire State Building: Anything above the beautiful art deco first floor is a waste of time. The wait is inexcusable and the view pales in comparison to the Top of the Rock.
    2.) Honolulu. How can a place with so much natural beauty be so phony? Makes Disneyland look like a Sierra Club project.
    3.)Fisherman’s Wharf. Like crowds? Like loud masses of tourists spilling out of busses and trying to walk arm-in-arm? Like over-priced trash? Like saltwater taffy on your shoes? This is your spot.
    4.) Notre Dame, Paris. Much ado about nothing. Unimpressive and with no spire it looks like they ran out of money before it could be finished.
    5.) Harry’s Bar in Venice. Why anyone would want to go to an American bar in this amazing city is beyond me.
    6.) Las Vegas. Nuff said.