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12 Underwhelming Tourist Attractions

 When planning a tourist adventure with specific destinations in mind, it can be really disappointing to find out that what you expected to see is nothing like what you find in real life, be it due to a massive crowd surrounding the sight or the attraction itself being somewhat underwhelming. We've collected a selection of 12 such disappointing sights you may want to avoid on your travels throughout the world. The image you first see is the expected view, and to see how a given attraction really looks like, just click on each image.  
 

1. The Little Mermaid statue is one of the most widely known sights in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sadly, it's rarely accessible because hundreds of tourists surround it year round.

In peak tourist season it's difficult to take a decent picture of the famous statue, not to mention admire its beauty without someone asking you to move aside so that they could make a selfie.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Maria Eklind/ Flickr

2. Salvation Mountain is a colorful piece of the Colorado desert in California, and thousands of tourists arrive to see it each year.

And while the 150 foot wide painted chunk of the mountain is quite fun to look at and probably took quite a lot of hard work on behalf of Leonard Knight, the author, there is nothing but miles of desert surrounding it. From a distance, it even looks kind of sad.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Brian/Flickr, After: Chris M Morris/Flickr

3. The Desert of Maine is not a real desert, but rather a piece of barren and depleted land as the result of poor farming management.

On top of that, it isn't even unique, as many other farmland areas throughout the United States were similarly depleted and are in danger of becoming deserts, but they get much less publicity than the Freeport location.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: daveynin/ Flickr, After: Daderot/ Wikimedia Commons

4. The Abbey Road zebra crossing in London is insanely popular among tourists, as it was the location where the cover of the 1969 Abbey Road album by the Beatles was shot.

The truth is, however, that the street is not reserved for pedestrians only and it's often crowded and laden with traffic, and we'd even venture out to say that taking pictures on this famous crossing can even be somewhat dangerous. 
Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
After: Chris Wheal/ Flickr

5. Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth located in St. Augustine, Florida is a popular tourist destination in this old American city, but it doesn't look impressive or particularly abundant in water, actually.

 Allegedly, Spanish conquistadors were looking for a source of eternal youth in Florida in the 16th century and found this stream, but we are confident that the archeological park situated close to the fountain, or even the picturesque streets of St. Augustine are a better way to spend your vacation. 

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Jim Moore/ Flickr, After: Jim Moore/ Flickr

6. Blarney Castle in Ireland is quite beautiful on its own, but most tourists visit it to kiss the Blarney Stone, which is supposed to make you an eloquent speaker in an instant.

The stone is actually a stone wall that's somewhat difficult to access and not much to look at. Also, judging from its looks, kissing this moss-covered and germ-ridden wall doesn't look like the most health-conscious idea.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: psyberartist/ Flickr, After: Brian Rosner/ Wikimedia Commons

7. If you are for some reason looking for the largest Santa statue in the world, North Pole, Alaska, which is a small town not actually situated at the North Pole, is the place to go.

But don't count on taking a good picture with this 42 feet tall Santa Klaus, or even getting a look at him, as a matter of fact, as the statue is situated right at the side of the road and protected by a fence, plus Santa is almost always covered in snow, much like the nearby forest... 

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions

Before: Kuruman/ Flickr, After: Kuruman/ Flickr

8. Many of you will recognize Lucy the Elephant, as she is officially the oldest American roadside adventure, built in 1881 to attract people to live in Margate, New Jersey.

And while the 6-story tall statue has had its time of fame, today she is literally situated in a parking lot, which isn't a particularly impressive backdrop, as you will probably agree with us.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
After: Cambodia4Kids.org/ Flickr

9. The steam vents situated on Big Island, Hawaii, definitely create an impressive and mysterious landscape surrounding them, but up close, they are not much to look at.

The steam is created when water mixes with the hot volcanic rock that lies deep in the vents, but when the weather is dry, there is no steam and no fun.
Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Matthew Dillon/ Flickr, After: Malcolm Manners/ Flickr

10. Visitors travel to the Mystery Spot in the Redwood Forest near Santa Cruz, California, because it's marketed as a gravitational anomaly.

But what they will find instead is not an anomaly, but an optical illusion at a conveniently downhill location, which, thanks to its architecture looks as if it's pointing up. It's still an interesting building, but nothing anomalous or groundbreaking.
Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Tshrinivasan/ Wikimedia Commons, After: Christina P./ Yelp 

11. From a certain perspective and with the help of photo editing programs, the Craters of the Moon, located in Idaho really do look otherworldly.

But with the bare eye, the majority of this ancient lava eruption just looks like any other rocky desert.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions
Before: Bureau of Land Management/ Flickr, After: David Wilson/ Flickr

12. Stonehenge is one of the most beloved English tourist destinations and a true historical treasure.

But its overwhelming popularity is it's major flaw as well, as almost constantly the historical monument hosts hundreds of tourists, which doesn't let you see it properly, not to mention take a good picture.

Underwhelming Tourist Attractions

After and Cover Image: Ann Wuyts/ Flickr

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