Hilarious One-Star Yelp Reviews of Iconic U.S. Attractions
The top tourist attractions in the U.S. — beloved icons like the Golden Gate Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Disney World and the Grand Canyon — bring in millions of visitors each year. But not everybody’s impressed.
Yelp reviewers, in particular, have plenty to say about how these attractions are actually, well, the worst.
From clearly tongue-in-cheek complaints to sincere criticisms that are completely absurd, we've rounded up the most hilarious terrible Yelp reviews of popular attractions across the country.
Lincoln Memorial - Washington DC
“Extremely disappointing. I recently went to the Memorial and Lincoln did not speak to me. Heck, he didn't even get up to greet me at the entrance. He just sat there stone faced in silence. I even asked about his experiences in slaying vampires and no response. How rude! Would not recommend unless you wanted to see a statue.” - Nick B.
The Lincoln Memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, who — contrary to what you may have seen in the movies — is not alive nor a vampire hunter.
Cloud Gate - Chicago
“This s*** is just a mirror tf???? Like why u gotta reflect everything. Lowkey lots of fingerprint smudges. Also saw myself in the cloud gate and I was looking pudgy af so the mirror ain't even s***. Wish I could negative rate but it's not even an option here. Don't waste your time.” - Justin L.
The Cloud Gate is a 110-ton sculpture in Millennium Park featuring 168 stainless steel plates that have been meticulously welded together into a distinctive bean shape. Aka it's "just a mirror."
People like to touch pretty things, so the fingerprint smudges are inevitable. And it’s true, sadly, that it does not actively make you look less pudgy. What gives?!
Times Square - New York City
“Lack of decent chain restaurants was disappointing. I mean, how are you going to offer an Olive Garden and Red Lobster but no Logan's steakhouse. I mean you are only in New York once - I want a friggin steak!!! Am I wrong?” - PS R.
Times Square, also known as Hell on Earth, is a commercial intersection between 42nd and 47th that sees over 50 million visitors a year. The flashing lights, cartoon characters, ticket hustlers, chain restaurants and crowded streets make it a whirlwind five blocks that are guaranteed to age you.
Apparently, all it’s missing is a friggin’ Logan’s Steakhouse.
San Diego Zoo
“You can't touch animals. The sharks in with the penguins are the wrong type.” - W W.
The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is home to more than 3,500 animals. And because there are, like, leopards and alligators and anacondas and stuff, they cannot and should not be touched. (Seriously, do not touch them.)
As for what the “wrong kind” of sharks to hang out with penguins would be...we’re at a loss.
Liberty Bell - Philadelphia
“Let me just relay a few of the reasons the Liberty Bell is a national disappointment: Not in a tower. Cannot be rung, AND it's broken. Disappointing to say the least. It's not even that big.” - Emily C.
The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American independence as it was rung after the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. Written on the bell is, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It’s about three feet tall and 2,000 pounds and sits in Independence National Historical Park.
It’s unclear why it cracked, but it prevents it from being rung, which, yes, technically makes it a broken bell. But considering it's 267 years old, it's not entirely surprising that it's no longer in pristine condition.
If you want to ring a bell in good condition, join a caroling group.
Joshua Tree National Park - California
“Desert, some flowers, some cactuses, some palm trees, but boring. Definitely not worth 30$.” - Genaro G.
Joshua Tree is where the Colorado and Mojave deserts meet. Visitors come here to check out the spectacular variety of animals, rock formations and plants, including the park’s signature joshua trees, no two of which curve in the same way. Plus, there are a bunch of climbing routes, and you’ll be able catch an epic sunset.
Calling it boring is straight-up blasphemous.
Niagara Falls - New York (and Ontario, Canada)
“Lots of water...didn't get wet as advertised. no barrels, no tightrope, no nothing. i did however get pink eye from the view finder... this is not okay.” - Wolf P.
When you imagine Niagara Falls, you may picture a barrel tumbling over the top and down the rushing stream of water, or a tightrope that can be used to balance above the chasm…or is that just us and this Yelp reviewer? We must watch too many cartoons.
Anyways, Niagara Falls is made up of three large waterfalls, with the water draining from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. Thirty million people visit each year, expecting to get sprayed by the mist. Getting pink eye from the viewfinder…not so much.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace - Boston
“Why are there so many stars???? Uber-touristy. Smells like old grease. You will smell like old grease. I wouldn't eat here, evah! Oh and to park in the parking structure for one hour... $23!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” - Cassie P.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a boutique shopping center and market that’s been around since 1724. Back in the day, it provided a platform for merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers to sell their goods to shoppers. Today, it features 49 shops, 18 restaurants and 44 pushcarts.
None, as far as we know, specifically peddle old grease.
(That said, we do agree with the number of exclamation points used for that exorbitant parking fee. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! )
White House - Washington, DC
“I too grew up in a white house...The house I grew up in was white. This was meh. I didn't get to go inside but I saw it from a distance. Lots of history, if you are into that sort of thing, I guess.” - Ellie E.
The White House is the residence of the president of the United States. You know, the big white building with a bunch of columns and windows? John Adams was the first president to live in the White House back in 1800, so indeed, there’s a lot of history behind this particular house that, like this random reviewer's home, is white.
Washington Monument - Washington DC
“Well, it really is no big deal. Yes, it is the tallest monument in but it just looks like a big pencil. Take it or leave it. It is cool however how it looks in the reflecting pool. Very neat.” - Gina M.
The Washington Monument is a 555-foot tall obelisk that commemorates George Washington.
And ok, sure, it does kinda look like a giant pencil.
Pier 39 - San Francisco
“This is a fake pier built as an amusement park forty years ago and it is tourist sheep-shearing station. It has nothing to do with the industry of the waterfront, with fishing or for that matter, San Francisco. I grew up nearby.” - Chris D.
Pier 39 is the Times Square of San Francisco, only on the waterfront. It’s full of chain restaurants, people trying to sell you ferry tickets, and sea lions. (Guess you wouldn’t find that last part in NYC.) Don’t know where the tourist sheep-shearing station is, but it’s probably best not to go looking for it...
Empire State Building - New York City
“So many lines dude. You get in line to buy a ticket and then wait in line for a metal detector and then wait in line for a phone and then wait in line for an elevator. Not worth it fam. It's $40 to take a ride to the top of a building I do not recommend wasting your day waiting in lines.” - Amanda L.
The Empire State Building is 102 stories tall. It held the title of the tallest building in the world until the World Trade Center buildings were constructed in 1973. It attracts more than 3.5 million visitors a year.
Lines are inevitable, dude.
French Quarter - New Orleans
“The French Quarter is America's garbage can and cesspool. It reeks of urine, feces, vomit... it is filthy. Garbage can lined streets, trash pick up everyday, at anytime. Drunks and vagrants everywhere. Noise, noise, noise. Smokers everywhere.” - Lori R.
The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans. It’s where you’ll find live jazz music, Cajun food and a bunch of bars. And, of course, those tasty beignets from Cafe Du Monde! It’s entertaining, that’s for sure — this Yelp reviewer might be a tad dramatic.
Alcatraz Island - San Francisco
“IT STINKS!!! Literally, the whole island smells like bird s***. It's nauseating. I felt literally sick to my stomach. And it wasn't even any better inside the buildings. It smelled even worse. I don't know how, but it was disgusting.” - Diane Z.
Alcatraz Island, now a popular attraction, was once home to a supermax federal prison. So, yeah, it’s not the most pleasant place on Earth. (That was kinda the point?)
Fun fact: The name “Alcatraz” comes from the Spanish word “Alcatraces,” which means “strange birds.” No wonder it smells like bird poo!
Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
“ehh. i've seen better. big woop.” - Barry G.
The Grand Canyon, one of Earth’s most magnificent natural features, is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, and welcomes more than 6 million visitors a year to take in its spectacular scope and dazzling colors.
In other words? MEH.
Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco
“This bridge f****** sucks. it looks rusty as s***. the fact that it’s a known monument is atrocious. much to my chagrin it has yet to be torn down and replaced with a bridge suitable enough for a troll like myself to live under.”
“Rusty as s***”? That burnt orange color makes the Golden Gate Bridge the most photographed bridge in the world! It’s a “known monument” because it’s magnificent!
Oh, wait. We see what’s happening here. Well played, troll.
Lombard Street - San Francisco
“Yawn.” - Gwynnie P.
Lombard Street is known the world over for its downhill hairpin turns. But actually, the “yawn” from this Yelp reviewer is justified. It’s a crooked street with bumper-to-bumper traffic and it’s really hard to get a good photo.
Central Park - New York City
“Central Park is a disgusting cesspool, with a serious rat problem.” - Alf O.
A disgusting cesspool with a serious rat problem? This reviewer must be thinking of the New York City subway system.
Central Park, with its green grass, tall trees and walking paths, is one of the few areas of the city that isn't a cesspool!
Walt Disney World - Orlando, Florida
“Walt Disney World has gotten so GREEDY. They care more about making money rather than accommodating for a pleasant visit and preserving Walt Disney's signature hospitality. Now you just feel like one of a million suckers.” - Lori C.
Walt Disney World, a park the size of San Francisco that's visited by about 52 million people a year, is known as "the happiest place on Earth." "The greediest place on Earth" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Santa Monica Pier - California
“Gimmicky unhealthy are the words that come to mind when you walk along the Santa Monica Pier. This spot takes forever to drive down to since the traffic is pretty gnarly The Last Mile to the beach where the pier entrance is.” - Moses H.
Santa Monica Pier, which opened in 1909, features entertaining carnival rides and food vendors. Healthy smoothie bowls isn't really its thing, and honestly, we're cool with that. Hot dogs on a stick FTW!
Hollywood Sign - Los Angeles
“Heard this place was haunted so I had to check it out up close and personal. When I arrived at the lookout point where consumers gather in the day (ugh..) a sudden chill blasted down the rear of my blouse. I quickly spun about to see where it came from (the direction of the Hollywood sign itself) but was over taken with jarring and acute blindness. I fell to my knees and begun weeping in fear. I felt lizards run up and down my pant leg. I was being possessed. Anyways, long story short, I'm all good now and can safely say I did not enjoy my experience there.” - Walter T.
The Hollywood sign and its 45-foot tall letters overlook the city of Los Angeles. It’s been featured in films and television shows, so it’s a popular tourist attraction.
It is, however, a safe bet that Walter T. is the only tourist who’s experienced a sudden chill, followed by acute blindness and weeping in fear while lizards run amok on his leg. But who’s to say for sure?
Hoover Dam - Nevada
“WORST HOOVER DAM EXPERIENCE - AKA, DAM DERANGEMENT SYNDROME (or DDS). This was a seriously degraded experience from my visit in 2009. HD is a failing attraction, now one of the most overpriced, disorganized tourist traps I've ever experienced.” - GardenInTheGrove N.
TBH, Hoover Dam isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing tourist attraction. It’s significant because it was once the tallest dam and once the largest hydroelectric station in the world. But not anymore. It stops the Colorado River from flooding agricultural land. Riveting stuff, people.
That said, we can confirm that DDS is not a real medical diagnosis and that you will definitely not contract it by visiting the dam.
Fisherman’s Wharf - San Francisco
“I have traveled throughout the world and this area has literally the most disgusting public restrooms I have ever had the displeasure to visit. I didn't want to let my kids in there it was so disgusting.” - Cybelle M.
Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular attraction along San Francisco’s waterfront, is where you’ll find sourdough bread bowls at Boudin Bakery, Dungeness crab at the seafood markets, and fishermen throwing their fresh catches to one another. It also has insane views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, and some admittedly tacky tourist traps like a wax museum and “7D Experience" (whatever that is).
It’s worth a visit, but maybe go to the bathroom before you head out? (To be fair, clean public bathrooms don’t exist, well, anywhere.)
South Beach - Miami
“Nice beach, full of AWFUL, HORRENDOUS, VAPID people, constantly on their phone and dumb people everywhere. Go north if the people and noise bother you as well.” - Owen R.
Ah, South Beach, home to an entertaining boardwalk and glamorous nightlife, and filled with tall, tan and (apparently) extremely dumb people.
Space Needle - Seattle
“I paid 80 dollars to ride in an elevator, get yelled at for reading the information on the wall in line, watch kids lick the glass walls, and smell everyone's B.O. on the elevator ride down because they crammed everyone like sardines. Bye.” - Jetta B.
Seattle’s iconic Space Needle is 605 feet tall and offers sublime 360-degree views of the city.
It takes approximately 43 seconds to travel to the top in the elevator — a pretty short period of time to hold your nose and avert your eyes from the glass-licking kids.
Hollywood Walk of Fame - Los Angeles
“Spider-Man was touchy and rude. Don't give him the time of day. He's impulsive and doesn't take no for an answer so don't make eye contact with him. The whole place smells like straight up weed and smelled like p*** too. Not what I expected.” - Jose A.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is admittedly an overwhelming and awkward tourist attraction. Think about it, everyone’s looking at plaques cemented into the ground. It’s also true that cartoon characters walk up and down the street waiting to charge you for a picture.
This can be fun, in a cheesy tourist-trap kind of way. But apparently, one should always be wary of Spider-Man.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis
“The city of Saint Louis is the worst city that I have visited in the United States and I have visited 49 of the 50 states!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT GO TO THIS CITY!” - Dale W.
The 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch is an engineering marvel offering an hour-long tram ride to the top. As for why this guy hates it so much — or rather, why he hates the city it’s in so much — we really cannot say. But we can confirm he is very passionate in his hatred.
Mount Rushmore - Keystone, South Dakota
“World's most mysterious natural rock formation Mountainous Rushmore was underwhelming and a lot smaller than promised, not even sure who all those men are up there but I think it's just the same man four times in a row and why is that???? There should be four or five WOMEN up there if you ask me.” - Drew C.
"Mountainous Rushmore," which you may know as "Mount Rushmore," is not a natural rock formation. It’s a man-carved sculpture in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The faces carved into it? Some nobodies named George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
That said, there should absolutely be more women up there. (And, you know, some women presidents at some point.) So in some ways, Drew C. has a point.
Statue of Liberty - New York City
“I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy. Imagine a combination of prison and the worst airport security. You won't get close to the horrors our (yes i am a US taxpayer) Park Service has created.” - J H.
The Statue of Liberty was a present to the United States from the French. In 1886, it signified 100 years of friendship between the two countries. The National Park Service cares for the statue, and there’s heavy airport-style security before you get onto Liberty Island.
Is it a little ironic that you have to forsake some freedoms to access a place called Liberty Island? Sure. Then again, Lady Liberty is too significant to not be protected at all costs.
Also, “horror” feels a bit hyperbolic.
Pike Place Market - Seattle
“If you like standing in line for three hours to get a coffee this place is for you!” - Brock S.
Pike Place Market is the home of the original Starbucks. While it hosts a bunch of farmers’ market stalls, people do come here to wait in line for an OG cup from America’s popular coffee chain.
If you’re not into ordering a venti frappuccino at the world’s first Starbucks, by all means, move along.
Disneyland - Anaheim, California
“What the hell disneyland, if you want to make EVERYONE comfortable and happy that should include smokers. Not having even on single smoking area is seriously wrong. I come here multiple times a year I won't be anymore. Today has been the worst experience I've ever had here and it's the least busy day I've ever come.” - Emily K.
Disneyland opened in 1955. It’s a family fun theme park that doesn’t tolerate smoking. Disney says this is for the comfort of all guests, but what they don’t specify is that it’s for the support of all guests who don’t want to inhale unhealthy fumes.
Pro tip: If you’re a smoker visiting Disneyland, wear a nicotine patch.
Venice Beach - Los Angeles
“This place is DISGUSTING!!!!!! I don't know when these 4 star reviews went to this dump. It should be closed down.” - Deborah M.
Venice Beach is known for being less LA-glam and more LA-hip, with funky shops, a skate park and a more rough-around-the-edges feel.
Some dig this edgy vibe. Others think it amounts to the beach being a DISGUSTING!!!!!! dump.
To each their own.
Kennedy Space Center - Merritt Island, Florida
“Tourist trap. Long drive, tolls, boring. Expensive food and admission. Long wait for unimpressive tour and videos. Save your money and watch a documentary. If you or your kids are space nerds, you might get something out of it. Go rent and bike or a kayak.” - Nunya B.
Kennedy Space Center opened in 1962 after President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1958. Other than launch rockets and spaceships, it’s a museum where visitors can tour exhibits and participate in astronaut encounters. You won’t get that with a documentary! (And anyways, what’s so bad about being a space nerd?!)
Brooklyn Bridge - New York City
“The main stressor in my life. Gridlocked traffic, screaming drivers, buses that emit fouler odors than sewage waste dumps…” - Svetlana K.
The Brooklyn Bridge was a disaster of a project to get underway, but once the design and construction were complete, it became the world’s first steel-wire bridge. It’s a popular tourist attraction, making it a nightmare to drive, bike or walk across.
As for the sewage waste dump odor? That’s just part of New York’s charm.
Southernmost Point - Key West, Florida
“Major rip off -- NOT the Southernmost point in the Continental U.S. (you would need to visit the privately owned Ballast Key to the southwest of Key West to experience that). And it's not even a buoy -- it's an old piece of sewer pipe that the city found lying around and tarted up with some lipstick-red paint.” - Peter E.
A red-painted buoy in Key West claims the title of the southernmost point in the continental United States. You’ve gotta say “continental” because Hawaii is farther south than Key West.
The Yelp reviewer is right — Ballast Key is a privately owned island south of Key West. (There’s always that one guy who has to get super technical and ruin everyone’s fun.) The oversized buoy is just an easy way for people to take a photo with something semi-significant.
Mall of America - Bloomington, Minnesota
“This place is a raging s***hole! If you like being surrounded by idiots on their phones, be my guest.” - Dave and John W.
The Mall of America is filled with 520 shops (!!), an aquarium and an indoor theme park. About 40 million people swarm through its doors each year, many of whom are indeed looking at their phones because that’s just what humans do.
Happily, we do like being surrounded by idiots on their phones.
Road to Hana - Maui
“Road to Hana? More like road to hell. Unless you want to drive for 2.5 plus hours through a rainforest with curvy, narrow roads, and one lane bridges with the same vegetation the whole way then this is not for you. Biggest waste of a day in Maui.” - Andrea S.
The Road to Hana, a 64 mile-long stretch of coastline on Maui with scenic stops along the way, is also known as the highway to heaven. But if you have a sensitive stomach, its 600 curves can make it seem like a road to somewhere else. (Hell has never looked so spectacular, though.)
Wright Brothers National Memorial - Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
“What a rip off. First of all, why does the government charge for a national MEMORIAL. It's not like it's Yellowstone. It's a statue. So, for a car of 5, it was $40!!! And the visitor center was closed for remodeling. And Not to mention you can see the memorial from the road. TOTAL RIPOFF. Skip it.” - Casi Chilango X.
Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates the exact spot where the first successful flight took place. It lasted only 12 seconds, but laid the groundwork for crucial advances in flying. That kind of history doesn’t come cheap, folks!
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland
“A cacophony of noise and a waste of $26. I can see similar items for free at The Hard Rock Cafe.” - Genevieve A.
“A cacophony of noise?” Does this reviewer mean…“music”? Because yeah...that’s what this museum is kinda all about.
And we’re pretty sure this world-class museum would not be keen to hear its artifacts compared to those found at a Hard Rock Cafe. Ouch.
Balboa Park, San Diego
“For some reason, crossbows are not allowed here or Morley Field, so we had to head home after waking up at 7am. :/” - Ryan K.
Balboa Park is filled with gardens, walking paths and 16 museums. It’s a top thing to check out in San Diego. Just know that you’ll have to leave the crossbow at home.