Tourist Trap: The Dirty Secrets Behind America’s Most Popular City Destinations

Just like you won't hear about the noisy next-door neighbors when you rent an Airbnb, you often won't hear about the seedier parts of a city until you visit, or even worse, move there. Unless you seek out the dirty secrets of any given American city, you might be fooled by tourism boards who want you to visit and residents who don't want to admit their hometown isn't Shangri-La.

We did some digging. Here are some of the filthiest secrets about notable American cities.

1. Nashville, TN: Too Corporate to Be Charming?

One Reddit user yearns for the quainter days of Nashville before it was Nashvegas. ToughCollection7460 explains that Nashville, “has lost a lot of its charm, local spots closing to be replaced with XYZ country singer bar. Traffic has gotten horrendous. Crime is up. All in all it’s my favorite city, but I’m so happy I left.”

2. New York City: A Rat's Paradise

You'll find New Yorkers that swear by living in the Big Apple, where you can find a world-class club, world-class pizza joint, and Fortunate 500 company operating within walking distance of each other. However, Reddit user lovebugxxx points out something else you'll see in NYC:

“rats, rats and RATS (I'm sure you know what city I am talking about at this point). Oh and the living expenses. $3,000+/month for a shoebox apartment. But pleased to know people still glorify living here!”

Did they mention the rats?

3. Pittsburgh, PA: No Longer a Blue-Collar Utopia

A long-underrated town known for a strong, hardworking middle class and a resident base deeply connected to the city, some are now asking: Has Pittsburgh sold out?

Reddit user BATTLE_METAL says Pittsburgh? More like Pitt-ch a Tent Because the Rent Is Too Damn High! Or, something like that:

“The tech companies that came here are bringing in people from big cities who have a higher salary and those people are destroying the housing market. Prices are going up and the locals are getting priced out. We are no longer a LCOL small city.”

4. Tuscon, AZ: Homeless in the Sun

Known by most outsiders for its year-round sunshine and frequent frat-organized pool parties, it turns out that Tuscon, AZ ain't all sunshine and floaties, after all. Reddit user Dawn36 says that, in an ironic twist, the temperate climate has exacerbated a budding homelessness problem in the desert:

“The homeless issue is getting out of hand fast. The influx of people from other states caused homes/rentals to skyrocket, and in turn there's more homeless. The mild weather makes it tolerable for most of the year to be homeless, but there is a lot more than there was when I was a kid.”

5. Denver: A City That (Too?) Many People Are High On

What happens when one state offers stunning scenery, fresh powder, abundant entertainment, and pillow-soft cannabis laws? A mass migration happens, and Denver happens.

Reddit user OctoLlamma88 points out the downsides of Colorado's magnetic effect: “Snow is dangerous enough without a bajillion people on the road, more than half of which are either going so slow it's not even funny, or pretending there is no snow and careening into other people and things.”

6. Kansas City, MO: Chiefs of Misery?

While not exactly a destination city (except for barbecue buffs), Reddit user mgrouchyy paints Kansas City, MO as a city in shambles:

“I’ve lived in or near a lot of different big cities around the country and the one I’m currently in is by far the worst city that’s ever been in that is classified as a “big city”. Diversity is so low, food is mid, concerts and events have pretty much stopped coming (besides sports events), the roads are awful, rent is way too high considering how much there really is to do here, any places that are worth visiting are not walkable so you NEED a car to go anywhere…”. And that's just for starters…

7. San Francisco, CA: Watch Your Step

Reddit user h20rabbit kept it short and sweet when listing their gripe with San Fransisco, explaining that the city is crappier than it might seem from a distance:

“Poop map. It's been a few years but I doubt anything is any better.”

8. Austin, TX: Brisket? Forget It.

Is there delicious barbecue in Austin, TX? Absolutely, as anyone who has been to Franklin Barbecue or Terry Black's will attest. But, according to Reddit user retivin, the food scene as a whole ain't what it's cracked up to be:

“The food isn't really that good.”

A modern-day Bourdain, this one is.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.