The 40 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States

While the United States is obviously home to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and exciting places in the world, there are still some places that… aren’t so beautiful. Hey, we can’t win them all!

That’s because there are some places that exist that have less-than-stellar conditions for visiting, such as poverty, high crime rates, and unemployment. Other areas are just not all that exciting, despite having a name that’s “known,” or in many cases, a well-known celebrity just happened to grow up there.

Before you start planning out your next vacation, you might want to read through this list to see the places you might want to leave off of your bucket list.

St. Louis, Missouri

St Louis Missouri

Unfortunately, St. Louis, Missouri has become a city known for being one of the most not-so-great places to visit in America. That’s because the risk of experiencing a crime is 1 in 53, and the risk of property crimes is 1 in 10.

The reason for this is mostly because of a declining economy thanks to many of the longer-term residents leaving St. Louis for greener pastures. However, there has been a lot of revitalization going on with hopes of attracting new investments and residents.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Michigan

Another city with a not-so-great reputation is Detroit, Michigan, and that’s not all. It also has a reputation for having some of the rudest residents! Although “Motor City” used to be a go-to when visiting, most tourists steer clear of that area now thanks to the abandoned buildings and rumors of high crime rates.

Much like St. Louis, Detroit has suffered from an influx of crime and poverty that caused many of its prior residents to leave to other cities and states. Detroit is also trying to revitalize its city to attract new residents.


Reno, Nevada

Reno Nevada

Reno, Nevada is a well-known city and is specifically known as the “biggest little city in the world.” You might notice a theme with this list, with so many of these cities suffering from some pretty big issues when it comes to things like unemployment and crime.

It’s just a fact that the two go hand in hand and can have dire consequences for the city as a whole. For Reno, this has meant drastic cuts in public services, drops in housing prices, and layoffs.


Stockton, California

Stockton California

If you thought to visit Stockton, California, think again. Stockton is known for having 1400 incidents per 100,000 people, which means it really isn’t the greatest place to plan your next vacation.

A lot of the issues surrounding Stockton are due to the 2008 financial crisis, and in 2012, they even had to file for bankruptcy protection, becoming the largest city in US history to do so. Even as soon as 2020, the city had an 8.4 percent unemployment rate.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee may be number one in some things, but what it comes in for as a number two isn’t all that awesome. It ranks second highest when it comes to crime, poverty, and corruption by city officials. That doesn’t mean tourists don’t still flock to the city for other reasons though.

Since Memphis is known as the home of Graceland, the shops of Beale Street, and the East Coast Music Festival, there is a lot of things to see. And hey, it’s also the birthplace of the blues. However, visiting still comes at a cost.

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven Connecticut

Some people travel to New Haven, Connecticut to check out Yale University. Considering it is one of the most prestigious universities in all of the United States, that isn’t surprising.

But what might be surprising is the fact that New Haven has one of the highest crime rates on the East Coast. The city also has a 6.6 percent unemployment rate, with much of the city being impoverished. In other words, the university is pretty great, but the outskirts… not so much.


Oakland, California

Oakland California

Oakland is our second California city to be listed, and that’s because thanks to high crime rates and difficult economic times, the city has simply gone downhill. This is even after seeing a slight decline in those crime rates in 2018.

Oakland is on this list because it still sits almost four times higher than the national average when it comes to its overall crime rates. Despite the issues mentioned, Oakland is still recognized for being a rather progressive area with stunning views and an amazing climate.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Ohio

It says a lot when even Forbes ranks your city as one of the most miserable cities in all of the United States. In fact, Cleveland, Ohio earned the name, “Mistake by the Lake,” for good reason! And yep, crime has something to do with it. So does unemployment.

Not only that, but Cleveland, Ohio is also known for its unpredictable and brutally frigid winters. So if you happen to travel to this city at all for a visit, you might want to try going during the warmer months.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Maryland

Sorry, but we had to include Baltimore, Maryland on this list. The biggest reason that Baltimore has issues at all is because of its close proximity to Washington, D.C., and its specific location along the Atlantic Coast – it’s right at the second-largest port.

If you happen to be a fan of HBO’s The Wire, then you probably already know that Baltimore, Maryland is the setting for the series… and that should tell you pretty much anything you need to know about the crime scene there.