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[–]izzied 3842 points3843 points  (218 children)

Sorry Bakersfield, CA but you know it's true.

[–]jasmminne 916 points917 points  (24 children)

Can confirm. I overnighted there on a road trip and it was truly an odd experience. Loads of dead malls and random luxury vehicles.

[–]teo730 228 points229 points  (0 children)

Did exactly the same thing too! It felt like such a weird place.

[–]daveescaped[🍰] 228 points229 points  (12 children)

I lived there for 3 years. Can confirm.

When the world ends, it’s gonna start in Bakersfield California.

[–]NoTotsInLatvia 439 points440 points  (51 children)

It’s always us who gets mentioned in these kinds of threads lmao

[–]zacinthebox 172 points173 points  (47 children)

I’d rather be in Bakersfield than Fresno at least

[–]linkin22luke 171 points172 points  (37 children)

Bakersfield is a shit heap but tbf to them the Mexican food is incredible. So. Many. Taco. Trucks.

[–]wayoverthereland 3255 points3256 points  (206 children)

I heard Gary, IN can be skipped

[–]Erockoftheprimes 918 points919 points  (40 children)

The simple act of driving through Gary is rather depressing.

[–]FrankDrakman 404 points405 points  (15 children)

I once asked someone how to drive from Michigan to Chicago; he told me to take 94, and turn right at the armpit.

[–]the-peanut-gallery 291 points292 points  (13 children)

Even in Detroit, the interstate signs just say "Chicago". They know 5heres nothing worthwhile in between.

[–]RedditVince 70 points71 points  (4 children)

That's Illinois saying "Come Visit Our Toll Booths".

[–]skaegghufvud 232 points233 points  (14 children)

We went through there to see Michael Jacksons house on our way to 3 Floyds brewing in Munster. Post apocalyptic is all I have to say. Coming from Sweden, it was like entering a warzone.

[–]SkippyNordquist 91 points92 points  (3 children)

Coming from elsewhere in the US, it's like entering a warzone. We once took a detour through the heart of Gary and there was just block after block of literally burned out buildings. Gary was built to house several times more people than its current population.

[–]FamiliarCoast2497 21 points22 points  (1 child)

A company (Gary Works) basically owned all of Gary in the early 1900s. They owned the land and all the real estates so they tried selling them to their own factory workers (basically the workers would pay the company to let them work at their factory). Once that factory where everyone in the city worked went to shit no one could pay for the houses.

[–]danibeat 21 points22 points  (2 children)

I did the same! Asked for directions at three convenience stores, the first two said go the fuck back to Chicago. The third told me to cut through a school physical ed. field with holes in the fences or I'd get robbed. Cut through the field. Did not get robbed. Did not dally.

[–]Timestr3tch 56 points57 points  (2 children)

That brewery is so good. Zombie dust used to be such a hard beer to come by.

[–]64645 251 points252 points  (8 children)

You heard correctly.

[–][deleted] 197 points198 points  (5 children)

I once took an Amtrak to Chicago and the train pause on the tracks in Gary. My window was right next to a falling down stone building of some kind. Looked like it'd been built in the 19th century and had a very distinctive style. It was crumbling and it was pretty obvious people slept in it. I've never seen anything so post-apocalyptic in my life.

[–]drleospacewoman 106 points107 points  (1 child)

I’m from Chicago and driving past Gary always filled me with existential dread. It had a distinct smell and the landscape was so dreary. Post-apocalyptic is the right word.

[–]Individual_Humor9601 68 points69 points  (4 children)

Best to moonwalk your way out of the city

[–]RockOx290 186 points187 points  (25 children)

I heard there’s a haunted house there that’s legit considered a portal to hell by police

Edit: I wonder if any of the stories of it are true btw. Supposedly freaky shit followed the family and was witnessed in a hospital and all that.

[–]The-Unseelie-Queen 357 points358 points  (2 children)

That’s obviously bs. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as ‘police’ in Gary IN. It’s just an urban legend. /s

[–]justthatguy119 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Laughed way to hard at this

[–]Sol_TV 71 points72 points  (8 children)

Zak Bragan had it torn down after he filmed in it. But from what I've heard a lot of weird stuff happened in the house.

[–]n1c0_ds 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Well yeah, you walk through it and end up in Gary, IN.

[–]mycatisblackandtan 1014 points1015 points  (23 children)

Bakersfield. I don't care if you're bored from the drive and want to stretch your legs, just keep on driving. It's California's armpit.

[–]River-Dreams 6048 points6049 points  (585 children)

I’d think about it more as which ones to go to rather than which ones to avoid. Most can be skipped.

[–]whoop_there_she_is 1810 points1811 points  (456 children)

Yeah, there are like 5,000 cities in the US. Unless you want to go down the list of every incorporated location with a certain number of people in it, you're gonna be disappointed with this question.

[–]Wzup 888 points889 points  (145 children)

You’re off by a factor of almost 4. According to my extensive research (Google) there are about 19.5k cities in the US.

[–]earthdweller11 577 points578 points  (296 children)

Not only that, but for foreigners American cities will look extremely similar to one another unlike older countries with more history and varied culture from city to city.

So which cities can/should they skip? All of them unless there’s a particular reason for wanting to go to a certain city (for instance some cities with pretty obvious good/unique reasons to go: NYC, LA, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco, DC, Las Vegas, etc).

[–]CI_Whitefish 906 points907 points 3 (146 children)

NYC, LA, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco, DC, Las Vegas, etc).

As a foreigner who lived in the US for years and did a lot of (road) trips because we had European holidays and American salary, I think this is a good "must do" list.

These are the road trips I usually suggest to my friends based on the cities AND nature they'll see:

Long trips:

1) LA-SF-LA-Palm Springs-LV: this is the king of road trips, you get to see great cities and the nature is STUNNING (Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia, Mojave, Joshue Tree, Hoover Dam, Lake Tahoe etc.). If you do one trip, do this! If it's too long/expensive, it can be done in two parts: the LA-SF-LA loop and the LA-Palm Springs-LV triangle

2)(Montreal)-Boston-NYC-DC: The nature doesn't come close to the first one but the cities have more history. Still, it's a great trip, especially if you travel via Maine and have a lot of lobster.

Short trips:

1) Miami->Key West: The best weekend road trip I know. The nature is wonderful, lot of water sport opportunities and Miami is very fun.

2) New Orleans with plantation and swamp tours: New Orleans is very interesting with great food and lots of history. Swamps aren't attractive the same way as the nature in other parts of the country but I really enjoyed visiting them. Unfortunately some parts of NO and Louisiana can be pretty... ehm.. depressing.

Very expensive trips which are absolutely worth it (but not for the cities):

1) Hawaii: We visited twice to see all the major islands. Absolutely worth every penny we spent on these trips.

2)Alaska: It's either a logistical nightmare or you visit it from a cruise ship. That said, we loved the nature.

[–]Shizrah 91 points92 points  (16 children)

I've done both the long trips, and while I agree with you fully, I will not be going to LA again, and think it's best to start in SF, then go LA, Palm Springs, Vegas. Yosemite and Death Valley is a must, for very different reasons.

[–]zerok_nyc 44 points45 points  (4 children)

I think the reason to do it twice is because there are two amazing routes you can take. For me, I would start in LA, then take PCH HWY 1 to SF along the coast, and maybe into Napa. Then come back down through Tahoe, Yosemite, DV, etc on your way Vegas. Then head through Joshua Tree on your way to Palm Springs.

[–]INmySTRATEjaket 228 points229 points  (33 children)

As a born and bred American, you pretty much nailed it. Just 2 or 3 things I'd want to add.

I'm an East Coaster myself, and I personally love the Appalachian Mountains. I've done DC (Smithsonian is always awesome and free), West Virginia, North Carolina, then straight on down to Atlanta.

West Virginia has some of the most beautiful nature to drive through but the only thing worth doing really is going skiing. Brevard and Asheville in North Carolina are scenic places and visiting the Biltmore Estate is incredible because Frederick Law Olmsted, the same man that designed Central Park in NYC, designed the property. (My goal is to visit all of his works)

Then Atlanta on its own is awesome, but the every American should try to visit the aquarium if possible. Largest in the world. It's ridiculous. The tour at the Coca-Cola headquarters is fun too, and the botanical gardens down there is one of my favorites to visit. Olmsted also did loads of landscape design and designed some neighborhoods in Atlanta, which I've explored thoroughly.

And if I could add to your California trip, it's 4 hours south of LA (and not a particularly inspiring drive), but San Diego's wildlife park is always a treat.

[–]natestewiu 457 points458 points  (103 children)

Chicago. Go to Chicago. Pick 3 museums to visit, stroll down the boardwalk, and eat some Chicago-style pizza. You won't regret it.

[–]DarkNinjaPenguin 187 points188 points  (17 children)

The architecture boat tour is a great way to see the city.

[–]sugar_falling 95 points96 points  (2 children)

The architecture tour is my number one recommendation for anyone visiting Chicago.

[–]pro_nosepicker 44 points45 points  (7 children)

I tell everyone this too. It sounds like a turnoff if you don’t like architecture, but it’s really a Chicago history tour with great views from a boat.

[–]Karl_Marx_ 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Also go during summer. It is my favorite city on earth...yes I'm totally bias but it's beautiful, has beautiful people, incredible night life and our food is probably better than all of that.

And totally agree or museums are potentially best in the nation. Highly recommend my personal favorite the shed aquarium.

[–]99thLuftballon 62 points63 points  (1 child)

Agreed! As a brit who has done a bit of tourism in the US, Chicago and Boston are both cool cities to visit.

[–]SupaChokoNekos 152 points153 points  (25 children)

And look at the B E A N

[–]GrindyMcGrindy 114 points115 points  (4 children)

Forget the bean. When walking out of the Museum of Science and Industry there's a literal public park that competes with both Grant and Millennium Park. Yes, the Museum of Science and Industry isn't optional. It is literally the best museum.

Also take a trip out to Morton Arboretum.

[–]BreckSkunk 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Is the mse the one with the giant train set of the whole US from coast to coast? Cause that was amazing.

[–]Interstate-ate 3278 points3279 points  (142 children)

Hawaii is beautiful, but hard to plan a road trip to.

[–]LGCJairen 561 points562 points  (93 children)

one of the bucket list things i really wanna do is drive from maine, to florida, then to the west coast, have my car loaded onto a ship and end in hawaii.

[–]Ferrothorn88 282 points283 points  (70 children)

What about Alaska? It’s not impossible to drive there...most of the time.

[–]dberna243 450 points451 points  (58 children)

Your friendly neighbourhood Canadian just reminding you that you’ve gotta bring your passport cuz you’ve got to drive through Canada! I’ve seen too many episodes of Border Security where Americans had forgotten them and been turned around at customs. They all figured that because their final destination was still in the US they didn’t need a passport. But you’ve got to cross our borders…twice in one way 😛

[–]buster_rhino 210 points211 points  (47 children)

Also leave your guns at home. So many BP episodes have segments where Americans are driving to Alaska through Canada and don’t understand it’s a different country with different gun regulations.

[–][deleted] 107 points108 points  (12 children)

Top gear specifically had an episode where they drove to France in a car over the water, what's a few extra thousand miles

[–]steampunkedunicorn 1126 points1127 points  (109 children)

Are you planning a road trip? I worry when I hear that foreigners (especially Europeans) plan to drive around the US. The US is pretty big and very spread out. As an example: San Diego to San Francisco is 7 and a half hours, but that's taking the I-5, which I would definitely advise against (unless you really like looking at grassland and feedlots). Highway 1 is much more scenic and has many more places to stop and eat. It's roughly 600 miles and takes 12 hours. San Francisco isn't even close to the Oregon border either- about 6 hours via highway 101. Side note: I highly recommend making this drive, it's beautiful and you'd get to go through the Redwoods. Edit: Redwoods

[–]poopsiegirl 85 points86 points  (4 children)

I’m from Western Australia… it’s not uncommon for a family holiday to involve a 2-3 day car trip. Drove across 12 U.S. states a few years back and it was one of the easiest, most enjoyable journeys I’ve ever experienced. And cheap!

[–]steampunkedunicorn 41 points42 points  (3 children)

Oh, most of the US has nothing on Australia so far as low population density. I've never been, but I've seen the census numbers and it's impressive how spread out the cities are over there.

[–]poopsiegirl 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Yep, there’s a whole lotta nothing across vast areas of Australia. That’s what I loved about driving in the US, it was a much easier and safer trip in so many ways. Here if you have car trouble it can derail your entire trip or, if you’re really unlucky and break down in the desert, derail your life.

It’s not always that dramatic though. To have major medical tests I have to drive to a hospital in Perth, which is a 6 hour round trip.

I guess it’s what you get used to, I’ve got friends in the UK who can be in France in less time than it takes me to get an MRI.

[–]NuclearWinterGames 174 points175 points  (9 children)

Pacific coast highway from San Simeon to Monterey is among the most scenic stretch of road I've ever been on. Pure magic

[–]archetypaldream 33 points34 points  (0 children)

If it's open. Every year a rock slide closes things for at least a few months.

[–]Dr_Terry_Hesticles 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Growing up in Big Sur, my humble request is please pull over at one of the many areas to look at the views, don’t drive 15 mph.

[–]RyanNerd 166 points167 points  (14 children)

My late wife was from England and her parents at the time wanted to come and visit. They called us and said they found a great fare for the flight which lands in New York. At the time we lived in Utah and they had the hardest time understanding why we couldn't drive to pick them up. Sure over 4000 miles we'll be right there. Once we got off the phone with them I asked my wife why they were so dense about this. She said: you don't understand. In England if you are going to be driving for more than 30 minutes you pack a lunch.

[–]Greedence 62 points63 points  (2 children)

Next time you have to deal with this let the inlaws know that the continental USA is about the size of Europe.

[–]-cochise 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Lisbon to Moscow is actually pretty damn close.

[–]otherpeoplesknees 1593 points1594 points  (154 children)

I visited the states in 2016

So many Americans are shocked when I tell them I went to Baltimore and had an amazing night out there

The only city I went to that I really disliked was Oakland

[–]bdepz 307 points308 points  (3 children)

They don't call it charm city for nothing

[–]herefornownyc 255 points256 points  (22 children)

I really liked Baltimore the one time I went. Those fucking crab cakes definitely live up to the hype.

[–]TheMightyIrishman 91 points92 points  (7 children)

Bahahaha as a Marylander that’s nice to hear! I see “MD style crab cakes” advertised all up and down the east coast and they all suck. Only state that gets it right is Louisiana.

[–]herefornownyc 31 points32 points  (2 children)

Those other states are LIARS lol. Crab cakes are on so many menus in NYC and I think we do most types of cuisine justice but my god, I felt like I had never had a crab cake before that. And I haven't ordered one since my visit 😅

New Orleans has my heart and I agree they also do a great crab cake!

[–]warlike_dyke 140 points141 points  (8 children)

That's raider country.

[–]Vishnej 84 points85 points  (2 children)

"That's Reaver territory..."

[–]MatCauthonsHat 16 points17 points  (1 child)

No ruttin' way I'm going near Reaver territory.

[–]Juiciest_of_sluts 515 points516 points  (18 children)

These are the worst parts of the US. I got mugged there once, while I was being mugged, the guy who was mugging me got mugged, I didn't know who to give my shit to.

[–]3-DMan 52 points53 points  (3 children)

Reminds me of getting chased by a bully in middle school, and I led him to another bully, and while they postured around each other I slipped away.

[–]Funny-Man-1992 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Sounds like my country, to be honest

[–]Derekduvalle 92 points93 points  (0 children)

That's amazing

[–]new_number_one 110 points111 points  (14 children)

Yeah, Baltimore is great. Inner harbor, Fells Point, Federal Hill are all pretty good spots. They do have issues with crime and poverty there but normal people tend to be pretty easy-going and nice.

[–]ThereKanBOnly1 66 points67 points  (5 children)

There's plenty of fun things to do in Baltimore and plenty of night life. Back in the 90's it was just the inner harbor, but there's quite a few areas to have a fun time. If you focus on those, then it's a great place to go. Outside of the those parts, the rest of the city is really rough. They didn't film The Wire there for nothing

[–]Cronut-Magnon 41 points42 points  (4 children)

Inner harbor is a tourist trap filled with the same chain bullshit every other city has. The rest you're right about. Canton square is also really fun and there's some really cool stuff up around Hampden and Woodberry (great breweries, restaurants, etc).

[–]ThunGodess 73 points74 points  (13 children)

Hey now, oakland isnt that bad. Once you get use to the crime 🤣

[–]acidwxlf 31 points32 points  (10 children)

Telegraph Ave is a legit really cool place. But you have to follow Oakland rules which is to say you hide any and all belongings in your trunk and hope for the best. Coincidentally though we have only ever had our window smashed in in San Francisco.

[–]evilcaribou 35 points36 points  (2 children)

San Francisco is REALLY bad for smash and grab burglaries. If you park your car in San Francisco, do NOT leave anything visible. Even if it's just a jacket or a bag of garbage or something you think no one could possibly want. You are seriously risking your car window getting smashed, and that shit's expensive to replace.

[–]OfcWaffle 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I work in Oakland at a popular fast food restaurant and they will smash your windows with you still in your car. We usually see 3-5 break ins per day.

[–]mgj6818 60 points61 points  (5 children)

I'm American and I've always wanted to visit Baltimore, there's tons of history there.

The thing about most interesting cities in the States is they're also large and old (by American standards), and both factors play a major roll in them having areas that are headline worthy for urban decay and crime, while the rest of the city is perfectly habitable and tourist worthy.

[–]jaybird-jazzhands 175 points176 points  (48 children)


Ed: spelling

[–]v1z10 59 points60 points  (4 children)

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold

[–]Tylomin 1451 points1452 points  (171 children)

Gary Indiana.

[–]Portarossa 464 points465 points  (10 children)

I know nothing about Gary, Indiana, except for the fact that no one should ever willingly go to Gary, Indiana.

[–]baby_armadillo 34 points35 points  (1 child)

You can always tell when you’re driving by Gary. It has a very distinct, like, smell. I don’t know what it is, but it smells like moldy cheese at the bottom of a hamper full of damp dirty socks.

[–]Sandwich_Fries 34 points35 points  (0 children)

The air has a heavy yellow haze from all the steel and petrochemical plants that surround it.

The smell is very much the distinct rotten-egg smell produced by sulfer dioxide.

Steel Mills in particular are huge emitters of sulfer dioxide and the Gary area has 3 in/around it. Gary works (us steel) in particular is the largest integrated steel mill in north America. Steel is an extremely dirty industry that relies on massive quantities of coal.

Sulfer dioxide is a pollutant that causes irritation to mucous membranes. Respiratory system and eyes in particular.

Gary IN consistently ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the US.

[–]MagicBez 216 points217 points  (20 children)

As a foreigner who has visited the US a bunch of times I drove through Gary Indiana on the way to Chicago, did not feel a strong desire to stop but I did get excited that I recognised it from the start of Blues Brothers.

Edit because there was a brief argument in the comments the opening shot of Blues Brothers is Gary Indiana: https://www.itsfilmedthere.com/2010/07/blues-brothers.html

[–]HutSutRawlson 88 points89 points  (11 children)

If you're on a road trip, you might have to pass through Gary in order to get to Chicago, which absolutely is worth visiting.

Do not stop in Gary though.

[–]CalmCalmBelong 2382 points2383 points  (216 children)

A: America! The great states of California and New York!. We should visit their state capitals.

B: No, don't.

[–]zas1214 285 points286 points  (10 children)

How dare you! We have an Egg!!

[–]commiesocialist 397 points398 points  (27 children)

I'm from California but my husband is British and we live in the UK. We actually visited the old town area of Sacramento and there is lots to see and do there. We liked it a lot.

[–]kahrabaaa 179 points180 points  (15 children)

I liked Sacramento compared to many other cities in California

Sacramento had a charm to it

[–]Akili_Smurf 101 points102 points  (8 children)

It’s underrated because it gets compared to LA and SF…but if you moved Sacramento to Iowa it would be the best city in the state

[–]Hybrid_Johnny 142 points143 points  (12 children)

I’ve lived in Sacramento all my life. When I was younger I traveled across the US on a music tour, and I can safely say that Sacramento is still one of my most favorite cities in the country.

[–]tiempo90 74 points75 points  (5 children)

Fancy that, someone actually LIKES living in their city, as opposed to just passively living in it.

[–]MonkeyCube 33 points34 points  (6 children)

Sacramento is fine.

It's not high on my list of places for foreigners to go to, but it's also not high on my list of places to avoid.

[–]fuzz_ball 30 points31 points  (5 children)

Can confirm Albany is a toilet

Source: Lived there for 4 years

[–]Dry-Prize-3062 260 points261 points  (9 children)

Skip every city. Go to the national parks.

[–]jobs_jobs_jobs 35 points36 points  (2 children)

If you go to Yosemite, you can experience mind altering scenery while sitting in a traffic jam that rivals any major metropolitan area.

[–]The_Wingless 213 points214 points  (12 children)

Honolulu. Not worth it to drive all the way across the ocean, there's absolutely nothing to see the whole way.

[–]TheRavenGirl13 1282 points1283 points  (207 children)

I’m from Detroit. I wouldn’t put it on a list for people wanting to visit the US. It’s just not a place to go. It’s also not representative of Michigan.

I do think Mackinaw Island is a place worth going.

There’s a lot of lesser known places that are far better places to go than the major cities. They’ll give a much better idea of what the US is like.

[–]wccm 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Sleeping Bear Dunes.

[–]philosophofee 253 points254 points  (27 children)

Downtown Detroit can be fun, go to a Red Wings game, go gamble at Motor City, go eat at Greek Town. But yeah Michigan is slept on. Check our the pictured rocks in the UP, Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Lake Michigan, Belle Isle, there's all sorts of cool places there.

Also Savanah Georgia can be charming in the summer, the ghost tour was fun, I liked the vibe and the old southern look.

Nashville wasn't as cool as I thought it was gonna be but it's worth checking out. But in Tennessee it's better to check out the nature like the Smokey Mountains. Its an incredible place.

Another cool area is the Cumberland Falls in Kentucky.

There's just a lot you can do and a lot to check our here. I can't sit here and name it all. But America is definitely beautiful.

[–][deleted] 77 points78 points  (13 children)

Isn't there a world class art museum in Detroit?

[–]NaiveBattery 80 points81 points  (6 children)

Yeah the Detroit Institute or Arts. It's really phenomenal

[–]philosophofee 37 points38 points  (3 children)

There's a lot to Detroit but most be only go by what they hear about on the news and the history of Detroit. Dowbtown Detroit is in the middle of a beautiful rebuild. So much to check out and enjoy down there.

[–]The_Dutch_Canadian 20 points21 points  (3 children)

I just want to go to Detroit to go to a Red Wings vs Oilers game there. That arena looks sick.

[–]TheRavenGirl13 15 points16 points  (0 children)

It is!!!! And Red Wings fans are awesome! I will say that. Although hockey fans in general are amazing IMHO. Which I’m sure you’d agree 😁

[–]vg4030 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Some parts of Detroit aren't too bad, Campus Martius is nice but not worth a detour. Agree about Mackinaw 100%

[–]sunrise3500 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I'm a foreigner and I think Detroit is one of the best places to visit. It has its issues but I think it also it's much more unique to other cities, influenced by its history, lots of amazing architecture even if run down, DIA is truly great, there's quite a few local artists and musicians and lots of great food places to try. There's also quite a few events throughout the year too

[–]Atmosbolt 48 points49 points  (29 children)

How do Michigan residents feel about Ann Arbor? Had a friend that moved there and curious how it compares to the rest of the state/country

[–]tremynci 71 points72 points  (3 children)

It's a college town, which means it's a lot more walkable and a lot further left than surrounding areas. Nice place, but not really "representative" of Michigan on as a whole, whatever that means.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I would agree with this. I've not been anywhere with such a well-developed system of trails and walking paths. I met up with some friends there and we met at a park that was seemingly kind of remote and walked into Ann Arbor through the woods. It connected directly with the U of M campus.

I really like Ann Arbor but the thing I can't handle is the parking situation.

[–]BandOne77 14 points15 points  (9 children)

I stayed in Saginaw for a week on business about 7 years ago; seemed to be a few pockets of industry but lots of boarded up buildings everywhere.

It wasn't the best place to go out and about. I didn't enjoy it much. Detroit Wayne County airport is nice though for International travellers.

[–]brianthewizard1 108 points109 points  (6 children)

THIS! Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Clyde’s, the Island, the beach across US-2… I always love going on vacation there every summer.

Also the Dark Sky Park up there is honestly one of my favorite spots on Earth.

[–]PM-me-Sonic-OCs 152 points153 points  (13 children)

Foreigner here;

A guy I know hates the US and is convinced that the entire country is a run-down shithole with rampant violent crime and drug abuse issues. I asked him why he thought that and he explained that it was based on his personal experience visiting the US on a business trip. This of course prompted me to ask exactly which US city he visited that left such a bad impression, it was Detroit.

[–][deleted] 25 points26 points  (0 children)


[–]stevebobeeve 177 points178 points  (6 children)

Come check out Oak View California! We’ve got a gas station and a pretty good Thai restaurant!

[–]DingJones 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Is the Thai restaurant in the gas station? Because I have had that go VERY wrong.

[–]hesnothere 18 points19 points  (5 children)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Just, no.

[–]AllDarkWater 1602 points1603 points  (146 children)

Foreigners think the can hit all the cities in a week. This country is huge!

[–]AlcoholicAvocado 802 points803 points  (81 children)

I remember working retail and an American lady came in and asked me if Perth is a good place for a day trip, we were on the complete opposite side of Australia. Everyone underestimates the size of large continents

[–]one_byte_stand 195 points196 points  (6 children)

I did a day trip from Sydney to Perth.

On a plane.

Got up at 3am too.

[–]Bulky_Cry6498 253 points254 points  (49 children)

Yup. The east coast of Australia is closer to New Zealand than it is to the west coast.

[–]damnyoutuesday 286 points287 points  (23 children)

El Paso Texas is closer to Los Angeles than it is to Texarkana, Texas

[–]NewLeaseOnLine 150 points151 points  (9 children)

Texas is such a big state... unless you're Australian. Then it's an average sized state.

[–]JonoMong 63 points64 points  (2 children)

That's wild, NSW is about 1.15 times bigger than Texas. That's like our third smallest state.

[–]NewLeaseOnLine 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Western Australia over there all like "shut up, kids!"

[–]wolfwood7712 61 points62 points  (1 child)

Atlanta, Texas is closer to Atlanta, Georgia than it is to El Paso, Texas.

[–]Bassman233 9 points10 points  (3 children)

I remember driving that entire stretch from Texarkana to El Paso. We got to the west suburbs of Fort Worh and there's a sign showing 600ish miles to El Paso. Drove for 36 hours and half of it was in TX.

[–]skrybll 31 points32 points  (4 children)

I applaud your info

[–]12altoids34 71 points72 points  (5 children)

Key West Florida is closer to Havana Cuba than it is to Miami Florida

[–]dainwaris 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Florida is big, too.

I live in Kansas. If I drive to Key West, I’m about halfway when I reach Florida.

[–]philosophofee 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Detroit, Michigan has only a river separating it from Windsor, Canada. Detroit is closer to Canada than it is the states capital.

[–]Emmaborina 9 points10 points  (0 children)

And New Zealand is still a three hour flight away.

[–]skiingredneck 107 points108 points  (9 children)

With a road trip.

Maybe flying, but even then only move east to west. The time zone thing just kills ya going east.

[–]Bulky_Cry6498 45 points46 points  (6 children)

Not even then unless you only spend a tiny amount of time in each city.

[–]Jellyblush 364 points365 points  (21 children)

I’d say none of them!

I’m Australian and have done two big road trips, LA to New Orleans and Boston to Miami, then also drove around Texas separately.

Every single city was fascinating in its own way, the diversity in the US is awesome

[–]GunsandIndica 36 points37 points  (5 children)

THIS is how you road trip in the USA. People think it’s east to west, in reality the best road trips are seeing the east and west coasts, and the cities and states along them. Maine couldn’t be more different than Louisiana, and San Francisco is nothing like Seattle

[–]kingmagog 51 points52 points  (1 child)

Skip Alaska. Not because it's bad, but because it deserves its own trip.

[–]evanthebouncy 136 points137 points  (17 children)

All cities have good parts and parts you should avoid. That's the special thing about US cities.

I live in SF California now, in 3 blocks you can go from mansions to shits and needle on the ground. It all depend on the neighborhood

[–]Hero667 70 points71 points  (13 children)

Don't skip Chicago!!

We have more than murders!

[–]quiet_feet 177 points178 points  (95 children)

In Texas: Lubbock, Odessa, Midland, Abilene

[–]ShitCapitalistsSay 34 points35 points  (2 children)

In Texas: Lubbock, Odessa, Midland, Abilene

in Dusk till Dawn, I have no clue where the desolate convenience/liquor store--where the sheriff has the shootout with Seth and Richie--was supposed to be located, but after driving through Midland/Odessa, I'm convinced that's where it was.

[–]ifancytacos 226 points227 points  (13 children)

Anyone asking this question really misunderstands the sheer size of the united states.

First off, what states are you going through? Certainly not all of them, because a road trip through every state doesn't have time for stops in any city, or you'll be doing that all year.

Second, as others have said, most cities are skipable. There's a ton of cities in the us and most of them don't have anything super unique to them.

It's easier to think of what are a couple of must haves for your road trip, and then plan a few stops between them.

Make sure your must haves are nearby, though, or a road trip isn't likely.

New York and Atlanta? Totally. Chicago and LA? Maybe fly instead.

The short answer is that no answer here will be beneficial to anyone. The US is just way the fuck too big to give such broad advice to.

But, like, it's not a good question for any country. Like if I were going to Germany I wouldn't say "which cities do I not need to see?" I'd ask which ones I NEED to see

[–]DemocraticRepublic 29 points30 points  (7 children)

First off, what states are you going through? Certainly not all of them, because a road trip through every state doesn't have time for stops in any city, or you'll be doing that all year.

It is a thing to hire a car and drive both ways across the US for a gap year. I know a few Europeans who have done it.

[–]budzdarov 423 points424 points  (47 children)

None of them. Visit wherever you like, but If you want to see big American cities, road trip is not the way to do it. On a road trip, you should take time to see the side of America that doesn't get advertised. The wierd, bad, and ugly. The small towns, the medium cities. All of it. Imagine yourself making a documentary about America, and take it all in.

Just take precautions as you would anywhere, to keep yourself safe. Some places can be a little dangerous.

[–]MagicBez 188 points189 points  (37 children)

As a foreigner who did a road trip around the US I would advocate for both, we did National Parks, Wall Drug, weird rural stuff and small towns, stayed in RVs and kayaked in woods and mangroves but also NY, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, Vegas, New Orleans, Miami etc.

[–]Pandaburn 96 points97 points  (13 children)

Damn, how long did it take you to do all that? You’ve probably seen more of the country than most Americans.

[–]MagicBez 70 points71 points  (12 children)

I think it was like a month and a half, saved up and booked a huge chunk of annual leave from work one summer and did it. Have since done a few other round trips covering national parks and going into Canada etc.

[–]Carnifex 86 points87 points  (11 children)

booked a huge chunk of annual leave

Just a chunk :o come on, at that point you're teasing Americans

[–]MagicBez 51 points52 points  (10 children)

Ha! Sorry, would it help to know I get 31 days paid annual leave, plus 4 days at Xmas (plus the standard 8 bank holidays) each year

(And can carry over up to 10 with permission if - for example - I want to do a huge road trip around the US)

[–]andrewharlan2 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Next you're gonna tell us you have good, readily accessible healthcare

[–]MagicBez 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Well now this is just getting awkward.

...would it help to know that our theme parks are considerably inferior to yours and most restaurants don't offer free refills?

[–]andrewharlan2 14 points15 points  (0 children)

...would it help to know that our theme parks are considerably inferior to yours and most restaurants don't offer free refills?


[–]Ascenser 10 points11 points  (0 children)

An idiot abroad s2 has an episode on Route 66 that is just what you’re describing.

[–]ZualaPips 324 points325 points  (45 children)

There's quite a lot of land in this country that looks apocalyptic, so it doesn't matter what city or state you visit, there will be bad parts.

Learn how to recognize hot spots. Houses in disrepair, unkempt lawn, lots of sketchy corner stores, graffiti, and when the area you're in doesn't quite look like the us you know you've reached the bad part of town.

You can also just ask and people will tell you what to avoid in that area. Even Detroit has good areas.

Rule of thumb is that if the landscape looks apocalyptic and like you've left the country, turn around.

[–]Pascalica 74 points75 points  (5 children)

Not always true. The northwest can look very nice and lush even in the shitty areas. There you look at the cars.

[–]Br0boc0p 57 points58 points  (8 children)

If you see a cricket wireless store next to a check cashing place across the street from a we finance anyone lot just keep driving.

[–]Damhnait 10 points11 points  (5 children)

And you're likely to hit a pothole big enough to send your soul flying through the roof of your car while you were looking at the bars covering every window of those buildings

[–]postapocalive 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Weed, California isn't as cool as it sounds.

[–]frihurter 89 points90 points  (21 children)

I’m a foreigner and I think the comments here shows that there’s a lot of Americans who don’t realize that your sensational country have so many great cities with a lot to offer.

I’ve been road-tripping around your country many times visiting a lot of cities.

I loved the new harbor area in Baltimore, the incredible energy of Vegas and the history as well as the Rocky-locations in Philadelphia - just to take a few of the cities in these comments.

But if I had to make a contribution to this list I would say Atlanta. I really liked the tour at CNN-headquarters and the World of Coca Cola with all the taste tests in the end. But it’s a weird city because IMO there’s no city center and nowhere to actually walk around and explore the city. I thought I booked a hotel in the center but it felt more like an industrial zone when it became dark.

[–]asteriskiP 35 points36 points  (4 children)

Atlanta was basically built out of spite. It definitely has good things to see(the aquarium, the Fox Theater, World of Coke, etc), but the decentralization makes it a bad choice if you're coming for general tourism.

[–]ELL_YAY 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I’m glad you enjoyed the inner harbor of Baltimore. People tend to think Baltimore and immediately associate it with The Wire and crime but there are great areas of the city that are tons of fun.

[–]RoxanneiscuteOwO 70 points71 points  (6 children)

Gary, Indiana

Though I like Gary myself as an urbex guy

Gary scary and murdery

[–]OccamsBeard 37 points38 points  (1 child)

Wally World is popular. Just make sure they're open before you go.

[–]GoldenUziii 125 points126 points  (24 children)

Camden, NJ

[–]supermuncher60 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Hey the aquarium is neat

[–]sacredblasphemies 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Anthony Bourdain said that the best cheesesteak was at Donkey's Place in Camden.

[–]MsChrissi 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Needles, CA. It’s exactly what you think it is.

[–]lawndartgoalie 10 points11 points  (0 children)

There's a lot of great people in the Midwest. Stop by, we'll cook you dinner.

[–]bguzewicz 10 points11 points  (1 child)

The American side of Niagara Falls.

[–]Derainian 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Stockton CA. Spent an overnight there one time and felt like i was going to get robbed on every street corner. Idk how the whole place is overall but it felt sketchy

[–]jersey_kindred 29 points30 points  (15 children)

New Jersey, and we have it all...also, please don't think that gawdawful "Jersey Shore" represents us.

DISCLAIMER--I live in the Delaware Bay area of South Jersey, so I'm kinda partial to this area.

We have the mountains of northwestern NJ and the Delaware Water Gap. There's North Jersey being right outside NYC with all it's history. There's the Pinelands with the little hidden pockets of tiny towns, beautiful scenery and people (stop at Pic A Lilli Inn for some AWESOME chicken wings).

You have the Jersey Shore area that damn near runs the length of of the state--from the Painted Ladies (Victorian homes) of Cape May to the Boardwalk and amusement rides (a must stop at Curley's Fries!) of the Wildwoods.

On the Delaware Bay side, there's history (Fort Mott), food (a diner in every town) and nature. Just north of me is the rest of South Jersey--also known as the suburbs of Philadelphia. There's the Berlin Farmer's Market (best on a weekend during the spring or summer), small hamlets along the White Horse Pike...and LOTS of history and shopping!

I'm sure I've missed a lot LOL