Top 10 Most Boring Cities in AmericaSuggested by SMS
America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, the star spangled banner, the stars and stripes, etc, etc .. but never the boring, surely? Based on extensive research coupled with actual real life experience, here are the cities with the boredom factor. Warning : some of these choices may surprise you!
10. Dallas, Texas – the most exciting thing is the journey out
To many, Dallas was placed firmly on the map in the 1980s with its glitzy portrayal in of Joan Collins, shoulders pads and the evil J R Ewing. What more glamour, intrigue and scandal does any one city need? In reality, it’s really not that exciting. It also made it onto Forbes’ list of the 10 most boring cities in the US in 2009. Founded in 1840 as a frontier trading post, Dallas is the 3rd biggest city in Texas and the 9th in the United States with a population of over 1m. There is street after street of house upon house. No-one walks anywhere, and if you are a tourist, don’t plan to go far after 5pm; everything is closed. Add to that the cost of living and one of the most humid climates in the US. Let’s not forget the tornadoes, violent thunderstorms and temperatures over 100F in summer bringing with it an inescapable humidity. It no doubt led to the invention in 1981 of the frozen margarita cocktail by a bored and sodden Mario Martinez. Dallas is also responsible for Barney, the bizarre purple dinosaur with his terrifying face and horrendous song that plagued my son’s nightmares as a toddler. It’s also the home of famous computer games, including ‘Doom’. Need I say more?
9. Detroit, Michigan – dull, really
Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Famous all over the world for its automotive center and Henry Ford – what more could anyone ask? Any city that is famous for installing the first traffic light and paving the first mile of concrete road has to be high on the list of places to visit in the US. But where is the nightlife, the culture? Don’t worry, there is much more to Detroit than meets the eye. Based on consumption, it’s the potato chip capital of the world. Who said the US has an obesity crisis? It has the second highest sales of fishing rods in the US. Stop me before I fall asleep, which piteous place sells more? The city that gave birth to the classic sound of Motown prefers to be known as The Motor City. Just one question – why? Has it really come very far from the fur trapping days of French soldiers and missionaries?
8. Orlando, Florida – isn’t this Orlando more interesting?
If you aren’t 10 years old, what is there to do in Bore-lando? A city famous primarily for its tourist attractions and superficial lifestyle, Orlando is awash with strip malls, housing developments and traffic. Add a dose of humidity in the hot summer and the best thing about Orlando is the airport. Orlando International Airport is the second busiest in the state of Florida after Miami, so there are plenty of opportunities to fly somewhere interesting! OK, so you have Seaworld, Universal Studios and, of course, the overpriced and overrated Walt Disney World, ceremoniously opened by the man himself in 1971. So you have more theme parks and tourist attractions than anywhere else in the world but you also have mediocrity. Throw in high crime rates and hurricane risks and do yourself a favour. Go elsewhere.
7. Chula Vista, California – on an exciting day
Nestling 7 miles from San Diego, Chula Vista was also cited in Forbes’ most boring cities list. Its population of quarter of a million people lives in a city where there is nothing happening and nothing to do. Chula Vista annexed the nearby town of Montgomery in 1986, but that’s about as interesting as it gets. Extensive researched revealed a town without character or fun. If you are averse to the life of a beach-bum, traffic, too many people and earthquake risks, it leaves you with an expensive cost of living. Plus, the seals poop in the sea. I am slightly biased as yet my own experience of this area left me distinctly underwhelmed. The year I visited the whole of San Diego experienced its worse February rainfall, with most of its monthly quota falling on my one day off from a tedious convention. At least Interstate 805 isn’t far away, so you can escape to LA.
6. Chicago, Illinois – as it really is
The renowned Windy City, with nearly 3 million inhabitants and the only river in the world that flows backwards – the Chicago River. It has the Lincoln Park Zoo and the world’s largest public library stocked with in excess of two million books. On top of that Chicago is classed as an Alpha World City for its economic and cultural influence throughout the world. And there’s more! It has over 50 museums, 150 theatres and over 6,000 restaurants so how could it be considered on the list of boring US cities? With apologies to all of those I have not duly offended, this choice is personal. Many years ago, en route to a much anticipated week in San Diego I was stranded in Chicago for a whole weekend due to freezing temperatures not seen for some years. Our plane screeched to a halt in a snow drift after veering blindly through a blizzard in several attempts to land. Seven – yes, seven – hours later, I emerged from the airport, having finally convinced stony faced officials to release my luggage rather than send it to San Diego without me. It took a further three hours to secure accommodation for this unexpected sojourn to the paralysed city. The weekend consisted of futile attempts to stay warm in arctic conditions, dressed for the balmy climate of San Diego. Eventually, we were released on Sunday afternoon when the world had defrosted. Regrettably, my memories of Chicago are of a perishing city, a dingy hotel room, a lobby crammed with frozen travellers and questionable food. And as for the airport…… I’ve never gone back.
5. Anaheim, California – scary!
Another personal choice. Founded in 1857 by grape farmers, Anaheim literally means ‘home by the river’, referring to the nearby Santa Ana river and the translation of ‘heim’ as home in German. In the 1920s, it was famous for being a model ‘Klan’ city as in the Klu Klux Klan. At the time, nine out of ten of the police force were members of that dreaded organisation. Thankfully a sensible population eventually ousted them. Maybe it’s me and theme parks as Disney World was opened here in 1955 and still attracts countless visitors every year. It’s home to the Anaheim Ducks, a famous name on this side of the pond. It’s also one of the safest places in the US which would imply that nothing much happens…but it is also the place where I spent three days holed up with severe food poisoning, after a seemingly innocuous evening at a highly recommended local restaurant. So. Anaheim. The blur of a hotel bathroom, endless trips to an overpriced healthcare center and dubious food. As tentative as this recommendation is, I’d stick with Orlando.
4. Phoenix, Arizona – what can you do in a desert?
Think of Arizona and think desert and heat. Deserts aren’t meant to be lived in, they are meant to be at best travelled through by experienced itinerants. Lying in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is the 6th largest city in America. On average, it sees night-time temperatures of over 80F for over two months of the year, making it a haven for insomniacs. John McCain called it the ‘Number Two Kidnapping City of the World,’ and it has one of the highest car theft rates in America. It is also the largest American city without a passenger rail service; the nearest one stops 25 miles away in Maricopa. Make your own way from there. The authorities know there’s nothing to do so they make it impossible for you to leave. Too hot, violent, no easy way of getting in and out and nothing to do except swelter. Why would you? While you are bored, you may want to go looking for the lost gold mine of legend – the Lost Dutchman Goldmine of the Superstition Mountains situated somewhere in the Apache Mountains. Legend has it that the mine is cursed so be careful! Alternatively, you can always visit the Desert Botanical Garden, featuring desert plants from the Sonoran Desert. No, don’t let me stop you! Or maybe you can hire a car or book a flight to somewhere more exciting.
3. Augusta, Georgia – yawn
With its exciting nickname of The Garden City, the most famous thing about Augusta is its annual hosting of the golf Masters Tournament which sums up its appeal. Laid back, boring and dull and that’s just the game. Nothing happens in Augusta. Its most famous museum is the Historic Cotton Exchange. If you are really stultified, you can walk along the Savannah River or play golf at the Augusta National Golf Club, while you wait for the tournament to come back again. Let’s not forget the World’s Richest Drag Boat Race that also takes place in Augusta every July. Augusta was also the capital of Georgia, twice! But capital cities need a some life, so in 1868, after two chances, it lost out to Atlanta. If you really don’t like golf (you would be normal), you could always go on an expedition to find the grave of George Washington’s dog, who is rumoured to be buried there. One mitigating fact that earned it a higher rating on the list is that James Brown came from Augusta. Oh and apparently the city of August and Richmond County governments ‘merged operations’ in 1996, whatever that means but I wouldn’t get too carried away. Unless it’s from Augusta.
2. Barrow, Alaska – Why Would You?
If you love desolate places, arctic conditions and a bleak curtain of darkness for over 60 sunless days a year then Barrow is for you! Survival must be the most exciting part of daily life for the 4,500 or so brave inhabitants of this most northern ‘city’ in the US. Named after Sir John Barrow – an English statesman and Baronet of the 18th Century – Barrow ‘enjoys’ a polar climate with the lowest average temperatures in Alaska. There are freezing temperatures on an average 324 days PER YEAR and it doesn’t stop there. The top temperature in July barely scrapes above freezing. The sun sets around 18th November and doesn’t rise again until 24th January. From October to the end of May it freezes, simple as that. Barrow features in the film 30 Days of Night, about vampires who wait until the sun sets for months to invade and feed on its unwitting inhabitants. Is that all the writers could come up with? For those wishing to drown their sorrows in a more traditional way, forget it! There are no bars in Barrow. The sale of alcohol is illegal, and available only by permit, due to problems with sexual assault and violence. Does it deserve its rating in this list? Need I say more?
1. Las Vegas, Nevada – don’t go any closer
Sin City, the city that never sleeps, the entertainment capital of the world … let’s be honest, in spite of its racy image, Las Vegas is just a desert famous for its 4.2 mile strip. Why else does anyone visit there? Established in 1905 in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas became a city in 1911 and is now the most populated city in Nevada for one obvious reason. With nearly 600,000 inhabitants, it’s famous for its tourism, gaming and conventions. It’s also one of the brightest cities on earth with over one million lights, so it has to be exciting, right? Wrong! This avaricious city is soulless and superficial. Everything looks the same; there are no decent stores, no community and it has one of the highest suicide rates in America. Even the visitors are twice as likely to commit suicide in Las Vegas as they are when visiting anywhere else. And does anyone really enjoy walking nearly a mile from their hotel room to where the action is? Really? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – just don’t make it you.