Revealed: The Most Avoided US City for Travel, Survey Reports

For many Americans who get most of their news from sensationalized news stories, the safety (or should we say the perceived safety) of big U.S. cities has become a political problem. Still, it’s interesting to see which places people avoid and which ones they like.

So, the travel website The Vacationer polled more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. to find out which places people say they would “avoid traveling to at all costs.” SurveyMonkey ran the poll, which was made up of 34 cities chosen from a sample of big U.S. cities across the country based on their population size and interest among tourists.

People were told they could choose as many places as they wanted, or they could choose “none of these” if there weren’t any cities they would avoid. The people who answered the survey were not told specifically which places they should stay away from, though. So, the reasons for the answers could be anything from fear of crime to the weather in a certain place.

Still, Detroit came in first. More than 22% of those who answered said they would never go to that midwestern city, even though there are many good reasons to go. Just behind Detroit came Chicago in second place, with 21.71 percent of respondents saying they would never go to the “Windy City” again. Atlanta came in third.

With less than 5% of respondents, Honolulu, Hawaii is the place that people say they would avoid the most. Also, 26.62% said they had no reason to stay away from any of the places on the list.

The Most Avoided US Cities for Travel

  • Detroit, MI: 22.50%
  • Chicago, IL: 21.71 %
  • Atlanta, GA: 18.47 %
  • New York City, NY: 18.07 %
  • Baltimore, MD: 17.39 %
  • Anaheim, CA: 17.19 %
  • San Francisco, CA: 15.62 %
  • Austin, TX: 15.42 %
  • Miami, FL: 14.83 %
  • Dallas, TX: 14.34 %
  • Jacksonville, FL: 14.34 %
  • Los Angeles, CA: 14.15 %
  • Houston, TX: 13.16 %
  • San Jose, CA: 11.69 %
  • Sacramento, CA: 11.49 %
  • Tampa, FL: 11.39 %
  • Las Vegas, NV: 11.20 %
  • Portland, OR: 10.81 %
  • Philadelphia, PA: 10.61 %
  • Washington, D.C.: 10.61 %

Also Read: These are 5 Most Underrated US Cities that Should Be in Your Travel List

City by the Bay Struggles

Survey analysts found San Francisco surprising. “San Francisco’s reputation has plunged across America,” noted Eric Jones of TheVacationer. At least where I reside, San Francisco larceny and burglary stories are always on the news. San Francisco people are fed up with its image. Despite this, San Francisco is not one of the top five U.S. cities Americans avoid at all costs. Only 15.62 percent of people avoided San Francisco, ranking sixth.

Honolulu is the least probable major U.S. city Americans to avoid at all costs. Only 4.91% of American adults stated they would avoid vacationing there, about five times less than Detroit.

Survey Methodology

This 2023 Major US Cities Americans Avoid Traveling to at All Costs Survey was done by SurveyMonkey for The Vacationer. On August 8, 1,020 adults were polled. Survey respondents were 46.76% male and 53.24% female. 18.76% of survey participants were 18-29, 28.88% 30-44, 37.03% 45-60, and 15.32% beyond 60. This survey has a 95% confidence level and a ±3.134% margin of error.


A survey by The Vacationer found that over 1,000 adults in the US would avoid traveling to 34 cities based on population size and tourist interest. Detroit came in first, with over 22% saying they would never go to that midwestern city. Chicago followed with 21.71% saying they would never go to the “Windy City” again. Honolulu, Hawaii, was the least probable major US city Americans would avoid at all costs, with only 4.91% saying they would avoid vacationing there.

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