HomeDestination10 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States

10 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States

Travelers planning to visit the United States have many exciting destinations to choose from. However, for as many historical landmarks, amazing nightlife scenes, and striking landscapes there are to take in—oftentimes that also means major urban centers can have their share of crime, poverty, and traffic dangers, which have earned the following American cities a bad rap that are not really justified.

For example, New York City is celebrated by some tourists for its Big Apple hustle and bustle; while others steer clear due to fear of crime rates, smog, and traffic. You have to understand that in many cases these bad raps are due to outdated information or stories of unfortunate events that happened to a friend who visited the city.

While we urge you to travel with caution, let’s explore why these cities have a bad rap for being the ten worst cities in the United States…

Detroit Michigan

1. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit probably has the worst reputation of any American city, and many tourists steer clear from the once formidable “Motor City” due to rumor of high crime rates (only surpassed by nearby Flint, Michigan) and abandoned downtown buildings. This once celebrated center of the American automobile industry did experience an influx of poverty, crime, and exodus of city residents from 2008 to 2010. However, the Detroit of today is experiencing a million dollar revitalization, with abandoned buildings undergoing commercial real estate developments, young couples, community gardens, and new businesses breathing new life into the area.


  • Cookie Monster

    No Texas city?

    • pluviosilla

      Austin is worth visiting. So are San Antonio & Corpus Christi. But if I were advising a foreign traveller, I would recommend the older Eastern cities, Williamsburg, or in the South, New Orleans (maybe) and San Francisco, in spite of the expense. The Oregon coast is really nice. But people confuse “go to live” with “good to visit”. I’ve lived in Seattle & absolutely love it, but frankly, it looks just like any other oppressively modern American city. It has some really nice parks, but do you visit a place for its parks?? Same for Dallas, Texas. It’s actually become a pretty nice place to live. But to visit? Nah.

      Why recommend cities at all? Where America really shines is in its national parks.

    • jeremyjanson

      I don’t think any Texas city really deserves to make it on to a “worst cities to visit” list. Fort Worth and San Antonio are downright wonderful. I know a lot of people like Austin, but to me, and maybe it’s just because I grew up ner Seattle, but it just seems like a giant imitation of West Coast cities and WHY???

  • http://frazziniinvestigstions.com/ Franzz Franzzini

    Wow, very little research went into this article and in fact it was probably written by someone that did not actually travel around the country. What was the criteria to be considered on the list? Did population or tourist traffic have any bearing? Was the rate of foreclosure on homes the biggest factor to making the list and if so why? Are you saying the foreclosure rate is relative to the crime rate in that city? I drive across the United States and stay in cities that are not the most populous and can let you know from personal experiences that are not just based on foreclosure rates. In my experience I would put any city in Indiana on the top of the list. The reasoning for Reno to rank number three on the list is nonexistent other than Vegas is better. Second on my list would be California simply because of the extremely high cost to do anything as compared to most any other state in the country. What it costs you in California for one day you could spend in a month in other states. I am not traveling to see foreclosed homes and I doubt many are and unless you are driving around side streets in neighborhoods that have no tourist value. Anyone can make a list, but the criteria to make that list should be highlighted. Camden NJ is on the list and I am unaware of this city and why it would be considered a tourist attraction and seemed to make the list based on crime rates. So if crime rates are a main consideration I want to know what the crimes are that make the rate so high. Are they domestic violence or from robbing tourists? It would make a difference as to the tourism value. Anyways I could go on an on, but I have to reiterate Indiana is the state to avoid unless you want to worry about getting robbed, like very rude people that are unhappy you are even there, like hotels that try to drain you of every penny, and like driving on highways that are very confusing to navigate. Enough said.

  • thefunconsultant@yahoo.com

    Wow! I hope no company or travel bureau from any of those cities supports this site! If crime rates were what determined the cities that I wanted to travel to I would never have made to it some of the most interesting places in the world (Moscow, Amsterdam, Istanbul, London, etc.). I have been to every city on this list and it’s obvious you know nothing about any of them. Let’s look at a couple of the cities you felt are not worth visiting:

    Chicago; if you had ever been there you would know that it is extremely safe just about
    everywhere a tourist would want to go. In fact your site states it is a very walkable city. Your site ranked it third on your list of “Top 10 Tourist Destination Cities in the US “, and even thought it worthwhile enough to write an entire article on the “10 Things to See and Do in Chicago, Illinois”. So what is it – should we avoid it as you suggest “Chicago is a good one to skip until it makes some improvements” or “This Windy City offers enough to catch any guest in the whirlwind of live music, modern art, fine dining, hilarious live comedy, sports, and architecture of the city.”

    Memphis; According to your site apparently is the 8th best place to go see the July 4th
    fireworks. I guess during the fireworks the crime rate drops to an acceptable level. The city covers 324 square miles, so yeah there is crime in areas of the city but not in the areas that a tourist would be. To miss out on the music and culture events which are plentiful in this city because there is gang crime in some of the outlying areas would be more criminal than anything a tourist is likely to encounter during a visit.

    New Haven, Stockton, Oakland, Detroit, Camden, Cleveland, Reno, St. Louis all have things worth seeing and all have populations that welcome tourists. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your article to each city’s tourist bureau so that they might review your comments and make sure they are not supporting your site.

    • pauladeenshair

      Amen! The author of this so-called list is obviously a jerk looking to for attention by insulting the people of the afore mentioned cities. Moving on…

  • megancpeters

    This is ridiculous. You call yourself a travel/tourism site and you are discouraging people from visiting cities in the United States–cities that I’m sure you know nothing about first hand, cities that could throw off the bad wraps they are unfairly bogged down with through increased tourism dollars, cities that are full of people who directly benefit and make their livelihood through visitors choosing to visit their cities. Realize your written words have consequences!

    • Matt Smith

      But, it was true. Detroit is the armpit of the Midwest – so violent that criminals are often threatened with being dropped off near the old baseball stadium. Downtown Chicago is full of pan handlers, drug users and crazy people (the guy who blows a police whistle and says that the FBI is rape headquarters by the Daley Center, for example. Anywhere that voted for Obama, you want to avoid – unless you are touring Planned Parenthood sites.

      • deb_gib

        Another ‘teabagging,whiny,poor loser’.

      • Paula Product

        Even though, as Deb says below, Matt is a whiny teabagger, it’s worth pointing out just how idiotic he is. If you’re going to visit “cities” in the US, which ones didn’t vote for Obama? Of those, which would you want to visit? The answer, of course, if that virtually every large city in the US voted for Obama. I’m guessing your next vacation is going to be in SLC, Matt. Have fun, asshat.

        • Marti Settle

          Paula is correct. Almost all of the large metropolitan cities voted predominately for Obama. The reason is that during the 1970′s when school busing was instituted as the law of the land, more prosperous families fled (white flight) from the cities to the suburbs, myself included. I took a beating on the sale of my home (and as a divorced parent) to make sure that my only child, a 6 year old son, did not have to walk through the barrios alone to school and then be bused to another part of Dallas to satisfy racial quotas. Dallas was a thriving city and I grew up there. But, I was forced out because of the ruling by liberal judge “Barefoot” Sanders who forced busing on Dallas Public Schools. The big losers were the black children who spent hours riding buses daily to satisfy this social experiment. Ultimately the dropout rate for blacks spiraled and crime prevailed in Dallas. I am old enough to be able to see the demise of the inner city and understand the cause of this phenomena. I believe that Stockton California was one of the first municipalities in the US to declare bankruptcy. When this happens city services are discontinued. Detroit was destroyed by the weight of the unions which wiped out jobs in the automotive industry. Nothing personal folks, just the facts. Interesting to say though, Dallas remains a tourist destination city because of people coming to Dealey Plaza to see the JFK memorial and Texas School Book Depository.

      • coll_doll

        The “old baseball stadium” in Detroit you’re referring to is Tiger Stadium, which was demolished years ago. That location is in Corktown, one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in Detroit. It is surrounded by fun restaurants and a lot of young professionals are moving in. It’s not necessarily the scariest place to be in the city–it’s actually cool to be there. No criminals would be afraid to be dropped off there. Obviously, you heard that “fact” a long time ago and haven’t done any research since. Detroit’s been rapidly growing and changing in the past 5 years, and it’ll continue to do so.

    • pluviosilla

      I’ve never been to Detroit either, but I have a good friend who grew up there, and he has described the place for me in morbid detail, including the charming local practice of setting entire buildings on fire, *all* *over* the friggin city on Halloween night, just to watch them burn. Well, I guess if you can’t afford fireworks, you have to do something to break the boredom, right? People’s livelihoods will start to improving in Detroit the day the people of that city quit looking to government and labor unions to make their lives prosperous. In the meantime, let them sleep in the bed they have made for themselves, and the rest of us should stay clear of that place to avoid getting caught in the fallout of their pigheaded dysfunction.

      • Shel

        you’re talking about Devil’s night and that hasnt happened in over 10 years, ever since Dennis Archer converted into “angel’s Night” and Dtroit hasnt had a burning house since then. I love when people bring up Devil’s night, 84 World series win or malice at the palace stuff that happened YEARS ago. Do us all a favor and stay current like talking about Dave bing or where’s Charles Pugh?

        • pluviosilla

          You are correct that I do not have first hand experience of Devil’s night recently or any other time. I am merely related what I heard 2nd hand from a former Detroit resident of many years. He probably left the city 5 or 6 years ago, so yes, that information is stale. However, I have seen recent videos of the abandoned areas of the city. Until that goes away, it is completely impossible to defend Detroit without insulting people’s intelligence.

  • Brian Bailey

    Ridiculous list. I have visited all of these cities – people go to see tourist attractions, not crime-ridden areas so that doesn’t affect tourists.

    • Chris J Galletta

      Ummm, when was the last time you went to Camden? Seriously its only a 15 minute drive from where I’m at and I avoid it like the plague that it is.

      • JR99

        One correct item does not a valid list make

    • Jon Branda

      Not sure about some of the cities but I do know Memphis is a very violent city and it not only covers the city as a whole but the county also.
      I felt safer walking the streets of Baghdad after dark then in the city I grew up in, Memphis.

  • John Smith

    List makes alot of sense. Of course there will be people who have great experiences and live in these wonderful citys but when compared in the bigger picture someones gotta be at the bottom.

  • Mortimer Post

    What do ALL of these cesspools (except Stockton) have in common? LOTS OF…
    GNAEGREAUZ (KNEEGROEWS) (NEEGEROHS) (NIGGER-OS) (Stockton is full of Mesiccans!)

    • ArkansasDeb

      Yeah, we get it, Mort–you’re a bigot.

      • Pisanarama

        It is sad that Mortimer posted in the way he did, however it is forbidden in the US to say the truth about just what Mortimer implied or a vocal and perhaps dangerous group of people will attack you. If you visit the US, remember to avoid saying the obvious when in a bad part of town, just move along and keep your mouth shut and your doors locked and you will be ok. The US has some fantastic places to visit but bad areas make it look way more dangerous than it is. Hey just think of how fun it is to ride thru some of these areas in the wild west and make it out unscathed.

        • Mortimer Post

          Putting aside all hyperbole (and disregarding Arky Deb’s pained comment), we all know the demographic facts, Jack!

  • CJ MAC

    I recently return from a business trip from Chicago. Reading articles like this one, I believed that I might be entering a quasi war zone. In actuality, I never felt safer and the citizens are the most welcoming people I’ve ever encountered. These types of articles are extremely misleading.

  • Doug M’Jay

    Not a very well thought-out piece. Sure, these cities have high crime…but not in the areas that the tourists go. Chicago?? Chicago is one of the coolest cities in the nation. It has a pro team for every major sport, amazing museums, restaurants, nightlife and some of the best music in the world. St. Louis, Cleveland and Memphis all have cool stuff too.

  • T-Mac

    I’m sorry “thefunconsultant”-if you found stuff to do in Stockton, you need to get a life.

    • Mortimer Post

      But isn’t it fun in Stockton to watch Mexican gang members shoot and stab one another? C’mon–where’s your sense of creativity?

  • Brian McKeever

    This focus on crime rates in this article is stupid. I lived in Chicago in the early 90s for several years during the last big murder wave. Most of the killings took place in the drug infested neighborhoods FAR from the tourist areas. Not to mention that many of the old run down neighborhoods, especially on the near north side, have undergone massive regentrification since I lived there.

    During my entire time there I was never once the victim of a crime and I spent a lot of time in the city core. Maybe the writer of this article should actually visit these cities before passing judgment.

  • ndale27

    The reviewer seems to be a one-trick pony. To avoid Chicago because of its crime rate is to deny yourself a fine opportunity to experience art, streetlife, fine restaurants and much else. This “broken record” palaver about crime may be okay for Detroit or Cleveland but avoiding Chicago “until it makes some improvements” is lazy journalistic advice.

  • Jack Sweeney

    Let’s see . . . murders are down in Chicago by 29% from this time last year, overall crime is down 14%, and the vast majority of such crimes occur in a handful of neighborhoods (out of 200) that no tourists will ever hear of – let along venture into. I’m betting, however, that you never even bothered to research such things, despite the fact that it’s the primary reason you dissed the city.

    Dumb ass.

  • ndale27

    What a useless list! If anyone wants to simply avoid high crime rate locations they can easily get that information. But few tourists want to follow Stuart Smith’s uni dimensional advice and end up in some gated community in the middle of nowhere as the ideal destination. What a boring travel life he must lead.

  • Dimitry_Aleksandrovich

    Every city has its high points and its low points…including Cleveland, Ohio and Stockton California. Every city has its slums especially tourist meccas like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Every city has its upscale neighborhoods and its outright rich neighborhoods. I was born and raised in San Francisco. I used to think that by my San Franciscan birth that i was supposed to hate everything Los Angeles, then I grew up and visited LA and found that there’s a lot more to LA than Hollywood, Disneyland, Gangbangers and Smog. I love the different ethnic flavors of LA, the different neighborhood markets and restaurants. Its a great place and the coast is beautiful.

  • Shakir

    All these cities are greta to visit, you just have to know the places to avoid. the same with every city.

    • RSMessage

      There are places in London that I know to avoid.

  • useduk

    Including Chicago on this list is totally unjustified. The areas of Chicago that most tourists visit have low crime and are as safe as any major City. If you want to go to South Chicago for some feeling of risk, fine but most areas of Chicago along the Lake are just fine and I have been going there regularly for 20 years. And even Detroit has some really interesting things going on and at least 15,000 young professionals have moved in. Some people say it has real potential and as I live not so far away, I hope they are right. And again the downtown is safe and I worked there for two years back when it wasn’t. Your article would tell people to not visit London because it has high crime areas and is worth than useless. And why leave out LA given South Central LA? And personally the most mind destroying of US cities which I only visited for business are in Florida (Miami, Orlando etc.) or are Las Vegas which you could not pay me big money to persuade me to visit a second time….

  • Andre

    Unemployment and Foreclosures are reasons not to visit a city?

  • Jim

    This is about the dumbest list ever. The analysis is shallower than “high crime rate then don’t go there”. If I am a tourist in a city, what do I care about the house foreclosure rate? I’m not looking to cash in on my real estate, I want to visit a museum or some other attraction.

  • Marcus

    This is one of the most classist articles I’ve ever read. “Don’t visit any of these cities because there are too many poor people who live there.” Yes, please disregard nightlife, art scene, food spots, and any other activities a traveler may be interested in.

    • joelfalk

      Good sarcasm!

  • Charles Milsaps

    I read the blurb he wrote about each city, and he has obviously done tens of minutes of research on each city. It’s more of a list of the cities this pussy is afraid to visit because of his perceived “suffering from high crime rates”.

    • joelfalk

      I think you are being generous in thinking that he did 10 minutes of research for this.

  • JR99

    How about we avoid whichever city Stuart Smith calls home? Because after all, he is almost certainly the stupidest writer in the United States, and hey, it might rub off if you get too close. Oakland? Chicago? Reno? Are you NUTS??? All wonderful, interesting, unique places to visit… All you have to do is stay away from the bad areas, which, if you don’t know, is true of every city on the planet.

    What a ridiculous website. Staying away, forever.

  • Jeremy

    probably the worst article ive ever written. you suck. dont quit your day job cuz you obviously wont make it in the journalism department. i dont visit chicago for the crime rates. i do it for the tourist attractions

    • deb_gib

      ” (sic)probably the worst article ive ever written”.

      Wow, did you really write this article Jeremy? What are you on?

  • Jon Branda

    I would have thought Memphis would have been a top 3 on this list. When city hall is ran by the gangs of Memphis what would you expect from city hall?

  • Roger Lang

    This has to be one of the most uninformed things I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to most of the cities on the list and agree with very few if any. However, the ranking and description of St. Louis as the second worst city to visit is about as ignorant of the facts as is possible. First off the homicide rate is totally misleading as it’s for only the City of St. Louis that only has about 12% of the population of the metro area. Furthermore the vast majority of those are in areas that very few visitors would ever visit. What does the supposed shrinking economy have to do with visiting a city? Perhaps a shrinking economy would be a good reason not to move to an area but it has nothing to do with visiting it. Also, even the city population has stabilized over the last several years and the overall area is not losing population.

    Then the writer makes an even bigger fool of himself with his ridiculous claim that there isn’t any good reason to visit St. Louis right now. Really? Has he ever heard of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the St. Louis Zoo, or the St. Louis Science Center? Each can be found on almost every top 10 list for their category sometimes at or near the top. Plus the city has the world’s largest brewery, Forest Park, and several top museums. That doesn’t include the St. Louis Cardinals who draw over 3 million fans every year or the Gateway Arch that draws a similar number of visitors. Those are all in the City of St. Louis. Throw in the Magic House, one of the top children’s museums in the US and Grant’s Farm, the 160 acre home of Ulysses Grant and a mini-zoo plus the famous Clydesdales.

    Mr. Smith, you really need to get a clue before you make more such ignorant statements.

  • Matt Smith

    These are all cities with a high Democrat majority. Conclusion – don’t allow Democrats to buy or rent property in your area. Seriously – I wouldn’t allow a Democrat to cut my grass or wait on me at a restaurant – and never allow them near children.

    • jeff

      you sound like a true american hero.

    • RB

      Wow Matt, you must not get out much. I’m not a Democrat, but if one actually wants to get a job and WORK for a living I’m all for it. I’d gladly allow a Democrat to cut my grass or wait on me at a restaurant rather than having one sitting at home waiting to collect a welfare check. Perhaps you should reconsider your position.

      • Grazzly

        Better a Democrat than a Republican lickspittle without the ‘nads to stand up for himself. The Republican Party has one objective, and one objective alone; to Drive Down the Price of Labor. All the rest is cleverly designed trappings to further that objective. Corporate feudalism is still Feudalism.

        • RB

          Grazzly, are you ASSuming that I am a Republican? If so, you would be wrong. I am an independent. Don’t know your background, but I had the ‘nads to serve 22 years in the military and then go into law enforcement after that. I can take care of myself. How about you sir?

          In any case, I stand by my earlier comments. I may be wrong, but I suspect that the lion’s share of welfare recipients who are affiliated with a political party are Democrats. Certainly more long-term welfare recipients are. And I don’t know how you feel about it, but I would much rather see anybody, whether Democrat or Republican, participating in the workforce instead of drawing public assistance.

          • hdg

            Sorry, but you’re wrong. All of the red states are the ones sucking up all the public aid. Mississippi is one of the worst.

            It’s americans who overeat until they’re too obese to work, then collect disability checks for their diabetes that are bleeding the rest of us dry.

    • deb_gib

      ‘Whiny teabagging, poor loser number two’. You wasted your vote , get over it and be a big boy !

      • jeremyjanson

        We didn’t waste our votes – we expressed our strong disapproval of how people like you are ruining this country and if you don’t wisen up soon it will split the country.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.j.ritz.3 Thomas J. Ritz

      Correct about all run by Dems. However, those people who cut your grass and wait on you are only future Dems. They are all illegals and thus future Dems. Say what you want down there Deb_gib the truth hurts. You may have voted for who won the election but not the people best for the country. You and your 47% voted for Santa Clause and that bill is coming due. Those of us actually paying the bills are getting a tad bit sick of paying your tabs.

    • Mr. Tull

      It really is sad (and somewhat puzzling) that people like you made it through natural selection.

    • jeremyjanson

      It’s really sad that the classical liberals in the Republican party have made it so that the blacks can’t trust us. They know that the Democrats have screwed up, but they’re so scared of the “taker maker”/”get a job” grumpy Midwestern types that they can’t trust us real conservatives and our commitment to service, family, neighborhood, society and country and our humble, slow and steady way to reform to help them.

  • Tweety58

    I lived in Windsor Ontario Canada,directly across the river from the Detroit sh ithole.On a clear night you could here gunshots and screams.BURN IT DOWN.

    • Maddy

      I live in Windsor and Detroit is a beautiful place, there’s hardly been any crime and theres no way you can hear screaming and gunshots from across the water. Maybe you should try visiting Detroit and its amazing attractions and get your head out of the toilet.

    • Maddy

      Thats an absolutely horrible thing to say, no one has ever made reports of that before and the bad parts of Detroit are further in the city, directly across the water is full of office buildings where theres hardly any crime. Detroit is full of life and beauty, they have already started revitalising the bad parts so please stop representing Canada this way with your negative comments and trying to convince people that Detroit is a lot worse than it actually is.

      • Tweety58

        Detroit is a sh*thole and you know it you fake Canadian.You are an American government employee-probably in the Mayors office.

        Why else would a company try to lease part of your city to turn it into a ZOMBIELAND amusement park.You are so full of sh*t your eyes are brown,you clown.

      • Tweety58

        How much do you get paid to tell outrageous lies about THE WORST CITY IN AMERICA,Quisling ?

  • Jigar Patel

    Thanks for posting Reno as number 3. I personally am from Reno and have been here for the past 25+ years.

    Unfortunately you’re post reeks of uninformed information. Just because we have casinos, its not the only thing we stand for. Have you seen our culture of art, music, and food? How about our nightlife?

    Have you seen and/or encountered our outdoor activities? Winter sports, summer activities?

    Please do let me know if you have been here and who you had with you that was local to show you around. If not, please don’t knock until you try it.

    • RB

      I love Reno. I used to visit on a regular basis when I was stationed in San Francisco with the Navy. I actually prefer Reno to Las Vegas, but both are great towns in my opinion.

  • teabagtweaker

    Yes, Reno sucks.

  • Michael

    This article is nonsense based on including Chicago alone. I have lived in Chicago since 2007 and not once have I felt unsafe. Teams for every pro sport, public transportation that is rivaled only by NYC, a festival every weekend in the summer and alleys so the city still looks and seems clean to the tourist eye. I will now place this website on my “Top 10 Sites To Never Use For Anything” list. Get your head out of your, well, yeah.

    • Tweety58

      You haven’t been shot. Yet.

  • disqus_irCdmAu8It

    All are Democrat controlled with labor unions dominating the government work force.

    • George Bruck


  • fatnumber

    Stuart, you’re an IDIOT!!!!!

  • joelfalk

    I agree with the other posters – this is one of the poorest pieces of “journalism” I’ve ever read. Stuart Smith basically just repeats “high rate of crime” for each city. He doesn’t consider any of the good points of any of them. I can’t believe Chicago is on his list – it’s one of my favorite cities in the states. Stuart, have you actually visited any of these, or did you just do a 1 minute Google search?


    Both Memphis and St. Louis have interesting attractions, but endless ghettos spread in every direction from the downtown core, former suburban neighbourhoods that look like warzones. Shopping malls in abundance that are completely boarded up and abandoned
    big box stores and car dealerships everywhere. The majority of the locals are definitely not friendly towards visitors. The ever-changing demographics of both cities certainly explain the high rates of crime and violence. Everybody would probably be better off if the Big Muddy swelled up and carried both cities away. As for Stockton, I grew up in the San Joaquin. It is only one of the many shithole cities that have risen from what was once a genteel agriculturally-dominated economy.

    • dave Schaf

      Have you been to St Louis? I live there and not of what you said has any truth.

      • Mr. Tull

        I second Dave’s opinions. I live in South City, and it’s absolutely fine. Feel free to name me any American city that has no crime, or no bad neighborhoods.

        • jeremyjanson

          Indianapolis. Sioux Falls also, though then again Sioux Falls is missing a few other things too…

    • Miltoncat

      I’m a Memphis native. We’re very nice to visitors unless they’re judgmental turds like yourself.

  • Clark_Kent

    Nice places to be from.

  • pauladeenshair

    A few things to note. First, when you do a top 10 list it is usually a good idea to make it “Countdown” not a “Count-up”. Rookie mistake #1. Second, It is usually a sign of poor writing when each item on your list includes the same indicator or factor such as “high crime”. And last but not least, it’s fine to be confident but the author comes across as a smug, judgmental, jerk to the reader. Not a good look.

  • bdkennedy11

    Because it’s the truth. Are you seriously going to tell me you would visit Detroit? You’re a mòron.

    • Maddy

      I visit Detroit every month and it’s beautiful there, if you’re basing your comment off of stereotypes you’re fairly ignorant. Look at these pictures and try to tell me that Detroit is uncultured, hopeless and pathetic.

  • Independent Tom

    Who, other than a gang-banger, union thug, or drug-seeker, would want to visit Detroit?

    • jeremyjanson

      Everything Joe said, plus a great base camp for hunting and fishing, Americas largest Islamic community at Dearborn, and lots of great small business besides just restaurants. Frankly, low land values are a good thing and America has made a lot of really stupid decisions by not realizing this simple fact.

    • Maddy

      I go there every month, the poor neighbourhoods take up a small area of Detroit the rest of it is full of beauty and life.

  • psychicBob

    Once again, another top/bottom list that assumes that the criteria for living in a particular city are the same as those that might motivate a visit. Never true in my experience.

    Almost all of the reasons gives relate to not living in the particular city mentioned, while the title misleads a potential visitor.

    The only question that I have never found the answer to: does the author also pen the come-on link text?

    • jeremyjanson

      I agree. Seattle and Honolulu are both great cities to visit but horrible cities to live in. Sioux Falls, SD and Indianapolis are both great cities to live in but horrible cities to visit.

  • Native_New_Yorker

    Atlanta GA should be added to the list….racist, thugs, crime, foreclosures and no jobs…the Chicago of the south.

    • jeremyjanson

      I disagree. I lived in Atlanta for 5 and a half years, and although there are certainly downsides to the place there are also some real upsides. Most of what you say is true, although there are worse places for finding a job, but you also have to consider the upsides:

      +well-preserved civil war battlefields and other civil war sites (including old munitions factories used by the grey coats), museums and monuments
      +wonderful small business and ethnic neighborhoods, including Americas most important black neighborhood, Sweet Auburn, and Buford Highway
      +some great natural lands including the Chattahoochee NRA, Sweetwater Creek, and Stone Mountain, and a collection of massive monoliths (boulders as tall as mountains) like seen nowhere else in the world
      +great museums
      +a world-class engineering school (my alma matter, Georgia Tech) that is more than happy to let you tour their state of the art facilities and puts on all sorts of incredible events and has the oldest stadium in the NCAA dating to 1907
      +and the biggest plus of all, throughout the city INCREDIBLE ARCHITECTURE, including both classical revival and futuristic styles. I did not believe modern/futuristic architecture could be beautiful until I went to Atlanta.

      Frankly, those are a lot more relevant to visitors than foreclosures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Westerner, I need wide open spaces that Georgia with every tiny scrap of land used by some tiny nearly subsistence farm just can’t provide, but there are some VERY good things about Atlanta and frankly they don’t fit on this list.

  • Your Dad

    Stuart Smith, Don’t tell me you were on crack while you were posting up these top 10 city…

    • donholl

      He probably was: this sounds like a great list of cities to avoid if you’re a crack addict on the road who’s looking to “score” in the worst neighborhoods of each.

  • d jaffe

    … okay guy, have u considered culture in a city? what standards are you using to rate this cities? How many rich people live there? how many murders happen? you are a very narrow human. The majority of this country lives in poverty. I guess I know what side of the money scale your on. You’re a close mined person s who has money to blow. Chicago is # 5 really? you made your self look like a total moron .

  • Marcus Eder

    You overlook that that high murder rate in STL is all fairly confined to North City, where no tourist would ever go on purpose. You also overlook the (often free) music, art, culture and performance that has made STL far richer than the quality of this article. What makes you an expert, Stu?

  • K. C.

    Okay, explain to me the “problems for many travelers” in Cleveland? The crime rate in Columbus is not any better (and the murder rate is worse), Forbes is not exactly what I would call a bastion of quality for the city being miserable when it is based on questionable metrics, and the cold winters comment is the stupidest thing I’ve heard of for not visiting a place, because that would take out a LOT of cities where they get things like snow. All you are doing is hurting cities that actually need the help from visitor income just to give yourself something to write. If you’re going to do a piece like this, find out what is ACTUALLY going to impact visitors instead of this armchair journalism that you’ve decided to engage in. What a waste of my time…

  • K. C.

    Maybe you should stop writing opinion pieces based on Forbes articles.

  • AutumnBanter

    Neither are mentioned in the article – what is your point?

    • John Collage

      Try reading beyond the first paragraph.

  • Grazzly

    Yeah because guns can’t flood in from Indiana, right? I mean, where do all these guns come from? It’s almost as if it’s profitable to flood our streets with drugs and guns, from an arms manufacturing and privatized prison point of view. I guess Reagan really did take the long view on building an economy, haha!

    • jeremyjanson

      Black markets are actually extremely profitable to gangs. The Alcohol industry was never as profitable, and will never again be as profitable, as it was during prohibitions and the profits that cartels in Columbia make off of drugs with only a very limited appeal to most is simply breathtaking. If Cocaine was legal, the companies that produce it would probably be worth no more than $10 a share.

  • Grazzly

    Wow it must suck to be too scared to leave your condo, little fella.

  • Andrew Wind

    Hi, Stuart.

    Just curious, have you ever even been to any of those places? Obviously, you haven’t. Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis and Cleveland are all very cool, very historic places. Even Detroit is worth a visit.

    I’m considering writing an article about called “Ten hack journalists people should never read.” I’m positive it’ll be a lot more accurate.

    • jeremyjanson

      Detroit has probably the best access to natural lands and parklands of any American city, and lots of great small business and ethnic communities. There’s also been a big industrial resurgence – a few months ago, they were hiring 1000′s of new industrial workers at once. When will people finally figure out that low land prices are actually a GOOD thing?

  • Amity Betz-Portell

    You, my friend, are an idiot. Get your facts clear before you write an article like this. Some of these cities are really great places to visit. You just have to know where to go and where to avoid. There is crime everywhere.

    • Mr. Tull


    • jeremyjanson

      I remember when I was attending Georgia Tech and would travel from
      Georgia to Washington State where my parents lived, I would get real
      sentimental seeing that Gateway Arch rise over the river signalling my
      entrance in to the West. Lots of beautiful architecture in that city
      too. Oh sure there’s a bit of crime, although I’ve seen worse.

  • dave Schaf

    Wow this guy must not have ever been to any of these cites. I am from St Louis and there are many wonderful reasons to come hear. From the Gateway Arch, to Forest Park with it’s world class free Zoo and Art Museum. Our baseball team is second to the NY Yankees in World Series wins. Our population is actually on the rise not the decline. So Mr Moron Smith before you write something so stupid go to the cities you are bashing!

    • jeremyjanson

      I remember when I was attending Georgia Tech and would travel from Georgia to Washington State where my parents lived, I would get real sentimental seeing that Gateway Arch rise over the river signalling my entrance in to the West. Lots of beautiful architecture in that city too. Oh sure there’s a bit of crime, although I’ve seen worse, and most of the economic growth in MO is on the opposite side of the state near Kansas, but ranked 2 ahead of Stockton? And why is Oakland ranked only no. 10? They should be no. 1! Overall, you’ve got to be kidding me!

  • coreywoodruff

    Stuart, do you ever leave your hotel room when you travel? Saying that “There isn’t really any good reason to visit St. Louis right now.” is one of the most ignorant attempts at journalism I have seen in a long time.

    Frankly, you’re full of crap and your article smacks of laziness. But hey, you got your webclicks, right?

    • jeremyjanson

      I remember when I was attending Georgia Tech and would travel from
      Georgia to Washington State where my parents lived, I would get real
      sentimental seeing that Gateway Arch rise over the river signalling my
      entrance in to the West. Lots of beautiful architecture in that city
      too – love the old brick buildings especially. Oh sure there’s a bit of crime, although I’ve seen worse.

    • ronin4740

      If one does not include East St. Louis (which is not in Missouri – it’s in Illinois) in the overall St. Louis crime statistics it’s actually middle of the road with regard to violent crime.

    • EddieMarriage

      That’s what it’s all about – webclicks.

      I’ve heard defenders of today’s journalistic tripe say: “Advertising is needed to give us the news”.

      Nope. Wrong. What’s more accurate to say is: “News is needed to justify selling advertising”.

      Case closed.

  • jeremyjanson

    is actually coming back – a few months ago the Warren, MI location of
    General Motors alone was hiring 680 positions. They actually have been
    putting that cheap real estate to good use building lots of strong small
    business, industrial facilities and wonderful ethnic neighborhoods,
    and also by demolishing large sections of it and putting in the metro
    parks, a 5 mile thick 180 degree arc around Detroits inner suburbs of
    forest, rivers and lakes. There are also HUGE parks all throughout Michigan, which have led to the largest grey wolf population in the lower 48, and as an apex predator you know the hunting will be just as good for you as it is for the wolves – lots of good fishing too, with multitudes of lakes, rivers and open forest lands.

    Unfortunately the crime is a real problem, and
    in addition Detroit schools are collapsing due to lack of funding. In between these I
    would advise anyone with children to send them to a boarding school
    somewhere else if they intend on living there. The good news though is as a high-wage, low-living-cost city (the opposite of Seattle, where you get paid 20% less than in Detroit and houses cost $400,000) you will be able to afford to send your kids to boarding school. It’s also, due to its great location near Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland and lots of great natural lands from which to draw inspiration, old houses and architecture, and cheap real estate, a great place for artists to live. Also, the gun laws are lax, and the acceptance of JH by their justice department is very strong, so as a big strong young man I will be able to protect myself. Overall, I would call Detroit a young mans paradise but perhaps not the best choice for families with children.

  • jeremyjanson

    Gun laws do nothing but sentence good people to death for obeying the law. Anyone who supports them wishes to make a tragic mockery of the law and civilized society.

  • dollgina

    Did you just write this to make enemies? Thorough job!

  • jeremyjanson

    Yeah this is how the list should really read:

    1. Oakland, CA
    2. New Haven, CT
    3. Stockton, CA
    4. Los Angeles, CA (everything you described, plus pollution and strict gun laws)
    5. Pueblo, CO (crime, run down, polluted, strict gun laws that make you prey to anyone and everyone, bad traffic)
    6. Memphis, TN
    7. Spokane, WA (high crime although loose WA gun laws do mitigate the effect of that somewhat, annoying streets and parking rates, traffic, expensive but you don’t get anything for your money, no good sides)
    8. Salt Lake City, UT (nice natural environment/views, but polluted, some crime, lousy architecture and some rundown buildings, and extremely cold, selfish, unfriendly people, and surprisingly lacking in culture)
    9. Reno, NV
    10. Sioux Falls, SD (nice place to live, but boring, bad weather, complete lack of architecture and culture, and expensive)

  • Matthew Reamer


  • David Harmon

    Why does a mediocre housing market ruin a visitors experience? Gotta defend my love for Chi-town

    • jeremyjanson

      What a “mediocre housing market” really does is make real estate affordable for small business and industrialists, IMPROVING a visitors experience.

    • Michael Kenny Jr.

      Yeah, I was shocked when Chicago popped up. The only thing in that description relevant to visitors is crime, and it’s mostly gang and drug related, and confined to areas well outside the city center. That’s not to say it’s okay, but it’s not a reason to stay away from Chicago. Really just stupid standards and a thoughtless article.

      • hdg

        Everyone who was never cool or smart enough to go to the great neighborhoods in Chicago likes to make generalizations about how crime-ridden Chicago is. Granted, there is plenty of crime, just like every other major city in the world, but Chicago IS a huge city, with a lot of people, and it’s very spread out. Crime there happens in pockets, it’s often gang-related, and is mostly due to corruption & laziness in the police department, because they’d rather write a million parking tickets a month than chase after dangerous criminals.

  • jeremyjanson

    Yes, because Americans oldest city, Americas largest city, Americas first capitol, and Americas current capitol are REALLY going to make it on to a list of cities you shouldn’t visit! (Baltimore, however, arguably should)

    • hdg

      Uh, yes, because how ‘Murican a city is really determines whether or not it’s a shithole…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ginny-Landis/1024367209 Ginny Landis

    How can you say Chicago is a bad place to visit? i was born and raised there and had the opportunity to be a tourist last August. It was awesome. The city is clean, the food is great and the neighborhoods are multi cultural and interesting and a lot of neighborhood revitalization has been occuring there for decades. The people are wonderful. Stay away from the South Side which anyone should anyway….South side has always had issues. We walked all over near the Lake and walked to Navy Pier from our hotel. i never felt unsafe. Chicago is a great city and you should visit without hesitation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ginny-Landis/1024367209 Ginny Landis

    Where is the author of this ridiculous getting his information?

  • Gino Generelli

    You just made my list of 10 worst op ed columnists to read. This article is nothing more than an amalgam of petty statistics with no apparent grounding in personal experience. Wolfram Alpha provides equally valuable insight into the realm of travel.

  • Nanette

    His comment is way not correct..Flint, Michigan had 65 murders two years ago and 56 last year, now let me ask you how in the heck does than compare to 500 murders in Chicago? Well, they get their numbers by per capita!

    • Phil

      On June 12, 2012, Flint took the #1 spot of the FBI’s 2011 List of Most Violent Cities With Populations of over 100,000 people. Yes, property crimes are down – probably because there is nothing left to steal. If you delight in urban blight Flint and Detroit should be at the top of your travel lists.

      • Maddy

        Detroit’s abandoned buildings are being knocked down and some have been already replaced with new condos. Take a look at some of these pictures of Detroit and tell me that it’s full of “urban blight”.

        • tigerval

          Mady You ROCK…..if you want to know more cool places to go in Detroit….let me know.

  • Sam

    For Chicago they listed “high unemployment and high foreclosure rates for homes.” Why should this affect your desire to visit? Silly list.

  • Carlton Jordan

    what a stupid list with no real information. CRIME is the only reason a city is bad?

  • Tony Merlo

    Dude, I was thinking maybe it was just my Detroit pride opposing this article, then you listed St. Louis at 2, and then Chicago at #5?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHA YOU ARE A TOTAL MORON!!!!! I wonder what all white suburb you live in that you probably never leave. How many states have you even visited? Plus, the 10 worst places to visit? you’re probably the type that tries to list the 10 worst players in each sport. What a loser. I’ll never visit this site again.

    • Paul Glandt

      I totally agree,I live in St Louis and the worst areas are up in North St Louis where all the gang crap is,funny just the other day on the Today show they were talking about St Louis and all the free stuff they have to offer.This clown should really do more research before he starts spouting off at the mouth

  • Rosie Warburton

    This is seriously the lamest thing I’ve ever seen. The guy apparently doesn’t travel and has no idea what would make any city appealing- music, culture, night-life, architecture, museums, restaurants, diversity, history, etc etc… High foreclosure rates? Seriously? Wtf.

  • Connor Coyne

    I usually try not to troll, but I’m making an exception and I’m admitting it up front. I’m trolling tonight.

    I dislike these articles on principle, but this one is just plain idiotic. It isn’t just promoting misconceptions; it’s utterly irrelevant and poorly researched. I mean:

    “Reno is not the ugliest, poorest or most dangerous place to visit, but there is simply no good reason for most tourists to go there.”

    Riiiiight. Except for Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and about a dozen other national parks, historic sites, wildlife preservation areas, and monuments within an hour or two drive.

    But when he isn’t flunking Geography 101, he’s missing the point of “travel” ie. “visiting,” (not to be confused with “living there.”) He’s obsessed with things like unemployment, foreclosure rates, and violent crime. At least when those stats figure in “worst places to live” lists, it kind of has a point… but really, if you’re considering a trip to Chicago to see the world’s largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, or to Detroit to experience the birthplace of Motown and Techno, is your trip really going to be made miserable because “the city contains many abandoned buildings”? I mean, come on!

    I’d cut this guy a little slack, except the problem is these stupid lists do real damage and hurt real people because they pretend to be news while really making people more ignorant than they were before. The world is a complex place. Urban problems are notoriously complex. Saying that one shouldn’t visit a place because it has issues is a promotion of fear and xenophobia. Usually I say that people are “acting idiotic” as opposed to “being an idiot,” but I might just make an exception for this guy.

    Stuart Smith, your dumb list kills more brain cells than banging one’s head against a wall. Stop writing, and visit one or two of these places about which you obviously don’t know a damn thing.

    • teabagtweaker

      I agree, the article was overall pretty lame, but Reno does suck. It is close to several cool things, but Reno itself is little more than a meth hub and white trash casino town. A depressing place- lived there for 3 miserable years.

      • Camille Murray

        You are welcome to your opinion but judging from your log on name you have the type of habits that would land you in the bad side of any town and therefore it would be miserable and meth-laden. I have lived in Reno for over 10 years and graduated from UNR and it is a great place to live, if you have a healthy lifestyle.

        • teabagtweaker

          No. Reno sucks.

  • AnnoyedByYourIgnorance

    It is obvious that the author has not traveled much, because I have visited most of these cities for business and pleasure, and they all have had something to offer that was interesting, educational and entertaining. How about ensuring the author’s credentials and experience before commissioning him to pool a bunch of baseless stereotypes and perpetuate this type of ignorance across the world? This post clearly screams, “Don’t visit cities where there is a large number of poor people, black people, and especially poor black people”.

    This is an unfortunate first impression for a first time visitor to this website. Well, first and last time visitor, because if you can actually publish this drivel without a second thought, I’m not wasting my time here.

  • Ella Bella

    This is one of the most absurd lists I’ve ever seen. Stuart needs to get out more… Before he writes more ridiculous words.

  • gfreshski

    It is painfully apparent that the writer of this article did not visit these cities recently, but likely looked at charts of crime, foreclosures and crime, and then came up with this list. I would be shocked if he went to all of these cities within the past year. I highly doubt it, and I highly dislike this list and article.

  • Nastassia

    Extremely poorly written “article” providing superficial, lame excuses not to visit places. What do foreclosures have to do with the cultural/historical depth the majority of the cities listed by the author possess?? Nothing. When people travel to new places, would foreclosure or unemployment rates even cross their minds?! Hardly. That’s not what you go to a new city for, right?! Most people, as opposed to the author of this “essay”, are interested in what the city has to offer culturally — museums, galleries, architecture, monuments, etc. And all of those cities he lists have a history to them. How do people like that Stuart Smith even get writing assignments?? Puzzling, truly.

  • Phil

    I have been to just about every city on this list and I must say that it is very accurate. But for one or two exceptions almost every city is one you would expect to be on such a list. Common denominator in all is heavy labor union influence combined with corrupt poverty-pimp politicians have bankrupted the coffers and the souls of these once-prosperous cities. Detroit is the poster child of this.

  • OttoDog

    “However, the Detroit of today is experiencing a million dollar revitalization, ”
    HAH! $1M wouldn’t sweep the streets for a day…..

  • NVA Fam

    This list is completely ridiculous. I’ve been to half these cities in the past few years (and most of them over the years), including St. Louis, Cleveland, and Memphis (which I just came back from a few days ago). Sure, they have crime, just like every other city in America. But overall they are safe (especially in the sections most visitors will go to), fun, and have so many great cultural, dining, sports, and lodging options. Graceland, the St. Louis Arch, and Rock and Rock Hall of Fame should be on everyone’s bucket list!! And when in Cleveland, don’t miss the Christmas Story Museum House. So much fun!

  • Alex Oconnor

    Bad or no data. Silly conclusions. Garbage in; garbage out.

  • Open Minded

    I was able to keep an open mind as I read this article about the so called 10 worst cities to visit in the US because of the author’s introduction.
    Paragraph one: “…earned the following cities a bad rap that are not really justified”.
    Paragraph two: “…in many cases these bad raps are due to out dated information or stories of unfortunate events…”
    Keeping this in mind, I was able to understand that the author was really trying to point out the pros of these cities that are unfortunately avoided by tourists because of their cons. Had I only read the 1 through 10 list, I would have focused on the bad rather than the cities’ virtues.

    • Camille Murray

      I agree, I posted that I feel the title was a little misleading.

  • Bookie’s Club 870

    Detroit is actually a GREAT place to visit if you know what you want to see. If you wander around some of the worse neighborhoods where there is NOTHING to see, you’re an idiot and should stay home.

    • Maddy

      Thats just what i posted! Detroit is such an amazing city i’ve never gotten bored when i went there and we’ve never had a problem with crime. I mean between Greektown, Mexicantown, Joe Louis arena, Motorcity Casino, Fox Theatre, the Henry Ford museum and all those pretty churches how could you not love it there.

  • thomas

    what a pathetic list. almost all of these places have amazing parts. chicago is one of the world’s great cities, oakland has more beauty than most of the country.
    go on a cruise if you believe this crap. that way you can feel safe, play make believe & stuff your face while feeling like a “traveler”.

  • C.Tabano

    You are an idiot and probably have never been to any of these cities. All cities and people have good and bad areas…just like you Mr. Smith.

  • chris

    This guy is very accurate about Memphis. Its the worst. It used to be a nice place to live. I saw it decline majorly over twenty years. Trust me on this one. You visit there once, you have no clue what so ever!!!

  • chris

    Another added note for those who think Memphis isn’t bad. Talk to most who have lived there in the past and they will tell you the same thing. People can’t move east enough or south enough into Mississippi to get away from it. Yes, there is crime everywhere and worst in some place. Memphis is one that is and has been rated the worst in the country. Ive seen it first hand. I do agree that on this list, there are good places to a few of the cities he mentioned and those few cities are not overall bad places to visit.

    As for the city of Memphis, Tn, there is no safe place in the city of Memphis, tn

    • Ron Shaffer

      I live in Memphis and every morning there is a shooting on the news. This morning 3 different incidents. The city leaders are corrupt and only care about their own pockets. People tourists get robbed at gun point at their hotels and the thugs harass and intimidate everyone. We need a good police and a hard nosed Sheriff who is not afraid to throw these punks in jail.

  • Erich

    Maybe he meant don’t visit the South and West side of Chicago because I don’t see how foreclosures and unemployment affect visits to the tourist areas. As a matter of fact The Loop was pretty packed with people today. The Taste of Chicago probably drew at least a few hundred thousand today alone. I’m not a fan of these types of lists even if the city is bad it’s still a part of our country.

    • Andrew Rios

      The taste has over 1 million ppl usually…but I do agree with most everything u said. West side is the HOOD

  • Camille Murray

    I think the title to this piece is a little misleading when you actually read through it; perhaps it would be better titled as “America’s 10 Most Misunderstood Cities”.

  • ketchupface100 .

    Oaktown broketown hella ghetto don’t shoot! Don’t get hit Margaret!

  • Maddy

    I live in Canada not very far away from Detroit and i’ve visited there at least once a month for most of my life for shopping and it should not be number one on this list. Yes there are some run down areas but they have many beautiful churches that provide great scenery. As well as the Joe Louis arena and Comerica Park which are spacious and great to watch a hockey or baseball game. They also have hockeytown cafe for hockey fans, its beautiful in there and they even have a store. Not to mention they have Mexican town and Greek town that have some of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to and in Mexican town they have people drive around in cars to make sure that your cars will not get robbed. They also have the Fox Theatre for concerts, the Henry Ford museum and the Motorcity Casino. So honestly whoever put Detroit as #1 for this list only looks at the abandoned buildings and the poor neighbourhoods (which are a shame) but there are many buildings that are scheduled to be knocked down and I’ve already seen many new condos built making the area looking a lot nicer .. so Detroit may not be a great place to live and there is crime but it still has a tremendous amount of beauty and life. Plus if you are careful about the crime, park your car in parking garages and dont leave it unattended in the bad areas. Don’t walk or drive through Downtown Detroit late at night and stay smart honestly you’ll be fine so Detroit should not be at the top of this list end of story.

    • Tweety58

      You are no Windsorite-you are an apologist for the WORST SH*THOLE in North America.You are COMPLETELY DISHONEST.What,are you the Mayor of Motown? I thought you were in custody.

      Plant from the Detroit Chamber of Horrors….sorry ….”Commerce.”

    • TRex

      I too grew up in Windsor, right across the river from Detroit. It was a thriving metropolis in its heyday (particularly the 20′s-early 60′s.). Then the riots, the destruction by incredibly corrupt political leaders, the exodus of thousands etc and so on…The DIA (Detroit Institute of Art) has one of the best concise collections I’ve seen anywhere, certainly for a small gallery, and I’ve been all over the world in celebrated galleries. I was saddened to hear recently that they will be selling off a good portion of their collection. I’m not surprised given the state of the city. There was a photo-journal in National Geographic a few years back chronicling destroyed buildings etc. There was beauty, strangely, in those photos but they were very bittersweet. I was reminded of photographing ancient buildings in Rome. But, this was not an ancient city- its barely 300 years old and most of those buildings were less than 100 years old. What will happen to the fairly new opera house? I remember when it was being refurbished in the mid 90′s and even then people were saying “why in Detroit? This city continues to go downhill.” Yet, its considered one of the best houses in the US. What will happen to the little culture and history that remains in this city? My family routinely shopped and bought gas in Detroit; ate in Greektown and Mexicantown and other downtown restos. But, I also knew people who had been mugged and stabbed in restaurant parking lots. My car was broken into twice and I didn’t even own anything special! Still, it was a great city for night-life. Before I moved away in the late 90′s I used to spend a lot of time at an historic bar near the river. It had been there for almost 150 years and was considered an historic site. However, the casino’s won out and it was torn down. So many great jazz and blues bars where legends made their mark and their own history are gone. They talk about revitalization? I hate to be cynical, but I doubt it. It will and CAN never be the same again. All the history is gone and when that happens to a city there is no going back.

      • Maddy

        So you’re telling me that you haven’t been to Detroit since the 90′s yet you can make a claim that Detroit can’t be revitalized? It cannot fully restore all the history and life that was once in Detroit but it can create new stores and homes and life. I have already seen buildings torn down and Detroit and houses scheduled to be rebuilt. They are already several condos that have replaced the old buildings that once stood. Also since the late 90′s many things in Detroit have been built like Comerica Park and Motorcity Casino for example. Please only reply to my comments if you’ve been to Detroit within the decade and don’t focus on bad neighbourhoods that are actually planned to be taken down, thanks.

        • TRex

          Actually yes, I’ve been back SEVERAL times since the 90′s. In fact at least 3 times a year so I do know what’s going on. Not only that, my family still lives in Windsor so between my own reading and their reports I’m well aware. Do tell; who will buy these condos? That always seems to be a city’s answer to any economic woe; put up condos that no one can afford and in places no one wants to live. And do you really think a casino or multiple casinos (as in Windsor where downtown has actually deteriorated since they built theirs- and that is in fact documented) will return Detroit from the dead? Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Detroit back to its former glory, but I don’t count on it.

  • Open Minded

    To all the kind folks posting on this site: be sure to read the introduction paragraph BEFORE the 1-10 list. This guy is actually trying to point out the attributes, the good things, these cities (who “have a bad rap”), offer. It seems that he wasn’t able to clearly get his point across and may have unintentionally stepped on a few toes out there. It takes practice to be able to write about something and make your point without unintentionally hurting feelings or making someone angry. I’m sure at least a few of us have upset a friend or a loved one in a text when it wasn’t meant to. I’m just saying, and I totally understand how upsetting it was for some of you when you read it and, as we all know, everyone is entitled to their own opinions even when we disagree.

  • STLtruthbomb

    This is an outrageous ‘top 10′ list. To refer to “St. Louis” as a “once metropolitan area” is inaccurate and insulting.

    By definition, metropolitan means: “Of, relating to, or denoting a metropolis, often inclusive of its surrounding areas.”

    The City of St. Louis is not a metropolitan area in and of itself. Metropolitan St. Louis encompasses St. Charles and St. Louis Counties, in addition to suburban communities in Illinois on the east side of the Mississippi River. Metro STL’s population tops 2.7-million.

    Generally, when one thinks of “St. Louis,” they think of the entire metro area not solely the City of St. Louis.

    It’s important to note that the City of St. Louis is NOT a part of St. Louis County — it’s an independent entity. There are communities within 5-7 minutes of downtown — in St. Louis County — that are phenomenal places to live, work, and play.

    • Cari Birkner

      The City of St. Louis itself is also a phenomenal place to live, work, and play, as long as you don’t feel the need to flee to the county once your kids are of school age.

  • Juan Peinado

    Chicago is a great city to visit. Great architecture, history, culture. Touting Cleveland’s culture by describing it as a rap/hip hop mecca gives you an idea of the maturity of whoever penned this list.

  • Brad

    Wow Stuart have you actually visited any of these cities? I stopped reading this after you named Chicago #5,.

  • rotfogel

    Who is this Stuart character? I live in Oakland. Ya, it’s got black on black murders and petty crime like any other city, but the traffic is the best in the Bay Area, BART is in 5 or 6 locations, it’s VERY bike friendly and has a ton of great restaurants. Not that we need any more east coasters moving here…oh wait, Stuart’s right, Oakland sux, never go there! :) .

    • Steve Sharkman

      your cities nickname is broke-land…

  • Dan

    I wonder what those cities have in common?

    • ghostofcrazyhorse

      Hmmm , let me guess, they are all American cities?

      • Steve Sharkman

        yep…run, unchecked by lib-turd demo-rats.

  • bono

    Hey Smith! Get out there and travel before you write anything else.

  • pantherblue

    Predictable cliches. Oakland has become the creative center of the Bay Area with its artists, fantastic restaurants, bars, cafes, music scene and biking, etc. but of course the ghetto crime rate and occasional riots scare away the lame tourist looking for the same experience wherever they go. And Reno is a campy charmer of town that is a godsend for those going to and from Burning Man. Long may it reign!

  • Kevin

    Jacob’s Field changed its name to Progressive Field in 2008. That’s 5 years ago, presumably the same year in which you copy and pasted these articles from.


  • Cari Birkner

    Stop using the bogus crime stats!!!!! Our city and county are separate and therefore, the metrics are skewed. St. Louis is an amazing place to live and visit! That is all.

    • Steve Sharkman


  • Maserati

    Who are you kidding Cari? St. Louis city cops are more dangerous and than the criminals here. The crime stats are bogus, because reports aren’t taken for many violent crimes here, especially around the casinos in the city. The stats will get worse, as a multiple homocide occurring in one event will now count as “one” homocide I understand. The body count no longer matters. Mayor Slay will be falsely citing what a wonderful job the police are doing next year! Too bad my town (South County guy) has turned into such a cesspool due to crooked politicians and corporarte criminals from somewhere else.

  • tigerval

    Stewie, you are such a freaking snore. How can you call yourself a journalist. Obviously you know nothing about these cities you rank….c’mon get your feet wet. Detroit has some of the most awesome offerings in the world. Whenever Detroit is on a list like this I know there’s one heck of a lazy writer involved. BOOOOOOO!

  • Adam

    OK it’s obvious that most of you complaining read the title and scrolled quickly through the list, because this guy goes out of his way to make places like Cleveland and Detroit seem desireable. Many of you are defending these cities as places to live. And I’m sure they have their charms that help make up for their inadequacies. But for those of you defending the crime rates with statements like “there’s crime everywhere…” Yes, there is, but there is more of it and of a more violent variety in these cities. Having some cute little bars on the lakeshore doesn’t excuse that. You talk about art galleries and restaurants and baseball fields… most major American cities have these things, without the crime and without the downtrodden city cores. It is what it is.

  • http://www.gall-holl.com/ Dan Miller

    I was out in Cleveland about 2 years ago and was pleasantly surprised it was so nice. Had a great time. Even got lost around 12 – 1 in the morning near Indians stadium looking for the parking deck with my car in it. Didn’t feel the least bit threatened. That’s not to say there are not rough spots, but every city has those.

  • Coma Tose

    Might want to check the news … Detroit isn’t going through a revitalization.

  • dd121

    They all have one thing in common: negroes, negroes, negroes. Maybe we should gather up all the liberals in the country and send them to those cities since they seem to worship the african.

    • mencik

      This might be a candidate for the most blatant racist comment I’ve seen all year. Not like these cities don’t have other racial groups too. Comments like these just inflame racism and do nothing to stop it. What a jackass!

      • Steve Sharkman

        you need to talk to the blacks and get them to stop shooting each other.
        then, when they stop that…

        • mencik

          Get the whites to stop shooting whites while you are at it. The white on white crime rate is just about the same as the black on black rate. If you don’t believe it, go look it up for yourself. It is not a racist issue as you make it out.

  • Anne

    FYI…Cleveland winters are not ‘brutal’ anymore. Check your facts. Tourism is UP since we opened the casino. As a matter of fact. We are at 100% occupancy this week in our hotels because of the Senior Games…that are hosted HERE! Cleveland also has the Downtown Cleveland Alliance…so our city is CLEAN! Yes there is crime…like most cities. Also….more people are moving downtown now than ever before. How did you do your research? Why don’t you come visist our very scary, crime ridden city, Smith.

  • Michael Tragash

    As a transplant from sunny south Florida, I can tell you that you couldn’t be more incorrect about Reno. Reno is home to a growing startup community, many large corporations, and incredible small businesses. Reno’s food scene is thriving with one of Esquire Magazine’s top 25 new restaurants in America, a Belgian style brewery with incredible eats, a strong movement toward local agriculture, and many wonderful entrepreneurs bringing craft goodies to the people. The community is tightly knit, and residents are incredibly giving when supporting each other.

    Enjoying the high desert is easy. We have incredible biking, hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, boating and swimming in the summer, incredible mountain lakes within 45 minutes of our front doors, great food, wonderful people, events, and more all year round. We wouldn’t trade this place for the world.

  • bob hope

    I’m a transplant from the mid west to Reno. I truly believe the writer should come here and take it in first hand. As with many of the listed cities your opinion stinks and you should keep it to yourself. There are more things to do in Reno than most places and the weather is great.

  • http://willhull.com/ Will Hull

    I believe you are misguided about Reno. I grew up in Reno, moved away for about 6 years (1 year in Las Vegas and 5 years in Washington, DC) and chose to move back to finally afford a 2700 sq. ft. house (it’s brand new too). Housing prices in DC are out of control, but for a young family it is perfect here in Reno.

    I agree with those below who wrote about outdoor activities here: hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, water sports on a plethora of lakes, rivers, camping and all within 45 minutes of our front door. We have a Children’s Museum among many other great museums. Many indoor playspaces and outdoor playgrounds (including wet ones for hot summer days) a full-featured water park, a growing entrepreneurial sector and a triple-A baseball team and D-league basketball team. A great university (which I am an alumnus of). This city is growing, not shrinking.

    The special events running from July through the end of September are nothing to joke about either. Hot August Nights, the Great Reno Balloon Race, the Best in the West Rib Cook-off, the Reno Air Races and Street Vibrations all contribute to the best fall anyone could have here in the Truckee Meadows. Further, just a 30 minute drive away is Virginia City where they hold the annual Camel Races, an annual chili cook-off and is the epitome of history in Nevada. Even Samuel Clemens spent time here (you might know him as Mark Twain). Where else is there something going on just about every week for about four months out of the year?

    I am proud to bring my family back here to raise them with a sense of pride for their community. I can’t tell you how misguided you are in printing this article.

  • Lynnette Cook Bellin

    Really?! Have you ever even stepped foot in Reno? The place is amazing. I moved to Reno to escape from Detroit, which I would agree isn’t a great place to visit, but the fact that you are lumping Reno in with Detroit and Cleveland is mind boggling. You must not be a skier, as we have 18 world class ski resorts, and you must not care at all that we have 360 days of sun and some amazing restaurants. You must not have ever experienced our Sierras or Lake Tahoe, which is a very short drive away. There is no such thing as traffic in Reno, and we have a whitewater kayak park going through our downtown. You have completely offended me and my Biggest Little City.

  • Sonny Crockett

    Wow. Except Reno, all majority black and democrat controlled cities. Sadly, the corrupt media and leftists will continue to blame the white establishment and free market greed while the dem pols and race sharks gain more and more wealth an power from black “victimhood” and ignorance.

    • rdl114

      Yah… as if anyone with a brain larger than a chipmunk believes that it’s because of Democrats that these cities have been sliding. Try again. And use all of that rodent brain again.

  • Guest

    Mr. Smith, please visit Reno before you write such articles. As someone who has lived in great places including Huntington Beach, San Francisco, and London, Reno is where I now choose to call home. It might be because my commute is no longer 1-2 hours each way, or maybe because for the same price as rent for my 800 sq foot apartment, I now live in a 2400 sq foot home. But really it is because my quality of life is that much better. Each weekend, we have wonderful activities to choose from concerts in the park, pub crawls and wine walks, art exhibits, food trucks, hiking, and snowboarding. Between July and September, Reno is the place to be. Where else can you see Shakespeare with a bottle of wine in the sand on a lake? or dress in theme with your 9 closest friends for Pops on the River? or eat competition quality ribs from around the country while listing to live music? or dress up as Santa for a downtown pub crawl? Or watch a field full of hot air balloon ascend into the sky at dusk? There is only once place to have all of this and its Reno.

    When it comes time for you to write about the 10 best places to visit, come to Reno but beware you might just move here like me.

  • Gertie Ok

    Check your facts, Stuart. And then go check the date on your facts. It seems like you found your Reno information in a book circa 2009; guess what–a lot has happened since the River Walk! We are not the poorer cousin to Las Vegas, we are the city that has something besides gambling and nightlife. We are the turtle that is gaining on the hare! When the economy crashed, some brilliant and creative minds were unemployed and left to pick up the pieces. We picked up the pieces and created a beautiful 3-D puzzle that includes shopping, dining, art, music, culture, comedy, theater, outdoor recreation, family life, and so much more. My favorite thing about Reno is that all of this excitement and culture is accessible. I can walk to events or find a parking spot; and when I get there it’s free or affordable. I can even participate, lead and start my own exciting event and know that the people of Reno will support me and cheer me on. Reno is a small pond filled with big, exotic fish who love to make a splash. Hop on AirBnb and find me–I would be happy to host your next fact-checking trip to the biggest little city. Bring your hiking boots, your bowling shoes, your paintbrush, and a guitar! I’ll even pick you up at the airport. :)

  • Vasya Bricklyn

    Chicago- what a shithole.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      I agree: Chicago has the misfortune to be a city where organized crime, the communist party, “Democrats,” union thugs and Africanus Criminalis have conspired to seal its fate, which will be very much like Detroit…

      • Dєvy❤Valєntinσ

        White racism destroy America and it will continue to get worst because they fail to realize their violence hatred past has doom America

        • Earl P. Holt III

          Your grammar, spelling and syntax are so poor, I’m going to address you in your native language:

          Dem whiteses done splitted dat atom, dey done put dat mans on de Moon, and dey doned ritted dat Cosntipation, while de bro’s and de sis’s of oursens is still libben in de dung huts.

          If I was in de least bit ables to tells da trufe, I would sho’ ’nuff knows dat it ain’t de white manses fawlt dat my peoples is mowrons and de laziest paramasites dat God ebber did create.

        • Earl P. Holt III

          The most violent, savage and witless race in world history is Africanus Criminalis. In Rwanda, Africanus-Criminalis killed 900,000 of each other with MACHETES! Just think what they could have done if they weren’t still living in the stone age, and had modern (or nuclear!) weapons…!

          The fact that the diminished frontal lobes of A-C renders splitting rocks rather than the atom, does NOT make him peaceable nor demonstrate that he is anything other than the violent, predatory savage we all know him to be…

  • Brenda O’Neill Bladen

    But thank you, Mr. pj, for showing me all around Reno! The fabulous things to be done there! The reasons to come back! The awesome restaurants! (the inside of a dark, cold basement). No wonder people don’t come back! just sayin’…….I just know that I didn’t feel welcome back at all!

  • jaun sanchez

    Reno is a great place if you like woman with no teeth, love drinking and doing meth

    • DGB

      Mr Sanchez

      When and where you were you were in Reno? Maybe you should have checked out the skiing, fishing, and hiking. We have world class out door activities. Or Perhaps theatre or music are more to your taste? You can find that here for sure. Festivals, concerts, fairs, or rodeo are all available for the discerning visitor. Of course we have gaming, restaurants and casino entertainment. We are smaller, friendlier, and yes, safer than our bigger, southern sister.
      Oh, and most of us ladies do have our teeth. But, perhaps, you weren’t looking for ladies??

  • BW

    Reno is OUR dream!! 10 acres, 25 miles North of the city, ranch estates. I really shouldn’t be saying this to reveal our UTOPIA!! Moving from the horrible, crime-ridden cesspool of California where properties were double what we paid, we couldn’t be happier!! The traffic jams here, if you are ever in one, still allow traffic to move. With only 230,000 people, folks like us are in HEAVEN!! Delightful, quiet, no crime, no tagging, no gangs, ZILCHO wher we are!! …..rarely go into town either and I was lucky enough to find permanent EMPLOYMENT right out of the valley, I only go through one traffic light to and from work. Again, coming to RENO for downtown, maybe a bad idea for now!! Buying property (3 acres,10 acres, 40 acres) at affordable prices, a great idea for us!! We do live way out of the city, but enjoy Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Raleys, O’Reilly, Harbor Freight trips that the crappy town, as you say, affords me to visit!! Living our dream in RENO NEVADA and I don’t expect you Mr. Smith or any other perpetual city dweller to ever get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would be happy if the population stays the same as it has! Things always get better and from the home values by us, they are. I finally had to say something on the web about it, because year after year we see this and where we are coming from, don’t ever understand it!!!

    • Steve Sharkman

      north of the city.
      he’s not talking about the suburbs dummy.
      he’s talking about the city.
      it sucks.

      • BW

        not the suburbs DUMMY. My zip code and address are Reno, DUMMY…….middle of nowhere. Either way, we like Reno, here, there or anywhere! I would love to have someone like you come visit unannounced, bring your dentist though!!

        • Steve Sharkman

          it’s not downtown and no one in the right minds would want to venture 25 miles north of that city.
          unless they’re looking for relatives or something…
          kinda like you…

      • BW

        Not the suburbs DUMMY, middle of nowhere ….zip code/address RENO DUMMY. Love Reno here, there and everywhere. Would always love to have someone like you, especially from CALIGOUGYA, come visit unannounced, bring your dentist though!

  • Alex Oconnor

    Other than the facts re the beach…which by the way he undercounts Mr. Smith simply has his facts wrong and out of date re Chicago. Professional journalism’s death see Mr. Stuart Smith.

  • Falk Schuetzenmeister

    Those lists are so stupid that Oakland is usually both among the best cities to live in and the worst city in the country at the same time. So no worth discussing. Rating is the professional and expansive comparison of apples and oranges.

    • Moira

      True, quality of life includes variables.
      Although the air quality is a serious issue in many places.

  • renosteve

    I am a Reno resident and I resent your choice of Reno being #3. There is a LOT more crime in Vegas than Reno, downtown is not SEEDY. Every week the City puts on events downtown for tourists all through the summer. Reno is very tourist oriented with its numerous festivals, such as Hot August Nights, The Italian Festival, The Chicken Wing Cook-off, and many many more such fun outings. It a good, fun place without all the over-pricing of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Our people are friendly and the food services at the casinos is great.

  • Senor Suerte

    you are a troll, sir. Did I mention you are a troll. – Saint Louis

  • Lynn Ault

    Whoever compiled this list is an idiot. Reno has a growing and vibrant arts scene: Artown. I’ll put Reno’s food scene up against any other city of its size in the country! People love to gamble and you can gamble here. The Truckee River flows right through the heart of the city, beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, Tahoe is an hour away! World class skiing and snowboarding an hour away, or less (Mt. Rose). Low crime, nice people, easy travel about the town, low prices, and plenty to do. Once again, whoever made this list is an absolute idiot. LOA in Reno

  • JM

    Dearest Stuart, for putting Reno at #3 you don’t deserve the formality of Mr. Reno has a lot to offer year round to which you forgot to mention the Rib Cookoff, the Air Races, the Balloon Races, Hot August Nights, the State Parade, the Christmas Festivals/Parades, we also have Great Hiking Trails, Snow Shoeing, Horseback riding, camping, Shakespear at Sand Harbor, Marathons at Tahoe, the Bowling Conventions, Historical Virginia City… did you want me to continue STUART?? Visit Reno before putting us as #3. By the way, the difference between us and Vegas is we are not the ugly step-sister, we are Cinderella!

  • Scott Cunningham

    10 former gems reduced to ruin by gangs, crime, and the flight of the middle class. In all 10, we have seen decades of programs aimed at “helping” the poor, and protecting the rights of criminals. Instead of coddling the criminals, and the poor, perhaps we should focus more on keeping these cities vibrant, prosperous, and liveable, and not chasing out the middle class, who is the driving force behind anything that succeeds.

    And BTW, I love Reno. What a fun, fascinating town. No idea why it made it onto this list of faded socialist worker’s paradises.

    • hdg

      Actually, middle-to-upper class people have been moving INTO chicago, which has displaced a lot of low-income housing, hence their surge in crime.

      • jsl55

        If “middle-to-upper class people have been moving INTO Chicago” why would crime rates go UP?

        • hdg

          Because they tore down Cabrini Green & various other crime & gang ridden low-income housing to put up luxury condos & apartments, and now those prone to criminal activities are displaced.

          Wicker Park, Logan Square, & Bucktown also used to be very dangerous crime-ridden neighborhoods that are now overrun with hipsters. It’s also happening in Humboldt Park. These used to be neighborhoods with high vacancy rates, low rents, and little police presence. There was plenty of violent crime, the crimes just weren’t reported because the majority of people were criminals themselves or too frightened of repercussions to talk to the police. I grew up in a Chicago police family. The city used to be so dangerous that my parents, who grew up there, never even visited my apartment in the city for nearly a decade.

          Also, about 3 years ago, Chicago lifted the handgun ban. Granted, there were guns already in the city, but now criminals are able to score them simply by breaking into someones apartment.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Let’s hope the dynamics work somewhat differently.

            How about: Now residents can defend themselves with firearms when their dwellings are invaded by violent criminals, and can send them to their Earthly reward, which the State of Illinois no longer has the guts to do…

          • hdg

            Find me a news story about someone in chicago who stopped an intruder with their gun. Just one, within the past 3 years. I told you. I have a police family. Nobody uses guns to “stop” anyone, but the reports of people who’ve had their guns stolen out of their homes has SKYROCKETED. I’m sure it’s just pure coincidence that since the handgun ban was lifted, and since all of these firearms were reported stolen, gun violence in the city has gone up dramatically.

            Great job ignoring every valid point I made in order to push your fox news opinionated agenda that has no actual facts to stand on, though.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Don’t get so excited. I don’t know why (or even if) Chicago’s laws governing home protection do not seem to have done much for the safety and security of residents. Perhaps it is the onerous requirement that guns must be locked away if children reside in the house. It would be a rare circumstance where a nervous and scared homeowner could successfully thwart a home invasion in the night by attempting to secure a gun that has been locked away in a safe.

            Guns ARE frequently used to thwart home invasions in more civilized areas: Every NRA publication carries a column called “The Armed Citizen,” in which many recent anecdotes of citizens defending themselves against violent felons are reprinted from news accounts.

            Also, the life-work of Professor Gary Kleck at Florida State University has repeatedly demonstrated that between 1.5 Million and 2 Million violent felonies per year are thwarted by armed citizens merely brandishing their weapons. Rarely do they even need to fire them to discourage a violent felon from making them a victim.

            I didn’t feel the need to respond to each and every point you made: I merely hoped that the dynamics of the law would improve, like it has in most civilized areas…

  • hdg

    Chicago? REALLY? I spent over 25 years living in the city. I moved across the country to get away, and now, years later, I can see it as it is. True, crime has been very high lately. True, the sales tax is ridiculous. The weather sucks, and it’s nearly impossible to find parking. However, crime there is nothing compared to Los Angeles (where I currently live). Taxes may be high, but nearly EVERYTHING else is much cheaper. Cost of simply going out to eat, having drinks, shopping – everything costs half or less in Chicago than in other major cities. Cheap public transportation & taxis are abundant. Yes, it’s nearly impossible to find a decent job (I know more than a handful of people who’ve had their masters degrees for 5+yrs and were grateful to find jobs working as receptionists in hair salons or as flower delivery drivers), which is the very reason I was forced to leave, but this IS discussing whether or not a city is a great place to VISIT, correct? Because unless you hate cheap subways, taxis, 8+ bars & restaurants on every block, some of the most gorgeous architecture in the country, & shopping at stores that charge a fraction what you’d spend in any other major city, Chicago is a pretty awesome place to visit.

    Unless you’re a douchebag bro, then most of the younger Chicago natives will tear you a new asshole.

    • LM

      “Reno residents have suffered drops in housing prices, drastic cuts in public services and layoffs.” Name a city that hasn’t faced those issues moron. So lower housing prices make a city not worth visiting? HDG just look at his pedo beard on that giant cranium supported by a pencil neck…ya hes a douchebag writing for escapewhat?

    • Daniel M

      While I have nothing personal against Chicago, and don’t doubt it has amazing attractions, let me correct you on the crime as you seem to want to compare Chicago to Los Angeles (where I was born and raised)–both New York and Los Angeles have a much lower murder rate than does Chicago–statistics do not lie. Crime has been falling for the last 10 years in Los Angeles, and even the New York Daily News proclaimed it the “safest big city in America”. All bombast aside, compare the brute numbers and despite Chicago having a smaller population than LA, it has a higher overall total murder count, higher aggravated assaults, burglaries, robberies, etc. The murder rate in both Los Angeles and New York has been falling over the last few years. Just Google Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, crime news, and look up the stats. If that doesn’t convince you, then consider another tidbit of information. While New York has about 5 murders per 100,000 people (though other crimes are higher), LA about 7 murders per 100,000, Chicago has about 18 murders per 100,000, the only major city where the murder rate is substantially up.

      • Zachary Hanna

        Doesn’t matter. I would bet you a plane ticket to chicago that the majority of that violence in Chicago occurs only within the ‘bad neighborhoods’ and not in the central business districts or ‘good neighborhoods’.
        Besides, LA doesn’t even count as a proper city. Except for K-town and Santa Monica.

        • Daniel M

          Yeah, you keep telling yourself that Zachary. No real stats to back up your arguments there. K-town and Santa Monica are an aspect of LA–there are many other urban (and nice) areas to the LA metro. You say Santa Monica and I can reply to you with Pasadena, Westwood, etc. same type of older neighborhoods with wealth and new amenities. LA like any other city has its good and bad neighborhoods–many transplants and people not native to LA don’t know most of them however–they only know of Santa Momica ;-)

    • Steve Sharkman

      you’re blind to the corruption.

  • hdg

    Agreed, I’m a native south sider, and even though I moved myself to the logan square area once I turned 18 (when it was still a mexican neighborhood, not a hipster neighborhood, but I surely contributed to the hipsterization), I still have a lot of family there. The south side of chicago is comparable to los angeles.. there’s a lot of neighborhood “pockets.” some are great & safe, some can be quite dangerous, but to lump it all together into one generalization is ignorant.

  • hdg

    Hear hear! I’m from Chicago, I live in LA. The amount of crazy angry people here is truly terrifying & I’ve seen far more dead bodies in LA in the past few years than I saw in 25 years in Chicago. Plus everything is so damn expensive in LA, I yearn for the days where a 10% sales tax was all that drained my bank account. Plus the food in Chicago is a million times better, I’m shocked at how many restaurants in LA manage to stay in business selling the vile crap they do.

  • Vicki Lowell McGuinness

    Complete and utter bullshite…….shite…….as someone who travels the US extensively and the world extensively, and lives in Reno…..this is absolute and complete hogwash.

  • bobfairlane

    A million dollars won’t go far in Detoilet.

  • bobfairlane

    Advertising something as a “rap hip hop mecca” makes it sound like a mudslim infested shithole, not an enticing place to visit.

    • RealAlexTurner2020

      and sodomites too.

  • Donabed C. Kopoian

    Come’on. Reno made this list?

    Hot August Nights, Skiing, Golf, Street Vibrations, Rib Cook Off, Hot Air Balloon Races, Air Races.

    There is a ton to do and all sorts of events going on for those who just gamble for the free drinks.

    Also, hard to blame Reno when home materials manufacturing companies were coming to Reno for the low taxes … when the housing market crashed, some manufacturing went with it and those jobs were lost.

    It will pick up. Other companies are looking to move into Reno as other states raise taxes to make up for the losses from the depression.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    St. Louis (#2) is just about 20 years behind Detroit (#1). While neither has had an elected city-wide Republican for many years, there are still enough whites to prevent the complete takeover of the city by the same people who are responsible for the condition of Detroit, Newark, East St. Louis, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda.

    The corruption and incompetence of black politicians is astonishing: They could screw-up an anvil, and then steal it. The basic problem is that their constituents are so incredibly stupid and corrupt, themselves, they would elect Satan if the latter promised them more of the white man’s money…

    • RealAlexTurner2020

      it is a known fact that whites have the highest IQ and that Obama has the lowest of all Presidents. these are known facts of which I am sure you are aware and agree. it’s not about white sheets or any of that either.

      • Earl P. Holt III

        Alex, one should never feel the need to engage in explanations when telling the truth.

        I don’t know how smart Obama is: I KNOW he is extremely lazy and never attended class anywhere — even Harvard Law — which is one reason he’s spent almost $3,000,000 dollars on legal fees to prevent the release of his student transcripts from Occidental, Columbia and Harvard.

        I also know that his knowledge of economics is non-existent, so he relies upon the other Marxists around him for advice, which does him a great disservice, particularly now that we are in the fifth year of his laughable “recovery.”

        A very good man who was on the Harvard Law Review when Obama was “Editor-in-Chief” claims he “…never met him, he never entered the Law Review offices, and I have no idea what his work-product was…”

        Members of the Communist Party of the United States at those three institutions gave him preferential admissions, “Gentleman’s A’s,” and glowing recommendations everywhere he went. The consequence is the most corrupt and incompetent President in the History of the United States, and the complete takeover of the Executive Branch by the CPUSA…

        • Colm_asMaighEo

          lol .. I am sorry i am not a US citizen, i didn’t vote or not vote for him or however the collegiate system works..but if obama is one of the stupidest most corrupt presidents .. what the f … was G W bush .. ?

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Bush was no favorite of mine, but at least he never actively sought to destroy America’s economy and military might. The Bolshevik-in-Chief tries to do both, in an effort to topple the only two things standing in the way of the worldwide communist revolution these scum have dreamed of for 95 years.

            Nor was Bush “corrupt.”

            Obama’s “economic program” is laughable by the standards of college freshmen of 50 years ago, when people were actually educated rather than being filled with Marxist propaganda and vile disinformation, such as that which you disseminate…

          • onegoodnathan

            Bush and Obama are the 2 sides to the same rotten coin. both are war-mongering statists who capitulate to global interests that are the enemy of American middle-class prosperity. the US govt has been highjacked by global banks and mega-corporations–this started way before B Hussein Obama took his constitutional oath.

            as far as the economy both Bush, Obama. and their predecessors have created a fascist US economy–the merger of govt and corporate power which operates above the rule of law.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Even though you sound like a Marxist — were you ever exposed to anything else? — I agree with the first paragraph: After 9/11, Bush should have used laser-guided weaponry to exterminate the inhabitants of EVERY terrorist training camp in Asia and Africa. We would have experienced a zero casualty rate, it would have cost a couple of billion dollars rather than trillions, and we wouldn’t have lost the lives and limbs of 60,000 decent, courageous and honorable kids, and it would have sent an unmistakeable message to Islamic terrorists the world over.

            The second paragraph is laughable, to one who has actually studied economics: GDP averaged 5.5 % growth through eight years of Bush, and was derailed only when the “Democrat”-created housing bubble burst, because all those loans banks were forced to make to “Sub-Prime” borrowers by the “Community Reinvestment Act” — that’s to blacks and Latinos who never paid a utility bill in their lives — didn’t pay their mortgages, either.

            Bush’s economy was profoundly better than that of Obama’s, which is still in a “recovery phase” in its fifth year, and will never get any better so long as people who are Marxists try to “run” it and manipulate its statistics such as that laughable “Unemployment Rate” legerdemained by his Labor Department …

          • Colm_asMaighEo

            Did Obama not get elected right after or even during the 2008 global recession? 5 years later you deride him because his recovery plan hasn’t worked.. whose recovery plan has though? what country that was deep in recession is now home and dry .. job done? are we not all still dipping in and out of recession?
            You mention it was a democratic party that caused that recession through sub prime lending .. while there was a republican in the white house ?
            so now there is a democrat in the white house ..
            Can the american public blame the republican opposition to his policies since his term started as the reason they havn’t worked ?

            I know you keep mentioning Marxism…to be honest i see benefits and drawbacks of both and probably don’t understand how you would rely on either system 100% in the real world. but is recession not the product of capitalism?
            for the record i am not a Marxist/or is super pro capitalism .. i freely admit i do not have the answers to the worlds economic or political problems -not even close! but one thing I am not and which i don’t think helps anyone is a belieiver in extremism..in absolutes..
            democrat = good .. republican = bad .. capitalism good communism = bad White people intelligent black people stupid..
            no sir don’t buy it for a second this is world is grey .. a thousand shades of it some darker some brighter ..

            So when someone mentioned two sides of the same coin above,I think that’s probably apt here. You have effectively two choices for president … just 2 .. and it takes about a billion dollars of fund raising or so for someone to get to the position of being a presidential candidate.. chances are there are debts to pay to someone/ some movement, some industry or some corporation with a vested interest in policy making by the time anyone becomes president.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            I don’t have the time or inclination to try to correct the mis-education of every kid who has been brain-washed worse than the Hitler Youth.

            Instead, I’m gonna bid you adieu with the wish that ALL Obama voters end up in cardboard boxes under an overpass, and eating government cheese.

          • Moira

            Colm, great question, go raibh mile maith agat!

  • Tom Boughner

    This guy is a moron. I’ve lived in Chicago and it’s a great place. I live in Reno and it is also a great place. I’ve also visited many of the other cities on this list and don’t get how they ended up on here. I’d love to know how lowered housing prices plays a part in determining how great a city is to VISIT. Crashing home values makes it not so great for those who live there, but I see no correlation to visiting. Get a clue jackass.

  • jackie hyder

    think it is bad what he said about Reno. I can’t believe he thinks Memphis is on the East Coast. Dude, get a map. We do have a Memphis in May festival. and it does showcase Music. I have walked around at night on that close to downtown 5 mile park that is along the Mississippi river, it is lovely, day and night. Beale street has many events, There are free concerts at the Shell. We have Casinos nearby. We have one of the best Zoos within several states. Several good wild life preserves are within a day trip, including bald eagles. yes, I will be happy to admit, if you are prone to allergies this is not the place for you. If you are going to write articles, at least get some facts right.

  • William M.

    All the issues that exist in Reno are far worse in Las Vegas, but I’m not trying to throw our sister-city under the bus.

    “Reno residents have suffered drops in housing prices, drastic cuts in public services, and layoffs.” Was it just me, or was there a housing bubble pop and a recession? Are you telling me that the majority of American cities didn’t suffer similarly?

    What drastic cuts to public services? Reno has a great housing authority that was awarded a nationally-competitive Moving to Work nomination. Reno’s Arttown is a month long extravaganza of fun, learning, and creativity. The riverwalk and ‘Midtown’ areas of Reno are quite pleasant.

    How could you not mention Washington D.C., Miami (especially East Miami), Cambridge, or Cleveland? What did you do, pick cities at random from google searches?

  • Gary Jones

    Blow us, Stuart Smith!

  • Proud St. Louisian

    I am absolutely disgusted with your article stating the “10 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States.” How dare you? Speaking on behalf of the Midwest, and it’s larger cities of Chicago and St. Louis, you know nothing of the family attractions, architecture and down-home good fun that is available in both locales. I was just commenting the other day to a friend at how amazing it is to visit St. Louis and Chicago for not only all they have to offer families in fun, but for adults as well. Perhaps you have not realized that St. Louis is actually one of the most family friendly and affordable living areas within our country. My children have been immersed in rich theatre, exploration and adventures throughout their childhoods due to living near both of these cities and visiting very often. Shame on you to include such amazing venues for cultural growth, varied amenities and affordable entertainment experiences. Perhaps you should actually prepare your articles through human behavioral research rather than statistical statements. You are sadly misinformed.

    • Steve Sharkman

      those cities suck!
      very violent and horrible to visit.

      • Zachary Hanna

        Chicago sucks? In what way and in what neighborhood?

  • alexDW

    In the list, there is only one white majority city (Reno, NV) and only two cities where African American population is smaller than white one (Reno, NV and Stockton, CA). Looks like presence of blacks makes cities bad, at least for the author.

    • Soupor Juan

      Blacks make up 13% of the US population, yet commit 49-52% of violent crime here…that compares almost exactly with White crime rates; a group that comprises 70% percent of the population…what this means is: Blacks as a group are committing violent crime at the rate SIX times the rate of Whites….Yes, I would concur Blacks do indeed seem to be at the root of the problem….Blacks incidentally, commit Homicide Ten (10) times more often than Whites and Hispanics combined …have a out of wedlock birth rate of 73% and are killed by other Blacks 92% of the time.

      • alexDW

        Murder and out of wedlock births are kind of same thing, aren’t they ?

        • Earl P. Holt III

          Alex, I’m not cutting these assholes ANY slack, whatsoever…!

      • Dєvy❤Valєntinσ

        Whites are the root of the problem; White got rich while Black didn’t get a fucking thing since they got drag onto America. You think 1-2 generation ago after heavy being treated unfair to the entire Black race they suppose to be compare to Whites ? Whites were always in good living conditions WTF they ruin other races around the world and the leaders of all time racism

        • Earl P. Holt III

          Blacks commit 55% of all felonies, 65% of all violent felonies, have an illegitimacy rate of 80% nationwide and over 90% in the large urban areas, and are synonymous with welfare.

          These are facts — unpleasant or otherwise — and are the the malignancies which are destroying America as surely as black criminality and incompetence killed Detroit.

          Since blacks have an average I.Q. between 79 and 85 — depending on which of the 650 empirical studies one consults — they will almost always fail to recognize such truths, and usually require a white man to “splain it to them,” as I have just done…

          • IMWMWMI

            Not everyone can be a rapper or basketball player. Best to take accounting as a backup plan.

          • jsl55

            And they would be sure to pass all of their classes thanks to affirmative action.

          • hdg

            You’re an idiot. Black people have higher incarceration rates because this country is racist & cops target minorities more often than whites. These are facts, unpleasant or otherwise — and are the malignancies which are destroying America.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Blacks experience significantly higher incarceration rates in this country BECAUSE THEY COMMIT A MAJORITY OF THE CRIMES IN THIS COUNTRY, particularly violent felonies.

            You are living proof of the fact that the average leftist dolt doesn’t begin to know or understand what even the least sophisticated conservative knows and can prove in an instant.

            If you are too stupid to realize this, you need to be tended and watered…

          • hdg

            Yes. You’re right. And they’re taking over. Whites are the minority now. White babies are being born less & less. You should just shoot yourself in the head NOW & spare yourself (and us) the misery of your pathetic existence.

          • Earl P. Holt III

            Intelligent people are working very hard to prevent you people “taking over.”

            One only has to look at Detroit, or East St. Louis, or Newark, or Haiti or Zimbabwe or Rwanda or the black areas of ANY city on the globe to see what transpires when you people “take over” something: Usually, it’s not fit for any inhabitants beyond cockroaches and sewer-rats…

          • Steve Sharkman

            you’re a useful idiot.
            please don’t change.

          • Agent Duke

            I know, right? The last three times I was mugged by black people, I could have sworn at least two were wearing blackface. You know, it’s socioeconomic issues that drive crimes, not necessarily race. Looks at concentrations of poverty and that racial makeup actually is closest to the statistics. You won’t solve problems with race in America until you can resolve the socioeconomic issues. And the answer is not simple wealth redistribution, mind you. Obama loves that buzzword but its a recipe for disaster.

        • D.m. Downing

          Devy, you are an illiterate moron. You are living proof of everything Juan is saying.

      • Earl P. Holt III

        Juan: Don’t forget that scum-ball Bill Clinton had his “Justice” Department include HISPANIC CRIMES within the category “white.”

        This was done to inflate the numbers of white crimes, so they would appear to be more equivalent to black crimes.

  • Anne Thrope

    You are soooo wrong on Chicago, one of the BEST cities to visit. The people are awesome, nicest cabbies anywhere I have ever been. The architecture is divine, the food is legendary, Brookfield Zoo, the museums, the Art Institute….all overshadow the crime, unemployment and foreclosures that have been happening all across the nation. As for the Olympic bid, please, if they got it, that would be the one time I wouldn’t visit Chicago.

  • Colm_asMaighEo

    million dollar renovation ..i think that was supposed to be multimillion probably .. regardless, Detroit City just filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy. the biggest filing of its kind to in the history of the US or maybe its the first i am not sure. either way .. i doubt there is much being spent on renovations now.

  • Blah Blah Blah

    This article is terribly misinformed and incredibly badly written. Stuart Smith has no business either travelling or writing.

    • RoostookGuy

      Who says he ever travels to the places he writes about ?

      He’s obviously never been to Reno.

      • Jack

        Totally Agree!!!

  • Craig Redler

    This always happens to Saint Louis. The city of St Louis with a population of a little better than 300000 is the hub of a metro area with almost 3,000,000 residents. The city is only around 10% of the entire population, and also happens to be where a most of the poverty is. If you consider the entire metropolitan area, the crime in St. Louis is actually EXTREMELY LOW, and extraordinarily low to non-existent in any of the places a tourist is likely to go. (It’s St. Louis’ own fault by allowing itself to be structured that way, but it is what it is.) Beyond the fact that it really is quite safe there, the offerings for tourist are amazing, and either free or relatively inexpensive. There is a world class zoo, symphony, museums and sports. The restaurant and bar scene is amazing, and the public transportation is decent. There are things here (city museum comes to mind — google it) that are unique in the universe. All in all a great place to visit!

    • Gina Mero

      Yeah, no. I had a business meeting to go to in St. Louis and looked up top 10 things to do in St. Louis – #1 was the arch #2 was the African American Museum…tha’ts all I needed to see, plus some black kids had beat a white man to death for fun (it was in the news the day I made flight reservations) and I thought – NO, I know what’s there and I dont’ want any part of it…you can have all the ‘unique in the the universe’ places you want – if I’m going to get beat for being there then I’d rather fly in and out in the same day….I’ll spend my money in a safer city.

    • Steve Sharkman

      wow…you’re a useful idiot.

      • Joey Tranchina

        “useful idiot.” what an interesting if tired concept.
        This guy has the second half down pat.
        Sadly the first part continues to evade his weak mind.

        • Steve Sharkman

          why don’t you go to the store and buy some sweet tea and skittles.
          i’ll meet ya there…
          oh, don’t forget your hoodie!

          • Joey Tranchina

            There you have it folks.

            It only took a moment before this dickless-wimp spoke as if he was the first coward to threaten my life.

            This pathetic punk is about 50 years too late for that hazardous honor, but he’s probably safe in his mommy’s basement typing with one hand.

          • Steve Sharkman


  • Paul Armstong

    trolling writers, worst city, anywhere new jersy, detroit, any suburb of miami not on water, any rio grande town, ohio, i 75 pirate towns etc.

  • Nick Stephens

    This is stupid, all this wrtier did was look up the cities with high crime rates. There is no analsis of how, why, or for what reasons these are bad things based on what travelers would want to do and see. Travelers dont care about housing prices.

    • Steve Sharkman

      but they care about getting shot…

    • Zachary Hanna

      He looked up cities with high overall crime rates. He did no analysis of their friendliness to tourists or suitability for a visit. Chicago is a world class destination downtown, and like Baghdad Iraq in the gang-infested areas. But no tourist would go to those gang-infested exterior neighborhoods.

  • Caledonia Tilton

    This is an interesting read …. I wonder what political group has been in charge of these cities?? And their decline in the past 5 years (during the great Obama “Recovery”) is rarely mentioned in the news. This writer might even have a knack for real journalism!!

    • Steve Sharkman

      I can tell you what party wasn’t in charge of these cities.

    • Harry McNicholas

      Well, Reno, like most Northern Nevada has been run by Repubs. So what was your point?

  • Helen Graham

    Uneducated statements and complete lack of correct information-you are a travel writer-REALLY?

    • Steve Sharkman

      oh Helen…please…
      you’re a useful idiot.

  • Doons Rellik

    As written in the section on Reno “With a populous of 227,509, ”
    POPULOUS???? How about populace?
    Is English your second or third language?

    • Bilal Ersoy

      “Populous” is a perfectly correct English word which means with many people. “Populace” means the common, lower class people.
      I think English is your 2nd or 3rd language!

  • DBM

    I live six miles from Camden. Please come and visit, take an evening stroll, and you will see that it is truly a post apocalyptic vision of Chicago. Chicago will take many years before it can aspire to the depths of Camden. Until then, Chicago has not earned the right to be on this list.

  • Karl Haraldsson

    how on earth is Chicago on this list??

    • Bogus_Bill

      Seriously? It’s Chitcago.

      • cthun

        that’s also what people call your face.

    • Steve Sharkman

      I know…
      you would think the messiah would fix his town.

  • rh1

    Memphis is a nightmare. Touring the Beale St. disrict, famous as ‘home of the Blues’, was fun many years ago. But latest visit, a few years ago, was shocking. The distrct was grossly overcrowded on a weekend night, and seemingly creepy, and it got much worse.

    The cops that had been patrolling the district, fled the area the moment that the curfew hit, and shops began closing down, disgorging a sea of unruly patrons.

    Saw a gang physically pick up a resisting woman and carry her off. Frantic efforts to find a cop — or a phone to call one — took forever. By the time i found the one lone woman cop still in the area (cowering in her squad car), it was too late for her to catch them. And the male cops had already long ago run away to safer turf.

    Don’t go to Memphis, at least not alone, nor unarmed.

  • gunwrites

    The major common factor contributing to misery of these cities is the high crime rate, high population of blacks, and Democratic controlled governments. Let’s call them what they really are, shîtholes.

    • Gina Mero

      As I read the list 1-7 all i could think of was (violent black people) then also with #10 – so the top 10 worst cities in American 8 of them have a populace that is violent and poor (BY CHOICE) you can choose to stay in school and not have out of wedlock babies…when people are failures in American it’s because they choose to be – immigrants come here everyday from ravaged countries and make it…but we have millions of home grown losers.

    • RoostookGuy

      Oh yeah, blame the “high population of blacks”.

      Wait a minute… What’s a “high population” to you ?

      1% ? 5% ?

      Racist troll.

      • Steve Sharkman

        the truth hurts.
        people like you can’t handle it.

      • Jack

        Reno has a population of 2.16% African american and that is probably because of the UNR Basketball team and Football team! – Go Wolf Pack!

  • Michael Baker

    Chicago is by far the worst city. Dont be fooled by the tall buildings and tourist attractions. Walk thru downtown chicago and you wil see it for yourself.

    • RoostookGuy

      I have to agree, been there twice, not going back again anytime soon.

    • Jack

      Plus flying in is crappy…

  • Fr0stTr0n

    Articles like this are utterly retarded and serve no purpose much like the drive media writers to make them


    Have you noticed that most of these citys have very strick gun laws

    • Jack

      Hahahaa not Reno!

      • THE_SE7EN_SINS

        Yea.. Reno is the oddball here.. but I did say most..

    • marigolds

      St Louis does not have strict gun laws either.

  • Human

    Gangs stink.

  • Keldroc

    Wow, this article. Come for the amateurish writing, stay for the virulently racist reader comments!

    • Steve Sharkman

      how is it racist to point out the truth?
      these cities are run by unchecked, black liberalism.
      that’s not racist, that fact.
      it would be racist to ignore that fact.

      • Keldroc

        Please elaborate on the true nature of black liberalism and the method by which these cities are run by it. Thanks.

        • Steve Sharkman

          well, since you’re a low information voter and this has to be explained, i’ll make it very simple.
          tough gun control laws.
          high taxes.
          high spending.
          big unions.
          80% of kids born as bastards.
          60% high school drop out rate…
          now I could go on, but this is enough for your closed, low information mind for now.

          • Joey Tranchina

            And he thinks those obvious stats which do not give a full picture of the conditions in hard-time cities qualify him as an high-information voter, when in fact he is an buffoon with a handful of statistics. This is what we are dealing with folks… fools.

          • Steve Sharkman

            they’re in that situation because they make bad life decisions.
            deal with it.

          • billthebrown

            You do know that ALL The founding Fathers of the USA were Liberals…………….

          • Harry McNicholas

            Guest is a reichwinger and keeps his SS uniform hidden in the closet.

      • billthebrown

        I think your sheets need laundering

  • DaveCC

    Can’t even get your insults correct. It’s “Mistake ON the lake” not “Mistake BY the Lake.”

  • GL333

    Is Stockton even a tourist destination? I live in the Bay Area and I have never found a reason to go to Stockton. At least not on purpose!

  • GL333

    The other common factors between these cities is probably horribly run City management/government!

  • Brent Slobodin

    Probably the common factor is that they simply all American cities.

    • Steve Sharkman

      they’re all very liberal American cities run by black, left wing liberals.

      • Brent Slobodin

        Let’s see now: Alabama, the Carolina’s, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana. Ok. Anything south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Impoverished, still deeply racist and run by fossilized white men. Seems to me that stereotyping gets you nowhere.
        Sent from my iPad

        • Steve Sharkman

          all of the major, big cities in those states are run by liberal blacks. and guess what?
          they’re in huge trouble.
          it’s very common…
          blacks, when in unchecked government control, 100% of the time, destroy the city they’re in control of.

          • Harry McNicholas

            Guest. The most liberal city in the U.S. is Portland, Oregon and it is doing very well. In fact, to buy a home there now you must add about 10 – 20% over the asking price to buy the home. Unemployment in Portland is very low compared to other cities. Sorry, your dumb ideas are dated.

      • Harry McNicholas

        Sorry Guest Reno has been run by conservatives forever. The same with all Northern Nevada. Vegas is run by liberals.

  • RoostookGuy

    Reno rocks !

    You should actually visit the places you write about !

    There’s always something going on, summers are jumping, great food, really nice accomodations, and the people are just amazingly, genuinely, NICE.

    It’s ironic that you’re using bad raps and outdated information yourself for this article.

    • Steve Sharkman

      reno hands out Kevlar vests at the airport.
      that city sucks.

      • ENDIF

        In my dreams they do, I’d have a nice collection to sell.

        You clearly know nothing, little troll.

    • Jack

      Reno has improved and changed a ton over the last 7 years… plus does everyone think lake Tahoe is in California? Half of it is in Nevada 20 minutes from Reno… Uh hello Skier and Outdoor paradise.

      • Harry McNicholas

        Jack. Just spent 5 days at Tahoe. The traffic was horrible, prices out of sight and to spend anytime at the beach, you had to get there by 7:30 in the morning to find a place to park. Went to Truckee and could not find a place to park. Went to Oregon and had a picnic area alonside a beautiful creek all to ourselves and beautiful weather.

    • Jane

      I just let people think it stinks, why share the secret that its actually the coolest city around? Easy flights in and out, beautiful, great weather, excellent restaurants, affordable urban housing, lots of parks and beautiful terrain, young professionals, no traffic… ya, Reno is awful everyone, stay right where you’re at!

      • Harry McNicholas

        Never been there in December have you Jane? Excellent restaurants? How about one at the Nugget in Sparks. The housing is affordable now since everyone is out of work or moved out of Reno. No traffic? You are nuts.

    • Harry McNicholas

      Guest. Just which people are you talking about in Reno? The only place worth visiting in Reno (actually it is in Sparks) is the Nugget for their clam chowder.

  • Hunky69

    Try Toronto ,Canada.

    Its the worst.

    • Netoriya

      You must be real American to call Toronto, Canada the worst. Unfortunately it’s one of the top 10 cities in the world for raising a family. I am an American (3rd generation only!!!) and I would love to live there if I had a job opportunity.

  • Steve Sharkman

    Motor City” due to rumor of high crime rates”.
    this author is an idiot. that’s a fact, not rumor.
    if you’re lib-turd…Detroit is the result of liberalism.

    • billthebrown

      Yes all those Car Execs sure are liberal….

  • Steve Sharkman

    has anyone noticed? every single one of these cities are run by extreme liberals.
    mostly black. no new ideas from the right…just iron fisted liberalism.
    lol…let them all rot…

    • Cabes

      Reno is really known for its leftist black leadership…..

      • Steve Sharkman

        I said “mostly”…
        but don’t be mistaken…they’re liberal.

        • Joey Tranchina

          Nobody is mistaken.
          What you are is obvious.

        • BW

          Dummy, Adj. Defn: a person who complains about liberalism, calls every a leftist and lives in the LIBERAL cesspool called CALIFORNIA. Hey, you DUMMY!

        • Harry McNicholas

          Guest. You know nothing about Northern Nevada. It has been run by Repubs for many years. Vegas is run by Demos.

    • techdavis

      Reno is actually run by conservatives. You need to get your facts straight. “every single one of these cities are run by extreme liberals.” You can’t hide behind “mostly”. Reno has been run by the same Republican administration for several years.

      And with events like Hot August Nights, The Great Reno Balloon Races, The Reno Air Races, and so many others, Reno does not belong on this list. The reasons given for not visiting Reno are all about moving to Reno – totally invalid for travel.

  • Joey Tranchina

    I flew from Paris to Cleveland to give a presentation, with a two day layover before I flew back. Arriving with very low expectations for leisure activities, I was, frankly, blown away by the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is one of the finest collections of high quality painting and Chinese ceramics anywhere in the world — an amazing jewel of a museum that is clearly an expression of exquisite taste rather than inexhaustible wealth. I’d read that the museum was very good but i did not expect the evenly elegant collection that I found. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fine art.

    The zoo was fun and I enjoyed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, even if it belonged in San Francisco. Cleveland should be a decent long-term investment — Cleveland will come back, if America does… which depends on adjusting the the bad balance of wealth inequality. If that does not happen, America will become a third world country with too many armed nuts…. oh wait…

    • Steve Sharkman

      these cities will never make it as long as lib-turd demo-rats run these cities.
      never make it.

      • BW

        good thing are NO liberal HOLLYWEIRDOS on earth! Hollycrap and Beverly Hills have NO liberals, right? Jeez,

  • Ty

    What violent crime in Reno?

    • BW


    • Harry McNicholas

      Never been to Reno have you?

      • Ty

        Have you?

        I live in Reno.

  • techdavis

    With events like Hot August Nights, The Great Reno Balloon Races, The Reno Air Races, and so many others, Reno does not belong on this list. The reasons given for not visiting Reno are all about moving to Reno – totally invalid for travel. If you want a reason not to VISIT a city, maybe you should limit your reasons to VISITING, not to residing or moving to an area. With Lake Tahoe, Virginia City, wild west history, the Reno Rodeo (the “Wildest, Richest rodeo in the west”), many outdoor activities (can you say dozens of ski resorts, lakes, etc), great hotel accommodations, awesome 4 season climate (300 days of sunshine average), and a generally friendly population, Reno is a great travel destination. Forget about the casinos – try the LIFE here.

    • BW

      Nice and realistic post TECH! No need to defend our city anymore! We all know the truth. Let the dummies be dummies :)

    • Harry McNicholas

      Tech. Just at Lake Tahoe and the traffic was so bad you could not go anywhere. 10 bucks for a crappy hotdog. You had to go to the beach at 7:30 in the morning to get a place to park. The only good thing about visiting Reno is having clam chowder at the Nugget in Sparks.

      • Ty

        What place in Reno is charging $10 for a hot dog? And what beach do you have to be there by 7:30?

      • BW

        ??? I can’t wait for the air races?

  • cthun

    chicago shouldn’t be on this list, the bad neighborhoods are on the outskirts of the city. downtown is a greater place than all these other cities combined.

  • iRobC

    Other sources have ranked St. Louis in the top top 5 best places to visit. Every
    list is just one guy’s opinion who has likely never even visited.

  • Irene Fritz

    Thank you for adding the positives of each of these cities. While each one, and many more around our nation are experiencing difficulties, they all have something good and wonderful about them. Detroit has excellent restaurants, a World Class Art Museum, The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, a magnificent riverfront, The Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, Pistons and Detroit Lions teams, beautiful downtown churches, and amazing theaters and music houses. There is much in Detroit to love and we are trying to save it. Things are turning around and we can only get better!!!

    • shazangell

      Thank you for posting this! I was just about to defend our city, this article leaves a whole lot out that you mentioned and plus fancy casinos ( for those into that kind of thing)

    • Marecia Gaston

      AH! Thank you, Irene! I agree with you. These journalists have way too much fun pinning Detroit as the unfortunate ugly duckling of travel destinations but people have no idea what they’re missing out on. This city is SO AMAZING.

  • boz

    Do you even travel bro??

  • TheOriginalDonald

    I can testify New Haven’s place on this list is well-deserved.

    • Zachary Hanna

      I agree about new haven as well.

  • orlandojon

    All of these cities share one unmentioned fact…large population of blacks

    • Harry McNicholas

      So like the serial killer today who murdered at least 11 people is Black?

      • tony26

        Quit patronizing blacks and do an honest examination of the data. Just because deep down you’re afraid of blacks, sucking up isn’t going to make you any safer………you’re gutless!

    • tony26

      Well said!!

  • Templar 6

    Two wonderful multi-cultural examples of liberalism. Oakland and Chicago, what wonderful places , that is if you like combat zones.

    • Harry McNicholas

      Templar. Never been to Portland, Oregon have you? The liberal capital of the U.S. and people live very well.

    • Zachary Hanna

      It depends on which neighborhood you go to. Chicago is a world-class city and IMHO is a better bet for tourists than NYC. As long as you don’t go to bad neigbhorhoods you will be fine. The same goes for Oakland and SF.

  • Templar 6

    I would rather live in Kandahar then Oakland. Been to both and I’m speaking from experience.

  • wjm457

    Great article. Too bad about Detroit. I hadn’t realized that liberals had destroyed it. So that must mean that the executives running the car companies were liberals. You learn something new everyday.

  • billthebrown

    Wait a minute, Chicago? are you serious…………not only are you WRONG.
    But me thinks you have an agenda…..

    • Harry McNicholas

      Only if you are a criminal Chicago would be fine.

      • linda cheragotti

        Harry, since you know so much about these cities, write a travalogue. better yet, you should have written this article. “National…national…national” National was used just to grab everyone’s attention. No Pulitzer Prize for this columnist. Oh wait, the Pulitzers were a famous family here in St. Louis. I’ll bet the columnist wouldn’t want a tainted St. Louis Prize!

  • Michael

    St. Louis is an unheralded gem, hidden away amidst the meth labs of Jesus Land. Please don’t be afraid to come here; we invite you to bask in the glow of our free world-class museums and gorgeous city parks, to take in the amazing music and arts scene and dine on some delectable local cuisine. Who knows? The tight-knit community and insanely low cost of living might just prove enough of an incentive to stay.

    • Harry McNicholas

      Michael. I think you need to get to a shrink as soon as possible.

      • Michael

        I trust you could recommend a good one.

    • Michael Kays

      I gotta disagree Michael. In just the past 5 yrs., St. Louis is fast becoming one of the dirtiest and ill-kept cities in the nation. Not only is the crime rate going up, but physically the city is looking very bad, and MoDot is to blame. I-270, I-44, I-64, and I-70 are littered with trash and the grassy areas at the entrance and exit ramps are routinely 3 foot high or more. The neglect is now EVERYWHERE; from North to South County, from Chesterfield to St. Charles and even the once beautiful West County areas (including Town and Country and Ladue) are looking pretty bad. I’ve talked to MoDot who says they are on a stricter budget and are now only cutting lawns and litter pick up is now scheduled only 3 or 4 times PER YEAR. I suppose it’s just the times we live in; for I’ve even seen police throw $hit out their windows.

      • Michael

        Uh…which exits are you taking? I never see any trash, besides maybe a stray Burger King wrapper or two. Then again, maybe I’m focused too much on driving to seek out litter on the side of the road.

        • Michael Kays

          Well there you go … you’re obviously a complacent idiot who is too busy concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other just to walk.

          • Michael

            Yes, that’s exactly what I meant.

  • Sarah Kate

    Why is New Haven on the list? I get that there are bad sections (I live less than a half hour away) and that Yale is fairly overrated as the “centerpiece” of the city, but it hardly one of the WORST cities in the United States. I can think of three IN CONNECTICUT who should be higher (Danbury, Waterbury, and Bridgeport). New Haven has amazing amounts of history around every corner and amazing food! It’s the only city on this list I’ve ever been to, but I’m getting the feeling that the list isn’t that accurate.

  • Dottore Gustavo

    Go fuck yourself.


    Reno has done a LOT more than that, but yes, it is a bit depressed compared to comparably sized cities, mostly due to decades of economic capture by casinos that only broke in the 90s.

    • Zachary Hanna

      Reno is an awesome quick vacation getaway, and since it’s under-appreciated it’s a great place to go on a budget.

  • trood

    I live and work in Oakland and “horrible traffic congestion” is way off the mark. Regional freeways leading to the bridges are congested at peak hours, and many pass through Oakland, but it’s actually a lot easier to get around Oakland than nearby cities like Berkeley and Emeryville, where there are fewer freeways and local streets are blocked off to through traffic.

    • Zachary Hanna

      If ‘horrible traffic congestion’ is a reason to make the list, then LA and SF, and Atlanta, should make the list first before Oakland.

  • John in SF

    The author sounds like a pompous git, too much of a wus to tolerate urban life.

    Better stay in the burbs where it’s safe, Stuart.

  • Marecia Gaston

    Are you kidding me, Stuart? Detroit? Detroit is an AMAZING place today. There is so much love and culture and excitement going on in the city. Detroit is nothing BUT welcome to tourists and you’d know that if you’ve ever ventured about Detroit city. Yes, things are a little rough around the edges, EVERYONE HAS MADE THIS CLEAR already but we have so much to offer here as well as Greater Detroit. Negative and persistent reviews such as yours (which I am certain is based off of a lack of personal experience and other people’s testimonies) is the CULPRIT of why people never want to visit Detroit in the first place. Many people are shallow enough to base their opinions and travel decisions on mere hearsay. Do you not understand that? You’re doing this for the sake of commentary and flair. I am sorry but I don’t understand how this “article” is even helpful or useful in any way.

    • Numbers6

      Lot of burnt out houses right by the freeways, things just look bad in Detroit. But a few minutes drive you get to nice suburbs like Dearborn, Romulus, Novi which are big sprawling mega mall type cities.

  • Matt Chambers

    Chicago is worse than Camden? There’s your red herring: Camden, the poorest city in the country where the only thing that’s Michelin rated is a tire shop is supposedly a better stay than CHICAGO! I feel like Stuart Smith arbitrarily read some mid-90′s statistics and made a list. For instance the Oakland of 2013 is nothing like the one he describes. Congestion? Pollution? Downhill? Oakland has a crime problem, but every other indicator says Oakland is on the upswing. Downtown there has been 60 new businesses open in the last 60 months. The commercial vacancy rate is less than 15%, and over the last two years apartment rents and home values have shot through the roof. Neighborhoods that you wouldn’t expect to be turning around like West Oakland and Fruitvale are seeing new residents, developments, and businesses. And I’ll tell you what -unlike Stuart I can cite my sources.

    • Zachary Hanna

      This article is flat out ridiculous. Los Angeles should be at the top of this list. As far as crime is concerned – the downtown and tourist-friendly parts of Chicago and Oakland have no more crime than downtown SF.

  • Jeanine Moreland

    This is dumb. How do unemployment rates and housing prices have anything to do with what it’s like to visit? Maybe come visit Reno (and the other cities listed) to bring in more money so less of us can be unemployed.

  • EddieMarriage

    “318,069 long-time residents” — not rounded off, but counted right down to the very last person. So you did 318,069 interviews, EscapeHere, and can assure us that every one of those people, right down to the very last 69 persons, is a long-term resident?

    Of course not. But, as a journalist, you’re allowed to write sloppy and lazy like that. How do you know that, say, 411 of those 318,069 people did not just move to St. Louis within the past 5 months? Huh?

    You don’t know that. So don’t go claiming that every one of them is a “long-term resident”.

    You journalists just think you can get away with exaggerating anything you want nowadays, to create that special ‘cachet’ that your story needs to help sell more advertising on the right-hand gutter of this page (or win you the Pulitzer Prize, w/e, I dunno).

    • marigolds

      They were differentiating from “day-time residents” who work in the city but do not live there and visitors. St Louis has 600k daytime residents and visitor numbers push it over 700k. But halving the crime rates to reflect the actual population affected does not make a very good story.

  • EddieMarriage

    “… national crime rate in Oakland is…” —- do you even know what the word “national” means?

    Good grief. Where do these kids go to school. He wrote the word “national” so often in the previous articles he just thinks that “national” goes hand in hand with “crime rate” …. no matter what geographic area he’s writing about.

    If you are talking about Oakland’s crime rate, say “city” or “city-wide”, not “national”. Or better-yet, just skip the adjective, we know you are talking about Oakland when you …. well, use the word “Oakland”.

  • Kymberly Jackson

    St. Louis crime rates are skewed due to the unique feature of the lack of a surrounding county, and due to these numbers often being blended with East St. Louis which is confusing, as ESL is in a different state. It is no more/less “dangerous” than most urban areas and as always, be street smart. There are some lovely things about St. Louis, if you look past the superficial and yes, the revitalization movement is truly positive.

  • Melissa Answers

    Wouldn’t it have been more productive (and frankly, edgier and more interesting), Stuart, to instead find the hidden gems in these cities that are clearly taking a hit in this economy? As a proud St. Louisian, I read this article and think, “Wow, clearly this author has never visited my hometown.”

    Yes, there are struggles (as with probably every town on this list), but those struggles have yielded many proud and determined individuals – and thus, we have critically-acclaimed chefs, a thriving art scene, world-class musicians (playing at small bars that you can step in for a $6 cover charge), and many up-and-coming neighborhoods. And completely unrelated… a few champion sports franchises to boot. :)

    Everyone I know who has visited St. Louis has made remarks about being “surprisingly impressed” at the people, the architecture, the food, and the growing diversity.

    What I’d like to see is a writer who is willing to visit the least-likely vacation spots, find the hidden gems, and publish those. But I guess that’s too much work.

    • justathought1988

      Yeah and you generalize the whole city. High crime is usually in specific areas, and between gangs. It’s not like there are drive by shootings of tourists.

  • justathought1988

    If I’m going to Detroit, it’s to go on a safari. lol.

    • Dz Nutz

      ur a moron, the suburbs of Detroit are beautiful, the city is up and coming. Get your head out of your A$$$hole

      • justathought1988

        Oh yeah bro, 25% unemployment rate and topping every murder list every year. That sounds like a real up and coming place.



    • Zachary Hanna

      Actually, as far as tourist traps go, I would say why spend time in San Francisco when you can go to Oakland. Especially if you are a foodie.


    Reading a lot of the other posts, its interesting to see locals from some of these places defending their towns. What they don’t seem to realize is this article was written mostly for the benefit of British tourists. Anyone who tries to tell British tourists that they ought to visit places like Oakland or Detroit either is totally off the wall or has a perverse sense of humor.

  • john

    i have been living in st louis for the past 6 months. and i love it. yes there is crime. yes there is poverty. but not unlike any other city. there is a coming together of people unlike any other city. u c many interracial couples walking the streets, something u only c in NYC. Again i love ST. LOUIS. have a good day.

  • John Doe

    I’m definitely a little dumber after reading this article.

  • Tom White

    Surprised New Orleans didn’t make the list.

    • marijan69

      How about Washington, DC?

  • arteest103

    If you’re all Americans here, commenting, you’re not making much of a case for a foreign visitor. As an ex-American and one who has traveled pretty extensively, I’m now convinced that Americans see the US in their own way. You guys are stating your opinions from where you stand, right now. The rest of the world doesn’t see the US as you see it. For example, crime isn’t as rampant or violent numbers-wise in western Europe. From afar, much of what we see of the US is very scary. Concealed carries?? No one I know wants anything to do with the States anymore. I know it feels like the US is all there is–you were raised to believe so–but it just isn’t.

    • Melissa Answers

      Correct, and we’re simply informing the readers of this article that this is way off base.

      As someone who has also traveled very extensively, including the Middle
      East (which is also viewed as dangerous, dirty, and undesirable, and I
      whole-heartedly disagree), I can confidently say that I wouldn’t want to be dissuaded by a lazy writer who relies on skewed statistics or cliches. If I read what everyone wrote about the Middle East, I’d never visit, and thus, miss out on a pretty incredible place, full of wonderful people and experiences.

      The commenters are simply saying, “Don’t miss out on some beautiful experiences just because of this article.”

  • dave

    Sorry But I Totally Disagree CHICAGO should be on this LIST. It has become MORE TODAY then 40 years ago a ICONIC American City that HAS ARRIVED. A STELLAR DOWNTOWN second to none in Architecture and Cleanliness and What a FRONT YARD on Lake Michigan. Even Beaches downtown and WHAT A SKYLINE from any direction a New One of a Kind view. Shopping Michigan Ave or Magnificent Mile gives 5th avenue in NYC and even Rodeo Drive in LA a run for its money Just in beauty alone, even when looking up. Also ALL TOURIST REVIEWS sights give CHICAGO rated by TOURIST who VISIT…Great Reviews. Even giving Chicago a NOD as a FAMILY TOURIST DESTINATION? Now does that really say WORST PLACE top 10? Sorry. But thanks for such a GREAT SKYLINE picture. Though 15 years old perhaps? The Picture alone says I want to see more??

  • FREEMANontheland

    Some of the world now know’s it (USA)as.Land of Fee,Home of the Slave.Sad really…..

  • Hannah

    What a pointless article. If home foreclosures and unemployment are reasons not to visit a city, then listen to this guy. It would be a different story if the article were titled, “The 100 worst cities to buy a home in” – but most of the places listed here are amazing cities to visit and have a lot to offer.

  • thesorcnu

    It’s obvious that this has been done by intention by our members of CONGRESS and our government. Why do we spend money abroad to HELP other nations; while our own is riddled with foreclosures, unemployment, and broken infrastructures. Thanks to our dysfunctional political leaders in CONGRESS these cities are a total mess. The REAL poverty in American is our social/mental consciousness for outdated thinking and morals within our own boarders. Fleecing our taxpayers for their own greedy benefits.

  • thesorcnu

    If we are a Christian nation; these cities prove that we are talking with ‘fork tongues’; how can we be Christians,Jews,Mormons, with such a poor track record within our own boarders. Clean up your own country; before, spreading your disease cultures to other boarders. Its obvious, these groups aren’t taking care of their problems in their home country. That’s the real issue here. Stop trying to spread your filthy cultures internationally; when you can’t take care of your own households.

  • thesorcnu

    Aren’t cities where we have the highest homeless rates for Veterans and those who fought for our nation? While the greedy, heartless politicians continue to feast on the minds, body’s and souls of our youth and for their own corrupt desires. We have too many issues within our own country e.g. universal healthcare, homelessness, unemployment and poor infrastructures to worry about other countries and issues beyond our own boarders at this time.

  • Linda Kachur

    I remember long ago waiting to board Amtrak in Oakland CA to return to Vancouver. A hideous individual noticed my facial expression. Next thing, he was over my shoulder, threatening to murder me and have me cut in pieces. Lovely.

    • JPalto


  • Marti

    What horrible PR for your website to do an article like this. You just lost the loyalty of many readers in 10 major cities and beyond. I am sure that residents of all 10 these cities could show you the beauty, the sights, the fine dining and the wonderful people, and all that you are missing beyond the surface of a run down area.

  • ajaxJohnson

    Knee Grows in these places

  • marijan69

    Most of the crime is perpetrated by blacks plain and simple and here in Manitoba Canada, we have the aboriginals. No one is really safe anymore because of them and the stats prove the facts.

    • Randle

      oh really with a name Marijan69 you blame blacks why?? you know black is only a sin color and has nothing to do with motive.. maybe you smoke to much and cant tell the difference or has contracted HIV and want to blame everyone else .. sorry for you

      • marijan69

        Can’t accept the truth even though the stats can prove it. I said most of the crime not all of the crime. Are you black and defending them?

        • Christine

          Just remember stats can be biased and inconclusive. All races commit crimes. THAT is a fact.

          • Mon_Unc

            The fact is, Marijan69 is correct. The numbers do show a majority of crime is committed by blacks and aboriginals. It is also correct that social pressure prevents the truth from being freely acknowledged. The really sad part is that the same criminals are being victimised by the attitude you are displaying in your comment. Which is, so long as we do not acknowledge the problem then nothing needs to be done.

          • Numbers6

            The west end of Winnipeg is run down and not a comfortable place to visit. There are some first nations folks making do there.

  • marijan69

    Build more prisons and bring back the death penalty. All of the corrupt politicians should be resting in the crowbar hotels for raping and pillaging the taxpayers.

  • Christine

    I disagree with St. Louis as a former resident. The actual city of StL is small but it’s the surrounding areas that make it beautiful. But really the biggest draw to me is the historical areas and as long as you have some common sense it really is a beautiful and fun place to visit (or live as far as I’m concerned).

  • Mon_Unc

    I do business in virtually all these cities and yes I would never live in any of them, but common sense lessens most of the danger. These cities are the sad result of a corrupt and incompetent administration at all levels combined with a weak and uncaring electorate . Like Ancient Rome, America is sliding into a state that makes it prime for destruction. In this case the Islamist’s are the Vandals at the gates.

    • nelsonleonard

      “A weak and uncaring electorate” – you couldn’t possibly mean us, do you? : ) I don’t worry about “the Islamists” in quite the same way you do.

  • Rick Hatfield

    America’s greatest tragedy was bringing slaves to our shores. We are still paying for and feeling the effects of that very poor decision.

    • D Edwards

      By “our” shores are you referring to Native American land, or “stolen” land by you know who? lmao

      • Rick Hatfield

        I am native American. I am Cherokee from both my father and mother. How about you? An American Indian can’t make comment here?

  • JdeLeon

    We’re talking about VISITING, not LIVING. Chicago is one of the best cities to visit, the first lines of this explanation says it all, not to mention some of the greatest art, architecture, sports venues, out-door festivals, live comedy..its just ridiculous Chicago would be put on this list.

    • Numbers6

      You got that right, Visited Chicago this summer and it was fine. Some of the other cities on the list like Memphis are fine too. Now take Buffalo for instance, not much to see or do there, it should be on this list.

  • alur

    I’m not a Pollyanna, but I don’t see a city on the list that doesn’t have some redeeming quality to construct a visit around. Granted, a few would need some local guidance for outsiders in order to avoid the drug and gang controlled areas, but that’s typical in every city in the United States with a population of around 200,000 or more.

  • Sandra Perkins

    I resent my hometown being among worst cities to visit, there is more to Reno than gambling. I am the only one who should talk bad about Reno.

  • Sandra Perkins

    I love St. Louis as well.

  • jarmstrong

    I Love Reno…I take a beautiful walk along the Truckee River at least a couple times a week…work downtown as well…I guess all I have to say is. “THAT’S YOUR OPINION” And who are you Stuart Smith?

    • Bobby Arnott


    • Adam T Pierce

      I’d walk anywhere in Reno before I would get out of my car in Oakland.

  • jarmstrong

    You rate Reno 3rd & Oakland 10th. You really don’t know what you are taking about. Okay, now I don’t take you seriously…Mr,. Smith, you’re just stupid.

  • brilliantearth

    Haha, for New Haven, they show a picture of Yale’s dorms rather than the “dark reality” of the surrounding area.

  • Rich Mackin

    I believe this article should be called “10 Cities Stuart Smith found negative facts about when he half-heartedly did some online research.”

    • Ralph

      exactly, not sure what the fact that Chicago did not get the 2016 Olympics has to do with anything.

  • Ian Thal

    So Chicago is the fifth worst city to visit despite the nightlife and the “gorgeous 15-mile public beach” mentioned in the article? I’m sure the fact that it is considered the leading city for theatre in the country (to the point that theatre artists everywhere else keep asking “how do we replicate Chicago’s success?”) also makes it horrible to visit?

    I’m not even from Chicago and I know this.

    • Col202

      You will likely get shot or mugged. Other than that it’s a swell place.

      • Steve Pelto

        Says the person who has never set foot in the city limits.

        If you don’t know anything about a topic, just don’t post. Chicago is a great city, for reasons mentioned in the article and many more. To be honest, Detroit is not so bad either.

        • Col202

          I have been many, many times. Chicago was named the murder capital for 2012 supassing NYC and Detroit. Strange that you think that is just swell. What are you, a hit man? I guess on the upside it has excessive taxation and corrupt politicians which is pretty mild compared to all of the killings.

          • Steve Pelto

            How many times have you been shot or mugged while in Chicago. Me? Never. I have, however, seen some incredible art, watched great theater and eaten wonderful food.

            I still don’t think you have ever been there. And the airport doesn’t count.

            By the way, your last sentence gives away the real reason why you don’t like Chicago. How sad you are.

          • Col202

            Well I have lived in Chicago and I certainly would know where you would not. You evaded the point about Chicago being the murder capital of America (which is indisputable). You are right though, if you aren’t getting capped the Shedd is fantastic
            And you like corrupt politics? I didn’t know pointing out dislike for such a thing was a blemish but I guess it is, understandably, in Chicago.

          • Steve Pelto

            Yeah, lots of people get shot at the auquarium.

            Chicago does have a lot of murders, but it is a big city. When you take the size into account, Chicago is not the murder capital of the country. That would be New Orleans, if memory serves me.

            Anyway, I will keep visiting that great city and enjoying what it has to offer. You can continue to watch Fox News and live in fear. I think I will get the better end of the deal.

          • Col202

            Uhhh, this is a site called escapesphere not Fox news. See how that works? Try reading something besides Mother Jones now and again, you might find it refreshing and eye opening.

        • bmore4

          Chicago and Detroit both suck.

  • Ed and Sharlet Marquez

    Stuart, I hope you go and visit every one of these cities. I visited Detroit for three days to see the unlimited boat races and was impressed with the Renaissance Center, the turquoise river and Belle Isle, the view from the Coach Insignia restaurant, the casino, and never felt threatened. Cleveland is a gorgeous city on Lake Erie with tons to do from sports, a stellar live theater district, Cleveland Orchestra, sports, great restaurants, a casino and the Rock Hall and so much more and the surrounding area is beautiful with Amish, the roller coast capital of the world, wineries, covered bridges, on and on. I can’t say enough about how I love visiting Chicago and had a great time in St. Louis and New Haven too! Memphis is on my bucket list. This article could have cited crime in every city. I’m thinking of Miami and the rental car tourist killings and yet it didn’t even make the list and I haven’t been hearing about tourist killings in Cleveland, etc.

  • It’s Not Me

    Two cities that should have made the list:

    Seattle: Lousy weather (and yes, it really does rain all the time) and unfriendly people. I know because I had the horrible misfortune of spending most of my childhood there.

    Denver: Also has unfriendly people- and people who spend every hour of every day obsessing over a stupid football team (there are more important things in the world than the Denver Donkeys). I know because I wasted three years of my life there.

    • Concert-Traveler

      Although I don’t agree, I can see your argument for Seattle.

      But Denver really? Denver is a clean, safe city that gets 300 days of sunshine a year. It sits at the base of the rocky mountains, giving tourist the opportunity to go hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, skiing etc… Denver is also home to Red Rocks, one of the worlds most scenic concert venues.

      Oh and have you heard about their awesome 6-0 football team?

      • It’s Not Me

        Did you not read my post? Did you not read how sick and tired I became of everyone making such a big deal over the Donkeys?

  • Andrew Thornley

    I can’t believe Oakland is on this list. My wife and I(from Sydney in Australia) spent four weeks there at the end of 2012, walked everywhere and felt very safe. Oakland has some beautiful skyscrapers, a glorious lake, fantastic public transport and is nice and close to San Francisco. The supermarkets are cheap and there’s good shopping in the city centre. The zoo nearby is magnificent and even has an Australian display!

  • shaun

    Oakland is a great city. I doubt this jerk has visited most of the places he is talking smack about. Loser.

    • Fladabosco

      An average of three people get shot in Oakland every day. Everyone in the Bay Area knows not to drive through most of Oakland so you won’t get shot for wearing the wrong colors – or just at random. No one in their right mind goes to much of Oakland at night. The government is notoriously ineffective, the education system is bankrupt, the police have had many corruption scandals (at least a couple of ex-cops are on the run), businesses are boarded up and the downtown area is downright scary.

      • Rose

        the fact that your response about Oakland said something about colors shows you know nothing about Oakland. No colors. Just turf. We have a high per-capita murder rate, but if we had 3 shootings every day our murder rate would be much higher than it is… 365 x 3…. give or take a few who lived… You’re mighty silly. Really if you aren’t a young black or brown male from around this area, you are probably not going to get shot. Get over it.

    • agvs

      And elsewhere, Oakland was the top US city in a list of 100 best cities in the world to visit.

      This article’s approach seems to be to take crime rates and conflate them with whether or not you should visit a place. The poor areas of any city are to be avoided by tourists, that doesn’t tell you much about anything.

    • 2217

      Try again. Oakland is awful. I experienced shootings on the 2 streets I lived on (East 17th and Jackson St. both near Lake Merritt) in the 2 years I lived there. I’ve even driven around and have encountered a crime scene at a local restaurant.

  • Rocky Stone

    If you idiots realized that St. Louis City is a very small part of the metro area, STL wouldn’t make this BS list. Those stats are inflated because St. Louis City is an independent city, not part of any county. I live here and this City is great for tourists. Tons of FREE ammenities and great historical architecture. The crime issue is NO worse than any other city of its size. If you clowns took 1 minute to do your research, you’d know better!

    • Fish2Much

      Unfortunately, the perceptions that many have of a location is derived through reading articles like this. Really want the scoop when planning a vacation, go to Trip Advisor and read actual reviews from people that have been there and not some lame article by an internet journalist troll that rewrites misleading and misquoted second hand information in a cheap third hand article.

      • Franc Fife

        I don’t know who you are, the writer or much about life Stateside. However it would appear that this is an article written by one of those paid trolls , they seem to be generating hate and political division. Be careful not to seccumb to their lies by becoming another hater. Trolls constantly ask to be added as a friend, they ‘follow you’ , only have one ‘friend’ and often work at k mart or wal mart. So pleased to be old and irrelevant. Stay safe you beautiful people of The United States of America.

  • Rocky Stone

    Why didn’t you just base your bogus article on whether a city has a high crime rate.
    To say Chicago and St. Louis are the worst place to visit is total BS. You should retire from journalism!

    • bmore4

      Well in general, most people don’t want to visit a city with a high crime rate. It’s really common sense.

  • Joseph Shmeau

    Lots of personal experience travelling and working in many states doing tech work. Reno, Nevada has no place on this list. It’s got some problems these days, yes, but no way is it in the same league as places like Camden or Memphis or Detroit or Oakland. Replace it with either New Orleans or Newark.

  • Andy P

    Just returned from a 1200 mile road trip finishing up in Chicago ,what a beautiful city and it felt totally safe at all times try and look under the crime figures and you may be surprised.

  • cosmopolite

    Chicago’s crime rate is well below Detroit and St Louis.
    Foreclosures have been high. But how many of those have been in white neighbourhoods? Chicago’s large black neighbourhoods have been terrible since the 1960s.
    Forget the 2016 summer Olympics. The cost of hosting that would break the back of Chicago’s and Illinois’s finances.
    The high sales tax is a way of milking visitors. Locals shop in the suburbs as much as possible. Chicago property taxes are also low compared to other big cities. At the same time, the public schools are mostly terrible. But then one does not raise children within Chicago unless one can afford a private or Catholic school.

  • You Suck

    Chicago – get out my face, you’re an idiot

  • billty

    OK…a simple observation….name a majority white city on this list? None, zip, zero.

    Want to visit a hellhole, go to a black run/population city or country. They’re all disasters.

    • bmore4

      Exactly. But political correctness won’t allow people to mention the obvious.

    • RRR

      You really are an ignorant moron. Way to cower behind a keyboard you racist caveman.

      • Obama IsThe Devil

        Blacks arent genetically stupid or inferior, but they do keep behaving in a way that is against their best interests.

        • lovelyafavdish

          You obviously have your own genetic issues to even post such a thing, to be honest Blacks are inferior in most situations because when they apply themselves-rather in GOOD ways or Not so Good ways–The Majority are suited to be much SMARTER, FASTER, WISER, SWIFTER, AND MOST OFTEN MORE INTELLIGENT THEN THE AVERAGE Person. This is why people such as yourself hide behind your on self ignorance and stupidity. Please dear Fool–GetYoLife, and stop being a Hater!

          • Tim Layne

            I am the furthest thing from a racist but “Please dear fool–GetYoLife, and stop being a Hater!” does nothing to advance your opinion, the opposite really. Also, you really need to work on your grammar and punctuation. If people can not understand what you are saying it does nothing but make you look quite silly and foolish. Oh and before I forget don’t forget to turn your caps lock key back off. It is so dramatic. Well actually it isn’t but perhaps you get my point.

    • dakotachuck

      When considering racial demographics Reno, Chicago, New Haven and Oakland have a majority listed in the “white” category.

      • 2217

        Most all cities will have a majority of races other than black. The US population only consists of about 14% black.

  • Shemp

    Gee, how many of these American urban tragedies have been solidly controlled by Democrats for years…decades…

    • TobyLongBeach

      The suburbs around them are solidly Republican. Its a simple equation: White flight + local funding of education and police – defunding mass transit = racist ghettoization. Both parties are to blame.

  • Mike

    Typical lazy reporting and research done by reporters/researchers with an agenda. St Louis is a very unique city in that the actual city of St Louis is its own county and the suburbs have a separate government so all crime stats are skewed when compared to other American cities. Kansas City is Jackson County, Chicago is Cook County, Atlanta is in Fulton County and so on. So when you compare the only the downtown area of a City like St Louis to all of the metropolitan area like Atlanta, including the lower crime suburbs, it is apples and oranges. If the numbers for the county suburbs are included with the numbers for St Louis City, like every other city on this list, then the crime numbers drop dramatically and the area is much further down the list. The crime rate is highest in every downtown area in the world, and not including the lower crime rates for the whole area for all of the cities is not just wrong but disingenuous. It is hard to give any credence to any list on this site given the lack of time put into preparing the report!!

  • Alexa

    This list is bullshit, Detroit is an amazing city.

    • 2217

      amazingly bankrupt

  • Jason

    How Chicago could be on this list defies belief! It is a fabulous city and encapsulates every aspect of Big City America. It is beautiful in so many ways and has a CBD 2nd to no city I’ve been to. As a tourist do I care about corrupt politicians, taxes etc?? Whatever!

    • Tim Layne

      You might care about dying. Welcome to Chicago #1 in “gun control”, aka people control, and #1 in violent crime.

  • Joey

    Some disturbing comments below. I believe the phrase is ‘end of an empire’ and sadly this is what happens; the rich plunder the scarcely available resources that are left, everyone blames the state of affairs on the minorities, the middle class grow increasingly apathetic and in the end the poor make a stand. Be good to each other americans. The world used to hold you in such high regard.

  • Gus Greely

    I would concur with most of this list, although I think it’s kind of odd. I can’t really conceive of who would specifically set out to visit Stockton or Camden, NJ (which is near the more interesting Philly), for instance. Chicago doesn’t make sense, though. It has great cultural institutions — art and other museums, symphony, dance — great restaurants, architecture, sports, shopping. It’s a great city. And some of these other cities are totally fine, just maybe not top of the list on a limited schedule.

    • Graham Haxell

      How hard is it to find a crooked politician in Chicago? Not very, they have have been running the city for ages!

      • DM

        what does that have to do with anything?

        • Graham Haxell

          Just making the comment that crime has been rampant in Chicago for decades including at the very highest levels – I don’t trust the police forces in some of the suburbs, they’re over aggressive and definitely not impartial.

    • TobyLongBeach

      I agree with you. I think there needs to be a more explicit risk/rewards ratio when it comes to listing the cities in America that you least want to visit. There are places that are low crime and have a pleasant climate but incredibly boring (Bakersfield, CA comes to mind) and there are places that are high crime and have an oppressive climate but are absolutely amazing (New Orleans comes to mind). I think that if you don’t like gambling, Las Vegas is really boring and unpleasant.

      • trebor86

        Bakersfield is not low crime. boring yes.

  • Jake Kreulen

    What is the “East Coast Music Festival” and why does is it in Memphis?

    Maybe the Beale Street Music Festival???

  • Graham Haxell

    Not surprised in the least with Chicago being included in this list, it’s so far up itself!

  • Charlie

    However, the Detroit of today is experiencing a million dollar revitalization… a whole million to revitalize Detroit? That might tip the scales.

    • vinny_the_hack

      I noticed that, too. In Toronto, where I live, you might revitalize two homes for a million dollars. LOL

    • trebor86

      They’re bankrupt. The city officials aren’t even allowed to run their own city anymore.

  • SayNiceThingsAboutDetroit

    CLEARLY this guy knows NOTHING ABOUT DETROIT. There are tons of amazing restaurants, awesome museums, great theaters, championship sports teams, Campus Martius, Greektown and Midtown. This just makes me mad. #ILoveDetroit!

    • dwight mannsburden

      Don’t forget the DIA, Jazz Fest, Movement, et. al. If they’re this wrong about Detroit, they’re probably missing the boat on the other cities

      This is indeed a stupid lazy list

  • DM

    This guy knows nothing about Detroit or Chicago. His reasons are dumb.

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  • Susanna Thompson

    Stuart Smith is an as shole, nothing more and nothing less. What incompetent person at Escapehere hired this moron and apparently pays him for his worthless, unsubstantiated opinions?????

  • Ed4EBT

    The downtown tourist area of Detroit is OK

  • Edward Kwong

    This could be the dumbest list ever. Why does unemployment rate effect where you go to travel at all? The people who complain about these cities are clearly people who don’t travel very often and worry about things that don’t really matter. While crime is something to consider, crime is also everywhere. Any major city that is worth visiting is going to have negatives but the positives usually outweigh the negatives. If you were to try and avoid all of that in your travelling, your list of places to travel is going to be very short or places you don’t want to go like in the middle of freaking nowhere.

    Also, no one comes to california to visit Oakland or Stockton as a tourist spot. That’s like going to France, not visiting Paris due to it’s crime and poverty, but instead you visit some bumville town like Bullion (no offense to anyone from there).

  • Ben Haynes

    This list is clearly just based on generalizations and statistics about certain cities. I believe that it’s almost always what you make of the place you live. I live in Seattle and there are things I love and hate about it. I think it was good that the author gave the disclaimer that sometimes a city gets a bad rap when it might not be justified.

  • planetZod

    I agree with the folks previously. This guy looks at some stats and make gross generalizations. If I am at the Art Institute in Chicago and am looking at Seurat’s “Sunday afternoon on he island of La Grande Jatte ” I not thinking about the sales tax or unemployment rate. If I am at the Museum of Science and Industry inside a captured German U-boat I am not thinking about Chicago’s failed bid for the 2016 Olympics.

  • Daniela

    Worrying about the child I brought into this world…so many cities are a mess filled with such horrible violence (and I just read another article about the worst cities in the world). It feels like the filth of the world is going to take over. I’m depressed…sorry…

  • Dave Garofolo

    how you can find a positive note about Detroit and not New Haven is beyond me

  • Dave Keener

    Cleveland is the home of the finest medical facilities in the world. The rich and famous come to Cleveland all the time to take care of those nagging medical issues. That is where the rebirth of Cleveland starts.

    • steamed

      Cleveland Clinic is the greatest! My husband was on death’s doorstep from congestive heart failure at age 53. Just spent 3 weeks at CCF after being in and out of local Lake county hospitals and they performed a miracle. His weight was 286 about 2 months ago and he is down to 220 after shedding over 65lbs in fluids, 45 of it at the Clinic. Royalty comes to the Cleveland Clinic’s heart center, the best in the world!

  • gordonsoderberg

    I can think of several cities worse than Detroit. Dallas. Houston. Kansas City,

  • Joe Price

    I find articles like this troubling. A city is a big place with a diverse population. To make generalizations like this isn’t helpful to the city itself or the people living there trying to make it better. Detroit needs people to visit and give it a chance.

  • May

    i hope everyone knows that EVERY CITY in the U.S. is dangerous not just the 10 cities listed. #justsaying I live in Oakland, CA; the description listed about this city is wrong.

  • Estcst

    No surprise seeing ST Louis at #2 behind Detroit. A couple years back we had a convention there due to cheap cost… yeah.. first and last time. What a dump that was and their downtown is similar to a ghost town after about 7 o’clock. Very insular people with the personalities of the wall and I could not wait to leave.

  • Jocelyn Day

    We are Cardinal Nation so if you want to see some great baseball and baseball fans come to St. Louis. Don’t believe everything you read. This story is just one person’s opinion. If they say jump off of a bridge would you do it? Learn for your self!

    • Dark Matter

      Plenty of boons in St Louis and murder, rape, robbery etc. Yes visit but get a one way ticket

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  • Matt Boland

    This list makes no sense whatsoever. I’m Canadian and REGULARLY visit Detroit. I’ve never felt unsafe there. Chicago? F*%^& amazing city with world class architecture and friendly people. This list is clearly all unfounded hype.

    • James Crowley

      u don’t live there u visit, I lived in both..

  • Reverend Dean Drone

    “Sadly, Chicago of late suffers from high crime rates, high unemployment, a series of private home foreclosures, and a loss of the 2016 Summer Olympic bid—partly due to suffering the highest sales tax (a rate of 10.25-percent) in the entire nation.”


  • Ed

    Excellent neighborhoods, dining and attractions exist in all these cities. A more meaningful analysis would be to look at the distribution of crime with the visitor traffic areas of those cities. I believe for most of the cities your analysis is flawed and misleading!

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