The US is jam-packed full of cities known for being unfriendly. However, some of them are also home to great tourist attractions, events and activities while also being business hubs, making them difficult to avoid. You may not always be able to avoid the following fifteen cities (or really want to), but they have all been named among the unfriendliest in the US, whether it be for their populace, weather, or politics. Be warned!
Los Angeles, California
The city of angels… and snobs. Los Angeles has never managed to hit the mark when it comes to being welcoming and friendly. It may boast palm tree-lined boulevards and clear skies but Los Angeles is also known for unfriendliness. If you want to avoid the worst of the city’s rudeness, stay away from Hollywood and visit some of Los Angeles’s first-class museums, such as the gorgeous new Broad, or its dynamic and exciting culinary and arts scenes.
Las Vegas, Nevada
You probably won’t be surprised to see Las Vegas on this list. Famed for out-of-control parties and boisterous tourists who fill up the city and indulge in extraordinary bouts of gambling and drinking, it’s not clear whether it’s the tourists or the locals that make this city so unfriendly. If you’re heading down to Las Vegas, you can do your own research on this topic. Spend some time on the Strip and then escape to the downtown bars frequented by locals. You may, just may, find things friendly there. If you came to party, make sure you got some sort of medical insurance, as drunken accidents are common.
There is scientific evidence backing up the idea that Boston is the US’s most unfriendly city. A 2011 study by a couple of psychologists attached to the University of Michigan set out to identify America’s unfriendliest cities and Boston came out on top. Of, course, when Bostonians heard the news that their city was the unfriendliest in the US, they proudly announced that they couldn’t care less.
Seattle’s reputation for unfriendliness has been around for years but perhaps unfriendly is not the right way to describe the city. Seattle natives may make eye contact with you and they certainly won’t shut the door in your face. Rather, they’re just frustratingly stand-offish and anti-social. The miserable, wet, grey weather the city labors under for many months of the year doesn’t lighten the mood, and people tend to stick to their own and keep their doors (metaphorically) closed to newcomers.
Miami’s warm summers and lovely beaches make it a vacation hotspot and the second most-visited location in the US. Miami was even voted the cleanest city nationwide in 2008, with beaming streets throughout the year. Nonetheless, while people may flock to this sunny metropolis, they don’t always come back. Miami has been named the second rudest US city by American tourists due primarily to its largely Spanish-speaking population and its eye-watering expensive food, accommodation, and more.
New York, New York
New York’s reputation for unfriendliness is legendary the world over. It starts with an angry cab driver honking their horn at you and everybody else, it continues in restaurants and shops, where the staff is more interested in getting as much money out of you as they can, rather than providing a positive customer service experience. On the streets of New York, attract the minimum number of nasty looks and scornful comments by walking like you belong: move fast and have a purpose.
Philadelphia can be a friendly place provided that you’re wearing an Eagles top, eat cheesecake by the bucketload and have the right accent. Turn up with a Giants cap on, a New York accent, or dairy intolerance and we can guarantee you won’t be welcomed with open arms. Known for being a little rough, you need to be ready to respect the locals and their ways if you are planning to visit Philly.
Washington, District of Columbia
Politics can be a dirty business, especially at the moment. The city of Washington, which is the political heart of the US, can be a dirty business too. Its citizens are widely described as unwelcoming and impolite. Most of the residents of Washington are lawyers and lobbyists who are too busy and important to bother themselves with visitors or newcomers. Public transport is a popular option for both commuters and tourists and rudeness seems to be catching, with visitors becoming increasingly unfriendly the longer they stay!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is not ideal for outsiders due to its bad signage and appalling traffic. It seems that people in the city are only ever heading to the airport, bypassing everywhere else. If you are brave enough to explore something other than the airport, however, locals will tell you to head down to the Ironbound District, the Prudential Center, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It’s not all bad.
Oakland is not just one of the unfriendliest cities in the US but also one of the unfriendliest cities in the world. While it is still a favorite for tourists who find locals polite and courteous, this is only in some areas, with other spots being a no-go. However, surveys show that the city is on the up, with many of those surveyed considering that Oakland is undergoing a period of renewal.
Chicagoans aren’t big fans of outsiders, and tourists visiting the city will generally be greeted by people walking head down and dashing from one place to the next. There are also high rates of crime in the city, potentially making people wary of others. Whether Chicagoans are unwilling or simply too busy to stop and chat, making friends in this metropolis is no small feat. Also, remember to always travel with a map. You don’t want to have to rely on the kindness of strangers, you won’t find any!
It’s loud, it’s full of bad drivers, and it’s really unfriendly; Detroit is not a popular choice for tourists. Visitors are also scared away by the city’s high crime rate and walking around unknown neighborhoods or after dark is to be avoided. Moreover, visitors with jobs, cars, and houses are unpopular among the city’s substantial unemployed population.
Texans are widely considered to be warm, affectionate people, in which case the people of Dallas aren’t your regular Texans. Anxious and seemingly always in a rush to get somewhere, the residents of Dallas walk fast with their earbuds firmly inserted in their ears and their eyes on the pavement. In fact, Dallas natives are so unpopular that not even other Texans like them. It’s uncertain whether their rudeness is the result of wanting to stop outsiders from invading their city or having to listen to too many oil and cowboy jokes, but what is sure is that if you want good old-fashioned Texan hospitality, don’t go to Dallas.
How Baltimore earned the nickname ‘Charm City’ is beyond us and may be more sarcastic than descriptive. Recent unrest in the city has led to the imposition of a curfew and the residents of Baltimore seem to be as unkind to each other as there are to visitors. The city’s crime rates are at a record high and even the locals avoid eye contact, don’t talk to anyone they don’t know and walk around on high alert. Moreover, the city also has a reputation for being a bit off-the-wall and unconventional, which can sit badly with some.
Home to Walt Disney World, the ‘Happiest Place on Earth,’ Orlando may be a surprising addition to this list. However, as a popular place for family vacations, tensions can run high and it’s uncertain whether it’s the tourists or locals who are the rudest. Whoever the perpetrators are, Orlando is a city full of snappy people, honking car horns and whining kids. Walt Disney World is the city’s main draw but it is also the most difficult place to escape rudeness.