According to the travel site Tripadvisor, there are 74,762 “things to do” in the United States.
There’s something for everyone, and we really mean everyone: from the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch (the #1 thing to do in Coeur D’Alene) for the camelid-obsessed, to the Heaviest Corner on Earth (rating: 3.46; Birmingham, AL), for whoever likes heavy corners. But first, let’s take a look at New York City.
What’s more closely associated with New York than visiting the Statue of Liberty, or the clamor that is Times Square? As it happens, many New Yorkers would beg to differ — the vast majority have never made a pilgrimage to Lady Liberty, and Times Square is often considered a tourist trap.
This made me wonder: what would a travel guide curated by those who lived within driving distance of a location look like? For the sake of this project, I defined locals as visitors to an attraction whose hometown is within a 30 miles/50 km radius. Then, I broke out attractions that tended to have fewer tourist reviews than the dataset’s average (<60% of reviews were written by tourists), and sized each destination’s circle by the total number of visitors.
The tourist-only view shows a much smaller number of destinations. We can color code the attractions from lowest (3 or below) to highest (5) rated. The larger the circle (•● ⚫), the more reviews an attraction has received.
Many of the better-known destinations — whether Central Park or the Empire State Building fade away. Instead, often-overlooked spots like the Noguchi Museum in Queens, and green spaces like the Domino Park in Williamsburg come to the forefront.
Explore America’s other cities for yourself, whether your hometown or your next travel destination.