The Least Welcoming Cities in the U.S.

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 18, 2024

If you’re looking for a fun destination for a cross-country road trip or to settle down in a new place, it’s best to look out for which cities are already known to be unfriendly and difficult to visit. 

Read on to discover the least welcoming cities in America to ensure you avoid these destinations. 

Detroit, Michigan

Many people know that Detroit was once a hub for the automotive industry. The city had a thriving population, and many families relied on General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford Motor Company. 

A wide angle shot of a city skyline taken from a low view in the middle of a road. Two large yellow road lines take up the foreground

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However, these motor companies took their production overseas for cheaper labor, and the result was a depressed economy. The people of Detroit seemed to never recover from the financial loss. Today, the city has incredibly high crime and murder rates. 


Baltimore, Maryland

Although located on the idyllic coast of New England, Baltimore is a tough city and can be unkind to visitors.

An aerial view of a large city filled with brick buildings and a large brick bell tower in the center

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Due to depopulation and a lack of economic growth, Baltimore has high crime rates, high levels of drug use, assaults, and robberies. Many people choose to skip the city when on a road trip in New England.

Los Angeles, California

Although LA is home to the rich and famous, Beverly Hills, and Rodeo Drive, it also suffers from its share of downfalls. 

A shot of the LA skyline on a nice day. Multiple palm trees take up the view of the foreground

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The traffic jams, overpriced food and hotels, and high amount of homeless on skid row make visiting Los Angeles a difficult trip for many people looking to relax. 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Many come to the desert in Nevada to enjoy the nightlife, gambling, and famous sold-out shows. However, the city also has its own dark secrets. 

A nighttime show of the skyline of Las Vegas. Large mountains are in the background, a red sky, and a large “welcome to Las Vegas” sign in the foreground

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Las Vegas has a tough time keeping long term residents. Many get caught up working in hospitality and lack a sense of community. The schools seem to be underfunded due to the lack of homes established in the area as well. 

Miami, Florida

Miami is a tropical coastal metropolis filled with Cuban music and culture, but also has big problems with pickpocketing and gambling. 

An aerial shot of the skyline of Miami with the ocean on one side and an inlet on the other

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Street hustlers are a huge problem for the city. They often stay near tourist attractions and prey on people who look like easy targets. 


New York City, New York

Anyone who’s been to New York knows that a rough and tumble attitude is necessary to survive in such a harsh city. 

An aerial view of central park and the skyline of Manhattan with a sunset just out of view

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Locals know how to avoid getting scammed, as they keep an unfriendly demeanor. However, pickpockets know how to spot a tourist. Visitors have been warned to keep their valuables in a safe place at all times. 


Newark, New Jersey

Home to the New Jersey Devils, Newark has often been described as a bit of a hell-scape. 

A view of Newark from the edge of the river. A large bridge and brick buildings can be seen in the background

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One of the busiest airports in the world is located here. Officials have noted that wait times can be as much as 25% longer in this underfunded airport. 


Atlanta, Georgia

If you want to visit the idyllic peach crops or the Appalachian Mountains, it’s best to stay away from the bustling city of Atlanta. 

A low view of a downtown walkway with trees and lamp posts on either side. Large glass buildings can be seen in the background

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The heavy traffic in the city center makes getting around a nightmare for locals and visitors alike.


Cleveland, Ohio

Located on the isles of Lake Erie, Cleveland is the eleventh-largest city in the world. 

A shot of a city from a pier with large metal chains. Over the water, many modern buildings sit next to the shore

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Many people come to enjoy the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, the sky-high rent prices and low wages create a sense of conflict in the city. Petty theft and carjackings are known to be high in this town. 


St. Louis, Missouri

The heart of the Midwest, St. Louis, is known for their iconic Gateway Arch. 

A view of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Large and medium sized buildings occupy the background

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The city is also known for high crime rates and urban decay, as many people are leaving the city for better opportunities. 


New Orleans, Louisiana

Home to Mardi Gras, ancient cemeteries, and voodoo practitioners, the city is filled with dark history and culture. 

A low view of a large white cathedral with three sharp points. Tropical trees and palm trees can be seen in the foreground

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However, New Orleans seems to have never recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city is plagued by poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, and murder rates.