A tourist trap is an establishment (or group of establishments) that has been created or re-purposed with the aim of attracting tourists and their money.
While some establishments may be viewed by tourists as fun and interesting diversions, tourist traps can also have negative connotations when they direct travelers off highways into commercial areas, and could potentially be tacky, deceitful and an overall waste of time and money.
Tourist traps will typically provide services, entertainment, food, souvenirs and other products for tourists to purchase.
Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls is a popular tourist trap in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The street attractions are owned by two entities. The area also extends to a small portion north of Victoria Avenue east and west of Clifton Hill and Centre Street north of Victoria Avenue.
Breezewood, Pennsylvania represents a physical tourist trap at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Interstate 76, where the two major highways are not directly connected; forcing transiting drivers off the interstate and "into several suddenly urban blocks with traffic lights and a dense bazaar of gas stations, fast food restaurants and motels."
South of the Border is an attraction on Interstate 95 (I-95), US Highway 301 (US 301) and US 501 in Dillon, South Carolina, just south of Rowland, North Carolina. It is so named because it is just south of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, and was the half way point to Florida from New York in the early days of motor travel. The area is themed in tongue-in-cheek, faux-Mexican style. The rest area contains restaurants, gas stations, a video arcade, and a motel, and truck stop as well as a small amusement park, a mini golf course, shopping and fireworks stores. Its mascot is Pedro, a caricature of a Mexican bandido. South of the Border is known for its roadside billboard advertisements, which begin many miles away from and incorporate a mileage countdown to the attraction itself. The stop has since fallen on hard times as more modern hotel areas have grown along I-95.
- Gaines, Barbara K.; re (May 31, 1986). Idiomatic American English: A Step-By-Step Workbook for Learning Everyday American Expressions. Kodansha International. p. 85. ISBN 0-87011-756-4.
- "WallDrug.com" (web). The Wall Drug Store got its start during the Depression years by offering Free Ice Water to thirsty travelers. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Savage, Charlie (2017-02-06). "As Trump Vows Building Splurge, Famed Traffic Choke Point Offers Warning". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
- "Da Yoopers Tourist Trap & Museum" (Web). Ishpeming, Michigan, Business web site. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- "The Tourist Trap" (Web). Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Business web site. 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-21.