Two Big California Tourist Attractions Featured on Fodor’s “No List 2023”

Fodor’s annual list urges travelers to reconsider certain places suffering from over-tourism and overexploited natural resources.

“For this year’s No-List, we’re highlighting destinations to reconsider visiting in 2023 in three main categories: natural attractions that could use a break to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots plagued by overcrowding and resource scarcity; and places around the world immediately and dramatically affected by water crises,” wrote Fodor’s.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to locals, Lake Tahoe was among the 2023 picks. Fodor’s cited the increase in urban residents moving to the Sierra during the pandemic as a factor contributing to pollution and traffic problems, and even posing a threat to the lake’s famed clarity.

“Heavy traffic crushes Tahoe’s streets into fine dust and debris and pumps tailpipe emissions into the air. When it rains or snow melts, rainwater carries these fine debris particles into the lake, clouding its cobalt blue waters,” Fodor’s wrote. “Improving traffic conditions in Tahoe will reduce this source of pollution and reduce the stress and strain of traveling in Tahoe.”

The view from Washeshu Peak near Lake Tahoe. This peak and the nearby valley and creek were recently renamed as part of a nationwide effort to remove a racial slur from geographical landmarks. The Washoe tribe chose the new name Washeshu, meaning the people.

Katherine McCool/Getty Images/500px Plus

In April, SFGATE reported a survey of local residents in which two-thirds of respondents said Tahoe was going in the “wrong direction.” A quarter of respondents said they were experiencing financial difficulties and the main problems cited by locals were “lack of housing, overwhelming traffic, smoke from wildfires, vacation rentals and second homes”.

“The findings of this new report identify the same housing, transportation and economic inequality issues that Tahoe residents have struggled with and debated for years, which is not surprising,” said Heidi Hill Drum, CEO of Tahoe Prosperity Center, in the report . “What is surprising is that updated census data suggest our economic and housing challenges are ongoing and growing in urgency.”

Mendocino, which was feeling the effects of the California drought, was also on Fodor’s skip list. The normally humid Mendocino has seen little rain; currently it is 22 inches less than normal for the year. It is the second driest year on record, dating back almost 130 years. In 2021, some restaurants and hotels began paying for water for trucks as Mendocino’s aquifers were depleted.

Fodor’s says it doesn’t want people to boycott the areas they’re highlighting; Instead, they suggest giving these places “a break” to recover and travel as responsibly as possible by conserving water, supporting companies committed to sustainability and booking trips during the off-season.

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