These Northern California Destinations Made Fodor’s ‘No List’ for 2023

Fodor’s is one of the world’s best resources for travelers. So when they tell you not to visit a place, you should probably listen.

The Fodor’s “No List” highlights destinations around the world that probably need a break from visitors. This year’s list cites overcrowding, climate change, and resource depletion as the main issues for tourist attractions around the world.

“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 in order to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots that are plagued with overcrowding and resource depletion; and locations around the world immediately and dramatically impacted by water crises,” Fodor’s wrote.

This year’s list highlights two Northern California destinations that might need a break from visitors:

Lake Tahoe

Photo by Fabian Quintero

It’s no secret that Lake Tahoe has experienced an extreme surge in tourism over the past decade, and it’s significantly impacting the health of the environment and pocketbooks of the locals.

“Lake Tahoe has a people problem,” wrote the article from Fodors. “Amid the pandemic and the great migration, there was an influx of people moving to the mountains, as well as people with second homes in the area coming to live in Tahoe permanently. And it’s caused traffic along the lake to crawl, as well as kept trails and beaches packed.”

Even the Tahoe visitor’s bureaus are having difficulty with the increased visitation, realizing the lasting impact felt on the environment of the outdoor utopia.

“We all need to give nature a break, but we don’t want to tell people not to come to Tahoe,” said Andy Chapman, ??President and CEO of Travel North Tahoe Nevada, to Fodors. “We want to educate people how to respect Tahoe.”

With billions of dollars generated in tourism revenue every year in the Tahoe Basin, it’s going to be difficult to reverse the current trend of overcrowding.


Photo by Mick Haupt

As part of an overall highlight of the water crisis in the America West, Fodor’s mentioned Mendocino as a destination suffering from the rising cost of running water.

The small community of Mendocino attracts approximately 2 million visitors each year, mostly to enjoy its serene coastline along the Pacific Ocean. On a typical day, the town’s 1,000 population will see roughly 2,000 visitors a day. But amid historic drought over the past decade, the town’s aquifers have declined rapidly, forcing the businesses who accommodate the visitors to truck in fresh water.

This water crisis presents a unique challenge for the town that draws half a billion dollars in annual tourism revenue, with many people keeping the issue quiet in order to maintain the local economy. The lack of water is certainly cutting into the profit of this tourism destination, with water deliveries costing up to $600 a piece. But that won’t stop businesses from attracting their potential customers with their livelihoods at stake.

With water issues continuing to worsen along the American West, it’s safe to say that Mendocino may not be the only place that will see this sort of water shortage in the coming decades.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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