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The Ugliest Cities in Each State

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California is an important city when it comes to agriculture and energy production. But when it comes to looking great? It seems that it's lacking, and the city leaves some people with strong opinions on how it makes them feel. If you ask this Reddit user, they'd probably tell you to bring some Tylenol. 

"Bakersfield, California, always gives me a headache when I visit it." If you're looking for gorgeous views, it seems like this is not the place to be--it might even be bad for your health! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Bakersfield! 

Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana

All we know about Gary, Indiana we learned from The Music Man, so we didn't realize that some people had such strong, negative feelings against this midwestern city. However, some people seem to think that there's one thing that Gary is seriously lacking in--color. 

"Gary, Indiana. The entire city was gray. No color. I thought I had gone colorblind until I got to Chicago." This guy doesn't mince words, and, no matter how you feel about Gary, Indiana, you have to admit that was a pretty solid joke. 

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio

There are lots of cities in the Rust Belt that have started to decline over the years. As businesses and people move away, a city slowly dies a becomes a shell of its former self. Unfortunately, that's what happened to Youngstown, Ohio, and some people have started to notice just how far it's fallen. 

"Youngstown, Ohio. Pure depression." That might be pretty harsh, but we're sure that there are lots of people who would agree with this Reddit user's comment. While the city is trying to come back, it still clearly has a long way to go before it's looking its best again. 

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

A lot of cities described as "ugly" suffer from other problems as well--namely, crime and poor job prospects. It's a bad trifecta, but, unfortunately, it's the exact mix of problems that Johnstown, Pennsylvania is suffering from. As a former major mining city, Johnstown is declining in more ways than one. 

"Johnstown, Pennsylvania... You can almost feel that the city is dying a slow, unsettling death..." This is one city that is not doing well--and people are starting to take notice. Hopefully, it will be able to look like a million bucks at some point in the future again. 

Laurel, Mississippi

Laurel, Mississippi

Laurel, Mississippi is the location for the hit HGTV show, Home Town, where Ben and Erin Napier do their best to renovate homes in the historic district of the city. So, you might think that this would be a beautiful city, but, despite the couple's best efforts, there are still lots of people out there who think Laurel is downright ugly! 

This Reddit user didn't mince words when they said, "Laurel, Mississippi. They try to doll it up on the HGTV show Home Town, but it's a cesspool. Upgraded to one of the most violent cities in Mississippi last year, if I'm not mistaken."

Albany, New York

Albany, New York

If you're not a fan of the big city, you'd probably think that New York City is the ugliest place in the state. However, there's actually one city in New York that some people hate even more than the Big Apple--Albany. It's the state capital, so Albany is definitely where business gets done, but it's not somewhere you'd want to visit for fun. 

This Reddit user basically wrote an entire thesis on why Albany sucks so much--"Albany, New York, just feels like a really big Greyhound bus station to me. In the summer it's kinda gross, but in the winter it's a muddy, gray sh*tpile. Whenever I've found myself there, I've felt like I needed to escape it — probably in an old-school bus with razor wire strung around it and sharpened broomstick handles protruding from the windows."

Aberdeen, Washington

Aberdeen, Washington

Aberdeen, Washington is the hometown of deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and that's about its only claim to fame. And, according to this Reddit user, it's obvious from looking at the city why Cobain's music was so dark and depressing. It's just not a pretty place to be. 

"After I visited Aberdeen, Washington, I felt like I understood Kurt Cobain better. The natural surroundings are stunningly beautiful, but in the middle of it there’s this gray, dark, depressing town built on a swamp that feels like it sucks the life out of you. If a town could have feelings, this one would be utterly, hopelessly depressed."

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama is an important, historic city, and there are definitely portions of the city that do look very beautiful. But if you take a bird's eye view of the place, you start to notice a theme. So many of the city's buildings are constructed with the same brown bricks that the whole place looks bland overall. 

"Birmingham, Alabama. Half the city is just bland brown brick buildings from the '80s, and the other half is basically abandoned ruins of bland brown brick buildings from the '80s." This Reddit user wasn't exaggerating--this is one city that takes its love of brickwork to a ridiculous, ugly level! 

El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Sometimes you don't have words for just how ugly a place is, which was the issue this Reddit user ran into when they tried to describe the looks of El Paso, Texas--"El Paso, Texas, depresses the hell out of me." It may sound like a vague accusation, but anyone who's been there knows what they're talking about. 

The city is definitely not the most beautiful place we've ever seen, with its main problem being way too many browns and other neutral earth tones. You're already building a city in Texas--it's already earthy enough without throwing in a ton of brown brick buildings into the mix! 

Butte, Montana

Butte, Montana

Butte, Montana might not be the prettiest place in the world, but it definitely gets a lot of hate when you're talking about the ugliest cities in the state. Some people have some very colorful and offensive things to say about the city, including this Reddit user who didn't mince words about their feelings towards Butte. 

"Butte, Montana. No place I’ve ever been has more acutely captured the stale beer and piss, dirty ashtray vibe of utter despair." We're not going to pretend like Butte is a wonderland, but surely it can't be as bad as they make it out to be, right? 

West Memphis, Arkansas

West Memphis, Arkansas

West Memphis, Arkansas is not the same place as Memphis, Tennessee, but it's just about as ugly! (And don't worry, Memphis haters, the main city has its place on this list as well!) This Arkansas city is just on the other side of the Mississippi from Memphis, and it's honestly nothing to write home about. 

Like many cities in the region, West Memphis has been in a slow decline for decades, causing it to incrementally fall into more and more disrepair. It's a sad sight, and, more importantly to this slideshow, it's an ugly sight. If you visit, get ready for terrible roads and plenty of run-down buildings! 

Camden, New Jersey

Camden, New Jersey

New Jersey as a state gets ragged on pretty hard about being a terrible place to live. But there aren't many places in the state that get more individual hate than Camden, New Jersey.  It's typically pegged as a place that's not that pretty but also pretty sketchy! That's never a good combo. 

This Reddit user claims that Camden is falling apart and no one wants to do anything about it--"Basic maintenance for property has an ongoing cost, and nobody is willing to pay even that amount of money to live there. Now, after years of abandonment, there are additional repair costs that would be necessary. It's cheaper to go elsewhere."

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee is the place to be if you're looking for good music and good food. Just don't expect any good views while you're there! Despite many individually beautiful historic buildings, the city as a whole just looks run down and sad--which is a shame, because there's genuinely a lot of fun things to do there. 

One Reddit user had advice for anyone considering a visit--try Nashville instead. "The transportation system is a failure, and the city is notorious for its constant danger. Whereas Nashville is prospering with people, and everything seems to be booming there. I would not advise anyone to visit Memphis."

Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada

Las Vegas might be an eyesore in Nevada, but it's nothing compared to the Las Vegas wannabe city of Reno! Just imagine all the things you hate about Vegas without any of the good and you've got a good approximation of Reno. However, not everyone hates just how trashy Reno is! 

This Reddit user and Reno resident didn't deny the city was trashy, but instead, argued that was a good thing. "We're trashy because we all love each other. We're trashy because we're not afraid to be ourselves; even out in public. We're trashy because we share the same things, we're all in this together and we don't let "normal" social constructions hold us back."

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri

Unless you're a huge fan of the Cardinals or the giant Arch, St. Louis might not be the city for you--it's not the prettiest place in the world. It's a city with tons of history, but it's also, unfortunately, a city with tons of crime, which has led to some portions of the city turning into run-down dumps. 

While a lot of the city's residents are staunch defenders of St. Louis, there are even some residents who aren't thrilled with every part of the city. "I'd also have St. Louis annex East St. Louis so it could be developed and the other side of the river wouldn't be such an ugly wasteland."

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Poor Detroit, Michigan just can't seem to catch a break. It's got a reputation for being a bad place to live, and it's also a pretty ugly place to live too. Things are so bad that native Detroiters know that people are talking about them and are actually starting to agree with the naysayers! 

This one Detroit resident and Reddit user got very specific when it comes to places in their city that are ugly. "I mean, just look at a satellite map of Detroit. Once you leave the i94, m10, i75, i375 rectangle (the path that Woodward takes), it gets real ugly real fast."

Panama City, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida is a resort town full of lots of fun and scenic views. In a very confusing naming twist, there's also Panama City, Florida which is just right down the road from the resort town. Unfortunately, people don't think it's nearly as beautiful or fun as PCB. 

The main complaint of residents, who are in agreement that Panama City isn't the prettiest place to live, is all of the McMansions that seem to pop up all over the place. They've hit a critical mass of boring, tasteless homes and now it's starting to drag the city down! 

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven isn't all bad. Time and time again residents and visitors alike point out that the Connecticut city is a great place to experience some delicious food. But, not all parts of New Haven are as glitzy, beautiful, and fun as the more tourist-heavy parts of the city. 

One Reddit user and New Haven resident had this to say about the city--"The WORST part of living in New Haven is: the ghettos. The other half of New Haven, where some of the best food is located mind you, certainly is run down, shabby, and maybe not entirely safe. There's crime."

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee has had some down years, but it's back on the mend. While some people still consider it an ugly and undesirable city, residents state that they've started to see improvement in areas that were once less than stellar. It's a good sign, but Milwaukee still has a long way to go. 

One Reddit user pointed out this development in the city--"Downtown development is as clear as day and definitely on the rise. New outposts of national chains are moving into the suburbs and regional ones are also expanding into the area. I think that only can be positive."

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Is it any surprise that Baltimore, Maryland made this list? Even people who live in Baltimore have plenty of opinions about the city and how bad it looks! It's a shame because this historic city was once a real looker, but that's just not the case anymore. 

One Reddit user and city resident diagnosed Baltimore's real problem--"There are 101 things about Baltimore that will break your heart, but one of the things that really gets me is that it's not ugly, it's ruined. Like Patterson Park or Mount Vernon are f*cking gorgeous, but mostly the city has been left to rot."

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you're not a fan of the desert vibe, you're probably not going to like any of New Mexico. However, there are some places in the state that are more of an eyesore than others. Unfortunately, one of those places is Albuquerque. It seems like a lot of people considering it ugly simply because it's so boring. 

One Reddit user put it this way--" If you love going to clubs, meeting tons of new people, or just experiencing a bustling city, Albuquerque is not for you. If you are scared about violent/property crime rates, then it is not for you (it is overblown on the news, but our crime rates are high relative to similar size cities)."

Lawton, Oklahoma

Lawton, Oklahoma

Most people haven't even heard of Lawton, Oklahoma, much less have an opinion about it! But hoo boy, those that are familiar with the place have plenty of opinions on this small Oklahoma town--and most of them are bad. It seems like this is one place that no one wants to be. 

One Reddit user had some major thoughts about Lawton--"Lawton, OK (we used to call it 'Rotten, OK') is a garbage dump of a Military town in Oklahoma. The only people there are Military folk who have to be there, and locals who got stuck there because they got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) at 16. Crime is rampant (they have an enormous gang problem too), their economy is based primarily around pawn shops, tattoo parlors, and Applebee's."

Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook, Arizona is one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it small towns with a population of only 5000. However, it's probably for the best that you blink and miss this place, because it's nothing to write home about! However, it's not really the town's fault--it's more about where it's located. 

One user said this was not the place to be if you enjoy beautiful natural scenes--"Holbrook is in the middle of NOTHING. It is flat lands with some rolling hills. Pretty ugly nature wise, when compared to Phoenix desert which is MUCH MORE beautiful. The winds are brutal. Due to the location, the winds come-in and they can be really bad."


 

Nome, Alaska

Nome, Alaska

Nome, Alaska is way up north minding its own business, but that hasn't stopped people from trashing the town as boring and ugly. In the city's defense, "boring" and "ugly" seem to be the theme of Alaska as a whole. Unless you love desolate landscapes, you're probably going to have a bad time there. 

The tiny town of 3500 doesn't have much to offer in terms of entertainment or events, which makes sense, considering that it's primarily a gold mining town. So, unless you're an aspiring prospector, you're likely to find Nome boring, uneventful, and a little bit ugly! 

Ames, Iowa

Ames, Iowa

Tens of thousands of students flock to Ames, Iowa to study at Iowa State University, but most of them would probably prefer to study elsewhere--this is one city that's not worth writing home about! This place may not be hideous, but it's definitely too boring to be considered beautiful! 

While it may be a safe place to live (unlike some of the other places on this list), it's also one of the most boring. Unless you're a student at ISU, there's probably not going to be enough going on to satisfy you. At least you can always just stare out into the cornfields!