Popular Tourist Attractions Before They Were Destroyed

We are sure that you are used to being told by articles, bloggers and Insta-Influencers where the next best tourist place is to visit but what about all those lovely places you can’t go to anymore? This list is not about telling you not to travel anymore, rather don’t litter, don’t carve or take pieces of nature with you, leave things as it is and view what nature has to offer.

Beautiful Lake and forestation

Source: Shutterstock.com

Whether it’s due to natural causes or human selfishness and carelessness, many of our historical and ancient natural landmarks and monuments have taken quite the hit in the last century. Bellow, you will find an alluring list of Mother Nature’s once, most beautiful creations.

Vance Creek Bridge

Unfortunately, with today’s generation, people will stop at nothing to get likes for Instagram, even if it means risking their own lives. Many kids have traveled up there to get a few pictures.

Tall Bridge in the middle of a forest

Source: flickr.com

The Vance Creek Bridge is the second-highest bridge in the U.S. standing at 347 feet and was decommissioned in 1970. It was later added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Yosemite Fire Falls National Park

(Rumors have it that it’s reopening) Now, this is a sight for sore eyes. Can you imagine the beauty in witnessing the roaring fire waterfall cascading from one of Yosemite’s peaks in the mountains and valleys? Yes, it’s real.

Fire-fall( Horse trail fall ) when sunset ,Yosemite National Park,California,USA

Source: Shutterstock.com

Owners of a close-by hotel poured hot embers at the top of the Glacier point, creating the illusion of the fire waterfall from afar. This was such an amazing creation that it attracted too many tourists for the park’s capacity, so they poured cold water on the ‘Firefall’ back in 1968.

Statue of Liberty Torch

Visiting the one and only, Statue of Liberty when in New York City, was basically a rite passage. There are numerous things to do to be able to say you’ve experienced NYC, but the Liberty Torch was one of those things.

torch of the statue of liberty

Source: Shutterstock.com

The opportunity to climb all the way up to view the Manhattan skyline was hard to pass by. Unfortunately, for the time being, the climb to the top of the torch has been deemed ‘too dangerous for tourists’ since 1916.

The Underwater Amazon, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The coral reefs off the Indonesian coast in Raja Ampat, also known as the ‘Underwater Amazon.’ Up until recent events, the Amazon was appraised as one of the most breathtaking reefs the world has known.

Colourful Corals in Raja Ampat

Source: Shutterstock.com

However, things took a turn for the worst in 2017. A British ship accidentally crashed into the reef when he went off his planned route. The ship damaged 1,600 square meters of the Underwater Amazon.

The Azure Window

For some who might not recognize the Azure Window in Malta, it has been quite the hotspot for tourists to take their pictures there. This rock even featured in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

Gozo, Malta - The beautiful Azure Window, a natural arch and famous landmark on the island of Gozo at sunset

Source: Shutterstockc.om

Although this rock withstood many storms, one storm happened to be big enough to send the Azure Window to the bottom of the sea.

Chacaltaya Glacier

It proves to be quite the journey to get to the top of the Chacaltaya Mountain in Bolivia. Still, outdoor adventurers took it upon themselves to reach the only ski resort in the country and what was known to be the highest lift surf ski area in South America.

Photo display showing how the glaciers have melted away

Source: blog.timeunion.com

It never got too popular but if you never visited it before, you can’t anymore since the glaciers started to retreat.

Caves of Altamira

The artwork found in the Caves of Altamira in Spain date back to about 14,000 years ago. Much of the artwork here consists of cave paintings and charcoal drawings that belong to the Paleolithic Age.

Ancient drawings on cave walls

Source: bradshawfoundation.com

Because of its history and beauty, people visited the cave until 2002. The caves were closed to the public due to the damage caused by carbon dioxide emitting from all the people. They did open a replica cave close by so that you can still somewhat experience it.

Jeffrey Pine Sentinel Dome Yosemite

If a tree on top of a mountain had to fall, no one would notice or hear anything. However, for this famous tree, the world happened to hear the cries of the Jeffrey Pine fans the moment it fell.

Jeffrey Pine on top of Sentinel Dome Yosemite

Source: Shutterstock.com

This tree happened to be one of the most photographed trees, first being recognized by Carleton Watkins in 1867. Since the tree became popular until its great fall in 2003.

The Love Locks – Paris

Few years, visitors of the Parisian bridge would leave little locks inscribed with little declarations of love. The locks clung to the fence of the bridge accumulating to be over 800,000 individual locks by 2015.

Love padlocks at Pont de l'Archeveche in Paris. The thousands of locks of loving couples symbolize love forever

Source: GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock.com

However, by 2012, people had voiced their complaints about how heavy the items were making the bridge, weighing to an estimated 45 tons. In 2015, the locks were removed and the metal fence with it. The city later replaced it with plexiglass.

Guairá Falls

Oh, so where exactly did this famous waterfall disappear to? During the ‘80s, the governments of Brazil and Paraguay decided to construct a dam in its place.

A large water

Source: sites.google.com

The Guairá Falls once stood at the height of 375 feet tall. Before the dam had been made, thousands of went down to the falls located between Brazil and Paraguay to take in the natural landmark before it would be replaced.

Pioneer Cabin Tree

Once upon a time, people used to be able to walk underneath the Pioneer Cabin Tree, which used to be found in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California. No one knew its exact age, but it was estimated to be over one thousand years old.

Man standing looking at giant big Red Wood tree in Calaveras big trees state national park in California, US

Source: Shutterstock.com

It had a circumference of 33 feet and was nicknamed the tunnel tree. For years, it was apparent that the trees were weakening and by 2017, a powerful rainstorm took down, causing it to shatter when it fell to the ground.

The Wedding Cake Rock – Sydney, Australia

According to many, the Wedding Cake Rock had the best views the world has to offer and that the hike and climb were well worth it for many. It does look beautiful, doesn’t it?

a White Mountain overlooking another mountain

Source: shutterstock.com

As expected, the white rock became popular at an alarming rate as tourists shared their magical pictures on social media. To avoid any injuries, officials installed a fence to block entrance to the jetting perch in 2015. It is still worth it to see it as scientists think it will collapse in the next 10 years.

Legzira Beach

Legzira Beach in Morocco was famously known for is arched rock formations along the beach, especially during sunsets.

A circular rock formation on the shore break

Source: minube.it

However, in 2016, one of the rock formations buckled under its own weight, crumbling to the ground. There remains another circular rock formation, but experts say that it’s only a matter of time until the next one collapses too.

The Wall Arch

At the Arches National Park in Utah, you’ll find exactly what it advertises in the name, Arches, a whole galore of them.

View at the Double Arch in Arches National Park

Source: Shutterstock.com

The Wall Arch used to be among them, the 12 biggest of the 2000 other ones in the famous landmark park. It collapsed in 2008, a result of time and Mother Nature.

The Twelve Apostles

Found off the famous coast of the Port Campbell National Park in Australia, stand the Twelve Apostles, or rather, eight.

Lovely display of the sea with sea rocks randomly scattered in the shore break

Source: twelveapostles.com.au

The Eight Apostles since about 4 of these limestone sea-rock stacks have succumbed to the ocean. Erosion formed the stacks, and which ultimately happened to be there demise.

Disney’s River Country

This place was Walt Disney’s first water parks. However, it proved to be extremely difficult to operate. Over the years, they had many costly repairs, and in 2001, the park was closed for maintenance and simply remained closed.

Before and after of the waterpark

Source: Wikipedia.com

The site still stands today and looks like something out of a horror movie, with all the overgrown forestation, murky waters and abandoned slides. The once magical place now looks like a nightmare. Disney announced they would be rebuilding another park in the same place, yay!

White Sandy Beach, Maya Bay, Thailand

Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true? Picture this, you are on a well-deserved relaxing vacation and a beach covered in pristine white sand, how dreamy would that be?

White sandy beach

Source: wsj.com

Well, a lot of people happened to feel that way causing Thai officials to enforce a tourist blackout for these beaches. All the tourists were endangering the areas coral reef and the white sandy beaches. 80% of the islands coral reef is endangered because of tourists.

Holy Land USA

The Holy Land USA opened in 1955 and then closed in 1984. For about 30 years, it stayed closed until around 2014 when it reopened. Unfortunately, it isn’t open to the public now.

Pictures of the old Holy Land establishment

Source: wsj.com

However, Holy Land can be found In Waterbury, Connecticut, a theme park that came from the mind of John Baptist Greco who was inspired by Biblical passages.

Penn Station

Don’t get confused, the first Penn Station still exists in New York City, it’s just not the original one. The first Penn Station opened in the early 20th Century.

A vintage picture of the old station

Source: ny.curbed.com

Over 109 million people would find themselves welcomed into Penn Station every year by the 1940s. By 1964 it would be demolished.

The Berlin Wall, Germany

During 1960, Western tourists would stop by the wall to catch a glimpse of East Berlin. Artists and other performers would perform shows on top of the wall leading many tourists to flock to the wall.

People taking down a wall

Source: Pinterest.com

In 1990, the wall was taken down. A few tourists still wish to see the remains of the wall; you can, of course, go to the original site to see where the wall stood as well a find the walls remain in a few museums.

Mount Humboldt – New Zealand

There are many dedicated skiers out there ready to move mountains and tuck into the deepest parts of the earth just to find the right slopes. This once-popular ski spot no longer exists.

mountain slope covered in snow

Source: visitcalifornia.com

Of course, no one managed to move the mountain neither did it grow a pair of legs and walk away, however, due to climate change, you aren’t able to enjoy the dreamy ski slope. Scientists say that just in a few years, there won’t be any snow left on the slope.

Disney Discovery Island

You might notice a large, deserted green island. What a mysterious island. There is no way for tourists or employees to get to this island. Once upon a time, this island used to be home to Disney’s Discovery Land.

A deserted island surrounded by water

Source: Flickr.com

Can you imagine what sorts of things have happened on that island? It either looks very creepy or very beautiful with all that overgrowth, all kinds of species living in the trees. This island used to host tropical animals and birds before it was abandoned in 1999. The animals were moved to a nearby island, Animal Kingdom.

Pink and White Terraces, Lake Rotomahana, New Zealand

During the mid-19th century, this naturally formed cascading pools had attracted many tourists worldwide and were one of the biggest draws for those who were visiting the southern hemisphere. Back then, this landmark was referred to as an eighth wonder of the world.

Painting of how the landmark looked

Source: Youtube.com

However, it was destroyed by the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886. Unfortunately, the beauty the wonder held us now only captured by paintings. There were a few pictures that were taken by very wealthy people who could afford the invention, the camera.


Venezuela has serious issues regarding poverty and being on the verge of war since the reign of Hugo Chavez. Isn’t that sad? There are riots after riots making it highly dangerous for tourists.

Beautiful Mountain in a forest

Source: apeverywhere.com

Tourists aren’t allowed to enter the country now, and it’s probably for your own good. As far as I know, Venezuela is an extremely beautiful country. Hopefully, someone better will come into power making the country safe and peaceful again.

Brazilian Rainforest

I mean, sure, there are large parts of the rainforest that is accessible. However, most of it is band and inaccessible due to natural difficulties traversing through the forest.

Indigenous people walking through the rainforest

Source: shutterstock.com

There are also prohibited areas by the Brazilian Government to protect indigenous people who live in the forest. Lately, scientists, chefs, adventurers (like National Geographic) have been working on understanding more of the diverse wildlife in those specific sections of the rainforest.

Volcano Island, Surtsey, Iceland

Ever since 1963, only a small number of scientists have been permitted to set foot on the island to study how plant and animal life establishes itself.

A view of the island in peace compared to the island scaled down

Source: YouTube.com

Surtsey was declared a nature reserve while the eruption was still in progress and the island has been declared as a World Heritage Site. After the eruptions in 1967, the island measured to be 2.7 square kilometers and is slowly chipping away due to wave erosions.

Stonehenge, Britain

In 1977, visitors were permitted to walk freely amongst the magical, fairytale-like Stonehenge but then authorities feared that they wouldn’t be able to preserve them this way, so, they put ropes around them.

A circle formed by rocks

Source: news.sky.com

You can walk up to the ropes, but of course, it’s a far cry from how it really was back in the 19th century. Back in the day, visitors were given a chisel so they could take a small piece home with them. Well, let’s thank our lucky stars that they banned this.

The Trevi Fountain, Rome

After a movie called La Dolce Vita, it inspired many people who seek a romantic boat paddle to seek out this fountain to do so. However, that is no longer permitted.

A water fountain outside a building

Source: wantedinrome.com

Anyone who attempts to do so faces a hefty fine. New measures have been taken by Rome’s mayor, ensuring that anyone paddling, swimming, sitting on the edge, eating or drinking in or near the fountain will face a fine up to €240.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Unfortunately, since 2006, the 30-meter-high pyramid is no longer open for trampling tourists to climb Mexico’s premier ancient Mayan site, after a woman fell to her death, making her way back down.

A picture of the pyramid and throne

Source: Pinterest.com

I guess as much as it is a preservation precaution, it’s safety too. The climbing rule also eliminates access to the throne room inside El Castillo. You can visit the pyramid but from afar.

Lake Poopo, Bolivia

This used to be one of the second largest lakes in Bolivia. Many tourists have traveled from afar to come to Bolivia and added Altiplano Mountains in Oruro Department to their to-do list.

A lake containing water before drought compared to the picture of it dried up

Source: Pinterest.com

However, the lake completely dried up in 2016 due to climate change along with a nearby development of mining and agriculture. This is the second time it has dried up, it happened back in 1994 but later revitalized by rain.

Coral on Christmas Island, Australia

I’m sure many that have been to Australia have visited and dived in the lovely coral reef on Christmas Island. However, now it won’t be such a great sight for those divers out there.

A coral reef before, it was colorful, and now it looks lifeless

Source: Pinterest.com

In just a short period of 10 months, more than 90% of the coral reef was destroyed. Some corals have been bleached, and others have died. This has happened because of the heat stress caused by climate change.

Duckbill, Oregon

The rock formation was a very popular tourist monument up until August 29, 2019. Many people went out there to get a quick picture of the monument that looked like a duck.

A picture of a natural rock formation, before and after it was destroyed

Source: upi.com

A group of young people decided to penetrate the fence and destroy the natural rock formation as revenge, according to them, they broke it because their friend had recently broken their leg next to the monument, so in return, they broke the rock.

Old Man of the Mountain

The famous man face-shaped rock formation was positioned on the side of a mountain and looked like the side profile of an elderly man.

Picture of the rock before and after next to a picture of a state quarter

Source: Wikipedia.com

This landmark became so popular that it featured on the state quarter, and sadly, this is the only place you can view the rock formation. The ‘face’ fell down the side of the mountain in 2003.

Heritage USA, Water Park

It might not be a shock to many that South Carolina was home to Heritage USA. A televangelist created the theme park which grew popular rapidly, attracting over six million people a year.

Jim Bakker standing in front of the water theme park he created

Source: napavalleyregister.com

However, after running for 11 years in 1989, the park almost immediately closed after the owner Jim Bakker found himself in a large scandal. The abandoned park still stands today.

New York Hippodrome

This place is not ‘non-existent’; however, this place has been added to the list because it doesn’t quite represent the original history the Hippodrome held before it was remodeled.

Vintage postcard depicting The Hippodrome, built in 1905 & demolished in 1939 after its decline & fall, New York City, USA, circa 1912

Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock.com

This theatre used to be one of the largest theatres in the world being able to hold up to 5,000 people. In it’s prime, the theatre hosted circuses, performances by Harry Houdini and movies. The theatre was closed in 1939.

God’s Finger – Canary Islands, Spain

While the base remains near Gran Canaria, it once included a sharp stone that vaguely resembled a fist with its finger-pointing toward the sky.

Finger pointing rock

Source: nationalgeographic.com

This natural rock formation lasted this way up until 2005 when a tropical storm called Delta, broke the finger off, like a ruthless mobster.

Goblin Sandstone Formation, Goblin Valley Park, Utah

These Goblin-like stones have been around since the Jurassic Era (200 million years ago) until 2013 when two boys pushed the rock formation over.

short description of the photo’s content

Source: shutterstock.com

The boys claimed that the Goblins posed as a threat to the safety of people visiting the monument. They were charged with third-degree felonies and reached plea deals which cost them quite a bit. In my opinion, they deserved it.

The Sutro Baths

The old saltwater swimming pool complex known as The Sutro Baths were built back in 1896. Exactly 70 years later, it burnt down. If you look over the coast of San Francisco near the famous sealed rocks and cliff house, you can still make out the ruins of the public establishment.

Pool before and after

Source: thevintagenews.com

Former mayor and a millionaire had the pools built with seven different seawater pools and including natural history halls with displays of art too

Kaimu Beach

Kaimu Beach, Hawaii, was most commonly known for the black sandy beaches. Naturally, the phenomenon would attract large numbers of tourists in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, the beach went up in flames.

A beach with black sand

Source: lovebigisland.com

While tourists happened to be erupting, so was the legendary Kilauea Volcano. The Lava left Kaimu beach and a close-by town under 50 feet of lava. Locals have rebuilt the town but the beach, however, did not survive the natural disaster.