The ‘Best’ Cities for True Crime Tourism

These 50 cities are truly scary in their ability to deliver creepy thrills
New Orleans tops the list of cities for true crime tourism.
New Orleans’ history of voodoo and other dark mysteries puts it on top of the new list. Pixabay

Mob museums, crime overlords, cold cases, voodoo in the streets. Apparently “true crime tourism” is a new obsession for American travelers, and a travel company has come up with a way to rank American cities for their ability to provide a cheap but affordable scare to tourists.

If this news gives you the creeps, we’re not surprised. It’s hard to miss the explosion of crime podcasts, “true crime” TV series, and just the overall history of crime in some bigger cities. A new study by Upgraded Points has ranked the top 50 U.S. cities for “true crime tourism.”

(Pardon all the quotation marks, but we’re still wrapping our minds around the idea that this is a thing.)

“While it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, true crime tourism allows travelers to explore the darker side of history,” said Alex Miller, Founder of Upgraded Points. “It offers an intriguing way to explore the grim and thrilling pasts of certain cities while providing both unique experiences for visitors and economic opportunities for businesses.”

New Orleans is the destination in this very niche category. According to Upgraded Points, “The Voodoo Capital of the World is the best city for true crime tourism – offering 9 true crime tours (the average city has 4.5) and 7.33 serial killer victims per 100K residents (the average is 3.75). Meanwhile, the average cost to fly into the city is 21% cheaper than the national average.”

The study included 50 cities that were chosen from lists of the most hazardous American cities, the best American locations for visitors interested in true crime, and the most infamous true crime in each state. Each city was given a score ranging from 0 to 10, with 10 representing the most hospitable environment for true crime tourists. Violent crime rate (per 100K population), serial killer victims (per 100K residents), crime museums and tours, average admission fees and Airbnb prices, among many other characteristics, were among the ranking criteria. The total scores, which ranged from 0 to 50 for each city, were then calculated by adding the individual scores. Top locations for true crime tourism were revealed to be cities with higher scores.

New Orleans is followed by Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Savannah, Ga.

Daytona Beach is the top-ranked city in Florida at No. 22. Miami follows at No. 26. Orlando is No. 40.

In case you’re wondering why these three Florida locales were chosen, here’s the word from Upgraded Points:

  • Orlando was included due to its connection to the Casey Anthony trials. Also, Upgraded Points mentions that 34.11% of Orlando’s murder cases remain unsolved – 7% higher than the national average.
  • Miami is included because it’s the location of the highly-publicized Gianni Versace murder. Miami also has five true crime tours.  
  • Daytona Beach was included because of its proximity to Port Orange, home to The Last Resort biker bar where Aileen Wuornos was arrested. Aileen Wuornos is the serial killer on which the movie “Monster” with Charlize Theron is based. Daytona Beach’s crime rate (1,137 violent crimes per 100,000 residents) is 26% higher than the national average. 

A travel company based in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points assists in demystifying the complicated world of travel and credit cards. Upgraded Points was established by Alex Miller in 2016 to assist passengers in making the most of their travel, points, and experiences.

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