We all have a secret place: an undiscovered vista, a quiet park, a beautiful corner of the world that brings back childhood memories. But increasingly, there are no longer any secret spots.
Instagram, Yelp, Facebook and TripAdvisor have made all secrets known, revealing some of California’s great local spots to the wider world. And the impact is noticeable and, in some cases, exponential.
Recently, an insatiable desire for superbloom photos has overwhelmed the city of Lake Elsinore. The yearly explosion of bright wildflowers — particularly potent this year after a rainy winter — has brought hoards to the area, and the city just can’t keep up.
“Our City is not made for Disneyland size crowds. We have reached out to our neighboring and county agencies for help. We have reached out to Caltrans. We have reached out to CHP. We are running out of options,” the city pleaded on its official Instagram.
“People are creating chaos out there and we have already had an injury,” the caption continues. “This is a public safety crisis so we ask your support.”
In addition to stressing local infrastructure, over-eager photographers are destroying the superbloom they profess to love. They’re stepping on flowers, going off-trails and otherwise wrecking havoc on the ecosystem — often in the name of a memorable social media photo.
Locally, there’s Lombard Street. It has over 16,000 reviews on TripAdvisor with a near-perfect star rating. Reviewers from all over the world urge other travelers to walk or drive down the “must-do” attraction.
One five-star review even cautions fellow travelers to visit it soon as “residents are complaining about the high volume of traffic and are pushing to have the street closed and viewed only from the bottom of the street.”
We’ve collected some of the Bay Area’s once-modest spots now overrun thanks to social media. We thought about providing alternatives to those spots but some things are best kept a secret.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-spots-ruined-by-social-media-9297876.php.