(Not posting on Science & Spaceflight because this is about personal opinions)
I genuinely can't get excited at the concept of colonizing Mars when there's the Moon right next door, with shorter distances (easier to get there, as you all know) and potential for mining being on the table. Not to mention having the Earth in the sky - huge awesomeness bonus. Its cave systems can be also used for a foundation for building colonies, and there has been research on 3D printing structures based on lunar regolith. The lower gravity might even make some non-rocket space launches back to Earth methods viable, massively reducing overall cost. Hell, even tourism could be on the table as well, given the increased safety compared to going interplanetary. Exploring it even comes with frozen water as a bonus!
Mars, though, seems to be held in high regard for no reason other than "it's Mars"? Really, it's a desert planet 18 months away (9 months for window, 9 months of travel), much more expensive to get to and with no commercial potential (AFAIK). Anything goes wrong, it'll be half an hour before the crew even hears back from Earth and an year and a half before they get whatever supplies they needed. It's claimed you can grow plants on its soil after treating it, but what for? You can do the same on the Moon if you bring your own soil (cheaper than whipping out an entire mission to Mars JUST to plant a blueberry bush and call it a day), or you can just skip the middle man and go for hydroponics instead.
TL;DR: Being here seems much cooler than being here