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New York City, Key West, The Grand Canyon—there are so many iconic places are on the bucket lists of travelers all over the world. But the United States is home to many off-the-beaten-path destinations that don’t have the same amount of buzz as certain places, but are just as, if not more, interesting and amazing. We’re taking you a little deeper to these top underrated places in the United States you can enjoy on your next adventure.
Not far from Salt Lake City is a scenic nature preserve amongst the Great Salt Lake in Antelope Island. Not only do visitors have access to the water, but one may spot various animals like bison and antelope of course. It’s serene in either winter or summer, and camping facilities are available if you want to escape the bustle overnight.
You’ve got Dahlonega, Helen and Blue Ridge, but Clayton is another town in the northern region of Georgia with those small-town country vibes, and more places to chow down than other small mountain locations. Luxury cabins await, along with shopping, waterfall hikes and a distillery and winery. There’s nothing like tossing back authentic bourbon or moonshine at Moonrise Distillery.
Near the top of Idaho, Coeur d’Alene is a pristine body of water surrounded by resorts and gorgeous rental homes. Idaho as a whole doesn’t get enough notoriety, likely because most want to keep it a secret. When you see it, that theory makes total sense. There’s no shortage of mouthwatering food, from high-end European cuisine to the best pizza at Pepe Caldos. Exploring from the sky via seaplane remains among the top things to experience, and Coeur d’Alene Resort is a spectacular place to settle in.
Maine boasts an array of stunning coastal towns, but if you make your way inland a bit to Bangor, and you’ll be glad you did. Besides its landscape complete with a town center river, and crazy beautiful tree hues come fall, “THE” Stephen King lives here. His crimson red home can be seen from the streets, and SK Tours of Maine will take you around to other notable parts of the city that inspired many of King’s famous stories.
Like the missing Florida Key, Marco Island sits slightly up north, near Naples. Because of its location, travelers can enjoy the upscale tourist nature of Naples, while being able to connect to the barrier island via a bridge. Tidal pools and lagoons weave through the dry land, offering some pretty fantastic kayaking opportunities—Tigertail Beach Park is the place to go. Visitors can rent kayaks, paddleboards and cabanas at the beach.
San Antonio gets a lot of the Texas glory, and rightfully so. However, neighboring Austin has an authentic music scene backed by boutique shopping, diverse food and some pretty cool parks. With a river running through town and many lovely spots to access the lake, outdoor recreation is abundant. Come for a concert, because there’s always something going on at one of the 250 venues, or plan your visit during a festival. Austin is rich with things to do.
Touching Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County sits on a jutted out portion of land and belongs to Wisconsin. Turquoise waters envelop the abundant shores—it’s pretty simple to find a place to relax all to yourself. Food varies from insanely good creameries, cafes and even mastered vegetarian dishes, and many cute lodging options are available.
More known for being the most “Christmasy” town in the states, Leavenworth’s precious Bavarian architecture is something to be relished all year. If you’ve seen Helen, Georgia, it’s that times one hundred, and also is pressed up against steep mountains creating a pretty stunning surrounding scene. Winter is an optimal time to go, as a ski hill is right in town, offering beginner terrain with a simple pull system instead of a lift. The snow tubing hill is nestled beside a welcoming hot chocolate cabin. But it goes without saying, visiting any time of year is like walking into a fairy tale.
When in Juneau, consider a short trip to this island, only if you’re up for a rugged adventure. Lots, and we mean lots, of bears reside on Admiralty, so it’s not something anyone should do without a knowledgeable guide. Access to the island is available by seaplane or boat, so half the excitement is getting there. An old homestead lodge allows guests to stay the night.
A deep-rooted wine history resides in this charming town first settled by German folks in the 1800s. Grapes have been growing here for nearly 200 years, giving the city plenty of time to cultivate a multitude of variations. Take the wine trail or just go at it randomly—Martin Brothers Winery and Stone Hill Winery rank among the best. As for lodging, there aren’t too many hotels sprinkled through the historic buildings, but rather cottages, guest houses and other cozy options.
Just as picturesque as more famous New England towns, Greenwich is often thought of as a home to the wealthy. However, hotel prices aren’t too outrageous, so you can skip over to the land of perfectly prim gardens, Victorian architecture and ocean backdrops without breaking the bank. Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel hugs the water, offering excellent views and solid reviews, making it an optimal place to experience the area. Bonus—it’s just minutes from New York City and the skyline can even be seen from Greenwich Point peninsula.
Hawaii is definitely not underrated, but parts are, in comparison popular competitors–eh hem, Maui, Oahu, Kauai. Visit Hilo on the island of Hawaii to experience immersive Hawaiian history in the oldest city in the state, and you’ll find Japanese style gardens and landscape, in addition to the island’s pristine beaches, at Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Talk about a dream place to see a sunset!