The typical vacation spots are great but quite over-done. It might be fun to say you’ve been to any of those popular vacation spots, but you are missing out on some unique hideaways that are not heavily crowded or commercialized.
Each of these 14 underrated U.S. vacation spots offers enriching experiences that are everything but cliché, and you can road trip to all of them.
Peaks Island, Maine
The island is a part of the well-known Portland but has a personality all its own that makes it stand out. The city shows love for unique art and celebrates it with the annual Sacred and Profane art festival, which is unlike traditional art festivals in which is not advertised in print, online or anywhere. Festival-goers share the location and date of the festival by word of mouth which keeps the sacred element of the festival alive. The island features many eclectic and quirky attractions, such as the Umbrella Cover Museum, where you are serenaded by the owner playing the accordion while you browse the artistic umbrella covers. Visitors can leave the shores, rent a kayak and take a guided tour of the bay or visit the Civil War museum. There are several places to stay on the island to escape the bustling city of Portland, including the Inn on Peaks Island.
Kansas City, Missouri
It’s a big city with a small-town feel that is comprised of shopping strips, coffee shops and fine dining. Discover midwest hospitality at its finest. The city is also known for its museums and jazz music. Visitors can be exposed to skyscrapers, local shops, glamorous hotels, festivals and beautifully paved streets all in one area that is safe and fun for the whole family.
The Ozarks, Arkansas
The Ozarks are nestled among Missouri and Northern Arkansas, offering exquisite views from mountaintops. This is a perfect spot for the outdoor addict. Table Rock Lake is a great place for camping and award-winning bass fishing. Visitors also hike and kayak or visit Buffalo River. Branson is a huge tourist attraction known for its southern down-home culture, food and entertainment. Make sure to check out Eureka Springs, Arkansas, too! It’s an old-fashioned town that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
San Diego, California
San Diego is often overlooked with L.A. and San Francisco just north of it. But in this beautiful city, the weather is almost always perfect and the beach shores are great for relaxation. There are also activities for the family; a visit to the San Diego Zoo and a trip to Disneyland that isn’t too far away.
La Push, Washington
La Push is one of the most gorgeous and secluded vacation spots you’ll find. It is located on the beach of the Pacific Northwest, but stays very warm during the summer months. Vacationers can enjoy their stay in an affordable cabin that sits near the beach and listen to the sounds of the waves crashing day and night. La Push is a great place to escape and relax without blowing the budget.
San Antonio, Texas
The river walk of San Antonio is a beautiful, romantic spot to visit, lined with paths, attractions and restaurants along the banks of the river. Visitors can hop on a paddle boat and watch the sun go down or walk the winding paths. San Antonio is also known for its historical sights including the Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the Tower of the Americas and Marriage Island. The city is home to Sea World, Six Flags theme park, The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and five-time NBA champions, San Antonio Spurs. There is literally something for everyone in this underrated vacation spot.
It’s a peaceful New England town with beautiful beaches and harbors, and a downtown filled with local shops. Although it is quiet, visitors have opportunities to try a lot of fun activities: surfing, kitesurfing, sailing, swimming, and paddle-boarding. It’s also home to many historical sights, like the house of Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote: “America the Beautiful,” and the world’s first aquarium. Plus, the downtown area is filled with cute stores.
Asheville, North Carolina
The city is bursting with southern charm and hippie creativeness! Asheville is known for its mountains, trails, swimming holes, and a captivating downtown with musicians, local shops, and eateries!
Philadelphia is an often-neglected vacation spot, with New York to the north and D.C. to the south, vacationers often overlook Philly. The city is home to delicious Philly cheesesteaks and many historic places, including Independence Hall and the First Bank of the U.S.
Big Sur, California
Located on the coast of Central California, huge jagged cliffs line the shore. Visitors can sightsee lots of diverse scenery packed into one area, from canyons to meadows to state parks brimming with redwoods. You might even spot an elephant seal basking on the sandy shore. All of this beauty is also surrounded by luxury hotels, restaurants and art galleries.
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is the oldest occupied European settlement in the U.S. It has beautiful architecture, weather, and culture. Visitors enjoy white sand beaches and a host of historic landmarks, including the Castillo de San Marcos.
Glacier National Park, Montana
It has been referred to as, “America’s Switzerland,” and is home to some of the most beautiful meadows, mountains, and lakes. Hikers come for the 700 miles of trails in Glacier, while less adventurous travelers can admire the beauty in Red Jammer buses and wooden tour boats. The park sits on the US-Canada border and contains historic chalets and lodges that are beaming with beauty, a treat for all visitors who stay in the park.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
A peaceful island with no vehicles and lots of fudge, Mackinac Island is quiet and picturesque. Cars are banned from the island so the only way to cruise around is with a bicycle or in a buggy. The absence of cars creates a very relaxing atmosphere, but one thing they don’t do without is chocolate. Mackinac Island is famous for the numerous fudge shops that sell a variety of delicious fudge flavors, and it is the most common souvenir people take home from their stay on the island. An annual Fudge Festival is held to celebrate the most revered souvenir. There is also no lack in places to eat, local eateries that range from fine dining to All-American foods are spread throughout the island. If you love music, you can find several venues playing various kinds of live music or hit the dance clubs that have live DJs, or put on your fancy shoes and take a ballroom dance lesson from one of the several ballroom dance venues.
Northern Arizona is famed for the Grand Canyon but just a couple hours south is Sedona, another vacation spot that is often overlooked. Sedona is a city surrounded by beautiful red sandstone rock formations. It never gets too hot during the summer months and offers great hiking, biking and mountain climbing opportunities.