New York, Paris, London… they’re all must-visit locations, to be sure. But venture off the beaten path and you’ll find equally amazing, totally underrated destinations worthy of a vacation all their own.
While not as well known as Amsterdam or The Hague, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this historic city. You can explore it entirely on foot, which might be just what you need after dining at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants.
Durango is a charming town all on its own, but its location also makes it a great hub for exploring some of the state’s most beautiful mountain scenery. Bonus: the Grand Canyon National Park and the Navajo Reservation each make for a wonderful overnight trip.
Small enough to be cozy but large enough to be exciting, Ghent is a wonderful discovery. Locals love their city and will be happy to share their favorite spots with you, which might include a quirky bar, an amazing museum, or a shining example of medieval architecture.
The San Juans are made up of around 172 islands, many of them uninhabited, between the mouth of the Puget Sound and Vancouver Island. This is not the place for a flashy vacation; fishing, whale-watching, hiking, crabbing, and watching the sunset are among the islands’ most popular activities.
The waters of Lake Balaton have been described as “silky”, and with an average summer water temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you might find yourself spending more time in your swimsuit than your street clothes.
London and Manchester might disagree, but Glasgow has arguably the best music scene in the UK (just look to legendary clubs like King Tut’s and the Barrowland Ballroom). Families will love the Science Center, and there are enough culinary options to please every palate.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Sydney and Melbourne. But you may not have heard of their south coast cousin, Adelaide. The city is known for its cutting-edge art scene and year-round mild climate, and has the added bonus of being just a ferry ride away from Kangaroo Island.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is just 38 miles from Dubrovnik, Croatia, and every bit as picturesque. Climb the pathway to Sveti Ivan fortress for a spectacular view of the mountains, bay, and the Old City, built between the 12th and 14th centuries.
If you’re looking for an authentic New Mexican experience, skip Santa Fe and head straight for Taos. There’s a strong emphasis on all things genuine here, from the famous chile rellenos to locally made candles and jewelry.
Despite earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Antigua is as vibrant as ever. This former capital is awash in pastel facades and beautifully restored old buildings. Venturing just outside the city will lead you to coffee plantations, fantastic hiking, and a region seemingly frozen in time.
Have you been to any of these underrated destinations? Tell us in the comments!