The top 10 underrated destinations

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.

1. Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastrichtphoto credit: Lightmash via photopin cc

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.


2. Durango, Colorado, USA

Durangophoto credit: gunnyrat via photopin cc

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.


3. Ghent, Belgium

Ghentphoto credit: Amaury Henderick via photopin cc

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.


4. The San Juan Islands, Washington, USA

San Juan Islandsphoto credit: kikikiliii via photopin cc

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.


5. Lake Balaton, Hungary

Lake Balatonphoto credit: Gribiche via photopin cc

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.


6. Glasgow, UK

Glasgowphoto credit: Rab’s Da via photopin cc

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.


7. Adelaide, Australia

Adelaidephoto credit: donkeycart via photopin cc

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.


8. Kotor, Montenegro

Kotorphoto credit: batintherain via photopin cc

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.


9: Taos, New Mexico

Taosphoto credit: micky mb via photopin cc

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.


10. Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua Guatemalaphoto credit: RobertoUrrea via photopin cc

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!

9 Comments on “The top 10 underrated destinations

  1. in summer I rent a STUDIOappartment overlooking Marina Verduda in Pula through Wimdu agency-in winter I rent it to students

    I woul like to join your grop or whatever you are but I am interested in Turkey -Kappadokia

    or anywer in turky
    I already inquired at the lokal agents-but they need a visa to go abroad and aperantly it iz not easy to make

    -do you have anybody interested to go to Croatia from TURKEY?

    -or somwere rocky like Price kanjon-I love stones and what nature made of them
    -who knows
    -all my previous guests live like lokals
    -they go to the market and buy food ,great farmers market,fish market
    -and a beautiful places to swim ,also some beaches ,but I have a rocky hiden beach that -I show only to my guests -that somee of them are coming fo 10 years
    and there are some who were here before this stupid war

    and we have great amfiteatre from roman times and a lot to see in PULA

    I can give also a flat at another enrace oof the hous with the beautiful vieu

    have a very good bussines and good the rest of the day
    yours sincerely
    Tanja Stupar

  2. I was hoping to find some new travel spots, but I have been to 7 out of the 10! Adelaide is high on my bucket list.

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain

  3. The San Juan Islands write-up should also include The Gulf Islands in British Columbia, which make up the majority of the beautiful islands in this archipelago. Saltspring Island in particular is very interesting, where many Canadian artists live.

  4. I had the joy of traveling to Adelaide in January or 2012 with my daughter and another college friend. As my daughter and friend were doing a college semester there I also decided to come along for 10 days to help them get housing and settled in. Stayed in a Hostel for 4 nights and after finding the perfect set up for the girls we were all able to stay there until I left. 2 mikes from the ocean, 2 miles from the city, it was perfect!! Loved Adelaide, saw parades, museums, drive thru wine country, did a wine tour, drive to coasts and visited small country towns. Absolutely did not want to come back. Would recommend any to go to this lovely city with lovely people.

  5. You’ve got to try harder. There are lots more underrated that are not in any way shape or form on the tourist trail. We’ve been to most of the 10 listed as travellers. There are places we wouldn’t dream of going that we’ve gone to on exchanges and found treasures around there.
    For example Truro, Nova Scotia, Oroville California.

  6. Fantastic to read Stan Jackson’s comments on this site since we were one of the Truro NS places that he visited. Please come and see us again.

  7. Check out Anacortes, WA… Gateway to the San Juan Islands. Anacortes is halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC and San Juan ferries depart from here!

  8. Love the San Juan Islands, especially Orcas Island. Recent cruise stop at Kotor was a pleasant surprise. We also enjoyed Lake Bled, Slovenia and Porto, Portugal.

  9. Antigua is marvelous. I climbed Mt. Pacaya literally a week before it blew up. Very exciting and beautiful. I’d also recommend checking out Taxco, Mexico. I passed through on my way from the capitol to the coast and it was a gem that I can’t wait to revisit. Beautiful silver, beautiful architecture, street markets and museums, close to hiking/nature walks (go see nearby Cacalotenango Waterfall). Loved it!

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