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Your Ticket to Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

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Are you tired of visiting crowded tourist spots every year and spending your summers in the same old places? We are, too. So, together, let’s explore the underrated summer travel ideas hidden within the USA and across the globe. 

Now, instead of fighting for a spot on the beach, you can enjoy the serenity of the pristine sea. Each of these destinations promises unforgettable memories, a unique experience, and a pleasant feeling of escape from the chaos.

Excited? Let’s start exploring!

Destinations within the USA

If you’re looking for places to go in the USA during the summer, you should know many of them. Of course, airfares can soar up during summers, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your summers sitting at home, lying on your couch all day long.

underrated summer travel ideas-Charleston, South Carolina
Image Source : Forbes

Here’s an extensive list of places where you can spend your summer holidays:

Finger Lakes, New York

A scenic, beautiful region of narrow and long lakes surrounded by charming towns and rolling vineyards, the Finger Lakes is a breathtaking destination for kayaking, hiking, and wine tasting. Those who want to escape their fast-paced lives can experience a slower pace of life here, where moments are enjoyed.

Why it’s underrated: It’s close to the Northeast coastal destinations, which are popular vacation spots among US residents.

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs is a wilderness haven for travelers. You can enjoy various water spots there, including rafting on a canoe. The beauty of the lake is divine. It gives you the feeling of walking over a glass. Everything below the lake is extremely visible. This is the place to go if you yearn for endless starry nights and absolute solitude.

Why it’s underrated: It’s located in a remote area, which makes it an off-grid destination. 

Crystal River, Florida 

Many people dream of swimming alongside a gentle giant. If you wish the same, this is the ideal summer travel place. The crystal-clear water and fascinating manatees are a treat for the eyes. If you’re a nature lover, this place should be on your bucket list.

Why it’s underrated: The beautiful beach of Florida overshadows this unique alternative.

San Juan Islands, Washington

Do you love marine life? Then this is the perfect place to spend your summer holidays. On San Juan Island, you can book a whale-watching tour. Lime Kiln Point State Park is popularly known for hosting land-based orca shows. The island also has many art galleries and boutiques. 

Hikers can hike through the lush green forests of Moran State Park. For panoramic views, hike up the summit of Mount Constitution. Moreover, Eastsound Village is another bustling place where you can go shopping and have water dining.

Why it’s underrated: Compared to other destinations, this place requires plenty of planning, such as booking ferries, which can be a bit of a hassle for some.

Mendocino County, California 

Calling all wine lovers! This beautiful county is home to many wineries, such as Navarro Vineyards, Roederer Estate, and Goldeneye Winery. You can also hike among the giant redwood trees in Russian Gulch State Park or Hendy Woods State Park. These parks feature ocean views and a dramatic sinkhole, too.

The nearby Glass Beach, a former dumpsite, is now home to beautiful sea glass of every shape and size. For stunning views, you can also visit the Point Arena Lighthouse, which exhibits the history of maritime. 

Why it’s underrated: Although this county is famous, Sonoma and Napa often take the limelight. 

Black Hills of South Dakota

Want to learn about notorious figures like Calamity Jane? This place has a lot hidden in it. Apart from the monuments, you can learn about the legends of the gold rush. All historical traces are long preserved in Deadwood. 

The hiking trails in the Black Hills are adventurous. There are many tourist spots you can visit, such as Crazy Horse Memorial (opening soon), Custer State Park, and Spearfish Canyon. 

Why it’s underrated: Many tourists still believe it’s nothing more than a simple flyover territory and vast plains.

Lake Lure, North Carolina

You might not know, but the iconic film Dirty Dancing was shot here. If you want to see the stunning views in the movie, you can hike to the top of Chimney Rock State Park. You can also enjoy different water spots on the nearby beaches. 

For more adventure, visit Asheville. It is a popular mountain city known for its art scene, breweries, and the Biltmore Estate.

Why it’s underrated: The nearby city of Asheville is more popular, and people often return after visiting the town.

Clearwater, Florida

It’s located on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Pinellas County. It’s known for its pristine white sand beaches. There are many activities and attractions, including the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is home to winter dolphins. 

The aquarium also allows visitors to interact with sea animals. Visitors can also enjoy various water sports, including paddle boarding, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, and voting.  

Moreover, this beach is regularly voted one of the best in the USA. There are many shops, hotels, and restaurants nearby.

Why it’s underrated: Clearwater, like other destinations listed in this blog, gets overshadowed by nearby locations, the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg areas. 

Other Domestic Locations

The places we have listed above are ideal places to visit in the summer and spend your holidays. But that’s not it. Many other destinations are less populated in the peak season. Some of these locations are:

  • Stowe, Vermont
  • Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Mount Hood, Oregon 
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Other blogs on vacation spots in the US:

11 Must-Visit Cheap Places to Travel in January in the USA

Best Places to Travel Right Now In the USA

Destinations from Across the Globe

If you are bored and tired of visiting places within the USA, then we have some other underrated summer vacation ideas for you. All these destinations are in different parts of the world. So, without any further ado, let’s explore those less-travelled paths where you can enjoy your summer holidays.

Budapest, Hungary

Surprisingly, only a few tourists flock to Budapest in the summer. It is a beautiful city split by two rivers, filled with ancient buildings, buzzing nightlife, and relaxing thermal baths. 

Budapest showcases the culture and history of European cities like Prague and Paris. But during summer, the crowds are less, and you can get cheap deals on hotels and fares.

If you visit Budapest during summer, you should visit the Hungarian parliament building, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Hero Square, and St. Stephens Basilica.

To relish Hungarian delicacies, visit the Great Market Hall. It is the largest indoor market in Budapest, where people sell souvenirs and authentic Hungarian food.

Overall, it is a beautiful city you should visit to spend your summer holidays.

Why it’s underrated: As it is located in Eastern Europe, many people prefer to travel to Western Europe to spend their summer holidays.

Copenhagen, Denmark

If you want to witness magical summer light, visit Copenhagen during the summer. The days are incredibly long, which means you have more time to explore the city. 

During summer, many vibrant festivals and outdoor concerts are held. The beaches are clear and clean. Many waterfront cafes surround the harbour. There are even spots designated for swimming.

The Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park. Many musical programs and events are held here. You can also visit the colourful Nyhavn canal, which is surrounded by charming houses. Copenhagen is a city with modern and minimalistic architecture. 

If you are planning to visit, do try the Nordic cuisine, pastries, hot dogs, and the Danish staple, Smorrebrod.

To put it simply, Copenhagen has a sophisticated atmosphere. It is a perfect mix of modern cool, and old charm.

Why it’s underrated: The Scandinavian capitals Oslo and Stockholm steal the spotlight, and people often misunderstand it as an expensive city.

Blog on other destinations to visit in Europe:

11 Best Places to Travel in Europe in January 2024

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the largest Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. Those who seek an authentic Mediterranean experience should visit in the summer. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including La Pelosa, Cala Goloritze, and Cala Luna. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, white sands, and rugged natural beauty. 

Moreover, Sardinia has its own history, language, culture, and traditions shaped by influences from different civilisations and geographical locations. If you’re a pasta lover, then you should try their specialities, like culurgoines and malloreddus. You can also enjoy wine tastings there. It’s a summer paradise worth visiting.

Why it’s underrated: Although Itlay is home to some gorgeous beaches, tourists often visit the Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast, overlooking the beautiful beaches of Sardinia.

Karpathos, Greece

For those who yearn for sunny and slow summers, Karpathos is the best hideaway. Unlike other Greek cities, this place is super close to nature. You won’t find many luxurious hotels here. 

The amazing beaches of Karpathos are perfect for swimming, playing, and relaxing in the sun. Many mountains are nearby, too. You can hike on them and explore the old villages to experience their simple lives.

Plus, there are a couple of ancient ruins that demonstrate the island’s history. Like their lives, the food is simple, too. You can try out local dishes like fresh fish and different cheeses. It’s an ideal place to have a relaxing vacation.

Why it’s underrated: It is a lesser-known island of Greece. During summer, tourists visit other famous spots, like Santorini and Mykonos.

Luang Prabang, Laos

This royal capital is known for its artistic heritage and rich architecture, which showcases the fusion of Lao modern and traditional architecture. It is a small town that is built on a peninsula. 

There are many legends associated with the city. It is also the centre of the religion Buddhism. There are many natural and man-made attractions where you can spend your summer holidays.

If you plan to visit Luang Prabang, visit its historical places, including Phousi Hill, Wat Xiengthong, the UXO Lao visitor centre, the Royal Palace Museum, and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre.

If you want to try out their local cuisine, visit the night market. The grilled meats on skewers, sweet treats, spring rolls, and exotic fruits are worth trying. You can also visit the local restaurants, which serve food in banana leaves. If you want to take their delicious recipes home, then take the cooking classes given by the locals.

Why it’s underrated: When people think of visiting Southeast Asia, they prefer to visit regions like Vietnam and Thailand. Love Prabang is less well-known worldwide.

São Miguel, Azores

Show Miguel, also known as the Green Island, is one of Portugal’s most populous and largest islands. It is a welcoming and friendly city with all the attractions accessible on foot. 

There are many stunning waterfalls, lakes, and beaches where you can relax and enjoy the sun. You can also swim in the geothermal Hot Springs while watching dolphins and whales. Moreover, it is among the most popular and cheapest European summer spots.

Why it’s underrated: It is situated in the Azores, which is right in the centre of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of harsh ocean conditions, it is difficult for tourists to reach there. However, it is the best place for hiking without fighting with the crowds. 

Galway, Ireland

Every summer, Galway hosts the largest summer festival, the Galway International Arts Festival, which showcases breathtaking art and performances. You can watch the horse racing there if you are a horse lover. 

You can visit the nearby islands, including the Aran Islands, from Galway. The city itself is alive with traditional music, street performances, colorful cafes, and shops.

The people here are well-known for their hospitality. They will make you feel at home. If you plan to visit, don’t forget to try the fresh seafood.

Why it’s underrated: Dublin is the center of attraction in Ireland. Only a handful of tourists know about this beautiful destination.

Other International Locations

Wow! The summer travel destination we have listed above sounds so breathtaking. We are sure you’ll enjoy it if you visit any of them. But there are many other places where you can visit during your summer holidays, such as:

  • Kosovo
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Mauritius
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Bora Bora
  • Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • Maputo, Mozambique
  • Perth, Australia

The Key Note

We hope that after reading this blog, your search for places to go for summer vacations has ended. All of the domestic and international destinations we have listed are ideal for visiting all year round, especially during summer. If there are any other locations we missed, let us know in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best spot to spend your summers?

The answer to this question depends entirely upon your preferences. However, the following are the few places to spend your summer vacations at:

  • The Maldives
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Southeast Asia
  • Eastern Europe

2. How do you plan the best summer holidays for yourself?

Here are a few tips to follow when planning summer vacations:

  • Think about what you want
  • Plan your budget
  • Do the research work
  • Book before your trip
  • Make packing lists
  • Leave some things as a surprise

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