The US is a big country, and there are plenty of places to explore. But with so much to see and do, it can be easy to overlook some great places that might be off the beaten path.
If you're looking for something new this summer, there are plenty of underrated US destinations that can provide an authentic experience without the crowds. From the beaches of Clearwater to the waterfront villages of Greenport, these seven understated US destinations offer an escape into nature, culture, and history that will leave you feeling refreshed after a long day on the road.
1. Clearwater, Florida
Clearwater is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida and boasts beautiful beaches and plenty of water activities. There are also plenty of museums and art galleries in the area to enjoy with your family or friends. If you're looking for something a little more adventurous, try parasailing or paddleboarding!
2. Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint is located in northern Idaho near Canada. It's a small but charming town that offers beautiful scenery — especially during the fall months when the leaves start turning colors! You can also enjoy hiking nearby mountains or kayaking around Lake Pend Oreille.
3. Greenport, New York
Greenport is another hidden gem located along Long Island's North Fork region. The waterfront village boasts beautiful scenery along with amazing restaurants serving up fresh seafood dishes such as clams casino and lobster rolls! There are also plenty of shops selling unique items like handmade jewelry made from recycled materials by local artists.
4. Galveston Island, Texas
Galveston Island is just an hour from Houston and makes for an easy weekend getaway from the city. It's known for its beaches, but there are plenty of other things to do here too, including shopping at The Strand Historic District, checking out Moody Gardens' aquarium and botanical gardens, or visiting Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort.
5. Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Located on Lake Michigan, this small city has a lot to offer visitors—including excellent seafood and a beautiful waterfront area. With plenty of options for families and couples looking for some peace away from the hustle and bustle of big cities like Chicago or Milwaukee (but still close enough if you need those things), Sheboygan has become one of America's most underrated vacation destinations over the last few years.
6. Grand Rapids, Michigan
This small city on the western edge of Michigan has been making waves lately with its booming craft beer scene (and it's not just because there's a brewery on every corner). If you're looking for somewhere off-the-beaten-path but still easy access to everything else Michigan has to offer, Grand Rapids might be just what your summer needs!
7. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This small town in Arkansas has an Old West vibe that feels like something straight out of a Hollywood movie set. It's home to an assortment of Victorian homes and buildings that have been beautifully restored, as well as some great restaurants and shops. The town also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the annual Ozark Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Rally (a must-see!).
Before You Leave
If you're looking to avoid the crowds and busy city life of most major tourist destinations, then these 7 underrated places might be right up your alley.
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to different spots and places to visit in each of these states. By no means do you need to confine yourself to these recommendations — this list is just a jumping-off point for your adventure planning for this summer.
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