15 Underrated Vacation Gems Across America


In the vast expanse of the United States, some of the most captivating vacation destinations are often overlooked. While major cities and famous landmarks draw millions of visitors yearly, numerous lesser-known locales offer equally compelling attractions. Here are 15 such vacation spots that will reignite your spark for adventure.

Ogden, Utah

Scott Catron/Wikipedia

Next to Utah’s majestic Wasatch mountain range is Ogden, a mountaineer’s paradise. In this thriving city, you’ll find hiking and biking trails of different levels, from scenic high altitudes to downhill trails. After an adventurous day, discover Ogden’s historic 25th Street, lined with boutiques, art galleries, and lively eateries serving up farm-to-table delicacies. There’s also a Treehouse Museum with an eclectic collection of toys and curiosities from around the world.

Source: Visit Ogden 

North Adams, Massachusetts


If you’re looking for a vacation spot with a highly cultural and artistic edge, North Adams is the right choice. Home to the internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, this small city features an array of thought-provoking exhibitions housed within repurposed 19th-century factory buildings. Hikers can revel in the region’s many trails, and food critics can sample local cuisine prepared with the freshest ingredients.

Source: North Adams, MA (.gov)

Talkeetna, Alaska

Frank K./Wikipedia

Outdoor explorers, pack your boots because this Alaskan town was created for you. This community is prime for flight-seeing tours over glaciers, hiking, and river rafting in the rustic wilderness. And when you grow weary of all the adventurous activities, you can cool off by visiting eclectic shops, galleries, and eateries. Many of these are housed in historic buildings that give you a glimpse of Alaska’s gold rush era.

Source: Travel Alaska

La Push, Washington


The highlight of this lush coastal community is miles of rugged beaches perfect for beachcombing, surfing, and whale watching. Wander about the forest trails to see cascading waterfalls and serene lakes, or take a guided tour and learn about the rich cultural traditions of the local tribe. Cap off your day by cozying up in a beachfront cabin and watching the sunset over the Pacific.

Source: Olympic Peninsula 

Camden, Maine

King of Hearts/Wikipedia

Coastal towns like this one capture your attention with their exquisite beauty. You might enjoy strolling along Camden’s harbor, lined with sailboats and quaint shops, or walking past nearby parks for views of the bay and surrounding islands. For a unique experience, you can tour the Camden Opera House, a beautifully restored 19th-century theater that hosts diverse live performances all year round.

Source: Tripadvisor 

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Sarah Cady/Openverse

Spread across the crystalline waters of Lake Superior are 22 islands collectively named after the Biblical Apostles. Vacationers can escape the stress of the modern world by kayaking into sea caves and camping along remote, secluded beaches. These spots are also prime locations for sightseeing the abundant wildlife.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas


You’ve seen beaches and other culturally rich locations, but how would you like to visit the Victorian era? That’s what you should expect in this town of Arkansas. With well-preserved 19th-century architecture housing, Eureka will teleport you to a period that exists only in novels and movies. Festivals like the Ozark UFO Conference or the Eureka Springs Zombie Crawl are also great ways to appreciate all the magic this town offers.

Source: National Park Service (.gov)

Bisbee, Arizona

Chad Johnson/Wikipedia

This historical location will be a particular favorite for history buffs. Bisbee is located within a former mining town that produced some of the richest minerals of the 20th century. During your tour, uncover this mining heritage at the famous Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, with many artifacts and specimens on display. Bisbee is also home to many artistic festivals, vibrant street art, and even a live theater. Your trip will also include hiking, thanks to the extensive network of trails surrounding the nearby mountains.

Source: Tripadvisor 

Leavenworth, Washington


It’s time to visit a Bavarian fairytale in the charming town of Leavenworth. This picturesque village, modeled after a traditional alpine German city, is a delight for the senses. You can take memorable photos by the colorful half-timbered buildings and flower-lined streets and taste the delectable pastries. There are also many cheerful festivities, like Oktoberfest celebrations, where you can appreciate the town’s Bavarian culture.

Source: Visit Arizona 

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Clément Bardot/Wikipedia

Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire State Park has outstanding natural beauty. The striking landscape, characterized by vibrant red sandstone formations and petrified dunes, oozes a genuinely otherworldly thrill. Wander the trail system of the park, marveling at the beautiful patterns etched into the rock by millions of years of wind and water.

Source: Leavenworth Washington 

Beaufort, South Carolina


Here’s another pristine getaway with fun activities for different tourists. Nature enthusiasts will love kayaking in the serene marshes, teeming with diverse wildlife, or exploring the beaches and coastal trails of nearby Hunting Island State Park. Also, remember to participate in the local Gullah culture by attending a traditional basket weaving workshop or savoring the flavors of regional specialties like shrimp and grits or she-crab soup.

Source: Travel Nevada

Pawhuska, Oklahoma


Pawhuska in Osage County is famous for its Native American heritage. Outdoor lovers can hike, fish, or horseback ride through the wildflower meadows, while others can stroll along quaint Main Street. You can also take a trip back in history while browsing the locally owned boutiques, bakeries, and galleries housed in the town’s historic, turn-of-the-century buildings.

Source: Tripadvisor 

Solvang, California


In Solvang, visitors get a taste of the charming towns of Scandinavia. The traditional Danish bakeries serve flaky pastries and lively festivals, such as the annual Danish Days celebration, help tourists explore the town’s Nordic heritage. Stunning Santa Ynez Valley also offers ample opportunities for wine tasting, climbing up hills, and exploring quaint towns like Los Olivos.

Source: TravelOK.com

Door County, Wisconsin

Sandra Lund/Getty

This beloved summer getaway is known for its captivating waterfront towns, miles of secluded beaches, and abundant entertainment. In Door County, you can visit lighthouses, fishing villages, and maritime museums to learn about the region’s rich naval heritage. The calm waters of the peninsula’s sheltered bays and inlets are also ideal for kayaking.

Source: Door County, Wisconsin 

Morro Bay, California


An enthralling coastal town, it has many enjoyable recreations. The star attraction is the iconic Morro Rock, a towering 581-foot volcanic monolith that dominates the skyline. Kayak around the rock to spot sea otters, seals, and a variety of seabirds. Then relish the miles of coastal trails through strolls or invigorating hikes. Also worth trying out is the town’s famous seafood, especially the locally caught and grilled sanddabs, a regional delicacy.

Source: Morro Bay

Written by Devin J