11 Most Underrated Places to Visit in the US

Craving for a memorable getaway in the United States? In the mood for a vacation that’s free from the flocks of tourists? Forget Los Angeles, New York, and other the classic best places to visit in the US! Even with their blockbuster appeal, some of the top places to visit in the US can be a little crowded and busy, especially during their peak season. For a really memorable vacation, check out this list of the finest, underrated Places to Visit in the USA.

From New Mexico to Utah, there are so many overlooked US destinations that can give you a vacation for the ages. Eight underrated travel destinations in the USA that most travelers ignore when making their plans.

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11 Underrated Places to Visit in the US

Okay, not every state has Disneyland, but that’s a good thing. Not every vacation you plan has to be theme-park-driven. We’ve put together a list of the best-underrated destinations that have so much to see, do, and appreciate.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs
Photo by: Randy Heinitz

In its heyday, Palm Springs was the vacation spot of the Hollywood elite. Today, with its glistening white swimming pools and cocktails at the piano bar, Frank Sinatra would be right at home at places like Melvyn’s Restaurant and Lounge.

Come see Broadway-caliber productions at The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, or participate in the popular Palm Springs International Film Festival, held each January.

In Palm Springs, there’s plenty of golf to go around; fabulous boutique hotels, like The Parker Palm Springs; and thrift stores full of vintage clothing by Chanel


Ohio isn’t, normally, the first state that jumps into mind when you think of a vacation in America’s Heartland. For some people, it’s just an easygoing state where the only leisurely and exciting activity worth experiencing is cow tipping.

But, guess what? Ohio is not as unappealing and boring as you might think. From the country’s fastest roller coasters to an internationally famous rock and roll museum, there are plenty of fun and amazing things to do in Ohio.

Sedona, Arizona

sedona arizona

Want to see Arizona’s dramatic landscapes, but can’t afford a trip to the Grand Canyon? Why not visit Sedona, instead? Not only is it a more economical option than the Grand Canyon, but it’s filled with beauty at every turn as well.

Famous for its rugged reddish scenery, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard, the moment you arrive in Sedona. As an added bonus, the town is beloved for its healing energy vortexes, which, as they say, promote spiritual development. From spas and yoga retreats, the town also has a cluster of soothing experiences for worn-out travelers.

Related Read: Most Scenic Drives in the US

Burlington, Vermont

burlington vermont 8 Underrated Places to Visit in the in the USA

Beautiful year-round, Burlington is a laid-back and charming college town that should on every traveler’s bucket list. Autumn is, without a doubt, the best time to see and enjoy the breathtaking foliage of Vermont.

Visiting Burlington in summer means boating on Lake Champlain as well as experiencing a variety of water sports. And, guess what? There are tons of other fun things to do in Burlington, including hitting artsy shops and soaking up the harbor’s beauty.

Park City, Utah

Park City
Photo by: Ken Lund

Park City started as a mining town producing silver ore, but has transformed into a renowned location for lovers of the silver…screen, that is. The city’s small population of 7,500 grows by more 50,000 people each winter during the annual Sundance Film Festival.

But Park City in Utah isn’t just about movies; it is also a winter wonderland, outdoor mecca, and party central. Park City has several terrific boutiques and original restaurants attract foodies by the hundreds. Add in mild summers, a relaxed lifestyle, and star-studded winters, and you’ll see why Park City is a secret that’s about to get out.

Salt Lake City, Utah

golden hour in salt lake city, utah

There’s no shortage of fun-filled and amazing outdoor experiences in Salt Lake City, Utah. After all, it’s an extraordinary city that averages around 200 days of sunshine a year.

While SLC is well-known for its weird liquor policies and Mormon culture, there’s a world of fun that waits for you in the capital city of Utah. Whether you’re into stunning architecture or going to RV parks, and doing some outdoor activities, you’ll find something special in Salt Lake City, Utah.

San Antonio, Texas

Think San Antonio is all about the iconic Alamo? Even though the city is famed for its history and culture, there are dozens of shops, trendy restaurants, and contemporary art galleries to keep you busy in San Antonio. Of course, you can also spend a ton of hours strolling the marvelous and beguiling San Antonio Riverwalk.

Related Post: Activities to do in San Antonio, Texas

Chicago, IL

Photo by: James Cridland

Chicago is the answer that stops the argument “New York or Los Angeles?” Despite the fact that Chicago gave the world deep-dish pizza, electrified Chicago blues, and Kanye West, it somehow doesn’t get the same attention as coastal cities.

Chicago is simply underrated, which is too bad. It has so much going on. There are terrific accommodations throughout the city, like Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, PUBLIC Chicago, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, and the Drake Hotel. Check out reviews and room prices for the Drake and many others online to get a better idea of which accommodations are right for you. Chicago is the place to stay for the comfort.

It has the Midwest, laid-back quality of life with just 2.7 million residents; compare that to New York’s 8.2 million living on top of each other. Plus, Chicago is central to everything. It’s just a quick flight to New Orleans, New York, or Boston. There’s none of this bicoastal nonsense to contend with.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a bohemian hideout tucked between the Smoky National Park and Blue Ridge Mountains. Besides being considered one of the most romantic getaways in the south, it’s a place where young, ragamuffin artists continue to create without losing their bearded, mountain man, moonshine entrepreneurial spirit.

With a downtown akin to Paris with its European-style buildings, Art Deco style, and frequent coffee houses, Asheville collects the misunderstood cast-offs from Nashville and Memphis. The result is the strangest but greatest music ever. Synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog lived in Asheville, and the annual electronic music festival, Moogfest, is held in his honor.

Looking for places to retire in the USA that will make you a little smarter? Located in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is home to a string of independent bookshops and offers plenty of opportunities to learn. And, every Friday night, the city’s downtown area turns into a massive drum party, where everyone’s welcome to join the fray. To make things even better, Asheville has a handful of attractions that will make your trip even more worthwhile, such as America’s largest home – the Biltmore Estate of George W. Vanderbilt.

Also, did you know Beaufort in North Carolina is one of the best places for sailing in the United States? Read my full blog post to learn more about it

Related Read: Things to Do in North Carolina

Kansas, Missouri

sunset in kansas city

Kansas, Missouri isn’t nicknamed and billed as the city of fountains for nothing. As you explore the city, you’ll find a multitude of stunning fountains that will unleash your inner shutterbug.

As a matter of fact, some have said that Kansas, Missouri has more fountains than the famous Rome, Italy. And, like any top destination in the US, there are dozens of cool things to do in Kansas, Missouri. For instance, you may explore the American Jazz Museum and watch a baseball game featuring the Kansas City Royals.

Portland, Maine

portland oregon city lights

Besides being one of the top cities to move to in the United States, Portland tucked away in the northeast corner of the US, is usually snubbed for the more accessible and flashier New England cities, such as Boston and Providence. But, Portland, Maine is an irresistible haven of art and historical homes. In addition, it has a booming food scene and is home to an array of attractions, such as the Portland Museum of Art and Victoria Mansion.

If you’re looking for a vacation that takes you off the beaten path, consider visiting one of these underrated gems in the US. There is greatness and wonder to be had in places that don’t always get splashed across the front page.

That’s it! Did we miss anything? Just feel free to share your thoughts in your comment section below!

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Last Updated on September 1, 2023

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