We all have travel bucket lists. Many of us have a lot of popular US destinations on our lists. Nevertheless, once you’ve hit those (or need a break from the tourist crowds), there are other exceptional places you might not know about yet. With that thought in mind, here are the top 10 underrated US travel destinations you should visit in your lifetime.
Underrated US Travel Destinations
1. Letchworth State Park, New York
Visiting the lovely Letchworth State Park in Castile is an exceptional alternative to the great Grand Canyon. Veteran visitors claim this scenic state park is truly worth being the focus of an entire vacation. While you might not have heard much about it, this picturesque place has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. If you’re into hiking, there are numerous trails you can take to explore the depths of the canyon here. If not, take a moment to simply stand on the canyon’s rim and gaze out over the wonderful waterfalls.
2. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
Looming, distinctive Devil’s Tower in Crook County off Wyoming 110 rises wondrously out of the surrounding flat wilderness here. Indeed, this natural landmark presents a sharp contrast to the brushy forest around it. The tower almost mysteriously draws visitors to it.
Luckily, the constantly curious can quench their thirst for knowledge at the park’s aptly informative information center. This was the country’s first official US national monument. It was first officially climbed in 1893. You can explore on your own or even sign on for an actual tour.
3. The Oregon Coast, Oregon
As other travel writers can confirm, California gets more than its share when we speak of the popular Pacific Coast. It is not, however, the only state with a shoreline worth visiting. The Oregon Coast is striking. See the lush, verdant forest sweeping down to the sparkling sea, separated by naught but a strip of beach if anything at all. You can visit the area’s small towns, big cities, and simply stop to see the waves thundering against the shores of the beautiful beaches along the Oregon coast.
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque sounds much more like part of a classic Bugs Bunny punchline than some dream destination, and yet the fact is that it is actually quite an interesting city to see. It is the state’s most populous city and is more importantly unique. It has its own individualistic Southwestern vibe.
Get a grasp of Southwest culture by experiencing the festivals, history, and spicy, spicy dishes of Albuquerque. Specific highlights here include the Albuquerque Biological Park, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and popular Old Town Albuquerque.
5. Death Valley National Park, California
Sure, Death Valley has been in the news once in a while for “claiming the life” of some lost tourist but bad news sells. The fact is, distinctive, underrated Death Valley National Park offers adventurous travelers exciting opportunities for outdoor getaways. Arguably hiking is the most popular athletic activity here in this park. (After all, there are almost 20 different hikes available.) Some travel journalists say that when you hit the trail here in Death Valley it makes you feel as if you’re hiking “the surface of the moon.”
6. Orcas Island, Washington
The underrated and less reported on San Juan Islands are located between the state of Washington and Vancouver. They are a great place to visit, especially on the way to British Columbia in Canada. The largest in this attractive archipelago is Orcas Island.
If you love scenic views and water sports where there are no passport requirements, this is the place to be. The area includes dense forests so you can even rent a cozy cabin and get close to each other and nature at the same time.
7. Texas Hill Country, Texas
The Texas Hill Country is where east meets west. Once you’ve had your fill of the cities, head to where Southwestern and Southern culture rules the roost. This specific geographic region actually forms the southeastern section of the well-known Edwards Plateau.
Some travel writers report that this is “a place that is truly Texas” in its community, culture, and cuisine. Here you can almost pretend you are a settler on the old frontier. Highlights include the Llano Uplift and the country’s second-biggest granite dome, Enchanted Rock.
8. Assateague Island, Maryland, and Virginia
If you’re a fan of horse stories, you might know of this place. This place extends from Maryland to Virginia and is inhabited by wild horses. It is also a great place to enjoy a truly laid-back vacation. This is a fine place to simply get some rest. However, if you want to do a bit more than just kick back and listen to the waves on the shore, you can also go hiking, birdwatching, or even explore the numerous nature trails here.
9. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Lake Superior is a favorite choice as a vacation destination for many Northerners. Luckily for you readers, few people choose to visit the Apostle Islands. Veteran visitors claim that this archipelago is “stunning.”
You can paddle to this underrated place on your own or if you are feeling less athletic, you can buy a ticket on a comfy cruise there. There’s a lot to do here including fishing, hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving. Visit during the winter months, and you can see the ice caves. The untouched coastline is reported to be “gorgeous.”
10. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Once the location of the Odawa settlement, Mackinac (pronounced–oddly enough– “Mackinaw”) Island is a popular summer stop for residents of the state of Michigan. Situated in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, it’s a resort area spanning 4.35 square miles. In 1960, the entire isle was declared a National Historic Landmark.
You can only get there by ferry as no automobiles are allowed here. Most visitors ride bicycles if they wish to tour the island. Stay at the Grand Hotel where they shot the 1980 movie Somewhere In Time. Don’t miss the local fudge either!