12 Underrated Summer Destinations In The USA
With 50 ethnically and culturally diverse states, the United States offers a plethora of choices this summer. No matter what your interests, personality, and weather preferences are, there will always be that one or more places that will fit perfectly to your much-awaited summer vacation in the USA.
If you have been regularly visiting the country’s most popular summer spots (like Grand Canyon, Cape Cod, Long Beach, Hawaii or Disneyland), and you are planning on to try something new with less hype, then you might want to discover the other states, destinations and cities that the land of the free has to offer.
Here are some awesome unsung summer destinations that you might want to include to your travel plans this summer.
1. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, the home of the Cavaliers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum, used to be “the heart of the industrial revolution” in the USA. Interestingly, it is now a city of independent craft beer breweries and passionate cyclists. With a great mixture of leisure options and attractions, you can spend your summer exploring the city’s arts and entertainment, lively nightlife, relaxing parks, and active sports shows.
2. Kennebunkport, Maine
They say this is a place to be not only during summers, but throughout the four seasons, all year. This little town in southern part of Maine, with more than 3,000 residents only, guarantees tourists a peaceful and private summer experience. They have beaches, whale watching and sailing excursions, blowing cave and spouting rocks, canoeing adventures, and you could also get the freshest lobster for dinner! This coastal town is filled with shops and restaurants as well.
3. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Upper Peninsula or commonly known as U.P. is the land “above the bridge” that links the two peninsula in the state of Michigan. It is one of Midwest’s most beautiful gems as it offers natural attractions like a jaw-dropping 1,700-mile shoreline on three Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Michigan), lush forests and mountains, which are famous for holding mountain bike races, picturesque bluffs, and all sorts of water body. Aside from its natural gifts, you can also check out the depths of its mine, the famous shipwreck, and the colonial fort.
4. Taos, New Mexico
If you are an outdoorsy person who likes to try something else aside from getting a tan at the beach, then you might want to head down south in the little town of Taos, New Mexico. Nestled on the three side of the famous Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is an adventure-filled land where you can hike the tallest mountain of New Mexico and do water rafting or paddling at the Taos box. You can also enjoy fly fishing, horseback riding, and hot air ballooning.
5. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Legions of tourists around the world usually put Grand Canyon on their vacation list every summer, but if you want to veer away from the massive crowd, then try Black Canyon. It may not be as grand as Arizona’s natural spectacle, but it has its very own beauty, which could definitely take your breath away. A paradise for adrenaline seekers, this 2,000-foot-deep canyon is great for intense rock climbing, canyoneering, and whitewater paddling.
6. Block Island, Rhode Island
Tucked away off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island can give you the sea breeze you have longed for, with fewer crowds of tourists. But the fun doesn’t end there! A summer getaway in this destination also offers you a chance to hike the trails of the lush green hills that stretch up to the towering beach bluffs. Speaking of which, the Mohegan bluffs have a historical value as it was the site of the battle of the island’s supremacy in the mid 16th mid century.
7. Tillamook County, Oregon
Nestled at the northwestern edge of the state of Oregon, Tillamook County is both geographically and topographically designed to cater a wide variety of water sports and activities that are perfect for summer. It is also called the “land of cheese, trees, and ocean breeze.” There are numerous things to do in this charming little town, such as exploring the state forest, watching whale-breaching, paddling the coast, or you can go fishing or crabbing. Trust me, it is the best place to relax.
8. Birmingham, Alabama
A city with tons of green space, Birmingham is bursting with as much city lights as its outdoor activities. Fishing is on top of its list of things-to-do, which explains why it is fondly called as “the bass fish capital of the world.” You can have an endless game of golf since it hosts the third longest golf course in the world. You can also go hiking and biking to its parks and preserves.
9. The Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
Also called as NEK, Northeast Kingdom is set grandly in the midst of the Green Mountains and the state of Connecticut. If you want to see face-to-face with nature, it has a bay area that makes a perfect spot for kayaking and paddling. Moreover, they have trails where you can also hike and bike. This quaint little kingdom is also a good low-key place to visit their film and arts as well as their good amount of restaurants. The way I see it, the serenity of this gorgeous place is perfect for a family summer retreat.
10. Chattanooga, Tennessee
As far as outdoor adventures, Chattanooga is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the country’s best kept secrets. What’s more, it is the birthplace of a lot of things, such as tow trucks, the largest operating historic railroad in the South, and more. Now, its famous attractions include the non-profit public aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium; and the 13-mile long trail along the river, Tennessee Riverwalk. Chattanooga can also offer a number of caverns, water parks, and arboretums.
11. Flagstaff, Arizona
If you want to go camping with your friends or your family this summer, Flagstaff is the place to be. This mountainous city has a reputation of being the country’s magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. Its maintained long stretches of trails with varied terrain are what most athletes as well as pro runners and hikers are attracted to. This city has, after all, been hosting several triathlon competitions as well as cross-country ski races.
12. Augustine, Florida
If you want to go somewhere with a fitting summer weather, then St. Augustine may be the one for you. It is the home of the summertime paradise, the historic landmark of Castillo de San Marcos. There also other several architectural pieces that mark the Spanish and British settlements. Their food is also a great mash-up of different cultures. Aside from its rich history, St. Augustine also boasts its beautiful white sand beaches which summer can mostly be about.
This summer, remember that there are 50 equally beautiful states with secret hidden treasures that await you. You can either try something familiar or something you’ve never done before. What are you waiting for? Pack your swimsuits, sun blocks, tents, camping gears, and plan your trip with Trekeffect now!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks
Shop for Travel Essentials
Book your flight
Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world. They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.
Don't forget travel insurance
Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.