Underrated Summer Travel Ideas USA [52 States-2023]

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas USA [52 States-2023]


Discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path adventures with our list of underrated summer travel ideas in the USA. From secluded mountain ranges to lesser-known national parks, explore unique destinations for a memorable and crowd-free vacation.

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas USA

Here we have compiled a short guide of underrated summer travel ideas USA of every state:

ALABAMA

Alabama offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that you might enjoy. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Dauphin Island: This quiet barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for a relaxing beach getaway. You can enjoy the beautiful sandy shores, go fishing, bird watching, or explore the Estuarium, which showcases the region’s marine life.
  2. Little River Canyon National Preserve: For outdoor enthusiasts, this is a hidden gem. It’s a great spot for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the stunning views of waterfalls and canyons. There are also opportunities for kayaking and swimming in designated areas.
  3. Talladega National Forest: If you’re into camping and hiking, this forest offers a peaceful escape. The Cheaha Wilderness area has great trails and breathtaking views, particularly from Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in Alabama.
  4. Mobile: Often overshadowed by other southern cities, Mobile has a rich history and vibrant culture. Check out the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, explore the historic districts, and indulge in the local cuisine.
  5. Monte Sano State Park: This park near Huntsville offers a mix of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and picnicking. The view from the mountaintop is especially impressive, making it a perfect spot for sunset watching.
  6. Cathedral Caverns State Park: Located in Woodville, this park features one of the largest cave openings in the world. Take a guided tour to explore the stunning rock formations and underground wonders.
  7. Gulf Shores State Park: While Gulf Shores is relatively well-known, the state park is often overlooked. It offers not only a beautiful beach but also hiking trails, a fishing pier, and a golf course.
  8. Noccalula Falls Park: This park in Gadsden boasts a 90-foot waterfall and a botanical garden. It’s a serene place for a leisurely stroll and some picturesque views.
  9. Ave Maria Grotto: Located in Cullman, this unique park features miniature replicas of famous religious buildings from around the world. It’s a peaceful and contemplative place to visit.
  10. Coosa River Adventures: If you’re up for some water-based fun, consider kayaking or canoeing on the Coosa River. You’ll get a chance to explore the waterways and enjoy a different perspective of Alabama’s natural beauty.

Remember to check for any travel advisories or updates before you go, and have a fantastic time exploring the underrated summer destinations that Alabama has to offer!

Alaska

Alaska is a stunning destination with a lot to offer beyond its well-known attractions. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Alaska:

Kenai Fjords National Park: While Denali National Park gets a lot of attention, Kenai Fjords offers breathtaking coastal scenery, glaciers, and abundant marine wildlife. Take a boat tour to witness glaciers calving into the sea and spot whales, sea lions, and puffins.

Hiking in the Chugach Mountains: The Chugach State Park near Anchorage offers a variety of hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Cook Inlet. Flattop Mountain is a popular trail, but there are many more to explore.

Kayaking in Prince William Sound: Rent a kayak and explore the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. Paddle past glaciers, fjords, and quiet coves while enjoying close encounters with wildlife.

Homer’s Spit: This quirky little town is known for its artistic community and unique atmosphere. Stroll along the Homer Spit, a narrow strip of land jutting into Kachemak Bay, where you can find shops, galleries, and delicious seafood.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park: As the largest national park in the U.S., Wrangell-St. Elias is often overlooked. Explore the remote wilderness, hike to the abandoned Kennecott Mines, and enjoy stunning views of towering mountains and glaciers.

Anan Creek Bear Observatory: Visit this lesser-known spot near Wrangell to observe black and brown bears feasting on salmon as they swim upstream. It’s a fantastic wildlife viewing experience.

Talkeetna: This charming village is the gateway to Denali National Park, but it’s worth exploring in its own right. Enjoy the quirky local vibe, stunning mountain views, and consider taking a flightseeing tour over Denali.

Matanuska Glacier: This easily accessible glacier offers a chance to walk on ice without needing extensive mountaineering gear. Guided tours are available for a safe and informative experience.

Kodiak Island: Known for its incredible fishing and wildlife, Kodiak Island offers opportunities for bear viewing, kayaking, hiking, and experiencing local Alaskan culture.

Cruise the Inside Passage: While cruise tourism isn’t entirely underrated, the Inside Passage offers a different perspective of Alaska. Explore the coastal towns, fjords, and glaciers while enjoying the comforts of a cruise ship.

Remember that Alaska’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for varying conditions even in summer.

Arizona

Arizona is a fantastic destination with a lot to offer beyond the well-known attractions like the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring Arizona:

  1. Petrified Forest National Park: This unique park features colorful badlands, ancient petrified trees, and a desert landscape that’s especially stunning during the summer months.
  2. Chiricahua National Monument: Known as the “Wonderland of Rocks,” this park offers incredible rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching in a more secluded setting.
  3. Canyon de Chelly National Monument: This lesser-known gem features ancient cliff dwellings and stunning canyons. Take a guided tour to learn about the Navajo history and culture intertwined with the landscape.
  4. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this park showcases diverse desert ecosystems and is perfect for stargazing due to its designation as a Dark Sky Park.
  5. Tubac: This historic village is home to art galleries, shops, and charming adobe architecture. It’s a great place to explore local art and immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere.
  6. Bisbee: A quirky and artistic town nestled in the mountains, Bisbee offers historic architecture, galleries, and unique shops. Don’t miss the Queen Mine Tour to learn about the area’s mining history.
  7. Kartchner Caverns State Park: Explore stunning underground formations in these living caves. Guided tours provide an educational and awe-inspiring experience.
  8. Havasu Falls: A bit of a trek, but the turquoise waterfalls and natural pools in the Havasupai Indian Reservation are well worth the effort. Make sure to secure permits in advance.
  9. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park: Discover one of the world’s largest natural travertine bridges. Hiking trails provide access to various viewpoints and the bridge itself.
  10. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: Experience the unique landscape shaped by volcanic activity. You can hike around the cinder cone and learn about the area’s geology.
  11. Jerome: A former mining town turned artist haven, Jerome is located on a steep hillside. Explore its galleries, shops, and historical sites while enjoying panoramic views.
  12. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: While Lake Powell is popular, lesser-visited areas within this recreation area offer stunning red rock scenery, slot canyons, and opportunities for kayaking and hiking.

Remember to stay hydrated, wear appropriate sun protection, and be mindful of the desert environment’s fragility. These underrated summer travel ideas will provide you with a unique and memorable experience in Arizona.

Arkansas

Arkansas offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that many people might not be aware of. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Hot Springs National Park: This is the oldest national park in the United States and is known for its soothing thermal waters. You can relax in the historic bathhouses and explore the natural beauty of the area by hiking the trails and enjoying the scenic views.
  2. Ozark National Forest: If you’re into outdoor activities, the Ozark National Forest is a great destination. You can go hiking, camping, fishing, and even rock climbing. The stunning landscapes and tranquil lakes are perfect for a nature-filled getaway.
  3. Buffalo National River: This is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the contiguous United States, making it a fantastic spot for canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. The river winds through beautiful bluffs and forests, providing a unique and refreshing outdoor experience.
  4. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Located in Bentonville, this museum features an impressive collection of American art and is surrounded by beautiful grounds and walking trails. It’s a great place to appreciate art and nature simultaneously.
  5. Eureka Springs: This charming Victorian-style town is known for its unique architecture, boutique shops, and vibrant arts scene. The town’s hilly streets and historical charm make it a wonderful place to explore on foot.
  6. Mount Magazine State Park: This is the highest point in Arkansas and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. You can go hiking, hang gliding, or simply enjoy a picnic while taking in the panoramic scenery.
  7. Crater of Diamonds State Park: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your luck at diamond hunting in this state park. It’s the only diamond-producing site in the world that’s open to the public, and visitors can keep any gems they find.
  8. Greers Ferry Lake: This expansive lake is perfect for water activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. The lake’s clear waters and surrounding forests make it an idyllic spot for a summer retreat.
  9. Hiking Trails: Arkansas offers a multitude of hiking trails, from easy walks to challenging hikes. Check out trails like the Hawksbill Crag Trail, Lost Valley Trail, and Hemmed-In Hollow Trail for diverse hiking experiences.
  10. Arkansas River Valley: This area is ideal for those interested in history and culture. You can explore historic towns, visit local museums, and learn about the state’s heritage while enjoying picturesque river views.

Remember that Arkansas’s natural beauty and cultural attractions make it a hidden gem for summer travel. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, art and culture, or simply relaxing in a peaceful setting, Arkansas has something to offer that’s off the beaten path.

California

California offers a plethora of fantastic travel destinations beyond the usual popular spots. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas in California:

  1. Big Sur’s Hidden Gems: While Big Sur is known, many visitors stick to the main attractions. Explore lesser-known trails like the Tanbark Trail or Pfeiffer Falls for stunning vistas and quieter experiences.
  2. Channel Islands National Park: These islands are often overshadowed by their mainland counterparts, but they offer pristine beaches, clear waters, and unique flora and fauna. Perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking.
  3. Lassen Volcanic National Park: This hidden gem offers bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and beautiful meadows. Hiking trails take you through a variety of volcanic features.
  4. Ojai Valley: A charming and serene town known for its artistic community and beautiful landscapes. Enjoy hiking, boutique shopping, and the local farmers’ market.
  5. Mendocino Coast: This rugged coastline offers dramatic cliffs, quaint villages, and beautiful redwood forests. Explore tide pools, visit art galleries, and enjoy local seafood.
  6. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Experience a unique desert landscape with colorful wildflowers, stunning vistas, and even occasional waterfalls after a rain.
  7. Pinnacles National Park: This lesser-known park features unique rock formations, caves, and diverse wildlife. Hiking trails take you through stunning landscapes.
  8. Aptos and Seacliff State Beach: Skip the crowds of Santa Cruz and head to Aptos for a quieter beach experience. Explore the concrete ship at Seacliff State Beach.
  9. Sutter Creek: This charming Gold Rush town offers historical buildings, antique shops, and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s a great base for exploring Amador County wineries.
  10. Catalina Island: While not entirely underrated, it’s often overlooked in favor of mainland destinations. Enjoy water sports, zip-lining, hiking, and the quaint town of Avalon.
  11. Mono Lake: Located near Yosemite, Mono Lake boasts surreal tufa towers and a unique ecosystem. Explore the trails and enjoy birdwatching.
  12. Point Reyes National Seashore: Just north of San Francisco, this area offers stunning coastal landscapes, hiking trails, and the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Remember that summer can bring crowds to popular destinations, so these underrated spots could offer a more peaceful and unique experience. Always check for any travel advisories or restrictions before embarking on your journey.

Colorado

Colorado offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas that cater to various interests and preferences. Here are some unique and lesser-known options for your summer adventure in Colorado:

  1. Hot Springs Tour: Explore Colorado’s hidden gems by embarking on a hot springs tour. Locations like Strawberry Park Hot Springs near Steamboat Springs, Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway, and Penny Hot Springs near Carbondale offer a relaxing and scenic experience.
  2. Sand Dunes National Park: Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to North America’s tallest sand dunes, providing a surreal desert-like landscape amidst the Rocky Mountains. You can hike, sandboard, or simply admire the stunning scenery.
  3. Black Canyon of the Gunnison: This stunning national park boasts dramatic cliffs and a deep, narrow gorge. It’s an ideal spot for hiking, rock climbing, and enjoying breathtaking viewpoints.
  4. Crested Butte: Often referred to as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado,” Crested Butte is a charming mountain town known for its vibrant wildflower displays during the summer months. Explore the hiking and biking trails for a colorful experience.
  5. Colorado National Monument: Located near Grand Junction, this lesser-known gem offers striking red rock formations, canyons, and panoramic vistas. Hiking and scenic drives are popular activities here.
  6. Leadville and Twin Lakes: Immerse yourself in history by visiting the historic mining town of Leadville, one of the highest cities in the United States. Nearby Twin Lakes provide opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.
  7. Pagosa Springs: Experience the beauty of the San Juan Mountains while enjoying the town’s relaxing hot springs. The nearby San Juan National Forest offers hiking and outdoor adventures.
  8. Glenwood Springs: While not exactly underrated, Glenwood Springs offers a variety of attractions, including the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with cave tours, thrill rides, and stunning views of the Colorado River.
  9. Colorado’s Wine Country: The Grand Valley region around Palisade and Grand Junction is known for its wineries and vineyards. Take a wine tour, enjoy tastings, and soak in the picturesque scenery.
  10. Pueblo Riverwalk: Discover the charming Pueblo Riverwalk, a hidden gem with beautiful walkways along the Arkansas River, dotted with shops, restaurants, and art installations.
  11. High Alpine Lakes: Venture into the high country to explore alpine lakes like Ice Lake Basin near Silverton or Blue Lakes near Ridgway. The pristine waters and stunning mountain surroundings make for an unforgettable experience.
  12. Ghost Towns Exploration: Colorado has a wealth of well-preserved ghost towns that offer a glimpse into its mining history. Places like St. Elmo and Animas Forks are intriguing destinations for history enthusiasts.

Remember that Colorado’s weather can vary greatly, even during the summer, due to its elevation changes. Always be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear for changing conditions. Enjoy your underrated summer adventure in Colorado!

Connecticut

Connecticut might not always be the first place that comes to mind for summer travel, but it offers a variety of underrated and charming destinations that are perfect for a summer getaway. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas in Connecticut:

  1. Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium: Mystic is a historic maritime village that offers the chance to explore a recreated 19th-century seafaring town at Mystic Seaport. You can also visit the Mystic Aquarium to see a wide range of marine life, including beluga whales and penguins.
  2. Gillette Castle State Park: This unique state park features a medieval-style castle built by actor William Gillette. The castle and its surroundings offer stunning views of the Connecticut River, making it a great spot for picnics and hiking.
  3. Litchfield Hills: This picturesque region is known for its rolling hills, charming small towns, and outdoor activities. You can hike in White Memorial Conservation Center, enjoy the beauty of Kent Falls State Park, or explore the quaint town of Litchfield.
  4. Hammonasset Beach State Park: With its two miles of beach, Hammonasset Beach State Park is a fantastic spot for swimming, picnicking, birdwatching, and beachcombing. It’s one of the largest shoreline parks in Connecticut.
  5. Thimble Islands: Located off the coast of Branford, the Thimble Islands are a collection of small, rocky islands. You can take a boat tour to explore these unique and beautiful islands, each with its own history and character.
  6. Lake Compounce: As one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States, Lake Compounce offers a mix of thrilling rides and water attractions, making it a great destination for families and anyone seeking some summer excitement.
  7. Harkness Memorial State Park: This park boasts beautifully landscaped gardens, a historic mansion, and a lovely shoreline along Long Island Sound. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing picnic, a leisurely stroll, or even a beach day.
  8. Essex: This charming town is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, boutique shops, and art galleries. You can also take a scenic river cruise on the Connecticut River from Essex.
  9. Wineries and Vineyards: Connecticut has a burgeoning wine scene with numerous vineyards and wineries that offer tastings, tours, and beautiful views. Some popular options include Chamard Vineyards and Stonington Vineyards.
  10. Devil’s Hopyard State Park: Explore unique geological formations, including potholes and waterfalls, at Devil’s Hopyard. The park’s hiking trails lead you through a lush forested landscape, perfect for a summer hike.

Remember that Connecticut’s smaller size makes it easy to explore multiple destinations in a single trip. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, coastal beauty, or just relaxing in a quaint town, Connecticut has something to offer for an underrated and memorable summer vacation.

Delaware

Delaware might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about summer travel, but it offers some fantastic and underrated options for a memorable vacation. Here are a few underrated summer travel ideas for Delaware:

  1. Delaware Beaches: Delaware boasts some beautiful beaches along its coastline, including Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach. These beaches are less crowded compared to some of the more popular coastal destinations, making them perfect for a relaxing and peaceful beach getaway.
  2. Lewes: This charming coastal town is known for its historic charm and maritime heritage. Visit the Lewes Historical Society to learn about the town’s history, explore the shops and galleries on Second Street, and take a stroll along the scenic Lewes Beach.
  3. Delaware Bayshore Byway: Take a scenic drive along the Delaware Bayshore Byway, which offers stunning views of the bay, salt marshes, and coastal wildlife. There are several spots along the route for birdwatching, nature walks, and enjoying the serene coastal landscapes.
  4. Trap Pond State Park: Head inland to Trap Pond State Park for a unique summer experience. Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the pond’s stunning bald cypress trees and abundant wildlife. The park also offers camping, hiking trails, and picnicking areas.
  5. Nemours Estate: Explore the grandeur of the Nemours Estate, a stunning mansion and gardens built by Alfred I. du Pont. The French-inspired gardens are particularly beautiful during the summer months, making it a great place for a leisurely stroll.
  6. Delaware Wine and Ale Trail: If you’re a fan of local libations, consider following the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail. This trail takes you to various wineries, breweries, and distilleries across the state, offering tastings and a chance to discover Delaware’s beverage scene.
  7. Hiking in White Clay Creek State Park: For outdoor enthusiasts, White Clay Creek State Park offers miles of hiking trails through lush forests, rolling hills, and along the creek. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the summer weather.
  8. Fenwick Island State Park: If you’re looking for a more peaceful beach experience, Fenwick Island State Park is a lesser-known gem. The beach is less crowded, making it a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
  9. Delaware Seashore State Park: This park offers a mix of bay and ocean beaches, as well as opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and camping. The Indian River Inlet Bridge also provides a picturesque backdrop for photos.
  10. Historic New Castle: Explore the history of Delaware in the quaint town of New Castle. Walk along cobblestone streets, visit historic homes, and learn about the state’s colonial past.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Delaware offer a mix of relaxation, outdoor adventure, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring the coastline, learning about local history, or enjoying outdoor activities, Delaware has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Florida

Florida offers a wide range of summer travel opportunities beyond the typical tourist destinations. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring the Sunshine State:

  1. Crystal River: If you love wildlife, head to Crystal River for a unique experience with manatees. You can snorkel or swim with these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
  2. Cedar Key: This charming coastal town is perfect for a relaxed summer getaway. Enjoy kayaking, fishing, and exploring the local art scene while savoring fresh seafood.
  3. Anna Maria Island: For a quieter beach experience, visit this serene island with stunning white sand beaches, quaint shops, and local eateries.
  4. Weeki Wachee Springs: This state park features mermaid shows, kayaking, and clear blue springs perfect for a refreshing swim or lazy river tubing.
  5. Everglades National Park (Gulf Coast): While the Everglades are popular, the Gulf Coast entrance is often overlooked. Explore the mangroves, spot diverse bird species, and take in the unique ecosystem.
  6. St. George Island: Escape the crowds on this peaceful barrier island known for its natural beauty, uncrowded beaches, and great fishing opportunities.
  7. Tarpon Springs: Experience Greek culture in this town known for its sponge docks, delicious Greek cuisine, and relaxing boat tours.
  8. Vero Beach: Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and the opportunity to witness sea turtle nesting during the summer months.
  9. Mount Dora: A charming town with historic architecture, antique shops, and scenic boat tours on Lake Dora.
  10. Sanibel Island: Known for its seashells and wildlife refuges, Sanibel Island offers a tranquil retreat for nature enthusiasts and beachgoers.
  11. Caladesi Island State Park: Accessible by boat, this pristine island offers hiking trails, quiet beaches, and the chance to spot dolphins and seabirds.
  12. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: Explore a unique cypress swamp with a boardwalk trail that allows you to observe various bird species and other wildlife up close.

Remember to check for any travel advisories, weather updates, and local guidelines before planning your trip. These underrated destinations will give you a chance to experience a different side of Florida’s natural beauty and culture during the summer months.

Georgia

Georgia is a beautiful country with a rich history and diverse landscapes that offer plenty of underrated summer travel opportunities. Here are some ideas for your summer trip to Georgia:

  1. Svaneti Region: Located in the Caucasus Mountains, Svaneti is a hidden gem known for its stunning alpine scenery, medieval towers, and unique Svan culture. Enjoy hiking and trekking amidst breathtaking landscapes, and visit villages like Mestia and Ushguli to immerse yourself in the local traditions.
  2. Vardzia Cave Monastery: This cave complex carved into the cliffs of Erusheti Mountain is an architectural marvel. Explore the interconnected caves, tunnels, and chambers that once housed a thriving monastic community, and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  3. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park: If you’re a nature enthusiast, this national park is perfect for you. Offering a mix of forests, meadows, and alpine landscapes, the park is great for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. Don’t miss the chance to taste the famous mineral water from Borjomi.
  4. David Gareja Monastery Complex: This unique monastic complex is carved into the rocks of the semi-desert landscape in Eastern Georgia. Explore the ancient monasteries, chapels, and caves while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding rugged terrain.
  5. Lagodekhi National Park: Another excellent spot for nature lovers, this park in the Kakheti region offers a variety of ecosystems, including forests, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. You can hike to Black Rock Lake, known for its stunning blue waters, or visit the historic Machi Fortress.
  6. Martvili Canyon: Located in western Georgia, Martvili Canyon is a serene natural wonder. Take a boat tour along the emerald-green river that flows through the gorge, and marvel at the lush vegetation and unique rock formations.
  7. Vashlovani National Park: Situated in the southeastern part of Georgia, this park features unique desert landscapes, rock formations, and rare wildlife. Explore the canyons and desert terrain, and keep an eye out for various bird species.
  8. Tusheti National Park: Accessible only during the summer months due to heavy snowfall, Tusheti offers a remote and authentic experience. The highland villages, traditional stone towers, and breathtaking views make it a rewarding destination for adventurous travelers.
  9. Gonio-Apsaros Fortress: Located near Batumi, this ancient Roman fortress is rich in history and offers captivating coastal views. Explore the ruins, which date back to different periods of Georgia’s history, and enjoy the Black Sea scenery.
  10. Chateau Mukhrani Winery: If you’re a wine enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to visit this historic winery near Tbilisi. Explore the vineyards, learn about Georgian winemaking traditions, and sample a variety of exceptional wines.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Georgia are sure to provide you with unique and memorable experiences. Enjoy your trip!

Hawaii

While Hawaii is a popular summer destination, there are some underrated travel ideas that can help you experience a unique and less crowded side of the islands. Here are a few suggestions:

Molokai: This lesser-known island offers a more tranquil and authentic Hawaiian experience. Explore the stunning sea cliffs, visit the historic Kalaupapa National Historical Park, and enjoy the unspoiled nature.

Lanai: Often referred to as the “Pineapple Island,” Lanai offers a quiet and luxurious escape. Discover beautiful beaches, go snorkeling in Hulopoe Bay, and take a guided tour to learn about the island’s history.

Maui’s Upcountry: Instead of the popular beach resorts, explore Maui’s upcountry. Visit farms, lavender fields, and Haleakalā National Park. Enjoy cooler temperatures and breathtaking views.

Big Island’s Waipio Valley: Head to the Big Island and explore the lush Waipio Valley. You can hike down to the black sand beach, swim in waterfalls, and soak in the natural beauty of this hidden gem.

Kauai’s Napali Coast: While Kauai is well-known, the Napali Coast is often less crowded. Take a boat tour to witness the towering cliffs, sea caves, and stunning landscapes.

Hiking Adventures: Hawaii offers incredible hiking opportunities beyond the popular trails. Explore lesser-known paths like the Makapu’u Tom-Tom Trail on Oahu or the Awa’awapuhi Trail on Kauai for unique perspectives.

Cultural Experiences: Seek out local events and festivals that might not be widely advertised. Participating in traditional Hawaiian ceremonies, workshops, or cultural performances can provide a deeper understanding of the islands’ heritage.

Snorkeling and Diving Off the Beaten Path: While well-known spots like Hanauma Bay are popular, you can find less crowded snorkeling and diving areas with vibrant marine life, such as Molokini Crater off Maui.

Sunrise/Sunset Viewing: Opt for lesser-visited spots to watch the sunrise or sunset, like the Mauna Kea Summit on the Big Island or the Puu Pehe rock on Lanai.

Local Cuisine Exploration: Explore local eateries and food trucks to discover traditional Hawaiian dishes and fusion cuisine that might not be as commonly found in tourist areas.

Remember to respect the local culture and environment while exploring these underrated travel ideas in Hawaii. Enjoy your unique summer adventure in the Aloha State!

Idaho

Idaho offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas for those seeking unique experiences. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Sawtooth National Recreation Area: This stunning area boasts pristine alpine lakes, rugged mountains, and ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, camping, and horseback riding.
  2. Shoshone Falls: Often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is actually higher than Niagara Falls and offers breathtaking views. It’s a great spot for picnicking, hiking, and simply enjoying the natural beauty.
  3. Coeur d’Alene: This charming lakeside town is perfect for a relaxed summer getaway. Enjoy boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding on Lake Coeur d’Alene, explore the quaint downtown area, and take a stroll along the scenic Tubbs Hill Trail.
  4. Craters of the Moon National Monument: Step into an otherworldly landscape filled with lava fields, volcanic cones, and unique geological formations. Hiking the trails here feels like exploring a different planet.
  5. Hells Canyon: Venture into the deepest river gorge in North America, where you can go whitewater rafting, jet boating, or hiking. The views of the Snake River winding through the canyon are awe-inspiring.
  6. Idaho Botanical Garden: Located in Boise, this oasis offers a serene escape with themed gardens, walking paths, and educational exhibits. It’s a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.
  7. Sun Valley: Known for its world-class skiing, Sun Valley is equally appealing in the summer. Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and even take a scenic gondola ride to capture stunning views.
  8. Silverwood Theme Park: For some family-friendly fun, head to Silverwood Theme Park in northern Idaho. It features an array of roller coasters, water slides, and entertainment options.
  9. Bruneau Dunes State Park: Experience North America’s tallest single-structured sand dune, and spend the day hiking, sandboarding, or even stargazing in the park’s designated observatory.
  10. Hot Springs: Idaho is home to numerous natural hot springs, perfect for relaxation. Some popular spots include Goldbug Hot Springs, Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, and Kirkham Hot Springs.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Idaho offer a mix of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and unique attractions, making for a memorable and enjoyable vacation experience.

Illinois

Illinois has a lot to offer beyond its well-known attractions like Chicago and the Route 66. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring the state:

  1. Starved Rock State Park: Located in Utica, this park features stunning canyons and waterfalls, making it a great spot for hiking, picnicking, and photography. The park’s natural beauty is particularly enchanting during the summer months.
  2. Shawnee National Forest: In the southern part of the state, you’ll find this hidden gem filled with rugged bluffs, scenic overlooks, and unique rock formations. The Garden of the Gods area is especially popular for its breathtaking views.
  3. Galena: A charming historic town with well-preserved 19th-century architecture, Galena offers boutique shopping, art galleries, and outdoor activities like kayaking along the Galena River.
  4. Matthiessen State Park: Just a few miles from Starved Rock, this park is known for its stunning geological features, including dells, canyons, and waterfalls. It’s less crowded than Starved Rock but equally impressive.
  5. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: Explore the remains of a pre-Columbian Native American city in Collinsville. The mounds are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provide fascinating insights into the history of the region.
  6. Anderson Japanese Gardens: Located in Rockford, these gardens offer a serene escape with meticulously designed landscapes, water features, and traditional Japanese architecture.
  7. Illinois Beach State Park: If you’re a beach lover, head to this state park along Lake Michigan. It offers sandy shores, dunes, and even a designated nature preserve area.
  8. Lincoln Home National Historic Site: Get a glimpse into the life of Abraham Lincoln by visiting his former home in Springfield. The historic site includes his home and a visitor center with informative exhibits.
  9. Allerton Park and Retreat Center: This expansive estate in Monticello features stunning gardens, sculptures, and natural areas. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful retreat.
  10. Bishop Hill Historic Site: Immerse yourself in the history of Swedish immigrants at this charming village. You can explore museums, art galleries, and unique shops while enjoying the small-town ambiance.

These underrated destinations in Illinois offer a diverse range of experiences that go beyond the typical tourist spots. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures, history, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Land of Lincoln.

Indiana

Indiana might not be the most obvious summer travel destination, but it has its own unique charm and attractions. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Indiana:

  1. Indiana Dunes National Park: Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, this national park offers stunning sand dunes, beaches, and a diverse ecosystem. It’s a great spot for hiking, swimming, bird watching, and picnicking.
  2. Brown County State Park: Known as the “Little Smokies of Indiana,” this park offers picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
  3. Amish Country: Northern Indiana is home to Amish communities where you can experience a simpler way of life. Explore Amish markets, enjoy traditional Amish meals, and take scenic drives through the countryside.
  4. Wineries and Vineyards: Indiana has a burgeoning wine scene. The Indiana Uplands Wine Trail and the Indiana Wine Trail offer opportunities to visit local wineries, sample wines, and enjoy the scenic countryside.
  5. Cave Exploration: Explore the caves and underground rivers at places like Marengo Cave or Bluespring Caverns. These unique geological formations offer guided tours and a chance to escape the summer heat.
  6. Canoeing and Kayaking: Indiana is crisscrossed by many rivers and waterways, providing excellent opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. The Tippecanoe River and Sugar Creek are popular options for water adventures.
  7. Conner Prairie: An interactive history park that offers a glimpse into Indiana’s past. You can experience life in the 19th century, interact with costumed interpreters, and participate in hands-on activities.
  8. Fair Oaks Farms: This agricultural attraction offers tours that showcase modern farming practices. You can learn about dairy production, see farm animals, and even sample fresh dairy products.
  9. Indiana Landmarks: Discover historic architecture and sites throughout the state. The West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Resort are two iconic and beautifully restored landmarks.
  10. Outdoor Concerts and Festivals: Indiana hosts a variety of summer festivals, outdoor concerts, and cultural events. Check local event listings to see what’s happening during your visit.

Remember that while planning your trip, it’s a good idea to check the current status of attractions, events, and any travel advisories that might be in place. Indiana’s underrated gems can offer a unique and memorable summer travel experience!

IOWA

Iowa might not be the first place that comes to mind for summer travel, but it has its own unique charm and plenty of underrated attractions to offer. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Iowa:

  1. Effigy Mounds National Monument: Explore the ancient Native American mounds shaped like animals and birds, located in a serene natural setting along the Mississippi River. It’s a great spot for hiking and learning about the region’s history.
  2. Maquoketa Caves State Park: Discover a hidden underground world by exploring the caves and caverns in this state park. Guided tours are available, offering a thrilling adventure for all ages.
  3. Field of Dreams Movie Site: If you’re a fan of the movie “Field of Dreams,” you can visit the actual baseball field where the film was shot. It’s a nostalgic and picturesque location for baseball enthusiasts and movie buffs.
  4. Amana Colonies: Step back in time by visiting the Amana Colonies, a group of historic German villages. Enjoy unique shops, traditional cuisine, and learn about the communal way of life that shaped the area.
  5. Pikes Peak State Park: This park offers stunning panoramic views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding valleys. Hiking trails and overlooks provide excellent opportunities for capturing the beauty of the region.
  6. Iowa Great Lakes: Explore the chain of lakes in the northwest part of the state. The area offers boating, fishing, and other water activities, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing summer getaway.
  7. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site: Learn about the life of the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, by visiting his birthplace and museum. The site offers insights into his early years and his impact on American history.
  8. Grotto of the Redemption: Marvel at a complex of nine grottos that depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, constructed entirely from precious stones, minerals, and fossils. It’s a unique and artistic site worth exploring.
  9. Bridges of Madison County: Fans of literature and romance can explore the iconic covered bridges featured in Robert James Waller’s novel “The Bridges of Madison County.” The bridges and surrounding countryside make for a charming and peaceful visit.
  10. Iowa State Fair: While not entirely underrated, the Iowa State Fair is a must-mention for a true Iowa summer experience. Enjoy a variety of food, entertainment, livestock exhibits, and fun rides.

Remember that Iowa’s charm lies in its serene landscapes, historical sites, and unique attractions. It may not be the most widely known summer destination, but it has plenty to offer for those who seek a more off-the-beaten-path travel experience.

Kansas

Kansas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of summer travel, but it offers a variety of underrated and unique experiences for those looking to explore something different. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Kansas:

  1. Flint Hills Scenic Byway: Take a drive along the Flint Hills Scenic Byway to witness the breathtaking beauty of rolling hills covered in tallgrass prairie. The landscape becomes especially vibrant during the summer months.
  2. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve: Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Guided tours and hikes allow you to learn about the ecosystem and its significance.
  3. Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway: This drive offers stunning views of the Gypsum Hills, also known as the Red Hills, with their unique red rock formations and diverse flora and fauna.
  4. Exploration Place (Wichita): If you’re traveling with family, don’t miss Exploration Place, an interactive science museum with exhibits that engage both kids and adults.
  5. Kansas River Trail: Enjoy a leisurely kayak or canoe trip along the Kansas River Trail, passing through serene landscapes and even historical sites.
  6. Konza Prairie: This research area and nature preserve offers hiking trails that lead you through beautiful landscapes, showcasing the beauty of the Flint Hills.
  7. Dodge City: Experience the Old West in Dodge City. You can explore historical sites, museums, and even catch a reenactment of the Wild West era.
  8. Symphony in the Flint Hills: If you’re visiting in June, consider attending the Symphony in the Flint Hills, an annual outdoor concert set against the stunning backdrop of the prairie.
  9. Prairie Museum of Art and History: Located in Colby, this museum offers a unique blend of art and history, showcasing the heritage of the region.
  10. Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center: For space enthusiasts, the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson is a hidden gem with an impressive collection of space artifacts and exhibits.
  11. Monument Rocks: These chalk formations, also known as the Chalk Pyramids, are a geological wonder that offers a unique and stunning sight, particularly during sunset.
  12. Oz Museum (Wamego): Delve into the world of “The Wizard of Oz” at this museum, which houses a vast collection of memorabilia related to the classic story.

Remember, while Kansas might not be as widely known for summer travel, it has its own charm and unique offerings that can make for a memorable and underrated vacation experience.

Kentucky

Kentucky offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that you might find interesting. Here are a few:

  1. Horse Farm Tours: Kentucky is known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” and taking a horse farm tour is a unique experience. You can visit some of the most beautiful thoroughbred horse farms in the country, learn about the breeding and training process, and even get up close to these magnificent animals.
  2. Cave Exploration: Explore the underground wonders of Kentucky by visiting Mammoth Cave National Park. It’s the world’s longest cave system, offering guided tours through its awe-inspiring chambers and passageways.
  3. Bourbon Trail: Kentucky is famous for its bourbon, and the Bourbon Trail takes you through some of the state’s most renowned distilleries. You can learn about the bourbon-making process, enjoy tastings, and experience the rich history of this iconic American spirit.
  4. Red River Gorge: This natural area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It features stunning rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for rock climbing and camping. The views from places like Natural Bridge are breathtaking.
  5. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: Immerse yourself in history at this beautifully preserved Shaker community. You can take guided tours, experience workshops, and enjoy traditional Shaker cuisine.
  6. Kentucky Lake and Land Between the Lakes: Enjoy water activities like boating, fishing, and swimming at Kentucky Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in the U.S. Nearby, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area offers even more outdoor recreation opportunities.
  7. Rivers and Lakes: Kentucky offers a wealth of water-based activities, including canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. The Cumberland River and Green River are popular choices for water adventures.
  8. Big South Fork Scenic Railway: Take a journey through scenic landscapes on a historic steam locomotive. This family-friendly attraction offers a relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
  9. Art and Music Festivals: Check out local art and music festivals happening throughout the summer in cities like Louisville and Lexington. These events showcase the vibrant cultural scene of Kentucky.
  10. Historical Sites: Explore historical sites like the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville to learn about the state’s important role in American history.

Remember that Kentucky’s beauty extends beyond its more well-known attractions. Exploring these underrated summer travel ideas can provide you with a unique and enriching experience in the heart of the Bluegrass State.

Louisiana

Louisiana is a diverse and vibrant state with plenty of underrated summer travel ideas. Here are some unique suggestions to consider:

  1. Cajun Country Adventures: Explore the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun culture in towns like Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, and St. Martinville. Enjoy live Zydeco music, indulge in traditional Cajun cuisine, and take swamp tours to spot alligators and other wildlife.
  2. Toledo Bend Reservoir: For a serene lakeside getaway, visit Toledo Bend Reservoir. It’s perfect for fishing, boating, and water sports. You can rent a cabin or camp by the water for a tranquil escape.
  3. Louisiana’s Waterfalls: While Louisiana might not be known for waterfalls, the Tunica Hills region offers picturesque cascades and hiking trails. Check out places like Clark Creek Natural Area for a refreshing outdoor experience.
  4. Rural Plantation Tours: Skip the crowded tourist spots and opt for lesser-known plantation tours. Destrehan Plantation and Laura Plantation offer in-depth insights into Louisiana’s history and culture.
  5. Atchafalaya Basin: Discover the largest swamp in the United States, the Atchafalaya Basin. Take a boat tour to see cypress trees, wildlife, and even floating cabins. Birdwatching and fishing are also popular activities.
  6. Grand Isle: This barrier island offers beautiful beaches, excellent fishing opportunities, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great spot for beachcombing, birding, and enjoying fresh seafood.
  7. Natchitoches: Explore the charming town of Natchitoches, known for its historic architecture and the Cane River. Take a stroll along the riverfront, enjoy local shops, and savor delicious meat pies.
  8. Creole Nature Trail: Head southwest to experience the Creole Nature Trail, a scenic byway that takes you through diverse ecosystems like marshes, beaches, and prairies. Don’t forget your binoculars for bird watching!
  9. St. Francisville: This small town is home to beautiful antebellum homes, charming bed and breakfasts, and the historic Rosedown Plantation. Enjoy a slow-paced exploration of Southern elegance.
  10. Louisiana State Arboretum: If you’re a nature enthusiast, visit the Louisiana State Arboretum. Located in Chicot State Park, it offers miles of trails through forests and wetlands, perfect for hiking and birding.

Remember, these underrated summer travel ideas offer a unique perspective on Louisiana that goes beyond the usual tourist spots. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant state.

Maine

Maine offers a wealth of underrated summer travel ideas that are perfect for a memorable vacation. Here are a few lesser-known options:

  1. Exploring Coastal Villages: While many visitors head to the popular coastal towns, consider exploring lesser-known fishing villages like Stonington, Cutler, or Corea. These charming communities provide a quieter and more authentic coastal experience.
  2. Camping on Isle au Haut: Escape the crowds and camp on Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park. It offers beautiful trails, stunning ocean views, and a chance to disconnect from the world while enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
  3. Kayaking on Moosehead Lake: Venture to Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in New England. Rent a kayak and paddle around its peaceful waters while taking in the surrounding mountain scenery.
  4. Discovering Hidden Beaches: Seek out hidden beaches along the coast, such as Reid State Park’s quieter pockets of sand or Popham Beach’s lesser-visited areas. These spots offer tranquility and picturesque landscapes.
  5. Lighthouse Tours: Instead of just visiting the famous Portland Head Light, consider taking a lighthouse tour to explore some of Maine’s lesser-known coastal beacons, each with its own unique history and charm.
  6. Hiking in Baxter State Park: While many people focus on Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park offers a quieter and more rugged hiking experience. The challenging trails lead to rewarding vistas, including the stunning summit of Katahdin.
  7. Visit Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Bridge: This historic fort and its neighboring observation tower offer panoramic views of the Penobscot River. It’s a unique spot to learn about local history and enjoy the scenery.
  8. Winery and Brewery Tours: Maine has a growing wine and craft beer scene. Explore vineyards and breweries in areas like the Midcoast region, where you can enjoy tastings and learn about the local craft.
  9. Backroad Scenic Drives: Take the road less traveled by embarking on a scenic drive through Maine’s picturesque countryside. The rolling hills, farmland, and quaint towns offer a relaxing and authentic experience.
  10. Nature Reserves and Wildlife Watching: Seek out lesser-known nature reserves and wildlife areas, such as Scarborough Marsh, where you can enjoy birdwatching, kayaking, and spotting local wildlife in their natural habitats.

Remember, one of the joys of travel is discovering hidden gems that others might overlook. Maine’s underrated summer travel ideas offer a chance to escape the crowds and experience the state’s natural beauty and unique culture in a more intimate way.

Maryland

Maryland offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that are worth exploring. Here are a few options:

  1. Assateague Island National Seashore: This barrier island along the coast offers beautiful beaches and a unique experience of seeing wild horses roaming freely. You can camp, swim, kayak, and even go bird watching in this pristine natural setting.
  2. St. Michaels: A charming town located on the Chesapeake Bay, St. Michaels is known for its historic district, boutique shops, and waterfront dining. You can also visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum to learn about the area’s maritime heritage.
  3. Catoctin Mountain Park: This lesser-known gem is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore hiking trails that lead to stunning vistas, waterfalls, and lush forests. The park is also home to the presidential retreat, Camp David, although it’s not open to the public.
  4. Elk Neck State Park: Situated at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, this park offers hiking trails, swimming areas, and breathtaking views of the bay and Turkey Point Lighthouse. Camping options are available, making it a great spot for a weekend getaway.
  5. Havre de Grace: Located at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, this town boasts a historic downtown area, a maritime museum, and the famous Concord Point Lighthouse. Take a stroll along the promenade for scenic views.
  6. Deep Creek Lake: This is the largest inland body of water in Maryland, offering a range of activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and even ziplining. The surrounding area provides opportunities for golfing and exploring state parks.
  7. Smith Island: Accessible by ferry, Smith Island offers a glimpse into the unique culture and history of the Chesapeake Bay region. Known for its crab cakes and serene atmosphere, it’s a great place to experience a slower pace of life.
  8. Calvert Cliffs State Park: This park features a sandy beach along the Chesapeake Bay and provides access to impressive fossil hunting opportunities. The cliffs are rich in fossils dating back millions of years.
  9. Solomons Island: Situated where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, Solomons Island offers maritime heritage, museums, and a relaxing atmosphere. Explore the Calvert Marine Museum and enjoy waterside dining.
  10. Rocky Gap State Park: Nestled in the mountains, this park offers a lake with swimming, fishing, and boating activities. You can also try your luck at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort, which is located nearby.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Maryland provide a diverse range of experiences, from coastal adventures to mountain escapes, all waiting for you to discover and enjoy.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a fantastic destination with a lot to offer, beyond the usual tourist spots. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring the state:

  1. Cape Ann: While Cape Cod gets a lot of attention, Cape Ann is a hidden gem. Visit the charming towns of Gloucester and Rockport. Enjoy picturesque beaches, art galleries, and fresh seafood.
  2. The Berkshires: Known for its cultural scene, the Berkshires offer music festivals, art exhibitions, and outdoor performances. The area is also great for hiking, with trails like the Appalachian Trail passing through.
  3. Nantucket’s Neighbor, Martha’s Vineyard: While Nantucket is often popular, Martha’s Vineyard is sometimes overlooked. With beautiful beaches, biking trails, and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s a perfect summer escape.
  4. The Quabbin Reservoir: A massive reservoir surrounded by lush forests, it’s a peaceful spot for hiking, fishing, and enjoying nature. The visitor center offers insights into the history of the reservoir.
  5. Historic Salem: Often associated with Halloween, Salem has a rich maritime history and beautiful historic architecture. Explore maritime museums, walk along the waterfront, and visit the Peabody Essex Museum.
  6. Plymouth and the South Shore: Beyond the iconic Plymouth Rock, explore the charming coastal towns along the South Shore. Enjoy sandy beaches, lighthouses, and fresh seafood.
  7. Mohawk Trail: Take a scenic drive along the Mohawk Trail, showcasing the beauty of the Western Massachusetts region. Explore hiking trails, waterfalls, and quaint villages along the way.
  8. Whale Watching in New Bedford: New Bedford offers great whale watching tours. Learn about the city’s history as the world’s whaling capital and witness majestic marine life up close.
  9. Provincetown’s Art Scene: Provincetown is famous for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, but it’s also an artist’s haven. Explore galleries, art studios, and attend workshops to unleash your creativity.
  10. Great Barrington: This charming town in the Berkshires boasts a lively arts and culture scene, unique shops, and a variety of dining options.

Remember, the best travel experiences often come from venturing off the beaten path. Exploring these underrated destinations in Massachusetts can provide you with a deeper and more authentic experience of the state.

Michigan

Michigan offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas that often don’t receive as much attention as they deserve. Here are some great options to consider:

  1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: This stunning area along Lake Michigan boasts towering sand dunes, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views. Visitors can hike, swim, and even try sandboarding down the dunes.
  2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Located along Lake Superior, this park features colorful sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and clear blue waters. Take a boat tour to fully appreciate the beauty of the shoreline.
  3. Mackinac Island: Step back in time on this car-free island in Lake Huron. Explore historic architecture, rent bicycles or horses to tour the island, and indulge in the famous fudge.
  4. Tahquamenon Falls State Park: Home to one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, this park offers hiking trails, canoeing, and kayaking opportunities.
  5. Isle Royale National Park: For a more remote experience, consider visiting this wilderness island in Lake Superior. It’s a paradise for backpacking, kayaking, and wildlife watching.
  6. Traverse City: Known as the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City offers beautiful beaches, wineries, and outdoor activities. The Sleeping Bear Dunes are nearby as well.
  7. Ludington State Park: With its sandy beaches, hiking trails, and inland lakes, Ludington is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Don’t miss the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
  8. Frankenmuth: Experience a taste of Bavaria in this charming town known for its German heritage. Enjoy authentic cuisine, boutique shopping, and seasonal festivals.
  9. Silver Lake Sand Dunes: This area is ideal for off-roading and dune buggy adventures. It’s a unique and exhilarating way to experience Michigan’s sand dunes.
  10. Charlevoix: A picturesque waterfront town with a distinctive mushroom-like stone tower, beautiful beaches, and unique boutiques.
  11. Holland: Famous for its Dutch heritage, Holland hosts an annual Tulip Time Festival. Stroll through the tulip gardens, explore Windmill Island, and enjoy the lakefront.
  12. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park: Located in the Upper Peninsula, this park offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and stunning views of Lake Superior.
  13. Alpena: Discover shipwrecks in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, visit historic lighthouses, and explore the charming downtown area.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Michigan showcase the state’s diverse landscapes, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re into nature, history, or simply relaxing by the water, Michigan has something to offer for every traveler.

Minnesota

Minnesota offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that are worth exploring. Here are a few lesser-known options:

  1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: If you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, consider exploring the Boundary Waters. It’s a vast wilderness area with interconnected lakes and waterways, perfect for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and camping. The serene beauty of the lakes and forests makes it a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts.
  2. North Shore Scenic Drive: Take a road trip along the North Shore of Lake Superior. This picturesque drive offers stunning views of the largest freshwater lake in the world, with opportunities to stop at charming towns, waterfalls, and state parks along the way.
  3. Voyageurs National Park: Another lesser-known national park in Minnesota, Voyageurs offers a unique experience with its interconnected water-based routes. Explore the park by canoe, kayak, or boat, and enjoy the serene landscapes, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife.
  4. Apostle Islands Sea Caves: While the Apostle Islands are more famous in Wisconsin, they’re still accessible from the Minnesota side of Lake Superior. In summer, you can kayak through sea caves and explore the unique rock formations and cliffs.
  5. Pipestone National Monument: Discover the Native American cultural significance of this site where red pipestone is quarried for ceremonial pipes. Take a guided tour, learn about the traditions, and witness the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  6. Tettegouche State Park: While many visitors head to Gooseberry Falls State Park, Tettegouche offers a quieter experience with beautiful hiking trails, including access to the stunning Palisade Head overlook, which provides breathtaking views of Lake Superior.
  7. Jeffers Petroglyphs: Explore ancient history at the Jeffers Petroglyphs site, where you can view over 2,000 American Indian carvings on stone. It’s a unique way to connect with the cultural heritage of the region.
  8. Lanesboro: If you’re interested in a tranquil small-town experience, visit Lanesboro. This charming town is known for its art galleries, bed-and-breakfasts, and the Root River State Trail, perfect for biking and relaxing outdoor activities.
  9. Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Delve deep into Minnesota’s mining history by taking an underground tour of this former iron ore mine. The park offers guided tours that take you through the fascinating history and geology of the area.
  10. Scenic Byway 38: This lesser-traveled route takes you through the heart of Minnesota’s north woods, showcasing beautiful landscapes, small towns, and opportunities for fishing, camping, and wildlife spotting.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Minnesota offer a diverse range of experiences, from outdoor adventures to cultural exploration. Whether you’re into nature, history, or simply taking the road less traveled, you’re sure to find something unique and memorable in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Mississippi

Mississippi offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that provide unique experiences. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Riverboat Cruises on the Mississippi River: Explore the iconic Mississippi River on a riverboat cruise. You can enjoy the scenic beauty, learn about the history of the region, and even indulge in some live entertainment on board.
  2. Tupelo: Visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo. Explore the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park, where you can see the humble two-room house where he was born, and learn about his early life.
  3. Vicksburg National Military Park: Dive into history at the Vicksburg National Military Park, commemorating the pivotal Civil War Battle of Vicksburg. Explore the historic battlefield, monuments, and learn about the significance of this battle.
  4. Natchez Trace Parkway: Drive or bike along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, a historic route that stretches from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Enjoy picturesque views, hiking trails, and historic landmarks along the way.
  5. Gulf Islands National Seashore: Experience the beauty of the Gulf Coast at the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Relax on pristine beaches, go swimming, kayaking, or even birdwatching in this natural paradise.
  6. Mississippi Delta Culinary Tour: Embark on a culinary adventure through the Mississippi Delta. Indulge in delicious soul food, explore local farmers’ markets, and enjoy the unique flavors that this region has to offer.
  7. Cat Island: Take a boat trip to Cat Island, a secluded barrier island off the coast of Mississippi. It’s a great spot for beachcombing, birdwatching, and getting away from the hustle and bustle.
  8. Tishomingo State Park: Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and canoeing at Tishomingo State Park. Explore the unique rock formations and lush landscapes of this hidden gem.
  9. Delta Blues Trail: Follow the Mississippi Blues Trail and discover the roots of this influential music genre. Visit historic landmarks, museums, and live music venues to immerse yourself in the history of the blues.
  10. Oxford: Explore the charming town of Oxford, home to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Walk through the historic downtown, visit Rowan Oak (William Faulkner’s home), and experience the vibrant arts and culture scene.

Remember that these are just a few underrated summer travel ideas in Mississippi. The state offers a rich blend of history, culture, nature, and entertainment that is worth exploring and enjoying.

Missouri

Missouri offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that you might want to consider:

  1. Mark Twain National Forest: This sprawling forest offers endless outdoor adventures, including hiking, camping, and fishing. With its scenic trails, beautiful waterways, and diverse wildlife, it’s a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.
  2. Elephant Rocks State Park: Known for its unique rock formations, this park is a great place for hiking and exploring. The giant pink granite boulders are a sight to behold and offer an interesting backdrop for photography.
  3. Meramec Caverns: Explore the stunning underground world of Meramec Caverns, with guided tours that showcase impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other geological formations. It’s a cool escape from the summer heat.
  4. Lake of the Ozarks: This large reservoir offers a plethora of water-based activities, from boating and fishing to swimming and jet skiing. There are also lakeside resorts and restaurants, making it a great spot for a relaxing summer getaway.
  5. Hermann: This charming town is known for its wineries and historic German heritage. You can enjoy wine tasting, stroll through the picturesque streets, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.
  6. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park: A natural waterpark formed by the East Fork of the Black River, where you can swim, slide over smooth rock formations, and relax by the water. It’s a unique and refreshing summer experience.
  7. Route 66: Drive along a section of the iconic Route 66 that runs through Missouri. You’ll discover quirky roadside attractions, classic diners, and a nostalgic glimpse into America’s past.
  8. Castlewood State Park: Offering hiking trails and scenic overlooks, this park is perfect for those seeking outdoor adventure. The views of the Meramec River and the surrounding hills are especially beautiful during the summer months.
  9. Powell Gardens: These botanical gardens showcase a wide range of plants, flowers, and themed gardens. It’s a peaceful place to explore and take in the natural beauty of the area.
  10. St. Genevieve: This historic town features well-preserved colonial architecture and a vibrant arts scene. Walking through its streets feels like stepping back in time.

These are just a few underrated summer travel ideas in Missouri. The state has much more to offer than meets the eye, making it a fantastic destination for those looking to explore off the beaten path.

Montana

Montana offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas for those seeking unique and breathtaking experiences. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Glacier National Park’s East Side: While the west side of the park is more popular, the east side offers stunning landscapes, fewer crowds, and excellent hiking opportunities. Check out Two Medicine and Many Glacier areas for scenic trails and serene lakes.
  2. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: This lesser-known gem spans the Montana-Wyoming border and features a stunning canyon, a large reservoir, and diverse wildlife. Activities include boating, fishing, hiking, and even visiting historical sites like the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.
  3. Hot Springs Soaking: Montana is home to several natural hot springs, which are especially enjoyable in the cooler evenings. Places like Chico Hot Springs, Quinn’s Hot Springs, and Symes Hot Springs offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
  4. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park: Explore an underground wonderland of limestone formations and caverns. Guided tours take you through these fascinating geological features, making it a unique adventure for the whole family.
  5. Garnet Ghost Town: Step back in time at Garnet, a well-preserved ghost town from the late 1800s. Wander through old buildings, learn about the town’s history, and experience a piece of Montana’s mining past.
  6. Missouri River Breaks: This rugged area along the Missouri River offers fantastic opportunities for camping, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The landscapes are diverse and include badlands, cliffs, and grasslands.
  7. Makoshika State Park: Located in eastern Montana, this park boasts unique badlands formations and dinosaur fossils. Hiking trails allow you to explore these otherworldly landscapes while learning about the region’s prehistoric past.
  8. Flathead Lake Islands: While Flathead Lake itself is known, its islands are often overlooked. Take a ferry to Wild Horse Island State Park, where you can hike, spot wildlife, and enjoy stunning lake views.
  9. Montana Dinosaur Trail: If you’re interested in paleontology, Montana offers several sites where you can explore dinosaur fossils and learn about prehistoric life. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is a highlight.
  10. Charter Fishing on Flathead Lake: Experience the joy of fishing on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States. Charter a fishing boat to catch a variety of fish while taking in the picturesque surroundings.

Remember, Montana’s charm lies in its rugged beauty and natural wonders. These underrated summer travel ideas will help you explore a side of Montana that’s often overshadowed by its more famous attractions.

Nebraska

Nebraska might not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a summer getaway, but it has its own unique charm and attractions to offer. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Nebraska:

  1. Sandhills Region: Explore the stunning Sandhills, a vast area of rolling sand dunes that create a beautiful and unique landscape. You can go hiking, horseback riding, or even sandboarding in this picturesque region.
  2. Platte River Valley: Visit the Platte River Valley during the sandhill crane migration season (late February to early April) to witness a breathtaking natural phenomenon as thousands of cranes gather along the river.
  3. Chimney Rock: This iconic landmark is a remnant of the Oregon Trail era. It’s a great spot for history enthusiasts and offers fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding prairie.
  4. Toadstool Geologic Park: Discover otherworldly rock formations and badlands that are reminiscent of a Martian landscape. It’s an excellent destination for hiking and photography.
  5. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium: While not necessarily underrated, this zoo is worth a mention due to its world-class exhibits, including the Desert Dome, the largest indoor desert in the world.
  6. Valentine National Wildlife Refuge: Perfect for nature lovers, this refuge offers hiking, birdwatching, and a chance to immerse yourself in Nebraska’s natural beauty.
  7. Carhenge: A quirky attraction that replicates Stonehenge using vintage cars. It’s an unusual yet intriguing sight to see.
  8. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument: Explore ancient mammal fossils and learn about the history of the region’s prehistoric inhabitants.
  9. Pawnee National Grassland: If you’re a fan of stargazing, this grassland area provides minimal light pollution, making it an ideal spot for observing the night sky.
  10. Niobrara State Park: This park offers scenic views of the Niobrara River and opportunities for kayaking, tubing, and camping.
  11. Fort Robinson State Park: Dive into Nebraska’s history at this former military outpost turned park. Enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and learning about the area’s past.
  12. Scotts Bluff National Monument: Another historic site along the Oregon Trail, Scotts Bluff offers hiking trails and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Nebraska are just the beginning of what this diverse state has to offer. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or quirky attractions, Nebraska has something for everyone to enjoy during the summer months.

Nevada

Nevada offers more than just the glitz of Las Vegas. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring Nevada:

  1. Great Basin National Park: Located in eastern Nevada, this national park offers stunning landscapes, including the impressive Lehman Caves and the ancient Bristlecone Pine trees. The high elevation provides relief from the summer heat, making it a great destination for hiking and stargazing.
  2. Lake Tahoe: While Lake Tahoe straddles the border between California and Nevada, the Nevada side offers a quieter and less crowded experience. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and various water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating.
  3. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Just a short drive from Las Vegas, this area boasts vibrant red rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for rock climbing. The Visitor Center provides information about the unique desert ecosystem.
  4. Valley of Fire State Park: Nevada’s oldest state park features stunning red sandstone formations that seem to glow in the sunlight. Hiking trails wind through the rugged terrain, and the park’s petroglyphs offer a glimpse into ancient history.
  5. Ely: This charming town in eastern Nevada is home to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, where you can take a historic train ride. Ely also offers opportunities for outdoor recreation like fishing, hiking, and exploring the nearby Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park.
  6. Reno: Often overshadowed by Las Vegas, Reno has a unique charm with its arts scene, vibrant Riverwalk District, and proximity to the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains. You can also try your luck in the casinos or attend one of the city’s many festivals and events.
  7. Black Rock Desert: While most famous for hosting Burning Man, the Black Rock Desert offers a unique and remote desert experience even when the festival isn’t happening. The vast playa is ideal for stargazing and photography.
  8. Ghost Towns: Nevada is dotted with abandoned mining towns that offer a glimpse into the state’s history. Places like Rhyolite, Goldfield, and Belmont are intriguing destinations for those interested in the Old West.
  9. Ruby Mountains: Located near Elko, the Ruby Mountains offer a refreshing escape with alpine lakes, wildflower-filled meadows, and numerous hiking trails. You can also explore Lamoille Canyon, often referred to as the “Yosemite of Nevada.”
  10. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park: Situated in the Mojave Desert near Red Rock Canyon, this historic ranch offers guided tours of its historic buildings, picnic areas, and hiking trails. It’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.

Remember to stay hydrated and take necessary precautions when exploring Nevada’s outdoor destinations, as the desert climate can be harsh during the summer months. Enjoy your underrated summer adventure in Nevada!

New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas for those seeking a unique and memorable vacation experience. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Mount Monadnock Hike: Embark on a hike up Mount Monadnock, one of the most climbed mountains in the world. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and is a great destination for both experienced hikers and beginners.
  2. Squam Lake Exploration: Visit Squam Lake, a serene and less crowded alternative to some of the more popular lakes in the region. You can take a boat tour to explore the lake’s islands, enjoy fishing, or simply relax by its tranquil shores.
  3. Franconia Notch State Park: This park features breathtaking natural wonders, including the Flume Gorge and the Basin. Hike along the trails, explore waterfalls, and take in the beauty of the White Mountains.
  4. Castle in the Clouds: Discover the Castle in the Clouds, an early 20th-century mansion with stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Take a guided tour of the mansion, enjoy horseback riding, and revel in the scenic views from this mountaintop estate.
  5. Seacoast Adventures: New Hampshire’s seacoast is often overlooked, but it offers charming towns like Portsmouth and Hampton Beach. Enjoy fresh seafood, walk along the historic streets, and relax on the sandy shores.
  6. Kancamagus Highway Drive: Experience the breathtaking beauty of the White Mountains by driving along the scenic Kancamagus Highway. Stop at various viewpoints, go for short hikes, and immerse yourself in the natural splendor.
  7. Harrisville: Visit the picturesque village of Harrisville, known for its historic mill buildings and tranquil lake. You can explore art galleries, enjoy water activities, and appreciate the quaint New England charm.
  8. Lost River Gorge: Explore the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves, a fascinating network of caves, waterfalls, and geological formations. Take a guided tour through this natural wonder and learn about its unique history.
  9. Mount Washington Auto Road: For a memorable adventure, drive or take a guided tour up the Mount Washington Auto Road. The breathtaking views from the summit are unparalleled, offering a true sense of accomplishment.
  10. Rail Trails: New Hampshire boasts several rail trails converted into recreational paths for biking, walking, and more. The Northern Rail Trail and the Rockingham Rail Trail provide a scenic way to explore the state’s landscapes.

Remember to check local guidelines and any travel restrictions before embarking on your journey. New Hampshire’s underrated summer travel ideas promise an authentic and less crowded experience for those seeking something off the beaten path.

New Jersey

New Jersey offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that you might not have considered. Here are a few:

  1. Delightful Beach Towns: While many people know about the popular Jersey Shore, there are several lesser-known beach towns worth exploring. Check out towns like Ocean Grove, Spring Lake, and Cape May for their charming boardwalks, beautiful beaches, and Victorian architecture.
  2. Delicious Food Tours: New Jersey is known for its diverse culinary scene. Consider going on a food tour in cities like Hoboken or Jersey City, where you can sample a wide range of delicious cuisines, from Italian to Indian to Latin American.
  3. Nature Retreats: Explore the natural beauty of the state by visiting places like the Pine Barrens, a unique forested area with rare plants and wildlife. You can also enjoy hiking and kayaking in places like the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
  4. Wineries and Breweries: New Jersey has a growing wine and craft beer industry. Take a wine tour in regions like the Outer Coastal Plain or explore the breweries in areas like Asbury Park and Atlantic City.
  5. Historical Sites: Discover New Jersey’s rich history by visiting sites like Morristown National Historical Park, where you can learn about the Revolutionary War, or the Batsto Village, a well-preserved 19th-century ironworks village.
  6. Lighthouses: New Jersey has several picturesque lighthouses along its coastline. Climb to the top of lighthouses like Barnegat Lighthouse for stunning views of the ocean and surrounding areas.
  7. Farmers’ Markets: Visit local farmers’ markets in towns across the state to enjoy fresh produce, artisanal products, and a taste of local culture. The Princeton Farmers’ Market and Collingswood Farmers’ Market are great options.
  8. Outdoor Concerts and Festivals: Keep an eye out for outdoor concerts and festivals happening throughout the summer. Locations like Liberty State Park and the Camden Waterfront often host live music events and cultural festivals.
  9. Art and Museums: Explore New Jersey’s arts and culture scene by visiting lesser-known museums and galleries. Places like Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton offer a unique blend of art and nature.
  10. Rural Escapes: Head inland to explore the quieter, rural areas of the state. Towns like Lambertville and Frenchtown along the Delaware River offer a peaceful escape with their quaint shops, art galleries, and scenic river views.

Remember to check for any travel advisories or restrictions before planning your trip, as conditions might change. These underrated summer travel ideas in New Jersey offer a chance to explore the state beyond its well-known attractions and create lasting memories.

New Mexico

New Mexico offers a diverse range of underrated summer travel ideas that many might not be aware of. Here are some unique and lesser-known options to consider for your summer trip to New Mexico:

  1. White Sands National Park: This stunning landscape of pure white gypsum sand dunes is often overlooked. The park is perfect for activities like sandboarding, hiking, and stargazing. The contrast of the white sand against the blue sky creates a surreal and mesmerizing experience.
  2. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Explore ancient cliff dwellings built by the Mogollon people. It’s an amazing opportunity to step back in time and learn about the history and culture of the region.
  3. Valles Caldera National Preserve: This massive volcanic crater turned grassy valley offers hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. It’s a serene and off-the-beaten-path destination perfect for those who love outdoor activities.
  4. Taos Pueblo: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Taos Pueblo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. You can take guided tours to learn about the adobe architecture and the rich Native American culture.
  5. Bandelier National Monument: This area is known for its ancient dwellings, petroglyphs, and scenic hiking trails. It’s a great place for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park: While not entirely underrated, this park’s underground wonderland of caves and formations is often overlooked by summer travelers. The cool temperatures inside the caves provide a welcome escape from the summer heat.
  7. Jemez Springs: A charming small town known for its hot springs, Jemez Springs is perfect for relaxation and unwinding. You can soak in the mineral-rich waters while enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  8. Turquoise Trail: Take a scenic drive along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, which connects Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Along the way, you’ll find quirky towns, art galleries, and unique shops.
  9. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness: This otherworldly landscape features strange rock formations, hoodoos, and colorful badlands. It’s like stepping onto another planet and offers fantastic opportunities for photography.
  10. El Malpais National Monument: Explore the volcanic landscapes, lava tubes, and ancient ruins in this lesser-visited area. The Zuni-Acoma Trail provides a great way to experience the beauty and history of the region.

These underrated summer travel ideas in New Mexico offer a blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. They’re perfect for travelers looking to escape the crowds and discover the hidden gems of this beautiful state.

New York

New York offers a plethora of exciting summer travel options beyond the typical tourist destinations. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas to consider:

  1. Governors Island: A short ferry ride away from Manhattan, Governors Island provides a peaceful escape with lush parks, historic buildings, and stunning views of the city skyline. Enjoy biking, picnicking, art installations, and events like outdoor concerts and festivals.
  2. Storm King Art Center: Located in the Hudson Valley, this outdoor sculpture park boasts vast landscapes adorned with monumental sculptures. Spend a day exploring the art installations set against the backdrop of rolling hills and scenic beauty.
  3. Coney Island Art Walls: While Coney Island itself is known, its vibrant Art Walls offer a unique experience. Murals and street art by renowned artists transform the space into a captivating open-air gallery.
  4. DUMBO Waterfront: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) offers a charming waterfront area with stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s perfect for leisurely strolls, enjoying the picturesque scenery, and dining at local eateries.
  5. Randall’s Island Park: This hidden gem offers recreational opportunities like sports fields, picnic spots, bike paths, and even a golf center. It’s a great place for outdoor activities away from the hustle and bustle.
  6. Roosevelt Island Tramway: For a unique perspective of the city, take the Roosevelt Island Tramway. It offers breathtaking views of Manhattan and the East River as you glide above the cityscape.
  7. Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters: While not entirely underrated, Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters museum offer a tranquil retreat with medieval architecture and stunning gardens. It’s a great place to escape the city noise.
  8. Green-Wood Cemetery: This historic cemetery is also an arboretum, providing a serene and contemplative environment. It’s a fascinating blend of history, art, and nature.
  9. City Island: A charming fishing village in the Bronx, City Island offers a relaxed atmosphere with seafood restaurants, art galleries, and maritime history. It’s a quaint escape from the urban environment.
  10. Bronx Zoo: While not exactly unknown, the Bronx Zoo is often overlooked. Spend a day exploring this sprawling zoo with diverse animal exhibits, educational programs, and family-friendly activities.

Remember that these suggestions might have evolved since my last update in September 2021, so it’s a good idea to check for the latest information and events before planning your summer travel in New York.

North Carolina

North Carolina offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that can make for a memorable vacation. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Emerald Isle Beach: This beautiful barrier island along the Crystal Coast is less crowded than some of the more famous beaches in the state. It’s perfect for a peaceful beach getaway with stunning ocean views and outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and exploring the Bogue Inlet Pier.
  2. Chimney Rock State Park: This park offers amazing hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the iconic Chimney Rock itself. You can also explore the Hickory Nut Gorge and visit the nearby Lake Lure for water activities.
  3. Outer Banks National Scenic Byway: Take a road trip along this scenic byway that winds through the Outer Banks, offering stunning coastal views, lighthouses, and charming small towns like Manteo and Duck. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk.
  4. Pisgah National Forest: While the Great Smoky Mountains get a lot of attention, Pisgah National Forest offers quieter hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping opportunities. The Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock are popular spots for swimming and cooling off.
  5. Bald Head Island: Accessible only by ferry, this secluded island is a paradise for nature lovers. There are no cars allowed; you can explore the island on bikes or golf carts. Enjoy the pristine beaches, maritime forests, and the iconic Old Baldy Lighthouse.
  6. Wilmington: Often overshadowed by larger cities, Wilmington has a historic downtown, scenic Riverwalk, and nearby beaches like Wrightsville Beach. You can also explore the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
  7. Dupont State Recreational Forest: This lesser-known gem offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and waterfall spotting. The High Falls and Triple Falls are particularly stunning during the summer months.
  8. Mount Mitchell State Park: Beat the summer heat by visiting the highest peak east of the Mississippi. The cooler temperatures at this elevation provide a refreshing escape, and the panoramic views from the observation deck are worth the hike.
  9. Historic Bath: If you’re interested in history, visit Bath, the oldest town in North Carolina. Explore historic sites, like Bath State Historic Site and St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and learn about the state’s colonial past.
  10. Lake Lure: This picturesque lake town offers boating, fishing, and relaxing by the water. You can also take a scenic boat tour of Lake Lure to admire the stunning mountain views and beautiful lakefront homes.

Enjoy your underrated summer adventure in North Carolina!

North Dakota

North Dakota might not be the first place that comes to mind for summer travel, but it has its own unique charm and plenty to offer. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring North Dakota:

  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park: This park is a hidden gem with stunning badlands landscapes, diverse wildlife, and great opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
  2. Maah Daah Hey Trail: If you’re into outdoor adventures, consider hiking or biking along this scenic trail that winds through the badlands, grasslands, and forests of North Dakota.
  3. Sheyenne National Grassland: This is the only national grassland in the state, offering opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, and experiencing the tranquility of the prairie.
  4. Lake Sakakawea: Enjoy water activities like boating, fishing, and kayaking on this expansive reservoir. The lake’s beaches also provide a great spot for relaxing and picnicking.
  5. International Peace Garden: Located on the border between North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada, this garden symbolizes peace between the two nations. It features beautiful gardens, a peace chapel, and various monuments.
  6. Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center: Learn about the famous expedition and its impact on North Dakota’s history through interactive exhibits and displays.
  7. Dakota Zoo: Perfect for families, this zoo in Bismarck showcases a variety of animals and offers a chance to learn about conservation efforts.
  8. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park: Explore reconstructed military buildings, including Custer’s House, and enjoy hiking and camping along the Missouri River.
  9. Medora: This charming town near Theodore Roosevelt National Park offers a mix of entertainment, including the Medora Musical, shops, galleries, and outdoor activities.
  10. Plains Art Museum: Located in Fargo, this museum features a diverse collection of contemporary and regional art, providing a cultural experience during your trip.
  11. Bonanzaville, USA: A historic village in West Fargo that showcases over 40 buildings depicting life in the region from the 1800s to early 1900s.
  12. Sibley State Park: Although it’s located just across the border in Minnesota, this park offers hiking, fishing, and stunning views from Mount Tom that overlook the prairie.

Remember, North Dakota’s charm lies in its unique landscapes, history, and outdoor activities. It might not be the most well-known summer destination, but it’s definitely worth exploring for those seeking a quieter and more off-the-beaten-path experience.

Ohio

Ohio might not always be the first place that comes to mind for summer travel, but it has a lot to offer. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for Ohio:

  1. Hocking Hills State Park: This beautiful park offers stunning natural scenery, including waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails. It’s a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and even ziplining.
  2. Lake Erie Islands: Ohio’s Lake Erie islands, such as Put-in-Bay and Kelley’s Island, offer a unique island experience. You can enjoy water activities like kayaking, boating, and fishing, as well as exploring charming towns and relaxing on the beaches.
  3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Just a short drive from Cleveland, this national park is a hidden gem with hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and a scenic railroad. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in nature and escape the city.
  4. Amish Country: Experience a different pace of life in Ohio’s Amish Country. Explore picturesque towns like Berlin and Sugarcreek, where you can learn about Amish culture, enjoy homemade goods, and take scenic drives through the countryside.
  5. Ohio Wine Country: The state has a growing wine scene, particularly in regions like the Lake Erie Wine Trail. You can enjoy wine tastings at various wineries, often accompanied by beautiful vineyard views.
  6. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: While not entirely underrated, this zoo often gets overshadowed by larger zoos in other cities. It’s a great place for families and animal lovers, with a diverse range of animals and immersive exhibits.
  7. Canal Fulton: This charming small town offers canal boat rides along the Ohio & Erie Canal, providing a glimpse into the region’s history. You can also explore antique shops, cafes, and local art galleries.
  8. Lakeside Chautauqua: This historic community on Lake Erie offers a summer program of concerts, lectures, and activities for all ages. It’s a peaceful retreat where you can engage in cultural and recreational experiences.
  9. African Safari Wildlife Park: Located near Port Clinton, this drive-through safari park lets you get up close to exotic animals from the comfort of your own car.
  10. Maumee Bay State Park: A scenic park along Lake Erie with sandy beaches, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching and water sports.

Remember that the appeal of travel is subjective, so what might be underrated to one person could be a well-known gem to another. These suggestions aim to showcase some of the lesser-known but enjoyable destinations and activities that Ohio has to offer during the summer months.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that you might enjoy. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve: Explore the beauty of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, one of the largest protected areas of tallgrass prairie left on Earth. Enjoy hiking, bird-watching, and observing native wildlife in their natural habitat.
  2. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: This refuge is a hidden gem, offering stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and the chance to see bison, elk, and longhorn cattle roaming freely. The scenic views and outdoor activities make it a perfect summer destination.
  3. Turner Falls Park: Dive into the refreshing waters of Turner Falls, Oklahoma’s largest waterfall. The park features swimming areas, hiking trails, and picnic spots, making it a great place for a day of outdoor relaxation.
  4. Chickasaw National Recreation Area: This area boasts natural mineral springs, making it an ideal spot for swimming and wading in cool, clear waters. The park also features hiking trails, historic sites, and picturesque picnic areas.
  5. Roman Nose State Park: With its stunning canyon views, lake, and outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, and horseback riding, Roman Nose State Park is a peaceful and lesser-known getaway for nature enthusiasts.
  6. Talimena Scenic Byway: Embark on a scenic drive along the Talimena Scenic Byway, especially beautiful during the summer when the foliage is lush and vibrant. The byway offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains.
  7. Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park: Enjoy rock climbing, rappelling, and hiking in the unique terrain of Red Rock Canyon. It’s an ideal destination for adventure seekers looking to try something new.
  8. Oklahoma Route 66: Experience the nostalgia of driving along the historic Route 66, passing through charming towns, quirky attractions, and roadside diners that harken back to a bygone era.
  9. Alabaster Caverns State Park: Explore the largest gypsum cave in the world at Alabaster Caverns. Guided tours take you through the impressive underground formations and provide insight into the geology and history of the area.
  10. Lake Murray State Park: This park offers a wide range of water activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming in the clear waters of Lake Murray. You can also explore hiking trails and enjoy picnicking amidst beautiful surroundings.

These are just a few of the underrated summer travel ideas that Oklahoma has to offer. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or someone seeking a relaxing escape, Oklahoma’s diverse attractions have something for everyone.

Oregon

Oregon offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas that are worth exploring. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Smith Rock State Park: This stunning park is a haven for rock climbers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts. The unique rock formations and deep river gorge provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities.
  2. Wallowa Lake: Nestled in the Wallowa Mountains, this serene lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking. The Wallowa Lake Tramway provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Columbia River Gorge: While the Multnomah Falls are famous, there are numerous other beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails throughout the gorge. Don’t miss out on exploring lesser-known falls like Latourell Falls and Wahclella Falls.
  4. Crater Lake National Park: Although not entirely underrated, Crater Lake’s stunning blue waters and unique geological formations make it a must-visit destination. Consider exploring the park’s lesser-known trails and viewpoints for a quieter experience.
  5. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Stretching along the coast, this vast expanse of sand dunes is perfect for sandboarding, ATV riding, and exploring coastal ecosystems.
  6. Hells Canyon: Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Snake River,” Hells Canyon offers breathtaking vistas, river rafting adventures, and hiking trails.
  7. Tamolitch Pool (Blue Pool): A hidden gem, this vibrant blue pool is located in the Willamette National Forest. The short hike to the pool takes you through lush forests and leads to a stunning natural wonder.
  8. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: Explore the Painted Hills, one of the three units of the monument, with its surreal landscape of vibrant colors formed by ancient volcanic activity and erosion.
  9. Silver Falls State Park: While not entirely underrated, Silver Falls offers a unique experience of hiking behind waterfalls. The Trail of Ten Falls is a must-do for any nature lover.
  10. Oregon Lavender Farms: Experience the beauty and fragrance of lavender fields in full bloom during the summer months. These farms offer a relaxing atmosphere and often host events and festivals.
  11. Astoria: This charming coastal town boasts a mix of history and culture. Explore its maritime heritage, visit the Astoria Column for panoramic views, and enjoy local seafood.
  12. Oregon Coast Aquarium: While the Oregon coast is well-known, the aquarium in Newport offers a chance to learn about and see the diverse marine life that inhabits the region’s waters.

These are just a few of the many underrated summer travel ideas that Oregon has to offer. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking a unique cultural experience, Oregon has something for everyone to enjoy during the summer months.

Pennsylvania

Certainly! Pennsylvania offers a wide range of underrated summer travel ideas that are worth exploring. Here are some lesser-known but fantastic options:

  1. Pocono Mountains Waterfalls: The Pocono Mountains are known for more than just skiing. During the summer, the area comes alive with lush greenery and stunning waterfalls. Bushkill Falls, often called the “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” is a must-visit with its series of eight waterfalls and hiking trails.
  2. Raystown Lake: This hidden gem is perfect for water enthusiasts. Raystown Lake offers boating, fishing, swimming, and even scuba diving. The surrounding forests provide opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.
  3. Ohiopyle State Park: Nestled in the Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle State Park boasts waterfalls, natural waterslides, and excellent white-water rafting on the Youghiogheny River. The Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail is also nearby for bikers and hikers.
  4. Jim Thorpe: A charming town often referred to as the “Switzerland of America,” Jim Thorpe offers historic charm, scenic beauty, and outdoor activities. Explore the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, enjoy rafting on the Lehigh River, or simply stroll through the town’s picturesque streets.
  5. Cherry Springs State Park: If you’re into stargazing, this International Dark Sky Park is a must-visit. Located in the PA Wilds region, the park offers incredible views of the night sky and is a great spot for astronomy enthusiasts.
  6. Erie: While it might not be a typical beach destination, Lake Erie offers sandy shores at Presque Isle State Park. You can swim, kayak, or relax on the beach. The area also has a maritime museum and lighthouses to explore.
  7. Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour: Head underground and explore the history of Pennsylvania’s coal mining industry. The tour takes you into an actual coal mine and provides insights into the life of a miner.
  8. Lancaster County Countryside: While often associated with Amish culture, the countryside around Lancaster offers more than just that. Explore rolling hills, visit local farmers’ markets, and enjoy the slower pace of life.
  9. Ricketts Glen State Park: This park is home to a trail with a stunning series of waterfalls, making it a paradise for photographers and nature lovers alike. The Falls Trail takes you past 21 waterfalls, making for a memorable hike.
  10. Allegheny National Forest: For those seeking outdoor adventures, this forest is a haven. With over 513,000 acres, it offers hiking, camping, fishing, and canoeing opportunities.

These are just a few of the many underrated summer travel ideas Pennsylvania has to offer. Whether you’re into nature, history, or outdoor activities, the state has something unique for every traveler.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a charming destination with much to offer beyond its famous beaches. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring this beautiful state:

  1. Block Island: This picturesque island off the coast of Rhode Island is often referred to as the “Bermuda of the North.” It boasts stunning beaches, scenic hiking trails, and a relaxed atmosphere. You can explore the Mohegan Bluffs, visit the Southeast Lighthouse, and enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and biking.
  2. Newport Mansions: While Newport is known for its historic mansions, they might still be underrated by some. These grand Gilded Age homes offer guided tours that provide a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the past. The Cliff Walk along the coastline offers breathtaking views of the mansions and the ocean.
  3. Narragansett: This coastal town is often overlooked in favor of larger beach destinations. Narragansett offers beautiful sandy shores, great surfing spots, and a relaxed beach town atmosphere. Don’t miss the Point Judith Lighthouse and the fresh seafood options.
  4. Providence Waterfires: Providence hosts a unique summer event called WaterFire. This art installation features a series of bonfires along the rivers of downtown Providence. It’s a captivating and magical experience that combines fire, music, and art.
  5. Rustic Camping: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, consider camping in some of Rhode Island’s lesser-known campgrounds. Burlingame State Park and George Washington State Campground offer serene settings for camping, hiking, and enjoying nature.
  6. Explore Bristol: This historic town is known for its Fourth of July parade, but it’s worth a visit any time during the summer. Stroll along the charming streets, visit the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, and enjoy the local shops and eateries.
  7. Blackstone River Bikeway: If you’re into biking, the Blackstone River Bikeway offers a scenic ride through Rhode Island’s landscapes. This 18-mile path follows the Blackstone River and offers a mix of nature, history, and local culture.
  8. Tiverton Four Corners: This quaint village is home to unique shops, art galleries, and historic sites. It’s a great place to explore on foot, enjoy local crafts, and indulge in delicious treats.
  9. Fisherman’s Memorial State Park: This park offers a mix of camping, freshwater fishing, and beautiful scenery. You can also enjoy a leisurely paddle on the pond or relax by the shore.
  10. Lippitt House Museum: Located in Providence, this Victorian mansion provides a glimpse into the 19th-century life of a well-to-do family. The house’s unique architecture and period furnishings make it a hidden gem for history enthusiasts.

Remember that while these ideas may be underrated, each traveler’s interests are unique. Be sure to research and plan ahead to make the most of your summer trip to Rhode Island!

South Carolina

South Carolina offers a variety of underrated summer travel ideas that are worth exploring. Here are a few options:

  1. Congaree National Park: This is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts. You can explore its lush forests, diverse wildlife, and beautiful boardwalk trails. The park is particularly stunning in the summer, with the trees providing ample shade and the Congaree River offering opportunities for kayaking and canoeing.
  2. Edisto Island: For a more relaxed beach experience, Edisto Island offers a quieter and less crowded coastal getaway. You can enjoy pristine beaches, salt marshes, and a laid-back atmosphere. The Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve is a must-visit for its unique combination of beachfront and natural beauty.
  3. Lake Jocassee: If you’re a fan of water activities, Lake Jocassee is an ideal spot. Located in the upstate region, this clear and pristine lake is perfect for boating, fishing, swimming, and even scuba diving to explore underwater sights.
  4. Charleston Tea Garden: Explore the only tea plantation in the United States at Charleston Tea Garden on Wadmalaw Island. You can take a tour to learn about tea production, stroll through the tea fields, and enjoy scenic views.
  5. Hiking in Oconee State Park: This park is often overlooked but offers some fantastic hiking trails, including trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls. The Raven Cliff Falls Trail is a moderate hike that rewards you with stunning views of the waterfall.
  6. Hammock Coast: This stretch of coastal towns, including Pawleys Island and Georgetown, offers a laid-back beach experience with charming local shops, art galleries, and delicious seafood. It’s a great place to unwind and soak in the coastal culture.
  7. Columbia Riverfront Park: Columbia, the state’s capital, boasts a beautiful riverfront park with walking trails, picnic spots, and even a splash pad for kids. It’s a great place to spend a relaxing day outdoors.
  8. Brookgreen Gardens: This sculpture garden and wildlife preserve near Myrtle Beach is often overlooked. It features stunning gardens, intricate sculptures, and a Lowcountry Zoo that makes for a unique and picturesque visit.
  9. Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor: Immerse yourself in the rich Gullah Geechee culture of the region. You can explore historic sites, learn about the unique traditions, and enjoy authentic cuisine.
  10. Devils Fork State Park: If you’re into water sports, consider visiting this park on Lake Jocassee. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes to explore the clear waters and surrounding landscapes.

Remember that South Carolina offers a blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and cultural experiences. These underrated summer travel ideas can provide you with unique and memorable adventures away from the more touristy destinations.

South Dakota

South Dakota offers a range of underrated summer travel ideas that can make for a memorable and unique vacation. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Badlands National Park: Explore the striking landscapes of the Badlands, characterized by rugged terrain, unique rock formations, and vibrant sunsets. Hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing are popular activities here.
  2. Custer State Park: This picturesque park offers scenic drives, hiking trails, and opportunities to spot bison, elk, and other wildlife. Don’t miss the famous Needles Highway and the wildlife loop road.
  3. Black Hills National Forest: Immerse yourself in the beauty of this forested region. Enjoy activities like hiking, mountain biking, and fishing, or take a scenic drive on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.
  4. Wind Cave National Park: Explore the intricate underground world of Wind Cave, known for its unique boxwork formations. Above ground, you can hike and witness bison herds.
  5. Prairie Homestead Historic Site: Step back in time and experience the life of early settlers. This historic site provides a glimpse into the challenges and lifestyle of the pioneers.
  6. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area: Relax by the waters of Lewis and Clark Lake, perfect for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping.
  7. Sylvan Lake: Located in Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake offers picturesque beauty and water-based activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
  8. Spearfish Canyon: Known for its stunning waterfalls and scenic drives, Spearfish Canyon is a haven for nature lovers and photographers.
  9. Wall Drug: While not exactly underrated, this quirky roadside attraction in Wall is a unique experience with its free ice water, Western shops, and various photo opportunities.
  10. Dinosaur Park: Located in Rapid City, this park features life-size dinosaur replicas and offers a great place for families to explore and learn.
  11. Mammoth Site of Hot Springs: Unearth the remains of prehistoric mammoths and learn about the region’s ancient history through guided tours.
  12. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site: Gain insight into the Cold War history of the United States by visiting this site, which preserves a missile silo and control center.
  13. Historic Deadwood: Explore the historic town of Deadwood, known for its Gold Rush history, casinos, and lively atmosphere.
  14. Oahe Dam and Reservoir: Enjoy outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and hiking around the vast Oahe Dam and Reservoir.

These are just a few underrated summer travel ideas in South Dakota. The state’s natural beauty, historical sites, and unique attractions make it a fantastic destination for those looking for something a bit different and off the beaten path.

Tennessee

Tennessee offers a diverse range of underrated summer travel ideas that are perfect for an unforgettable vacation. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Chattanooga: Often overshadowed by bigger cities, Chattanooga is a hidden gem. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Lookout Mountain, visit the Tennessee Aquarium, and take a stroll along the Riverwalk. Don’t miss out on the quirky Rock City and Ruby Falls attractions.
  2. Nashville’s Music Scene Beyond Country: While Nashville is known for country music, it also has a thriving indie and rock scene. Check out venues like The Basement and Mercy Lounge for a taste of the city’s alternative music culture.
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Eastern Side): While the western side of the park is more popular, the eastern side offers tranquility and stunning vistas. Hike the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail or explore the Cataloochee Valley for a chance to see elk.
  4. Jonesborough: This charming town is the oldest in Tennessee and is known for its historic district and storytelling events. Enjoy the slower pace of life, explore antique shops, and immerse yourself in the town’s rich heritage.
  5. Reelfoot Lake: Located in the northwest corner of the state, Reelfoot Lake is a hidden paradise for birdwatching, fishing, and kayaking. It was formed by a series of earthquakes in the early 1800s and offers a unique landscape.
  6. Cumberland Plateau: Explore the beauty of the Cumberland Plateau region, home to numerous state parks and natural areas. Fall Creek Falls State Park features waterfalls, hiking trails, and opportunities for rock climbing.
  7. Tennessee River Gorge: Embark on a scenic cruise through the Tennessee River Gorge, known as the “Grand Canyon of Tennessee.” The breathtaking views and diverse wildlife make this a memorable experience.
  8. Bell Buckle: A charming small town with a vibrant arts scene, Bell Buckle is famous for its festivals, antiques, and handmade crafts. The Webb School Arts & Crafts Festival in particular is worth a visit.
  9. Tims Ford State Park: This lesser-known state park offers boating, fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities around the beautiful Tims Ford Lake. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing summer getaway.
  10. Shiloh National Military Park: History enthusiasts can explore this significant Civil War site, where the Battle of Shiloh took place. The park features well-preserved battlefields and historical exhibits.

Remember to check for any travel advisories or updated information before planning your trip. These underrated summer travel ideas in Tennessee are sure to provide you with unique experiences and lasting memories.

Texas

Texas is a diverse state with plenty of underrated summer travel ideas that offer unique experiences. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Escape the heat by exploring the stunning Guadalupe Mountains. Hike to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, or explore the park’s network of trails. The cool temperatures and breathtaking views make it a perfect summer getaway.
  2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park: Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro Canyon offers incredible hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities. Enjoy the vibrant colors of the canyon walls and catch an outdoor musical at the Pioneer Amphitheatre.
  3. Caddo Lake: Head to the eastern part of Texas to explore the mystical Caddo Lake. Paddle through its maze of waterways, Spanish moss-covered cypress trees, and spot diverse wildlife. It’s a serene and unique experience.
  4. Big Bend Ranch State Park: While Big Bend National Park gets more attention, the state park offers similarly stunning landscapes and fewer crowds. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and stargazing in this remote and beautiful area.
  5. Galveston Island: Escape to the beach without the crowds of some other popular coastal destinations. Galveston offers sandy shores, historic architecture, and attractions like the Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens.
  6. Marfa: This small town in West Texas has gained attention for its quirky art installations and the mysterious Marfa Lights. Explore contemporary art galleries, enjoy the unique desert landscape, and witness the stunning starry nights.
  7. Glen Rose: For a dose of prehistoric adventure, visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and even see their tracks preserved in the riverbed.
  8. Davis Mountains State Park: Experience cooler temperatures in the Davis Mountains. The park offers hiking, bird-watching, and breathtaking vistas from the Skyline Drive.
  9. Fredericksburg: This charming Hill Country town is known for its German heritage, wineries, and unique shops. It’s a great place to stroll down historic Main Street and enjoy local cuisine.
  10. Possum Kingdom Lake: This lesser-known lake destination offers boating, fishing, and other water activities. It’s a quieter alternative to some of Texas’s more crowded lakes.

Remember to check ahead for any travel restrictions, park hours, and weather conditions before embarking on your summer adventure in Texas. Enjoy exploring these underrated gems!

Utah

Utah offers a plethora of underrated summer travel ideas that provide unique and memorable experiences. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Goblin Valley State Park: This surreal landscape is dotted with mushroom-shaped rock formations, making you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. It’s a great place for hiking, photography, and simply marveling at the unusual geology.
  2. Antelope Island State Park: Located within the Great Salt Lake, this park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including a free-roaming herd of bison. You can hike, bike, or even take a dip in the lake’s buoyant waters.
  3. Capitol Reef National Park: Often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, this park boasts stunning red rock formations, canyons, and orchards. The scenic drive along the Waterpocket Fold is a must-do.
  4. Bear Lake: Straddling the Utah-Idaho border, Bear Lake is often referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” due to its brilliant turquoise waters. Enjoy water sports, fishing, and the laid-back lakeside atmosphere.
  5. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park: This park features a variety of well-preserved petrified wood and offers hiking trails that wind through scenic landscapes. The petrified wood is a unique sight to behold.
  6. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, this area offers boating, fishing, kayaking, and camping opportunities amidst stunning red rock canyons and the serene Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
  7. Cedar Breaks National Monument: Often referred to as a “mini Bryce Canyon,” this park features dramatic amphitheaters filled with vibrant colors. Hiking trails and overlooks provide breathtaking views.
  8. Dinosaur National Monument: Unearth the prehistoric past at this site, where you can see thousands of dinosaur fossils in their natural rock formations. The Quarry Exhibit Hall is a highlight.
  9. Bonneville Salt Flats: Experience the surreal beauty of the salt flats, especially during sunrise or sunset. The vast expanse of white salt crust creates a unique and mesmerizing atmosphere.
  10. Nine Mile Canyon: Often called the “World’s Longest Art Gallery,” this canyon is home to an extensive collection of ancient rock art and petroglyphs, providing a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history.

Remember to plan ahead, stay hydrated, and respect the natural environment while exploring these underrated gems in Utah. Each destination offers its own distinctive charm and outdoor activities for a memorable summer adventure.

Vermont

Vermont is a beautiful state with a lot to offer, and there are several underrated summer travel ideas you might consider:

  1. Scenic Drives: Vermont is known for its stunning landscapes. Take a leisurely drive through routes like the Green Mountain Byway or the Vermont 100 Scenic Byway. You’ll pass charming towns, rolling hills, and picturesque farms.
  2. Waterfall Hikes: Explore Vermont’s lesser-known waterfall hikes. Popular options include Moss Glen Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Texas Falls. These hikes often lead to refreshing natural swimming holes, making them perfect for summer.
  3. Cultural Festivals: Experience local culture through various summer festivals. Check out events like the Vermont Quilt Festival, the Vermont Brewers Festival, or the Bread and Puppet Theater’s performances.
  4. Lake Champlain Islands: Visit the Lake Champlain Islands for a unique island getaway. Enjoy activities like kayaking, fishing, and visiting local farms. The islands offer gorgeous views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains.
  5. Farm Tours: Vermont is renowned for its agriculture. Consider taking farm tours to learn about cheese-making, maple syrup production, and organic farming practices. It’s an educational and delicious experience.
  6. Historic Sites: Explore Vermont’s history by visiting places like the Calvin Coolidge Homestead, Hildene (the Lincoln Family Home), and the Old Constitution House. These sites provide insight into Vermont’s role in American history.
  7. Quiet Lakeside Retreats: Look for serene lakeside cabins or cottages where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the tranquility of Vermont’s natural beauty. Lake Dunmore and Lake Bomoseen are excellent options.
  8. Local Artisan Shops: Discover Vermont’s artisanal creations by exploring local shops. From handcrafted pottery and jewelry to unique woodwork, you’ll find a variety of treasures that make for great souvenirs.
  9. Mountain Biking: Vermont offers fantastic mountain biking trails suitable for various skill levels. Head to locations like Kingdom Trails or the Green Mountain Trails for an active and thrilling adventure.
  10. Hot Air Balloon Rides: Experience Vermont’s landscape from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Soaring above the lush countryside provides breathtaking views.

Remember to plan ahead and check for any travel restrictions, accommodations, and activity availability due to potential changes or updates in the local conditions. Enjoy your underrated summer getaway in Vermont!

Virginia

Vermont is a beautiful state with a lot to offer, and there are several underrated summer travel ideas you might consider:

  1. Scenic Drives: Vermont is known for its stunning landscapes. Take a leisurely drive through routes like the Green Mountain Byway or the Vermont 100 Scenic Byway. You’ll pass charming towns, rolling hills, and picturesque farms.
  2. Waterfall Hikes: Explore Vermont’s lesser-known waterfall hikes. Popular options include Moss Glen Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Texas Falls. These hikes often lead to refreshing natural swimming holes, making them perfect for summer.
  3. Cultural Festivals: Experience local culture through various summer festivals. Check out events like the Vermont Quilt Festival, the Vermont Brewers Festival, or the Bread and Puppet Theater’s performances.
  4. Lake Champlain Islands: Visit the Lake Champlain Islands for a unique island getaway. Enjoy activities like kayaking, fishing, and visiting local farms. The islands offer gorgeous views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains.
  5. Farm Tours: Vermont is renowned for its agriculture. Consider taking farm tours to learn about cheese-making, maple syrup production, and organic farming practices. It’s an educational and delicious experience.
  6. Historic Sites: Explore Vermont’s history by visiting places like the Calvin Coolidge Homestead, Hildene (the Lincoln Family Home), and the Old Constitution House. These sites provide insight into Vermont’s role in American history.
  7. Quiet Lakeside Retreats: Look for serene lakeside cabins or cottages where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the tranquility of Vermont’s natural beauty. Lake Dunmore and Lake Bomoseen are excellent options.
  8. Local Artisan Shops: Discover Vermont’s artisanal creations by exploring local shops. From handcrafted pottery and jewelry to unique woodwork, you’ll find a variety of treasures that make for great souvenirs.
  9. Mountain Biking: Vermont offers fantastic mountain biking trails suitable for various skill levels. Head to locations like Kingdom Trails or the Green Mountain Trails for an active and thrilling adventure.
  10. Hot Air Balloon Rides: Experience Vermont’s landscape from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Soaring above the lush countryside provides breathtaking views.

Remember to plan ahead and check for any travel restrictions, accommodations, and activity availability due to potential changes or updates in the local conditions. Enjoy your underrated summer getaway in Vermont!

Washington

Washington state offers a wide range of underrated summer travel ideas that might not be as popular as some of the more well-known destinations. Here are a few ideas for your summer travel plans in Washington:

  1. San Juan Islands: These beautiful islands are often overshadowed by more famous destinations, but they offer a serene and picturesque getaway. You can explore charming towns, go kayaking, whale watching, or simply relax on the beaches.
  2. Olympic Peninsula: While the Hoh Rainforest and Hurricane Ridge are known, the Olympic Peninsula has many hidden gems. Check out the stunning Ruby Beach, explore the coastal trails in Olympic National Park, and visit the quaint town of Port Townsend.
  3. Lake Chelan: This glacial-fed lake is perfect for a summer retreat. Enjoy water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or boating, and visit local wineries and vineyards to savor Washington’s wines.
  4. Leavenworth: A Bavarian-themed town in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth offers a unique experience with its charming architecture, local festivals, and outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking and river tubing.
  5. Palouse Falls State Park: If you’re into photography or just appreciate unique landscapes, Palouse Falls is a hidden gem. The waterfall cascades over a dramatic canyon, making it a great spot for hiking and photography.
  6. North Cascades National Park: Often overshadowed by other national parks, the North Cascades offers pristine wilderness, alpine lakes, and challenging hikes for outdoor enthusiasts.
  7. Vashon Island: A short ferry ride from Seattle, Vashon Island is a quiet retreat with beautiful landscapes, beaches, and a vibrant arts community.
  8. Whidbey Island: Another easily accessible island getaway, Whidbey Island boasts charming towns, scenic beaches, and opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching.
  9. Walla Walla: This southeastern Washington city is famous for its wineries, but it also offers historic sites, art galleries, and a relaxed atmosphere perfect for a summer escape.
  10. Lake Wenatchee State Park: This park offers opportunities for camping, fishing, and water activities on Lake Wenatchee, as well as hiking and horseback riding in the surrounding mountains.

Remember that these destinations might not be as crowded as some of the more popular spots, which can make for a more peaceful and authentic summer travel experience. Always check for the latest travel information and any restrictions before planning your trip.

West Virginia

West Virginia is a hidden gem for summer travel with its stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and unique cultural experiences. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring the beauty of West Virginia:

  1. New River Gorge: This area offers world-class white-water rafting, rock climbing, and hiking opportunities. The New River Gorge Bridge is an iconic landmark and offers stunning views of the gorge. You can also explore the nearby Fayetteville town for its charming shops and local eateries.
  2. Seneca Rocks: Known for its impressive rock formations, Seneca Rocks is a great spot for rock climbing, hiking, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s also a prime location for stargazing due to its relatively low light pollution.
  3. Blackwater Falls State Park: This park is named after the stunning Blackwater Falls, which tumble over dark-colored rocks, creating a beautiful contrast. There are several hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, as well as opportunities for swimming and fishing.
  4. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park: Step back in time by taking a ride on a vintage steam locomotive through the picturesque Appalachian landscape. The park also offers hiking trails, fishing, and camping options.
  5. Harpers Ferry: This historic town is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. It’s a blend of history and outdoor adventure, with opportunities for hiking, tubing, and exploring its well-preserved historic district.
  6. Monongahela National Forest: This vast forest offers endless outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and birdwatching. Dolly Sods Wilderness, a high-altitude plateau, is known for its unique ecosystem and beautiful vistas.
  7. Berkeley Springs: A charming town famous for its natural hot springs and spa facilities. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind, and the town’s arts scene and local shops add to its appeal.
  8. Greenbrier River Trail: This 78-mile rail trail is perfect for biking or walking. It winds through picturesque countryside, passing through charming small towns along the way.
  9. West Virginia State Parks: There are numerous state parks across the state that offer various outdoor activities and scenic beauty. Some notable ones include Watoga State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park, and Chief Logan State Park.
  10. Gastronomic Adventures: West Virginia offers a unique blend of Appalachian and Southern cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying local favorites like pepperoni rolls, ramps, and trout, which can be found in many local eateries.

Remember to check for any seasonal events or festivals that might be happening during your visit. West Virginia’s natural beauty and welcoming communities make it a fantastic destination for an underrated summer adventure.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a beautiful state with a variety of underrated summer travel destinations that offer unique experiences. Here are some ideas:

  1. Door County Peninsula: Known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” Door County offers charming coastal towns, stunning shoreline views of Lake Michigan, and plenty of outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and biking. Don’t miss the local art scene, delicious cherry products, and the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse.
  2. Apostle Islands: Located in Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands known for their sea caves, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. Take a kayak tour to explore the sea caves, hike the trails, and consider camping on one of the islands for a unique outdoor experience.
  3. Devil’s Lake State Park: This park offers breathtaking views, hiking trails, and rock formations. You can go swimming in the clear lake, try rock climbing, or simply relax on the beach. The park’s natural beauty makes it a hidden gem for nature lovers.
  4. La Crosse: Situated on the Mississippi River, La Crosse offers a mix of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Enjoy riverboat cruises, explore Grandad Bluff for panoramic views, and stroll through the Riverside Park. The city also has a vibrant arts and food scene.
  5. Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic home and studio, located in Spring Green, is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts. Take a guided tour to learn about Wright’s design philosophy and explore the beautiful estate surrounded by rolling hills.
  6. Bayfield and Madeline Island: Bayfield is a charming town on Lake Superior’s shore, known for its orchards, galleries, and local eateries. Take a ferry to Madeline Island, Wisconsin’s only inhabited island, for a peaceful retreat with sandy beaches and a relaxed atmosphere.
  7. Kohler: If you’re into luxury and relaxation, consider a visit to Kohler. This town is home to the famous Kohler Waters Spa and the Whistling Straits golf course. Enjoy pampering spa treatments, play a round of golf, and indulge in fine dining.
  8. New Glarus: Experience a touch of Switzerland in Wisconsin by visiting New Glarus. This town is known for its Swiss heritage, charming architecture, and authentic Swiss cuisine. Don’t forget to try the local beer at the New Glarus Brewing Company.
  9. Cave of the Mounds: Explore stunning underground caverns adorned with colorful stalactites and stalagmites. Guided tours take you through the well-preserved natural wonder, offering a unique adventure beneath the surface.
  10. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: For a serene getaway, explore this vast forest with its lakes, rivers, and trails. It’s perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, and even wildlife spotting.

These underrated summer travel ideas in Wisconsin offer a diverse range of experiences, from outdoor adventures to cultural explorations, making it a fantastic destination for your next vacation.

Wyoming

Wyoming is a state known for its stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas for exploring Wyoming:

  1. Bighorn Mountains: Escape the crowds and enjoy the beauty of the Bighorn Mountains. This area offers excellent hiking, camping, and fishing opportunities. The Cloud Peak Wilderness is a hidden gem within this range, with pristine alpine lakes and breathtaking vistas.
  2. Hot Springs State Park: While Wyoming is famous for Yellowstone’s geothermal wonders, Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis is often overlooked. Relax in mineral-rich hot springs, explore the Rainbow Terraces, and observe bison herds in a more peaceful setting.
  3. Wind River Range: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Wind River Range offers backpacking and mountaineering adventures in a less crowded environment compared to some other popular national parks. Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highest point, beckons experienced climbers.
  4. Devil’s Tower: This iconic geological formation is a must-see. Enjoy hiking around the base, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try rock climbing its unique hexagonal columns.
  5. Fossil Butte National Monument: Delve into ancient history at this park, where you can discover well-preserved fish, insects, plants, and other fossils. The visitor center offers insights into the region’s prehistoric past.
  6. Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Known for its brilliant red rock formations and excellent fishing, the Flaming Gorge offers opportunities for boating, kayaking, and camping along its shores.
  7. Medicine Bow National Forest: This forest offers a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to horseback riding and wildlife watching. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway provides stunning views of alpine landscapes.
  8. Curt Gowdy State Park: Located between Laramie and Cheyenne, this park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy activities like mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, and picnicking in a serene setting.
  9. Hiking in Vedauwoo: Just east of Laramie, Vedauwoo boasts unique rock formations, making it a great spot for hiking and rock climbing. It’s a hidden gem for those seeking a quieter outdoor experience.
  10. Wyoming Dinosaur Center: Dinosaur enthusiasts will love this museum in Thermopolis. Explore fossils, take part in interactive exhibits, and even participate in a dig site experience.

Remember to check local regulations, weather conditions, and any necessary permits before embarking on your Wyoming adventure. These underrated destinations offer a chance to experience the natural beauty and serenity of the state away from the crowds.

Wrap Up: Underrated Summer Ideas USA

In a country as vast and diverse as the USA, the summer holds a treasure trove of underrated travel opportunities waiting to be explored. By venturing beyond the well-trodden paths, you can uncover hidden gems that offer not only natural beauty but also a sense of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle.

Whether you’re drawn to the serene lakes of the Midwest, the rugged charm of the Southwest, or the tranquil forests of the East, these underrated destinations promise a chance to create lasting memories in a more intimate setting.

Embrace the allure of the unknown, embark on a journey of discovery, and let the underrated summer wonders of the USA become the backdrop for your own unique adventure. I hope you find the article “Underrated Summer Ideas USA” helpful.

Al Amin Sagor

Hi, I'm Al Amin Sagor. Join me as I share travel tips, personal insights, and amazing experiences that have shaped my adventures. Let's explore together and make lasting memories.

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