22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

(CNN) — Disney World, Times Square and Yellowstone National Park can be packed with tourists. But there are plenty of places across the United States that continue to fly under the travel radar.

There are literally hundreds of places that fit that description, but despite this year's surge in travel, 22 destinations are refreshingly underrated, from cities and national parks to regions and even entire states. are listed geographically from the northeast to the Pacific Ocean.

Central Massachusetts

Berkshire is in western Massachusetts, and the eastern edge of the state is bounded by Boston and Cape Cod. So what's in the middle? many.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield is where the sport was born in 1891 as a rainy day indoor activity for his YMCA. The city's Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum & Sculpture Garden honors the Springfield-born children's writer.

Northampton is well worth a visit with its one-off shops, restaurants and LGBTQ scene. You can also hike part of the New England Trail, crossing the Connecticut River and through the northern woods.

Block Island, Rhode Island

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Block Island boasts more than 30 miles of coastal and inland trails.
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Unlike other large islands in southern New England, this offshore slice of Ocean State has gone the extra mile to protect its natural environment. In fact, the Nature Conservancy has declared the islet one of a dozen "last great places" in the Western Hemisphere.

Her 40% of Block Island is protected by wildlife sanctuaries and other natural areas, and residents vehemently oppose anything that could endanger their pristine Atlantic homeland. Known for

Beaches, biking and trekking 32 miles of coastal and inland trails are the main activities during the day. After dark, the island has an amazing food scene and laid-back bars like Captain Nick's, Yellow Kittens and Poor People's Pub.

Buffalo, New York

Once a boomtown at the confluence of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal, Buffalo slumbered for much of the 20th century. As the metropolis of upstate New York slowly reawakens, people have come to realize that all that downtime has helped preserve the city's classical architecture.

Some of Buffalo's stylish buildings include the Art Deco City Hall, the Greek Revival Buffalo History Museum, the Victorian glass-walled house in the Botanical Gardens, and Frank Lloyd Wright's streamlined Martin House.

The once-derelict waterfront renaissance includes the Canalside shopping and entertainment district, lakeside hiking and biking trails, the Naval Maritime Museum, and Silo City with its iconic grain elevator. Meanwhile, Niagara Falls is just around the corner.

Pennsylvania Wild

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Bridge ruins are part of Pennsylvania's Kinzua Bridge State Park.
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From abundant wildlife and pristine mountain streams to the ancient trees of Forest Cathedral and the Grand Canyon, a vast Mid-Atlantic version of Pine Creek, north-central Pennsylvania still has plenty of wildlife to offer.

One of the least populated places east of the Mississippi River, he Wilds stretches over a vast stretch of the rugged Allegheny Plateau. In addition to the Allegheny National Forest, the region has 29 state parks, two national natural landscape rivers, a world-class astronomical observation center in Cherry Springs, Kinzua Bridge (referred to as the "eighth wonder of the world"), and more. There are human relics. ' when it opened in 1882).

West Virginia

West Virginia may not be "almost heaven" for everyone, but it is definitely heaven for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts.

Harpers Ferry witnessed his infamous 1859 John Brown Raid which sparked the Civil War. Three years later, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson led Confederate forces in a successful attack on a strategic Union-held town. The riverside town is also the starting point for the Appalachian Trail and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpaths.

Established in late 2020 as the country's newest national park, New River Gorge is famous for whitewater sports, hiking, mountain biking and Bridge Day Base Jumping from the massive New River Gorge Bridge.

Durham, North Carolina

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Downtown Durham has been transformed in recent years.
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Few American cities have experienced such a dramatic turnaround in the last 15 years. From its days as a tobacco factory town, Durham has evolved into a center of science, arts, sports and entertainment, revolving around a revitalized downtown and a reimagined American Tobacco Campus. .

The Durham Bulls, the most famous minor league baseball team in the nation, often play to sold out games in a nice little downtown stadium. At the Duke Lemur Center, visitors can walk through a huge forest habitat that helps protect some of the rarest mammals on the planet. Meanwhile, the city's craft breweries and distilleries scene fades out of sight.

Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

Georgia's largest barrier island blends beach fun and outdoor adventures with abundant wildlife and a famous American family.

Most visitors come to Cumberland on their own boat or ferry from St. and overnight at the elegant Greyfield Inn. The Carnegie clan of steel fame.

Wild horses roam the island's 28km of beaches, sea turtles lay eggs and alligators patrol the wetlands along Cumberland Sound. JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette married at the North End's First African Baptist Church, a historic African-American community founded by freed slaves.

Forgotten Coast of Florida

Arrayed along the Gulf of Mexico between Port St. Joe and St. Marks, this uncharted slice of Florida's coast is as real as the Sunshine State.

The talcum-powder beaches of the St. Joseph Peninsula and St. George Island offer an uncrowded alternative to Florida's more famous (and crowded) Strand. Manatees and monarch butterflies are one of the wild animals inhabiting Wakulla Springs and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Fresh shellfish and live music are his two attractions at the St. Marks Stone Crab Festival (October) and Apalachicola's Florida Seafood Festival (November).

Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Mount Magazine State Park is a regional hang-gliding hub.
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Tucked away in a valley at the southeastern tip of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs National Park has been popular since the 1830s, when the first baths appeared. But few travelers venture into the highlands of Midwest Arkansas.

Unlike the nearby Ozarks, which boast man-made ways to experience nature and culture, Ouachita is not very touristy. As such, these mountains are ideal for those who enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and spending some solitude.

Magazine Mountain (the highest point in the state) is a mecca for hang-gliding in the region and also boasts dangerous mountain biking routes.


Oklahoma, a state many fly through or drive through, is one of the underrated places you should visit sooner or later.

Oklahoma City boasts a surprisingly rich and diverse food scene. In particular, the eclectic Paseo, Plaza and Uptown feature his 23rd District and Asia District.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma City National Memorial are both must-sees. For the outdoorsy, River sport OKC in the city center offers whitewater rafting, tubing, ziplining and sky trails.

Oklahoma's long stretch of Historic Route 66 is dotted with old-school diners, museums and quirky roadside shops. In Tulsa, you'll find local hero Woody Guthrie, the new Bob Dylan Center, and classic Art Deco architecture. Medicine Park Village and the nearby Wichita Mountains, meanwhile, offer a taste of the Old West.

Kansas City, Missouri

Missouri's second largest city is all about sounds and flavors. The birthplace of American jazz, KC has more than 40 venues where you can hear live jazz, blues and other tunes. And he probably has more than 40 places serving flavorful, slow-smoked Kansas City barbecue.

Catch a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium, compare Van Gogh and Warhol at the world-class Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, delve into history at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and see a frontier-era Arabian steamship exhibit. Go and enjoy your walk. Head down Remembrance Lane at Country Club Plaza (opened in 1922 as the country's first suburban shopping center).

Southern Illinois

The southern tip of the state, sandwiched between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, looks a lot like Illinois in his early 1800s, when the infamous Trail of Tears ran through this road and young Abraham Lincoln still split the rails.

Hikers can explore the dark forests and deep canyons of Shawnee National Forest on the 160-mile River-to-River Trail. You may be able to spot Sasquatch. A short hike takes you through the pristine rock outcrops of the Giant City and Garden of the Gods.

Man-made attractions in the area include the Superman Museum and Giant Statue in Metropolis, Cave in Rock's free ferry across the Ohio River, and the Full Terror Assault Heavy Metal Music Festival in September.

Lake Superior

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

The shores of Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan, with Harbor Lighthouse in the background.
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The American half of the world's largest freshwater lake (by surface area) straddles northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, rivaling the vast expanses of water, trees, islands and wildlife to the west.

Booked by Duluth, Minnesota and Sue St. Marie, Michigan's Lake Superior region includes the Pictured Rocks and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park home to wolves, elk and other creatures, and the winter sports slopes of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Anglers can catch any of the 86 species of fish that inhabit the lake, and divers can explore the many historic shipwrecks. For those who just want to glide, half a dozen major cruise lines include excellent Great Lakes itineraries.

North Park, Colorado

Almost everyone has heard of South Park thanks to the irreverent TV show...but did you know that there's North Park in Colorado?

About a three-hour drive northwest of Denver, the sprawling Highland Valley sits between snowcapped Medicine Bow Mountain and Park Range and is one of the state's least populated he .

The Continental Divide Trail encircles his two sides of North Park, and valley waterways provide pristine habitat for trout, migratory birds, and plenty of elk.

White Sands National Park, New Mexico

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

White Sands is an otherworldly gypsum dune field.
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More made for her sci-fi movies than natural whimsy, White Sands makes you feel like you've visited an alien planet. Exploring the world's largest gypsum dune field is just that weird.

Visitors can hike or sled down the immaculate sand dunes. If you didn't bring your own toboggan, you can buy or rent plastic discs from the visitor center gift shop. Overnight backpack camping is available along sandy wilderness trails.

West Texas

In frontier times, Texas, west of the Pecos River, was the epitome of the Wild West. This image was later reinforced by classic films such as 'Searchers', 'Giant' and 'No Country for Old Men'.

The vast region is still sparsely populated, with vast tracts of land and some of the wildest national parks in the country: Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains. The ghost town of Tarlingua hosts an annual grand chili dinner party, Fort Davis preserves a historic U.S. Cavalry post, and Marfa boasts Hollywood history, quirky art and UFO lore. You can see Marfa Light.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah stretches across nearly 1.9 million acres.
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The largest national monument in the contiguous 48 states, Grand Staircase-Escalante (GSE) stretches across nearly 1.9 million acres (approximately 1.9 million acres) of mostly roadless wilderness in south central Utah.

The park gets its name from the secluded Escalante Canyon and a series of massive plateaus that descend like giant steps between Bryce His Canyon and Zion. His GSE, under the supervision of the Bureau of Land Management, allows him to enjoy wilderness hiking, camping and mounting biking.

In addition to rustic camping, Grand Staircase-Escalante also offers upscale glamping spots such as Yonder Escalante near the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center in the town of Escalante and Under Canvas near Lake Powell.

Tacoma, Washington

Seattle may get a lot of ink (and visitors), but Tacoma is home to one of the nation's best collections of classic cars and excellent seafood, native son Dale Chihuly's stunning glass art. Thanks to that, you have your own when it comes to outstanding attractions.

The great outdoors also beckon. Tacoma is closer to Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park than Seattle, and also offers great cold water scuba diving on the Hood Canal.

Channel Islands National Park, California

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations
Hikers make their way along Scorpion Canyon Loop trail on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park.
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This five-island park is a throwback to old California, preserving Paleolithic dig sites, frontier-era ranches and relics of Spanish exploration.

But its strength is raw nature. Whales, dolphins, sea lions and sea otters frolic in the waters surrounding the park, and the islands provide terrestrial habitat for some of the most rare flora and fauna, including torley pine and island fox.

Only about 30,000 people set foot on the island each year. Those traveling by ferry from Ventura Harbor can enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, hiking and backpacking.

San Luis Obispo, California

Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's scenic Highway 101, San Luis Obispo has only recently emerged as a bona fide tourist destination.

There are two reasons for the turnaround. With the development of world-class wine regions in the nearby Paso Robles and Santa Ynez Valleys, downtown SLO has transformed into a vibrant social and shopping hub for his 22,000 students at Cal Polly SLO University. That's it.

Craft breweries, affordable restaurants and one-off boutiques abound in the city, which offers historic Spanish missions, coastal range hiking and biking, and the seafront of Morro his Bay and Avila Beach, just a short drive away. It's all the rage.

Kaʻū District, Hawaii

22 of the USA's most underrated destinations

Kealakekua Bay offers awesome kayaking, snorkeling and Hawaiian history on the island of Hawaii.
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Possibly the site of the first Polynesian landing on the Hawaiian Islands over 1,000 years ago, Kau is the southern tip of the Big Island.

The district, largely untouched by modern tourism, is known for its dramatic black and green sandy beaches, tropical fruit and coffee plantations, and the popular Punalu'u his bake shop.

Hikers and mountain bikers can explore the remote Kahuku Unit and Kau Desert of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kealakekua Bay offers great kayaking, snorkeling and Hawaiian history in the northwest corner of the district.

Matanuska Valley, Alaska

Just an hour's drive from Anchorage, this long river valley offers outdoor encounters that would normally take a lot of time and effort to reach.

His MICA guide to Chickaloon offers a variety of frozen adventures, including ice climbing and overnight camping on a glacier. Alternatively, Nick his River Lodge's Alaska Helicopter Tours offer fly-in glacier hiking, glacial lake paddleboarding, and dog sledding across glaciers.

Get up close to the furry Arctic beasts at the musk ox farm in the valley and learn about the life of a frontier-era gold miner and his family in the ghost town of Independence.

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