Looking for somewhere new to travel this summer? Skip the overpopulated tourist traps and instead pick a destination that has just as much great things to offer, but is a better-kept secret. Many cities in the United States get overshadowed by the one or two major cities their state is known for. Vacationing to one of these underrated spots will not only save you money but also save you the time usually spent waiting for tables at restaurants and in lines to attractions, giving you more time to enjoy your trip.
30 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. sits this hidden treasure. Located on the Patapsco River, National Harbor is home to more than 160 shops, over 40 restaurants and a billion-dollar casino resort featuring entertainment, a spa and salon, high-end retail, meeting space and more than a dozen restaurants. The 350-acre waterfront spot is perfect for a long weekend or a day trip.
Oakland is the more eclectic and diverse sister of San Francisco. Located in the Bay Area of Northern California, Oakland is the perfect vacation spot for foodies, as it’s home to over 300 restaurants and near Napa Valley wine country. Make sure to hit up the Oakland Ale Trail, visit all 11 of Oakland’s brewery tap rooms and earn a free branded growler. Oakland also boasts better weather than the foggy city on the bay.
Make it a point to visit the “Best Town Ever” this summer. This is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a place to unwind and connect with nature. Hike up Lookout Mountain, named for its role as a strategic lookout spot for Confederate generals during the Civil War. If hiking isn’t quite your speed, no worries. There’s horseback riding, rock-climbing, and hang-gliding. Replenish your energy after all of the outdoor activities by indulging in the Chattanooga BBQ scene, home to a mix of many different pit styles.
Coeur d’Alene is surrounded by more than 55 lakes, but none more full of activities than Lake Coeur d’Alene. The city is known for its water sports but offers a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, and monthly art walks featuring seven galleries in a seven-block area. If you’re looking to do some shopping, downtown Coeur d’Alene has over 100 merchants in a six-block area. The city is located only 30 minutes from Spokane National Airport, making the city easy to get to, but hard to leave.