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Traveling off the beaten path can be incredibly rewarding, as it allows you to discover some of the world’s best-kept secrets.
And that doesn’t mean having to book a one-way ticket to an exotic and faraway land; some of these gems are right on our doorstep!
We’ll uncover 14 amazing places around the globe that don’t get enough attention but are definitely worth a visit.
Get ready for an adventure like no other, where you can make memories with unique cultural experiences and wonder at natural beauty away from crowds of touristy norms.
So forget about following the travel hype train, let’s take a journey through these unforgettable destinations instead!
Table of Contents
#1. Ozark Mountains in Missouri
The pristine wilderness of the Ozark Mountains is a great place to start this list.
Sprawling across large parts of Missouri and Arkansas, the Ozarks are home to countless outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and camping.
You’ll never be bored in this region of forests, rivers, and creeks; whether it’s exploring the local caves, taking a dip in one of the many lakes or simply admiring the amazing wildlife.
Travel to this hidden gem and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience.
#2. Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is the perfect destination for those seeking to explore America’s beautiful Pacific coastline.
From Cannon Beach in the north down to Brookings in the south, the Oregon Coast offers an abundance of breathtaking views that will take your breath away.
Whether you want to wander through charming coastal towns, marvel at stunning sea stacks and cliffs, or just relax with a book on the beach, you’ll find it all here.
#3. Fredricksburg, Texas
Texas is a massive state with plenty to do and see, but one town that you might have overlooked in your journey is Fredricksburg.
Characterized by its German-inspired architecture and roots, this town offers a gorgeous and unique landscape that’s unlike other places in Texas you may have already crossed off your list.
Better yet, there’s no shortage of things to do in Fredricksburg.
From scenic vineyards to live music and everything in between, this is sure to be a stop you won’t forget.
#4. Carmel-by-the-Sea in California
If you’re a fan of tucked-away, fairy tale-esque, seaside towns, look no further than Carmel-by-the-Sea in California.
This quaint town offers a ton to do if you’re looking for a quiet getaway, including plenty of wine bars for those who want to unwind, gorgeous beach and nature views you can enjoy along the Carmel Meadows Trail, and even the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum if you’re looking to learn a little something while you’re on vacation.
#5. Valley of Fire, Nevada
As its name suggests, Valley of Fire is absolutely amazing.
The red-hot sandstone sprawled around the park makes visitors feel as though they are on Mars.
Throughout the valley you’ll find slot canyons, orange and pink rock formations, and ancient petroglyphs carved into sandstone.
A day here is just enough to scratch the surface, but a couple of days is ideal to discover all the hidden treasures in one of the friendliest vacation spots in the US for hikers and campers alike.
Even better, it is close to the Grand Canyon and Zion national park, so you have plenty to see and do.
#6. Plymouth, Massachusetts
Sure, Boston is cool, but where’s all the love for Plymouth?
Often dubbed America’s Hometown, Plymouth is where the Pilgrims landed when they first came to America.
Plymouth is unique compared to other vacation destinations because of its rich history and everything that the locals do in order to preserve it.
If you’re a major history buff, visiting Plymouth, Massachusetts means getting to see how the Pilgrims lived, enjoying the various historic landmarks that led to the America you see around you today, and even getting to get hands-on with history in the various exhibits and events they have around the town.
While you can visit Plymouth during any time of the year, arguably the best time to visit any location on the East Coast is during the fall months.
#7. Mackinac Island in Michigan
Mackinac Island is only accessible by ferry, making it a great getaway for those who have a couple of days on their hands and a desire to explore all that the island has to offer.
The beautiful island offers a national park full of natural wonders to explore, plenty of boat tours and kayak rentals to keep you busy as you explore the blue waters surrounding the lush island, and hiking as you travel above the inhabitants below.
If you’re a nature lover and need to go somewhere with fewer people, Mackinac Island is the place to be.
#8. Molokai, Hawaii
There are tucked-away locations, and there are locations that are far more remote than other vacation destinations.
Molokai, Hawaii falls into the latter category.
Gorgeous, untouched, and not one of the major tourist destinations, Molokai has really put in the effort to preserve its culture and keep it as close to as it was in prior centuries.
For those tourists who are accustomed to some of the bigger tourist destinations, this means that you will have to go without some of the modern amenities that you are used to.
But if you’re more than willing to do this, you can get an authentic Hawaiian experience like no other.
#9. White Sands National Park in New Mexico
Nature doesn’t have to be lush and green in order to be captivating.
In fact, some of the most stunning places are anything but.
One place you might like to visit if you’re interested in this type of nature is the White Sands National Park in New Mexico.
This national park is home to massive gypsum deposits (the most in the world) that create stunning white sand dunes that stretch across the park.
Even better, you can hike and sandboard down these dunes and explore the environment on your own.
#10. Bald Head Island in North Carolina
Islands really tend to be the best places to be if you’re looking for places off of the beaten path.
This is because they’re not often visited by those who don’t know about it or don’t want to access it, keeping it in stellar condition.
Another island you should put on your list is Bald Head Island in North Carolina.
Bald Head Island is just a skip and a hop away from Cape Fear (by ferry, of course) and boasts 12,000 acres of stunning land occupied by nature preserves and gorgeous beaches, stunning neighborhoods, and plenty of local shops and places to eat while you’re there.
#11. The Apostle Islands Ice Caves, Wisconsin
Caves, despite being gorgeous, are a dime a dozen as you travel across the U.S.
You might be sick of seeing a ton of crystals or caverns at this point.
If you’re ready for something new, you might like the Apostle Islands Ice Caves in Wisconsin.
Only accessible when Lake Superior is frozen around January to February, these caves capture the frozen waves bashing against the sandstone cliffs of the Apostle Islands.
This one can be a bit trickier to see, so if you’re able to catch a glimpse of these caves, take the opportunity when it comes!
#12. Story Land, New Hampshire
If you have kids and are fed up with the outrageous prices of Disney (or their politics), consider Story Land in New Hampshire.
In addition to rides and attractions, the park also has interactive nursery rhymes and fairy tales for kids.
#13. Bastrop, Texas
There’s something about small towns that’s attractive.
Not all small towns are necessarily great, and finding the right one that’s perfect to wander into can be difficult.
Enter Bastrop, Texas.
Bastrop is the epitome of small-town life, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking to get away from big-city living for a bit.
Whether you’re a fan of golf clubs, river walks, or even historic opera houses, you’re sure to find something that will catch your eye in Bastrop, even if it’s just for a moment.
#14. Woodstock, Vermont
Vermont, like Maine and nearby states, is all about nature.
Woodstock, Vermont is not as much of a travel destination as other areas of the state, but a wonderful place to visit nonetheless if you want to get away from crowds.
From the gorgeous scenery and rolling hills to delicious restaurants (often farm-to-table) and boutiques to shop at, Woodstock is sure to leave an impression on you that you won’t forget any time soon.
The Most Overrated Destinations You Should Avoid
We’ve all been told of great travel destinations we have to see.
But too often, these places turn out to be a waste of time.
From nothing to do to overpriced items, here are the places you need to avoid.
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In order to avoid the inevitable “Are we there yet?”, here are the best ways to keep your kids entertained during travel so you can keep your sanity.
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Make sure you cross them off your list so you too don’t waste your time.
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But you don’t. You just have to learn how to travel smart on a budget. Here are the tricks to know.
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There are many ways you can get free money, from playing games, to watching videos, and more.
Here are the best ways you can get free money without having to work for it.
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