Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

The USA boasts a vast and diverse landscape, offering a plethora of hidden gems for summer travel beyond the usual tourist hotspots. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas within the US:

  • The Black Hills, South Dakota:

Black Hills, South Dakota tourist spots

Nestled in the southwestern part of South Dakota, the Black Hills offer a stunning backdrop for summer adventures. Hike through verdant forests in Custer State Park, explore dramatic caves like Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument, and marvel at the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Kayak on sparkling lakes like Sylvan Lake, go stargazing under clear skies at Badlands National Park, or visit charming towns like Deadwood, known for its Wild West history, and Hill City, with its art galleries and craft breweries.

  • Mendocino County, California:

Mendocino County, California tourist spots

Escape the crowds of Napa Valley and discover the scenic charm of Mendocino County along California’s northern coast. Redwood forests hug the rugged shoreline, offering scenic hikes through towering trees like those at Montgomery Woods State Reserve. Quaint villages like Mendocino and Fort Bragg boast art galleries, delicious seafood restaurants, and unique shops. Kayak in the calm harbor at Noyo Harbor, go whale watching off the coast for migrating gray whales, or explore tide pools teeming with marine life at Point Reyes National Seashore.

  • The San Juan Islands, Washington:

San Juan Islands, Washington tourist spots

Nestled in the Salish Sea between Washington State and Vancouver Island, Canada, the San Juan Islands are an archipelago paradise. Explore charming towns like Friday Harbor on Orcas Island, known for its Friday Harbor Labs and art scene, kayak around scenic islands like Sucia Island and Lopez Island, go whale watching for orcas and other marine life in the surrounding waters, or hike through forests teeming with wildlife at places like Moran State Park.

  • The Finger Lakes, New York:

Finger Lakes, New York tourist spots

Escape the hustle and bustle of New York City and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes region. Eleven long, finger-shaped lakes dominate the landscape, surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and charming towns. Hike or bike along scenic trails like the Watkins Glen State Park Gorge Trail, rent a boat and explore the lakes, or sample award-winning wines at local wineries on Seneca Lake or Cayuga Lake. Visit the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, or explore the historic city of Rochester.

  • Big Sky, Montana:

Big Sky, Montana tourist spots

Nestled in the heart of Montana’s breathtaking Rocky Mountains, Big Sky is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike or bike through stunning landscapes in places like Gallatin National Forest, go whitewater rafting on the Gallatin River, or fly fish for trout in pristine streams like the Yellowstone River. In the winter, world-class skiing awaits at Big Sky Resort, known for its vast terrain and stunning views.

  • Block Island, Rhode Island:

Block Island, Rhode Island tourist spots

Escape the crowds of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and discover the laid-back charm of Block Island. Explore dramatic cliffs at Mohegan Bluffs, pristine beaches like Crescent Beach, and charming villages like Old Harbor and New Shoreham, with historic lighthouses like the North Light and Southeast Light. Hike or bike along scenic trails through the island’s interior, go swimming or surfing in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean, or visit the historic Block Island Southeast Lighthouse.

  • Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota:


Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota tourist spots

Embark on a unique summer adventure in Voyageurs National Park, accessible only by boat or seaplane. Explore a vast network of interconnected lakes, forests, and rocky islands. Paddle through the serene wilderness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, go fishing for walleye and bass in the park’s many lakes, or camp under a blanket of stars at one of the park’s campsites.

  • The Golden Road, Maine:

truck and sign on the golden road in Millinocket

Golden Road, Maine tourist spots

Discover the hidden gems of Maine’s central coast along the scenic Golden Road, a 100-mile stretch of coastal highway. Explore historic towns like Bath, known for its shipbuilding history, and Boothbay Harbor, a charming harbor town with shops, restaurants, and boat tours. Visit the stunning Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, showcasing Maine’s maritime history, and savor fresh seafood at harborside restaurants. Hike or bike along the Rockland Breakwater, a long granite wall offering scenic views, go kayaking in the calm coves, or simply relax on one of the many beautiful beaches like Popham Beach.

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The USA boasts a vast and diverse landscape, offering a plethora of hidden gems for summer travel beyond the usual tourist hotspots. Here are some underrated summer travel ideas within the US: The Black Hills, South Dakota: Black Hills, South Dakota tourist spots Nestled in the southwestern part of South Dakota, the Black Hills offer…


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