Five Underrated Summer Travel Destinations Worth Visiting

Without question, the Grand Canyon, Napa Valley and New Orleans are typical summer travel spots within the U.S. However, if you’re looking to buck the crowds this season, try opting for one of the country’s many underrated destinations. From foodie havens to outdoor adventure wonderlands, here are five destinations we think should be at the top of your list this year.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Downtown Philadelphia, over the Schuylkill River and boardwalk. [Pgiam/E+/Getty Images]

Locals know that Philadelphia’s food and beverage scene holds its own against the country’s biggest cities. In fact, the City of Brotherly Love is home to Zahav, a pillar of authentic Israeli cuisine that won the James Beard Foundation’s best restaurant in America in 2019. Zahav can be a hard reservation to get, but luckily for foodies the city is bursting with incredible dining options. These include Vedge, which elevates animal-free eating to high art; cool-kid magnet Pizzeria Beddia, where a small selection of pies share the stage with simple small plates; and South Philly Barbacoa, where juicy slow-cooked lamb draws queues around the block. The popular Mexican eatery earned a spot on Bon Appetite’s list of best U.S. restaurants in 2016.

Meredith, New Hampshire

Adirondack chairs and lake

Two red adirondack chairs overlooking a scenic lake view. [bobmanley/iStock/Getty Images]

This petite state packs in the scenery, with stunning vistas and sunsets viewable from the Lakes Region. Meredith is a major resort town in the area for those in-the-know. Importantly, it balances the area’s outdoor attractions with the luxury of phone reception! Situated along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith offers outdoor adventures such as boating and hiking, local attractions like antique and craft shops, and one-off eateries. Travel slightly further afield to smaller towns like Hebron, along Newfound Lake, for a real unplugged experience.

Los Olivos, California

Los Olivos California

Evening sky with giant tree in the town Los Olivos, California. [Daniel_Saxlid/iStock/Getty Images]

More than just a refueling point between Los Angeles and Paso Robles, Los Olivos is a destination in its own right with wineries, galleries, and charming architecture to delight the senses. Deep in the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Olivos’ picturesque downtown is home to the tasting room for Stolpman Vineyards, among many other wineries. Additionally, it's home to the Los Olivos General Store, where artisan-made goods and jewelry line the shelves. Afterwards, bask in the beautiful scents of Clairmont Farm Lavender Co., where picnics are welcome among the flowers and handmade lavender products are available for purchase.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina skyline

Downtown skyline of Asheville, North Carolina, at dusk. [Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images]

Asheville is a liberal and artistic enclave nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. This is a summer travel spot where progressive creative spirit vibes with historic attractions. Downtown Asheville offers a robust scene of farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries and live music. Travel just beyond and find heritage destinations such as Biltmore Estate, the nearly 179,000-square-foot Gilded Age residence of George and Edith Vanderbilt. Don't miss a trek through the area’s robust hiking trail infrastructure and see first-hand the area's gorgeous mountaintops, waterfalls and wildflower fields.

Sandpoint, Idaho

sunset Lake Pend Oreille Idaho

Sunset on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. [kreulen/iStock/Getty Images]

Finally, whether you're scheduling for winter or summer travel, there’s always something to do outdoors in this northern Idaho locale. Sitting on bucolic Lake Pend Oreille, this high-elevation city borders the Selkirk Mountains, offering beautiful scenery in the summer and skiable terrain by way of Schweitzer Resort in the winter. With 111 miles of shoreline that includes parks and beaches, Lake Pend Oreille's breathtaking beauty can't be understated. While outdoor adventuring is the norm here, Sandpoint’s downtown district offers up an array of shopping destinations, including outdoor gear retailers, artisan-made crafts and unique local vendors.


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