Looking for some new destinations to daydream about or add to your future vacation bucket list? Here are five tragically underrated U.S. destinations to consider for your next domestic wanderlust moment.
Jackson is a vibrant city that’s well worth a domestic getaway. Dubbed the “City With Soul,” Jackson offers not only an excellent music scene but a diverse culinary scene too. The city is also home to some of the best museums in the South, notably the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Not to mention, Jackson is also the place where you’ll find the Medgar Evers Home Museum, once home to the legendary civil rights activist.
Plaza Blanca, New Mexico
You’ve heard of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley—but what about Plaza Blanca near Abiquiu in northern New Mexico? There, you’ll find white cliffs and rock faces. The destination is so stunning it even inspired several of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. Hikers of all levels can enjoy the serene former riverbed trail or challenge themselves to scale some rock formations. Either way, bring your camera (or your paintbrush) because it’s a sight to behold.
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Home to 21 islands in Lake Superior, Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands region is not only a nature photographer’s dream, but it’s also ideal for kayaking, boating, hiking, camping, and much more. Check out the area boat tours and sailing charters. Stay and explore the region’s crystal-clear water, epic rock formations, spot more than 200 species of birds, see 50 miles of maintained hiking trails and spot a few historic lighthouses. (There’s even a shipwreck or two!)
Looking for a small city with a big personality? The picturesque port town Astoria more than delivers. History buffs will love the Astoria Column, Fort Stevens State Park, and the Flavel House Museum. Go for a ride on the vintage trolley, taste the local seafood, or visit one of the pier’s local bars. Fun fact: Lewis and Clark reached the end of their expedition in what is now modern-day Astoria. So maybe toast one of those beers in their honor.
Sumter National Forest, South Carolina
The Sumter National Forest offers an excellent alternative to more traveled national parks. Head here for rich autumn colors and phenomenal hikes. In the park, you’ll have more than 60 trails to choose from for all levels, including routes that allow leashed dogs. While in the park, take some time to marvel at the verdant trees, cascading waterfalls, and calm waters where you can soothe your feet after a hike. Scenic Greenville makes for a great starting point to your forest adventures.
Want to see your own city in a whole new light with a mini-getaway instead? Take a look at a little staycation inspiration.
With COVID-19, it’s important to stay safe and practice social distancing. We hope you find this content entertaining, inspiring, or useful for a future trip. Always research official websites for up-to-date information on closures and new health and safety policies as businesses and destinations reopen.