8 Most underrated summer travel destinations in the U.S.

1. Cannon Beach, Oregon

For a serene beach experience without the sweltering heat and tourist throngs, Cannon Beach is a prime choice. This Oregon coastal gem is celebrated for its stunning shoreline and rich natural surroundings.

2. The Finger Lakes, New York

Wine enthusiasts should explore the Finger Lakes, a less crowded alternative to Napa Valley. This upstate New York region boasts over 130 wineries and a variety of wine trails, including the popular Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, and Keuka Lake trails.

3. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Often overlooked for summer vacations, Coeur d’Alene offers breathtaking lake views and a range of water activities. Accessible via a short drive from Spokane International Airport, this lakeside town is perfect for both adrenaline seekers

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe combines natural beauty with rich cultural experiences. Known for its vibrant art scene, adobe architecture, and mountainous backdrop, it’s a destination that balances relaxation with cultural enrichment. Visit The Plaza for authentic Native American

5. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is more than just a buzzworthy name. It’s a city with a thriving arts scene and renowned barbecue. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art offers an extensive collection, while the nearby Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art provides a modern touch.

6. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head is a perennial favorite among Travel+Leisure readers, yet it remains a bit of a hidden gem. This island, just 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, offers a perfect blend of relaxation and activity. From its beautiful beaches to vibrant nightlife

7. Santa Catalina Island, California

A short ferry ride from Los Angeles, Catalina Island offers a European vibe without leaving the U.S. Enjoy waterfront activities, boutique shopping, and sunset hikes along the Pacific Ocean. The Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel is a picturesque lodging option

8. Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater is a standout among Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, offering white sand and turquoise waters without the heavy crowds of more famous spots like Siesta Key. After a day of beachside relaxation, explore Clearwater’s downtown area

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