Underrated vacation destinations do not tend to stay that way for long, they have a funny way of gaining popularity – usually because those that do visit, find it hard to keep a great place secret. So, for those craving a vacation somewhere that is a little different, here are a few less predictable suggestions to consider in the US.
If a California trip is on the cards forget obvious choices such as Los Angeles and San Francisco and head inland to the more laid back and friendly city of Sacramento. This town once buzzed to the excitement of the Gold Rush and has plenty of impressive historical buildings, notably the state capitol.
Located in the fertile Sacramento-San Joaquin valley, people in this city are very serious about their food and wine. The local produce can be sourced from certified farmers’ markets and gourmets book early for a table at the famous Biba Ristorante Italiano.
Wine buffs head east to the Sierra Foothill Wineries in the Shenandoah Valley where good vintages and views combine. Smart visitors to this region arrange car rental bringing natural beauty spots such as Folsom Lake and Lake Tahoe within easy driving distance. Sacramento offers numerous family attractions – Sacramento Zoo, Raging Waters (fun park), American River Bike Trail and the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento to name just a few.
For a refreshing change, Kansas City has a surprisingly European flavor, graced as it is with wide Parisian style boulevards and more bubbling fountains than will be found in Rome. Perched on the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, this Midwestern city does not shout about its many assets, but to those in the know, it scores highly as a quality destination. So what is there to do in Kansas City? How about a visit to the Arabia Steamboat Museum where the pioneer beginnings of this city are documented?
In summer, energetic families splash about at the mega water park at Schlitterbahn Vacation Village.
Sports and history buffs enjoy the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and music fans immerse themselves in music by greats such as Charlie Parker and Count Basie at the American Jazz Museum. Downtown and the historic 18th and Vine District offers shopping and nightlife, and for those that are hungry after all that sightseeing, barbecue is a religion in Kansas City so be sure to grab something tasty off the grill menu.
Those willing to look beyond the theme parks of Orlando and the glitz of Miami, will discover some underrated gems in Florida. The Sunshine State has much going for it in terms of climate and coastline, and a city such as Sarasota, situated south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast, is well worth a mention.
With quiet crystalline beaches, an attractive art deco downtown and a laid-back but sophisticated feel, Sarasota doesn’t try too hard.
The cultural legacy of John Ringling is in evidence everywhere in Sarasota from the art galleries that are hung with the works of old masters, to the historic Asolo Theater.
Children have plenty to occupy them; a wealth of safe, beautiful beaches, Mote Marine Aquarium, Circus Museum and Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
The best pleasures in life tend to be the unexpected ones, so why not take a chance on one of these underrated US destinations? It could be one of the nicest surprises ever.