Many people have high-profile destinations on their travel bucket list, like Paris, Tokyo, or New York City. But along with all the popular activities to do in those major cities comes the issue of being overcrowded with tourists year-round. That’s why we compiled a list of the best under-the-radar spots to get your fill of stunning nature, culture, exotic foods, and experiences you’ll never forget. Here are the most underrated destinations that you should have on your travel list.
1. Loire Valley, France
Forget Paris — the real romance is in central France in a place called Loire Valley that looks right out of a fairytale with its stone villages, vineyards, fields of lavender, and beautiful castles. Go for a wine tasting adventure in the countryside, or you can rent a car from Nantes and take an unforgettable summer road trip. Although Paris isn’t the friendliest of places, apparently, when you get to the surrounding French villages, the vibe is a lot more welcoming.
2. Tohoku, Japan
Skip the often congested streets of Tokyo and slow things down with the refreshing air in Tohoku. Just north of Tokyo is this oasis, which contains jaw-dropping views, an intriguing history that goes back hundreds of years, and of course, picturesque cherry blossom trees. If you’ve had your fill of urban experiences or are looking for a calmer alternative to Tokyo, consider this nature retreat and explore pristine inland forests and breathtaking coastal views.
Take a camel ride in the desert, or check out infinite orange sand dunes. They also have powdery white beaches with crystal clear water. While many people believe that all Middle Eastern countries are dangerous to visit, Oman is surprisingly safe for driving, wandering markets, and exploring its historic villages. There are also mountain peaks you can check out if you’re an adrenaline junkie, but if you’re looking for a less intense adventure, consider the Wadi Shab Oasis hike.
4. Sitka, Alaska
Everyone automatically thinks of snow and glaciers when it comes to Alaska, and Sitka is often a town that popular cruises pass by. Still, it’s worth staying for a few days and exploring. Best enjoyed in the summertime, Sitka offers delicious local seafood meals, jaw-dropping scenery, and many animal experiences, including the Fortress of the Bear.
5. Moab, Southern Utah
Looking for a place in the United States that’s more beautiful than California and Hawaii. Utah is filled with varied and alien landscapes that will make you feel like another planet. Beyond the Grand Canyon, there are so many striking places to explore, including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which is less crowded. The town of Moab is also quaint as can be with its small shops and tasty food spots.
6. Seville, Spain
Honestly, the entirety of Southern Spain is worth a trip in itself, but Seville is a little city that truly stands out. Although it’s not nearly as popular as more known cities like Madrid and Barcelona, this old city center boasts a cheap cost of living, mouthwatering tapas, and memorable sangria. It’s also home to plenty of architectural gems, including the Alcazar of Seville, an awe-inspiring medieval Islamic palace.
7. Marfa, Texas
Marfa looks like something straight out of a movie. While Austin might have the hearts of many, Marfa in West Texas is an unexpected alternative. Set in a remote desert, Marfa is filled with world-renowned art galleries, curated fashion boutiques, artisanal coffee shops, and five-star restaurants and accommodations. Once you get your fill of shopping, check out the nearby Observatory, where you can take a look at planets through world-class telescopes. A middle-of-nowhere vibe with high-end amenities and businesses.
Although there are plenty more well-known countries in South East Asia, including Thailand and Malaysia, serene Laos is an off-the-beaten-path experience that you don’t want to miss out on. From its beautiful rainforests to sprawling rice terraces, Laos isn’t yet the same tourist magnet that its neighboring countries are. However, we have a feeling that it might catch on soon, so book your flight soon! Be sure to check out as many temples as you can, and UNESCO Heritage Site dubbed “Plain of Jars.”
9. Northern Greece
Every year people flock to the islands and south of Greece, visiting historic locations like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. But Northern Greece boasts a magnificent mountain scenery and unique culture that’s equally enticing. Places like Thessaloniki and Halkidiki are two of the best places to go in Northern Greece, and a less bustling alternative if you’re looking to get away from the noise and city chaos. You can also head to Pella to check out the birthplace of Alexander the Great.
10. Prince Edward Island, Canada
This island is actually Canada’s smallest province, and it’s perfect for relaxing coastal getaway. The foodie scene, coastal culture, and festivals are only some of the perks of PEI, which is home to some of the best seafood you can get your hands on. Be sure to visit some of the lighthouses, which are hundreds of years old. Nature lovers, be sure to check out Basin Head Provincial Park and PEI National Park.