When it comes time to plan any US street journey, there are cities and landmarks that instantly leap out as ‘should see’ inclusions.
The likes of New York Metropolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC, and Philadelphia routinely earn their place in your itinerary simply as absolutely because the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite declare a day or three.
Whereas these cities and landmarks are positive to be highlights of any US street journey, there’s a host of different cities which are simply begging to be explored and skilled.
From hipster-friendly craft beer heavens to hiker’s paradises to charming New England escapes, there may be way more to any US street journey than the apparent. Under, you’ll discover fifteen underrated cities worthy of a day, a weekend, or perhaps a week in your itinerary.
15 Underrated Cities for Your US Street Journey
There’s by no means a uninteresting second on a street journey.
A number of the most memorable experiences on my 2016 Nice US Street Journey occurred in cities I by no means even considered in planning the journey.
From getting the demise stare in a West Texas burger joint to visiting the Roswell Museum to boozy wine tour days in southern California, even the shortest pit cease made for an unforgettable reminiscence.
In search of a hidden gem so as to add to your US street journey? Right here, you’ll discover fifteen cities that don’t get the credit score they deserve.
#15 – Greenville, South Carolina
The Carolinas don’t are likely to get loads of love when it comes time to plan a US street journey. With out the world-famous landmarks or bustling cities to attract folks’s consideration, each North and South Carolina are sometimes missed, and it’s a crying disgrace.
Take Greenville, for instance. A dynamic foodie metropolis with small city allure in spades, Greenville nicely and actually lives as much as its title with an abundance of close by climbing trails and the well-known Swamp Rabbit Path – a former stretch of rail that has been transformed into a shocking biking route.
Nevertheless it’s as a meals vacation spot that Greenville has earned its plaudits, and each ‘causes to go to Greenville’ article you’re more likely to discover will rattle off so many eating places that you simply’ll wish to dedicate every week to this charming nook of the States.
Whereas I haven’t made it to Greenville myself, Feast and West has an amazing piece on why you’ll love Greenville.
#14 – Annapolis, Maryland
Maryland is commonly ignored in favour of its extra prestigious neighbours equivalent to Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New York.
The attract of a day within the Massive Apple, the Metropolis of Brotherly Love, or the US Capitol is apparent, and I’d by no means counsel one thing as loopy as slicing one of many East Coast Three to make room for Maryland.
Whereas many may favour Baltimore, I discovered myself just a bit bit in love with Maryland’s capital, Annapolis.
Situated on the shores of the mighty Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is a metropolis that nicely and actually embraces its proud naval custom.
Whether or not you’re out on the water crusing, paying a go to to the US Naval Academy, feasting on blue crab at Cantler’s, or simply soaking within the capital’s wealthy historical past, Annapolis is a cute little metropolis that may be a nice break from the larger and busier cities you’ll likely go to whereas on the East Coast.
The town won’t be awash with landmarks you’ve daydreamed about since your youth, but it surely’s possessed of a quiet allure that’s exhausting to not love.
I spent two sunny weeks in 2012 exploring Annapolis with an area; soaking within the solar on the waterfront, consuming my fill of Maryland’s signature blue crab (with numerous Outdated Bay), and having fun with its laid again nightlife.
Whereas I by no means wrote about my expertise in Annapolis, it’s additionally a brief drive from the East Coast’s fashionable seaside playground, Ocean Metropolis.
#13 – Monterey, California
The drive down California’s Pacific Coast Freeway is likely one of the most breathtaking stretches of street you’re more likely to ever encounter.
Stretch from San Francisco all the way in which down the windswept, craggy coast, Route 1 has featured on two of my earlier US street journeys and stands out as one of many absolute highlights.
Situated not too removed from San Francisco, quaint Monterey is a seaside city with loads of allure.
From the world-famous Monterey Aquarium to saltwater taffy and contemporary seafood on the waterfront to attractive Carmel-by-the-Sea to its proximity to picturesque Bixby Bridge, Monterey is a cease each Pacific Coast street journey ought to embody.
Fascinated about Monterey? You’ll be able to learn extra about learn how to spend two days in Monterey.
#12 – Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff likely makes it on to loads of US Street Journey itineraries because of its proximity to the Grand Canyon.
A preferred base from which to discover the long-lasting Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is a captivating metropolis of its personal. It has an amazing hipster mountain city vibe to it that’s exhausting to not love, and it could be prison to go away Arizona with out having given a little bit time to Flagstaff.
Extra than simply the Grand Canyon
Many image Arizona as dry desert, however Flagstaff’s location within the mountains means it will get downright chilly within the winter. The cool mountain air makes for world-class stargazing, and the Lowell Observatory is a should for anybody with a love of the night time sky.
The city itself is awash with brew pubs and brunch joints (my private favourites are Beaver Road Brewery and the Toasted Owl Cafe, and it’s completely positioned to go to a lot of nationwide parks and landscapes equivalent to Petrified Forest Nationwide Park, Meteor Crater, and Walnut Creek Canyon.
Everyone has been to the Grand Canyon, however have you ever ever explored the Indian cave dwellings at Walnut Creek Canyon? I’ve, and it was fascinating.
#11 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
ABQ may be finest identified for its position because the backdrop to Walter White’s crystal meth empire on Breaking Unhealthy, however there’s much more to the New Mexico metropolis than the usually oppressive means it was portrayed within the AMC hit.
Whereas my very own US street journey featured Sante Fe as a substitute of ABQ, there are many causes to go to Albuquerque together with their world-famous Sizzling Air Balloon Competition.
Situated alongside iconic Route 66 and residential to a few of a singular melting pot of Hispanic, Native American, Latino, and Anglo tradition, that is actually the US Southwest epitomised.
Whether or not you’re climbing the encircling desert, visiting Native American desert dwellings, consuming your fill of scrumptious chili, or simply taking a spin out on America’s most well-known stretch of street, Albuquerque is greater than only a fast cease for gasoline.
Lonely Planet has loads of concepts on the subject of issues to do in ABQ.
#10 – Moab, Utah
The title won’t instantly leap to thoughts while you’re considering of dream US locations, however check out Moab’s location on a map and also you’ll see why it’s a should have in my eyes.
Situated on the crossroads between Canyonlands Nationwide Park and Arches Nationwide Park, Moab is the right launching level from which to discover these two beautiful nationwide parks. For these with a love of the good outdoor, there are few locations higher suited.
For adrenaline junkies, you’ve received white water rafting, mountaineering, skydiving, ATVing, and mountain biking to maintain you occupied. For the extra sedate, merely climbing these iconic parks is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise.
Utah was a last-minute reduce from my most up-to-date US street journey, however Hike Bike Journey has a incredible Moab itinerary that must encourage.
#9 – Asheville, North Carolina
It’s in all probability not a well-kept secret anymore, however Asheville in North Carolina is the one metropolis I used to be most upset I missed in my most up-to-date street journey. Named as Lonely Planet’s #1 vacation spot within the US in 2017, Asheville is a metropolis on the rise.
A foodie and beer lover’s heaven, Asheville has captured the hearts of most anyone who has had the wherewithal so as to add it to their itinerary.
With a thriving arts scene and entry to the close by Blue Ridge Mountains for climbing and day journeys, Asheville is a metropolis I’m decided to get to and completely discover simply as quickly as I can.
You’ll be able to learn a little bit bit extra about Asheville and 7 different cities I used to be unhappy to overlook in my article Eight Locations I’m Sorry I Missed on my US Street Journey.
#8 – Portland, Maine
I’ve had a permanent fascination with the New England ever since I received my fingers on my first Stephen King guide. The seminal horror author has primarily based an amazing a lot of his novels in his dwelling state of Maine, and Portland maybe finest exemplifies the New England aesthetic.
Cobblestone streets, salty breezes, a lonely lighthouse, clam chowder, ice chilly beers, and that unmistakable New Englander character all mix collectively to make Portland the quintessential coastal New England city.
You half anticipate a haunted mist or time-eating Langoliers to return looming up out of the morning fog…
The New England continues to elude me, however Journey and Leisure has an amazing three day Portland itinerary to get you impressed.
#7 – Savannah, Georgia
My very own US street journey featured the underwhelming metropolis of Atlanta, so I’m a little bit upset once I learn an increasing number of about why Savannah is the very best place to go to expertise true Southern consolation and hospitality.
Shaded by attractive oak bushes, the basic Colonial structure of this fading Southern Belle speaks of a special time in American historical past. With wonderful meals, oodles of historical past, and that all-important southern hospitality, Savannah is a metropolis I’m dying to go to and you ought to be too.
Whereas I used to be busy being upset by Atlanta, Adventurous Kate was falling in love with Savannah. You’ll be able to learn her causes to like Savannah right here.
#6 – Web page, Arizona
On the shores of attractive Lake Powell and set amid among the most beautiful surroundings the American west has to supply, Web page is your gateway to unforgettable sights equivalent to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend – two of essentially the most photographed landscapes in all of America.
Whether or not you select to soak up this outstanding surroundings on foot, on a Colorado River cruise, or from a kayak – it’s a nook of the US that must be on any respectable cross-country street journey.
With an enormous number of Web page lodges to select from, guests can do the backpacker factor or dwell within the lap of luxurious as they discover the canyons, cliffs, and windswept desert at their very own tempo.
Web page was one other last-minute reduce from my Nice US Street Journey, however you possibly can learn loads of causes to go to Web page, AZ over at Miss HappyFeet.
#5 – Buffalo, New York
New York State inevitably finally ends up on each US street journey, however most of the time, it’s simply New York Metropolis that will get a couple of days assigned to it.
The American gateway to Niagara Falls, Buffalo is greater than only a place to base your self forward of a journey on the Maiden of the Mists. Like the opposite underrated US cities on this checklist, it’s a thriving foodie scene that has a lot to maintain your style buds occupied for a weekend or extra.
Journey and Leisure named Buffalo as America’s third most underrated metropolis in 2016, citing the town’s thriving craft beer scene, it’s good pizza, vibrant arts scene, and jam-packed pageant calendar as the reason why the town warrants a go to.
The Loopy Vacationer has fifteen causes to go to Buffalo which may get your creativeness in overdrive.
#4 – Raleigh, North Carolina
You’ve received to be a fairly outstanding metropolis to seize the hearts of Caz & Craig from yTravel, however that’s precisely what Raleigh, North Carolina has performed. The jet-setting household of 4 have singled out Raleigh as their favorite spot within the US and actually have a incredible information on learn how to transfer to Raleigh.
Why do they find it irresistible so? It’s a cruisy, inexperienced, trendy, hip metropolis with beautiful pure magnificence to pair with its thriving meals, beer, and humanities scene – the type of place whose allure is obvious from the second you enter its metropolis limits.
To me, Raleigh’s meals and beer scene is one among its greatest appeals, and it may be finest for my waistline that I wasn’t in a position to make it in my 2009, 2012, or 2016 street journeys…
A metropolis with small city allure, there are many low cost Raleigh lodges to make it a great cease in your journey north (or south), however why not spend a couple of days between Raleigh and Asheville to actually see what North Carolina has to supply?
Insurgent Coronary heart Journey has provide you with fifteen issues to do in Raleigh that must encourage. Go examine them out!
#3 – Nashville, Tennessee
Music Metropolis is a must-see for nation music lovers, however the Tennessee metropolis is an usually ignored gem on the subject of US street journeys.
Whereas it might not have the identical drawcard enchantment as New Orleans or Florida, there’s loads of the reason why Nashville ought to function in your exploration of the US South.
Nation music will not be your cup of tea, however you haven’t partied till you’ve spent an evening sipping Bud Lite and bouncing from honky tonky to honky tonk in Nashville. With dwell music in each bar and other people singing alongside to their outdated favourites, it’s exhausting to not get swept up within the environment.
Simply avoid these low cost Fireball pictures…
I not too long ago mentioned whether or not Nashville or Memphis is the extra deserving street journey vacation spot.
#2 – Portland, Oregon
The premier hipster haven in North America, Portland is a metropolis that nicely and actually embraces its weirdness.
One of many solely locations I’ve made some extent of visiting on a number of events, Portland’s craft beer scene, meals scene, and general environment of common weirdness makes it the type of metropolis I’d like to name dwelling sometime.
Beer lovers can be spoiled for alternative by the town’s dizzying array of craft beers, and the chance to design your individual Portland brewery tour is a enjoyable solution to get out and discover.
Add within the presence of the close by Colombia River Gorge and the attractive Pacific Northwest coastal cities equivalent to Astoria and Tillamook, and also you’ve received a recipe for a metropolis that nicely and actually surpasses all expectations.
I’ve waxed lyrical about Portland on many events, most not too long ago once I in contrast it to Seattle and Austin in my Hipster Metropolis Showdown.
#1 – San Luis Obispo, California
I’d by no means even heard of San Luis Obispo (henceforth often called SLO) till my pal, Kait urged I swing by on my means from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
I actually by no means would have guessed that SLO would go down as one among my favorite stops on all the street journey.
Wine tasting, bar crawling, and scrumptious meals devouring had been all on the agenda on this sunny, youthful school city.
For those who’re trying to totally embrace Southern Californian life in a hidden gem that hasn’t been ruined by vacationers but, you would do quite a bit worse than SLO.
I’ve written earlier than concerning the many causes to go to SLO.
What are your favorite underrated cities in the USA?
Need an Aussie in your inbox?