Underrated Destinations to Put on Your Must Travel List

The world is full of breathtaking destinations, each with its own unique charm and allure, waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. While popular tourist hotspots are undeniably enchanting, there's a whole realm of lesser-known treasures that often go unnoticed. These underrated destinations hide in plain sight, waiting for intrepid travelers to uncover their secrets and create unforgettable memories. You're going to want to take notes!


Underrated Destinations to Put on Your Must Travel List 

underrated travel destinations

In this blog post, break free from the usual travel itineraries and embark on a journey to discover some of the world's most underrated gems. These places deserve a prime spot on your must-travel list, promising a delightful escape from the beaten path and a chance to revel in the beauty of the undiscovered.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is often considered an underrated destination due to its unique combination of natural beauty, wildlife diversity, and historical significance. Nestled in the rugged Badlands of North Dakota, this park showcases dramatic landscapes, colorful canyons, and rolling prairies, making it an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. What sets it apart is its connection to the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who once called this area his "cradle of conservation."


Despite its historical importance and the presence of diverse wildlife, including bison, wild horses, and pronghorn, the park remains less crowded and more peaceful than some of the more renowned national parks, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature and history in a serene, less-traveled setting.


Check out some of my other National Park Adventures!

Guide to Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Make the Most of One Day in Zion National Park

The Best Hikes in Every National Park in the Southwest

The Best 7-Day Grand Circle Road Trip

Visit Paradise Mt. Rainier: A Local's Guide to Get the Most out of a Day Trip

Best Place to Watch Sunrise on Grand Canyon's Southern Rim

10 National Parks to Visit During Wildflower Season

Alderbrook Resort and Spa

Alderbrook Resort and Spa, situated in the serene Hood Canal region of Washington State, is often considered an underrated destination for its tranquil and idyllic charm. Nestled against a backdrop of lush forests and the pristine waters of Hood Canal, this hidden gem offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life.


The resort's luxurious amenities, including a world-class spa, elegant accommodations, and locally sourced dining options, make it a perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Yet, it remains relatively under the radar, allowing visitors to bask in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest without the crowds found in more popular tourist destinations.


With its picturesque setting and a myriad of outdoor activities, Alderbrook Resort and Spa provides an ideal escape for those in search of a quiet, sophisticated, and nature-inspired retreat.


Whidbey Island, Washington

Whidbey Island, Washington, often flies under the radar as an underrated destination despite its many attractions and scenic beauty. Tucked away in the Puget Sound, this island offers a diverse range of experiences, from charming seaside communities to stunning beaches, lush forests, and a rich arts and culture scene.


Yet, it remains less crowded and less frequently mentioned than other Pacific Northwest destinations. Visitors to Whidbey Island can enjoy picturesque coastal vistas and outdoor adventures like hiking and kayaking, explore historic towns, and savor farm-to-table cuisine.


The island's slower pace and unspoiled natural beauty make it an ideal escape for those seeking a more peaceful and authentic Pacific Northwest experience, making it a hidden gem for travelers looking to explore the region.

Another island location in Washington that is worth checking out is Camano Island. Read this blog post for more!

Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville, Arkansas, stands out as an underrated destination due to its unexpected blend of culture, history, and outdoor splendor. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, this charming city is home to the world-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a cultural gem that houses an impressive collection of American art in a stunning natural setting.

Beyond its cultural offerings, Bentonville boasts a burgeoning food scene featuring innovative farm-to-table restaurants. Moreover, the city is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, providing countless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and outdoor exploration. Bentonville's quiet charm, friendly locals, and status as the birthplace of Walmart add to its appeal, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a well-rounded and lesser-known travel experience in the American South.

Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue, Washington, often remains underrated as a travel destination despite its proximity to Seattle and many attractions. This bustling city on the shores of Lake Washington offers a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty.


The city's scenic views, including the majestic Cascade Mountains and pristine waterfront parks, make it a hidden gem for those seeking a balance between outdoor adventures and urban amenities in the Pacific Northwest.

The Tri-Cities

The Tri-Cities, located in southeastern Washington, often remains an underrated destination despite its unique appeal. Comprising Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, this region lies at the confluence of the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima rivers, providing a stunning backdrop for a wide range of outdoor activities, including boating, hiking, and wine tasting in the burgeoning wine country. The Tri-Cities offers a more affordable and less crowded alternative to nearby tourist hotspots like Seattle, and its pleasant climate and diverse recreational opportunities make it a hidden gem for those who appreciate a blend of outdoor adventure, wine culture, and an authentic Pacific Northwest experience.


Wilsonville, Oregon

Wilsonville, Oregon, is an underrated destination that packs a punch when it comes to family-friendly fun and local delights. From the exciting activities at Bullwinkles for miniature golf and go-kart enthusiasts to the sports facilities and off-leash dog park at Memorial Park, there's no shortage of recreational options. When the sun is scorching, cool off in the Willamette River or one of the many splash parks.


For a delicious start to your day, grab a coffee and fresh bagels at Corner Coffee Shoppe, and don't forget to indulge in hand-crafted ice cream at Butteville's Half Pint Brothers. Animal lovers will find joy at Frog Pond Farm, where you can witness the adorable sight of an hours-old llama taking its first steps.


And for an Instagram-worthy experience, head to Lux Sucre Desserts, a spot that serves the best lunch and desserts in town. Wilsonville offers a little something for everyone, making it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

underrated travel destinations

Squamish, BC Canada

For years, I have to confess that we simply drove through Squamish, BC on the road to Whistler for an annual ski trip. It's a hidden gem that often gets overshadowed by the local ski resort not too far away, but it's worth the stop in any season to explore all that this town has to offer. Located halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, it's a lively town steeped with adventure and rich culture.

You'll find world class hiking and biking trails and some of the best rock climbing in the whole world! Squamish is close to the ocean, the mountains and rivers so adventure is just around the corner! This eclectic town also has an array of delicious cuisine from artisan coffee to hand-crafted ice cream and everything in between. 

Don't miss learning more about Britannia Beach while you are there. This was once a bustling mining community that shaped the area. You can take an underground tour, take part in the BOOM! experience and go mining for gold in the pavilion. 

Don't miss the Ultimate Travel Guide to Squamish, BC

I hope you learned about a few of my favorite hidden gems and you'll put them on your radar for your next adventure! You aren't going to want to miss these places, I promise!

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