Whilst the Coronavirus continues to spread through the world, it seems that our bucket list destinations are off the table this year. That doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves to a cozy staycation though (as long as you follow the Corona rules, that is). With more people choosing to shun the busier cities in order to keep away from hordes of tourists that are known to flood the bigger, more popular US destinations, we just might have the list for you. Take a look at our choices of 7 underappreciated cities to visit in the USA, and perhaps you’ll find the perfect destination for that weekend away.
For foodies: Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine, is fast becoming well-known for its incredible food scene. Set on the beautiful peninsula that extends out into Casco Bay, you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving the freshest lobster and seafood day to day.
That’s not all this little foody city has to offer though. In fact, you’ll find food fusions that’ll blow you mind at many of the innovative restaurants, bistros, and street vendors that line the city. Also, for those of you super passionate about all things food, there’s an educational food tour of the hottest spots of the city, where you can over-indulge and fill your stomachs with the finest and freshest ingredients lovingly crafted into bites of heaven.
You’ll be thirsty after all that food, we’re sure. If you’re into craft beers, or local specialities, Portland is definitely the right place for you. With up to 25 breweries, distilleries, and wineries to choose from, you’ll find it all in this thriving city, where there’s plenty of taste testing to be found.
For nature lovers: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Often overlooked by its cousins Denver and Boulder, Glenwood Springs is a Colorado municipality where you’ll find nothing but rugged mountains, steaming hot springs, and turquoise waters that’ll have you dying to jump in.
Crowds are a thing of the past when you’re hiking through the scenic, rugged mountains that ensconce stunning lakes and nature. For water lovers there’s Hanging Lake too, a stunning spot where you can wind down, enjoy a picnic, and breathe in fresh mountain air. With its popular permit reservation system set up by the county too, it’s a promise that you won’t come into contact with many other people, so you can enjoy this natural beauty to yourself.
There’s so much to do at Glenwood Springs. Take a dip in the hot springs and look out over the landscape, or head into the mountains on a rented bike and fly through nature. There are calm and quiet fishing spots to while away the hours, and for those looking for thrills, heading to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will give you the thrill of your life.
The up and coming cool city: Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is the vibrant, loud, entrepreneurial city full of sights, events, music, laughter, and museums. This cultural and diverse city, set in a seaport is full of industrial architecture, hidden cocktail bars, and popular micro-breweries that are all taking over.
This city has a rich history, and prides itself on its diverse and eclectic culture. You can find out so much about it all in any of its many museums and attractions. There are plenty of sports to cheer, and outdoor activities that’ll have kids and their parents letting loose and enjoying the fresh air. With live events and music festivals throughout the year too, there’s an electric vibe no matter where you head in this up and coming cool city.
Traveling with kids? Baltimore has a zoo and aquarium to keep the little ones entertained, as well as the science center, where they can get in tune with fascinating historical and scientific facts, and learn everything there is to discover.
For history and architecture: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
If you’re looking to head back in time, Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the place to do it.
Set amongst the Ozark mountains, this smaller city is rich with Victorian architecture that gives an old school vibe for everyone who wanders through its streets. It’s also well-known for its natural hot springs that are littered throughout the city, which is where it got its name.
With unique boutiques nestled down side streets, art galleries and museums that show its history in-depth, and impressive architecture that’ll have you reaching for your camera multiple times an hour, there’s plenty to see and do in this smaller city. Don’t miss out on visiting the ‘most beautiful chapel in the world’ either. Thorncrown Chapel often hosts weddings inside its incredible, 48-ft glass structure, and is hidden away in woodland, away from the hustle and bustle.
For the beaches and relaxation: St. Petersburg, Florida
Part of the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg, Florida is a quieter alternative to many of the state’s more popular holiday destinations. With its array of golden sandy beaches, city trails for runners and cyclists, and the marina on the waterfront, St. Petersburg is a tiny slice of heaven hidden from the main tourists.
That’s not all this sunshine city has to offer though. With its impressive Salvador Dali museum, you can discover the surrealist works of the Spaniard himself. If you’re looking for something a little more local, there are plenty of museums to choose from that help you uncover the history and heritage of Florida.
Live music and sports are also a big part of St. Petersburg, and you can take in everything this vibrant and diverse city has to offer throughout the year, with regular soccer and baseball games from The Rays and The Rowdies, and live events to get you into the party spirit.
For the music and nightlife lovers: Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee is a beautiful city at the gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains, where you’ll find plenty of home-made, delicious southern cuisine to sink your teeth into and a nightlife like no other.
If you’re looking for live music, and trendy bars to spend your evenings, this student city is your spot. With plenty of bars and shacks giving away live music almost every night, you can spend your time hearing raw and fresh jams throughout the city, heading to a new spot as soon as the mood takes you.
Of course, there’s more to Knoxville than just its music and nightlife. You’ll find stunning parks where you can be at one with nature, or take a trip downtown to test out the shopping hotspots. As long as you allow yourself to enjoy some of that roaring nightlife and southern food, you’ll have made a friend out of Knoxville.
For a European feel: San Antonio, Texas
Little brother to Dallas, Houston, and Austin, San Antonio is the place to be if you’re interested in discovering Spanish architecture as well as the infamous ‘American Venice’.
For those of you looking for something a little more European, without having to hop overseas, San Antonio gives you those feels in its droves. With delicious local cuisine hot out of the oven, and plenty of gorgeous buildings influenced by the Spaniards back in the 19th Century, you’ll be able to discover a little slice of Europe here.
Take a wander through the canals if you want to get a feel of that American Venice you’ve been promised, and get ready to party through the evenings with plenty of live music and tiny bars to discover. This city, set in the center of Texas, will leave you feeling very fulfilled.
Which American city takes your fancy this time? Are you ready to head out on a staycation in any of these spots?
Don’t forget to take as many precautions as you can, especially when traveling. If you feel ill, please don’t head out of the house. Let’s help beat Covid 19 together.