Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

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Kababayan
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Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Kababayan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:51 pm

My wife and I love to take road trips but we haven't been to too many different places. We have driven the West Coast many times (San Diego to Seattle) and driven to and from San Diego to Arkansas and Missouri (we have family there.) I know that there are typical vacation spots (NYC, Miami, etc) but I am looking places that people have visited that one would consider underrated. For example, friends of mine suggested that we visit Austin because of the food scene there (we're foodies.) Others have suggested Buffalo. For those who travel, are there cities that you would consider underrated destinations? Thanks in advance.

DemoEngr
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by DemoEngr » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:00 pm

The north border of USA/Canada Idaho/Montana in the western mountains and the great lakes (Michigan/Wisconsin) are nice in the summer months.

Banff and Jasper Alberta are stunning areas as well.

dbr
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by dbr » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:01 pm

I guess that is a tough question because it depends a lot on what you call underrated. Often a person finds really interesting things a lot of places but that does not mean one goes there on purpose in place of some other choice. A few interesting places I have been that one might not think of would include Huntsville/Decatur/Northern AL/Southern TN, Scottsbluff NE, Omaha NE, North Platte NE,Wichita area KS, Knoxville TN, Milwaukee WI, and on and on kind of tedious to type out. I am excluding all the ideas that are rated destinations such as Savannah GA, the Maine Coast, things like that.

A good formula for exploring that kind of stuff is taking a road trip around some area and then looking up all the stuff that might be on the way. There is probably no road trip anywhere you can't find interesting stuff for the looking.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by dbr » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:06 pm

DemoEngr wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:00 pm
The north border of USA/Canada Idaho/Montana in the western mountains and the great lakes (Michigan/Wisconsin) are nice in the summer months.

Banff and Jasper Alberta are stunning areas as well.
The underrated part of that would be the North Shore of Lake Superior and the area of Traverse City Michigan, not to mention the whole of the U.P., though the people who flock to those areas would absolutely not call them underrated. Note the North Shore and Upper Michigan is really popular by winter as well.

Andyrunner
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Andyrunner » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:11 pm

If your into outdoors: North Shore Lake Superior

If your into seasonal vacation towns, wineries, beaches etc: Door County Wisconsin.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:11 pm

New Mexico in October. I've been there twice. Lots of museums, art galleries, historic sites and hiking on federal and state lands. I've been to Santa Fe and Taos with day trips to other areas.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by radiowave » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:13 pm

We just came back for a couple days at Comanche Grassland NP in the great plains abt 40 miles east of Trinidad CO. Definitely underrated. This is a series of canyons sunk in the middle of a hugh expanse of rolling hills and grasslands. We took an 8 mile hike down into the canyon (Picket Wire trail) and were the only ones there! Consider going early spring as it can get very hot in the summer.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by fishmonger » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:42 pm

What do you like to do other than eat (foodies)? Hard to give advice in this respect without more info.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:43 pm

It all depends upon what you like to do and what you are into.
For instance - I LOVED going to Sante Fe - but it was primarily due to the Canyon Road Art scene. If you don't like Art this wouldn't have been the place for you. If you like Museums and being in a city that has good food and nice night-time Jazz I think Chicago is great (Big City but not noisy/dirty/crazy as NYC). I like some some of the smaller and more quaint cities my self (Savannah, GA for instance).
For Road Trips - my favorite in the US is to land in Phoenix and rent a car from there doing a big loop - you can go through (and perhaps stay a night or two in each) Sedona, AZ (beautiful area!), Flagstaff - nice little museum and botanical garden, up to Grand Canyon, Across to Monument Valley, Down to Canyon De Chelley, then back across stopping in the Petrified National Forest / Painted Desert then on to Winslow, Meteor Crater National Monument back towards Phoenix being sure to go to its botanical garden in Phoenix. If you have more drive in you, from there you drive down to Tucson, Sonora Desert, Tombstone. You will find the drive/scenery very different than the other drives you mentioned.
I guess the above isn't "underground" but neither is Austin - Austin is pretty popular these days.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by researcher » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:58 pm

Kababayan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:51 pm
My wife and I love to take road trips but we haven't been to too many different places...For those who travel, are there cities that you would consider underrated destinations? Thanks in advance.
This question is impossible to answer without knowing what your interests are.
What do you do for fun?
What types of things do you enjoy doing when on vacation?

Kababayan
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Kababayan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:33 pm

researcher wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:58 pm
Kababayan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:51 pm
My wife and I love to take road trips but we haven't been to too many different places...For those who travel, are there cities that you would consider underrated destinations? Thanks in advance.
This question is impossible to answer without knowing what your interests are.
What do you do for fun?
What types of things do you enjoy doing when on vacation?
I guess, for me, part of the fun is to hear what others find underrated based on their own qualifications. My wife and I like experiencing the "real town" as opposed to touristy stuff. We eat at the local diner, read the local papers, etc. We like finding new experiences rather than repeating the same things. We like staying away from the crowds, while at the same time experiencing what the areas are known for.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:37 pm

I don't know if this is the sort of thing you and your wife like, but a winery tour in Suffolk County, NY, is certainly underrated. I would not suggest self transportation for the last few miles, of course. There are plenty of non-sampling drivers willing to take you there and back.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:44 pm

Kababayan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:33 pm

I guess, for me, part of the fun is to hear what others find underrated based on their own qualifications. My wife and I like experiencing the "real town" as opposed to touristy stuff. We eat at the local diner, read the local papers, etc. We like finding new experiences rather than repeating the same things. We like staying away from the crowds, while at the same time experiencing what the areas are known for.
If you took West Coast drives several times was it because you liked the Coastline? If so - you can try some East-Coast drives. Another roadtrip (to do OFF season to avoid tourists) would be to do a similar East Coast drive - Cape Cod, MA to Bar Harbor, ME for instance - there are lots of tourist areas but also lots of really neat coastal towns that aren't crowded in the off-season (Chatham - MA, Plymouth - MA, Marblehead - MA, Gloucester - MA, Portsmouth- NH, Stongington - ME, etc.) that you can spend time in if you aren't in a rush. And of course there is Boston.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by GCD » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 pm

I have been fond of road trips ever since I got my license. I like getting surprised by what I find and it sounds like you may have the same mindset.

The Rand McNally atlas has scenic highways designated with little green dots along them. There are always 2-6 in every state. Obviously what constitutes "scenic" depends on the state. IIRC these are never interstates. If you like scenery they make great exploration routes.

American Road Magazine can usually be found at Barnes and Noble. They also have a website: https://www.americanroadmagazine.com/
The forum there is kind of dead, but the gallery of photos posted by members will definitely make you want to head out.

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snackdog
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by snackdog » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:32 pm

If you like to eat Las Vegas and Houston are quite under rated for diversity, quality, selection and price.

Kababayan
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Kababayan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:38 pm

snackdog wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:32 pm
If you like to eat Las Vegas and Houston are quite under rated for diversity, quality, selection and price.
Vegas is such a great food city. I also have a great Wafflehouse story from when I was in Houston. Thank you for the post.

Kababayan
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Kababayan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:38 pm

Thank you all very much for your responses. The suggestions are wonderful. Thanks again.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Magruder » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:57 pm

Tool around the southern 2/3 of Vermont!

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:44 pm

Kababayan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:51 pm
My wife and I love to take road trips but we haven't been to too many different places. We have driven the West Coast many times (San Diego to Seattle) and driven to and from San Diego to Arkansas and Missouri (we have family there.) I know that there are typical vacation spots (NYC, Miami, etc) but I am looking places that people have visited that one would consider underrated. For example, friends of mine suggested that we visit Austin because of the food scene there (we're foodies.) Others have suggested Buffalo. For those who travel, are there cities that you would consider underrated destinations? Thanks in advance.
There is a great book called the Reader’s Digest Most Scenic Drives in America book. It’s the kind of book you can find at Wally World or Costco for 40% off cover. It’s actually a great book. My wife and I used it for many years to plan many different road trips, back when we could not afford to fly much. Off the beaten path places, terrific scenery, and lots of history.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by alpenglow » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:55 pm

Magruder wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:57 pm
Tool around the southern 2/3 of Vermont!
Up North too. I find Orange County VT to be very scenic and off the radar. Topsham, Corinth, etc are fabulous and very quiet even during leaf peeper season.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Calli114 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:36 pm

Funny, I was about to say Northern Arkansas, but sounds like you've probably been there!
For those who haven't, it has the Buffalo National River for float trips, camping and hiking, and the Ozark and Boston mountains. Some good lakes. Very pretty in fall.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:42 pm

radiowave wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:13 pm
We just came back for a couple days at Comanche Grassland NP in the great plains abt 40 miles east of Trinidad CO. Definitely underrated. This is a series of canyons sunk in the middle of a hugh expanse of rolling hills and grasslands. We took an 8 mile hike down into the canyon (Picket Wire trail) and were the only ones there! Consider going early spring as it can get very hot in the summer.
I'll agree that that adventure is unique (used to live in Trinidad).

If you want another interesting, many-hours long drive where you'll likely meet nothing but jackalopes, the drive from Newcastle, WY via WY450 and [take your pick of road thereafter] westbound across the Thunder Basin National Grassland early on a Sunday morning is pretty awesome.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by annielouise » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:51 pm

Pittsburgh area. Great museums, good food. Lovely drives, especially up into the mountains. Be sure to visit Fallingwater.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Marmot » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 pm

Bend, Oregon.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by GratefulinNC » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 pm

The Bershires, of course.

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CaliJim
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by CaliJim » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:58 pm

The 48 states north and west of California are well worth a visit. California is too crowded. Nobody goes there anymore.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:07 pm

We've traveled with this book and found all kinds of underrated places......

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Trip-USA-Cr ... b_title_bk

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Minty » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:09 pm

I'm a New York and San Francisco person; I like cities, architecture, history and food. I've also really enjoyed Boise, Charleston, S.C., Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Vegas, Bozeman, Butte, and Helena, MT, and Knoxville, TN.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Nestegg_User » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:10 pm

radiowave wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:13 pm
We just came back for a couple days at Comanche Grassland NP in the great plains abt 40 miles east of Trinidad CO. Definitely underrated. This is a series of canyons sunk in the middle of a hugh expanse of rolling hills and grasslands. We took an 8 mile hike down into the canyon (Picket Wire trail) and were the only ones there! Consider going early spring as it can get very hot in the summer.
Did you head over to the (newer) reservoir just south? over west on 12 past monument lake to cucharas? Hike up Fishers Peak? {BTW, watch for rattle snakes... they are ubiquitous in the area} [north of Trinidad is the Ludlow Massacre monument... bit of local (and actually national) history that it recognizes.... in case you ( or BolderBoy) didn’t know about it // old man was born there... rough times when the mines were going ]

{....and Marmot : we probably don’t need too many more tourists here, remember our bumper sticker “Bend Sucks, Don’t Move Here” :D }


To the OP: you might also want to go to the Finger Lakes region (places like Watkins Glen) as it’s nice, has some wineries in the area, with a few historical sites as well. There’s also places like Carlsbad caverns (NM) or Mammoth Cave (KY)... there’s really just so many places that you have to give everyone a better idea of what type of experience you want.

we’ve been to all 50... from Eastport/Lubec Maine (Campobello Island nearby is where Roosevelt stayed and rehabilitated) to Olympic National Park (see Hurricane Ridge; Port Angeles is where you can take a ferry over to Victoria BC) to the Tijauana border (crazy going through) .... haven’t yet gotten to Key West (but did get to south Miami).
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by littlebird » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:57 pm

I nominate the Black Hills of South Dakota as the most underrated place in the U.S. It's gorgeous and interesting.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by 22twain » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:36 am

Ever since I was a kid in a steel-mill town in the the Midwest in the 1960s, "vacation" has meant "road trip" more often than not. Not too long ago I drove from the Carolinas down to south Florida using US 1 through Georgia and US 301 and 27 down the middle of Florida. I saw things like:

the Laurel & Hardy museum in Harlem, Georgia
the Christmas-themed town of Santa Claus, Georgia
Folkston, Georgia, the "gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp"
The Villages, Florida, a retirement community on steroids
the Presidents' Hall of Fame in Clermont, Florida
the little lakes that pockmark the northern part of Florida
the sugar-cane fields and cattle ranches around Lake Okeechobee, and the Desert Inn at Yeehaw Junction

plus more standard tourist stuff like Miami and the beaches of Fort Lauderdale.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by GCD » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:31 am

littlebird wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:57 pm
I nominate the Black Hills of South Dakota as the most underrated place in the U.S. It's gorgeous and interesting.
And while you are there, go see the nearby Badlands.

Also, eat at Kathmandu Bistro in Rapid City, SD. The same owners run Everest Cuisine at the other end of town. Both places were opened by a group of Indian college professors at the South Dakota School of Mines who couldn't get decent Indian/Nepalese food in Rapid City (go figure). RC population is about 100,000 and the next biggest city is about 350 miles away. Kathmandu has better ambiance than Everest, but the food is similar. You wouldn't expect quality ethnic food in Rapid City (and as far as other quality ethnic food in Rapid -- there is none), but they are maybe about a big city 8 out of 10.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by cfs » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:46 am

Anywhere in Idaho and don't miss Craters of the Moon. Muchas gracias por leer / cfs
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:11 am

Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, Gateway Colorado. Sort of the Sedona of Colorado. Good food, spectacular scenery, fruit/wine region, museums, hiking, water sports. Close to Moab and it’s National Parks.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:18 am

Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC to name two.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by taguscove » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:30 am

Definitely new York city. It is the most visited destination in the USA by a large margin. Plenty of people drop in for a weekend and get an uninformed impression of the array of cultural and visual wonders. Based on the sheer number of aggregate negative reviews, NYC is the most underrated.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:43 am

The Carolinas have lots of interesting places, some which are underrated. We enjoy the NC mountains, especially near Asheville. We prefer some of the smaller towns nearby such as Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Black Mountain and you can venture south a little ways to Greenville, SC, a nice small city. The northern NC mountains are nice too, especially Blowing Rock and Boone. There are also some coastal areas not as heavily traveled like Southport, Beaufort (NC), Morehead City (great fishing), the Crystal Coast, Wilmington area and the Outer Banks. SC has some great coastal towns too but most are not underrated, i.e. Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head. We also like Abingdon, VA in the Blue Ridge mountains, home of the Barter Theatre, which has popular Broadway plays and musicals year round.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Bmac » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:52 am

Marmot wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 pm
Bend, Oregon.
The Bend area is terrific, especially if you like outdoors activities and beer. I would hardly call it underrated, however. But I guess that is the case for many of the places mentioned in this thread.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by dbr » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:56 am

Bmac wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:52 am
Marmot wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 pm
Bend, Oregon.
The Bend area is terrific, especially if you like outdoors activities and beer. I would hardly call it underrated, however. But I guess that is the case for many of the places mentioned in this thread.
Yes, virtually none of the suggestions are underrated.

Here's one: Go see the UP yards at North Platte Nebraska. They have an observation tower where you can watch 600 trains a day. It is a main artery for the functioning of this country. I don't think it has a rating. https://visitnorthplatte.com/

Whoops, sorry, the yard is rated 4.5 on Trip Advisor. I guess it isn't underrated: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... raska.html

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:40 am

Being a Chicago native, I'll throw Chicago out there. You often only hear about the shootings in the news (which are generally isolated to certain bad areas). There is a lot to do for a wide variety of interests: museums, architecture, sport teams, shopping, theater, etc.

Chicago was named the top city in the world for having it all recently:

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news/ch ... all-012918

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:43 am

Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are unique and remote enough to be quiet most of the year: Voyageurs National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Picture Rocks, Porcupine Mountains.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by dbr » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:51 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:40 am
Being a Chicago native, I'll throw Chicago out there. You often only hear about the shootings in the news (which are generally isolated to certain bad areas). There is a lot to do for a wide variety of interests: museums, architecture, sport teams, shopping, theater, etc.

Chicago was named the top city in the world for having it all recently:

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news/ch ... all-012918
I also get Chicago, but on the basis of your evidence Chicago is not underrated.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:01 am

taguscove wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:30 am
Definitely new York city. It is the most visited destination in the USA by a large margin. Plenty of people drop in for a weekend and get an uninformed impression of the array of cultural and visual wonders. Based on the sheer number of aggregate negative reviews, NYC is the most underrated.

I would agree with this and it is especially true that it is the outer boroughs that are underrated in general. My best advice to tourists in NYC visiting for more than a weekend is to get of Manhattan.

There are also a lot of individual attractions even in Manhattan that get few visitors. If you like historic houses, for instance, there are wonderful examples in all five boroughs including Manhattan, and you can go to some of them on a quiet afternoon during the week and have them almost to yourself. There are a lot of specialty museums as well and the smaller museums don't get nearly the traffic the big ones do because of their size, despite the quality of their exhibits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris%E2 ... el_Mansion

Wikipedia is actually a good place to find these types of places, for NYC and in general, because it is fairly comprehensive and has different methods of organization and presenting information including categories, lists, and outlines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... _York_City

It is also a good place to find sights to satisfy a special interest, such as Romanesque Revival churches in NYC, with 45 articles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... _York_City

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by 22twain » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:09 am

Drive along the Ohio River from Pittsburgh down to Cincinnati and beyond. Lots of decaying industry at first, then it peters out, and past Wheeling WV it's mostly rural, with rolling hills on both sides. East Liverpool has a museum about the pottery industry which once dominated that area. Wheeling has the oldest vehicular suspension bridge still in use, built in 1849 as part of the National Road. Marietta is a historic town (first permanent U.S. settlement in what was then the Northwest Territory), and has the Ohio River Museum.
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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by straws46 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:18 am

When I want to act like a tourist in Kansas City, I go to the World War I museum, the Negro Leagues and jazz museums, Truman Library, Nelson Art museum, or the Plaza to shop. In the same vein as the OP, I would love to hear from others what their favorite places are in the own home towns.

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by finite_difference » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:36 pm

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Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:00 pm

You mentioned it in your opening post: Buffalo. Stunning architecture, some historical sites (McKinley assassination/Roosevelt inauguration), proximity to Niagara Falls, a fascinating brain museum at SUNY, a revamped waterfront, and a ton of microbreweries.

Milwaukee, too. They have a statue of the Fonz.

Drdog
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:11 pm

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Drdog » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:05 pm

The Kentucky Bourbon trail and bluegrass country of Kentucky including Keeneland in Lexington and the Red River Gorge recreation area just East of Lexington.

stan1
Posts: 5989
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by stan1 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:14 pm

There are special and unique places and people everywhere. If you start with that assumption this is so easy.

Some ideas:

State Parks. Many would be National Parks if they were larger in size.

Just about any place that you need to walk to. If it is more than 15 minutes from a parking lot you'll usually find few people there. Yes there are a few very famous exceptions like the John Muir Trail.

Any seasonal place during the off-season and shoulder seasons.

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Doom&Gloom
Posts: 2288
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:22 pm

My initial reaction to this title was "Any place you haven't been."

Reading the responses only confirmed my thoughts. I second almost all of them. The places that really surprised me were the Hill Country of Texas (a couple of decades ago) and the North Shore of MN and Michigan's UP (a couple of years ago). Unexpected beauty and relative isolation in both places.

For OP's "foodie" interest, I second Charleston SC which has many other features to recommend it as well.

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