Some of the best times I’ve had have been while traveling. There is something about disengaging and going on a vacation that is good for the soul. Whether it’s for rest and relaxation, fun exploring, or a combination of these purposes, these are often really fun times.
Now, I have to say that my travel heyday was in years past. I’ve been to 47 of the 50 states (Alaska, Hawaii and Maine yet to go), and have taken 2 trips to Europe and 3 to Asia. For now though I’m quite busy with family and other matters, so travel has been curtailed. However, I certainly hope to get back into it in the future – and traveling with kids can be fun anyway and a way to build memories and life experience for kids.
Along those lines, I thought I’d share a few observations about my travels in the form of underrated summer travel locations within the U.S. Here goes:
Underrated Location #1: Coastal Oregon
I’ve actually written a bit about this area before, but why not revisit.
To me, this area is a real gem. It’s kind of like a poor man’s version of Coastal California. Having driven from San Francisco to Carmel, and really enjoyed it, I find the Oregon coast to actually have quite a few similarities. It’s on the rugged Pacific shoreline, mountainous, and has scenic winding roads. Also, there are a number of quaint towns.
There are some differences though. For one, it’s a bit cooler. Also, the area does have a bit of a “Northwest” feel to it that doesn’t exist south of San Francisco. But another big difference is that the area seems much less crowded and also less expensive. You can truly get away to a beautiful, scenic, refreshing area for a reasonable cost. I’d like to make another visit.
Underrated Location #2: Eastern Shoreline of Lake Michigan
What? The Midwest?
Some folks might chuckle, but I happen to think that the western part of the state of Michigan has some really nice summer escapes that fly under the radar for most people around the country.
For those living here in Chicago, it’s not that far away. Maybe a few hours. But it seems like a world away, with nice beaches and towering sand dunes. Plus, there are some quiet lakefront towns with nice dining, hotels and golfing if you’re into that.
There are plenty of things to do outdoors here besides the beaches. In particular, one example of inexpensive summer fun is blueberry picking. You can actually pick the blueberries at take home large quantities at ridiculously low prices. All of this not too far from the beach front areas either! All in all, good relaxing summer fun can be had there – for a low price.
Underrated Location #3: Disneyland, California
Okay, I know that Disney seems like an odd choice for an “underrated” location. So many people make a trek to a Disney park at least once in their lifetime.
Having said that, I’m referring to the California location here. Florida is nice too, and seems to be the default option for most from the Midwest, East Coast, or South. I have no data on this, just observations over the years that if people are going to Disney – it’s generally to Florida. I’m guessing this is not the case in the West, but that’s not where the bulk of the population is.
Anyway, having been to both parks, I would go with California. I say that because the weather in Florida can get really hot and muggy in the summer. Kind of like walking outside in a swampy sauna. However, that Southern California weather is warm but really comfortable. Having been to both the Florida and California Disney parks in my lifetime, I’ll take the west coast weather any day!
Plus, I have to admit, we did visit there a few years ago for a short trip to Disney. It was a lot of fun, as I shared in a post I wrote about reasons why Disneyland is worth visiting. I have to say that it was impressive how clean, updated, and positive they keep that place. It didn’t look dated or run-down at all, in my opinion. Things seemed really well run there, a lot better than other theme parks I’ve been to.
My Questions for You
Have you visited any of these 3 “under the radar” locations?
I’m sure you have your own places that you would called underrated summer travel destinations. What are they?
Okay, here’s where it gets fun. I’m excited to be teaming up with a group of other bloggers on a giveaway. Prizes are: $200 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd. You can see below to enter, and there are easy ways to get additional entries too!
As I mentioned, this giveaway is being run in conjunction with a few other bloggers. Be sure to check out their blogs and share their posts each day as well for more chances to win $200!