The United States is such a big country that it’s basically impossible to visit and experience all it has to offer. While it is, of course, almost mandatory to see places such as New York City and the Grand Canyon at least once in your life, I think it is also essential to explore the less-known America.
Visiting under-the-radar destinations gives you a completely new perspective of a country, provides a sometimes necessary fresh view, and adds something extra to a trip. This is exactly why you should consider including the following five towns into your itinerary when visiting the United States. They’re all located near a major destination, so it is easy to visit them as a sort of side trip.
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Situated in the northeastern corner of the island, Fajardo is one of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful spots. This is among the busiest and most popular centers for water sports in Puerto Rico, a destination known for its diving excursions and fishing boat charters. The town’s harbor, Puerto del Ray Marina, is the largest in the entire Caribbean. Home to many great hotels, Fajardo is a superb destination for anyone looking to go sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, or boating during their holiday.
Nicknamed “The Scenic City,” Chattanooga is beautifully situated in between the Appalachian Mountains of southern Tennessee and the wonderful Tennessee River. It is one of the top destinations in the southern United States for outdoor enthusiasts, music lovers, and foodies. Attractions such as the Incline Railway, Point Park, and nearby Great Smokey Mountains National Park have created a thriving tourism industry. An extensive selection of Chattanooga hotels offers accommodation year-round.
San Antonio, Texas
A truly enormous state, Texas has its fair share of interesting cities. One of the most fascinating, however, is San Antonio. This historic, colonial city in the south-central area of the state has a few exceptional attractions. The most notable of these is The Alamo, an 18th century UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you’ll also find a number of amusement parks and the extraordinary River Walk, which is lined with restaurants and top-notch hotels.
Fayetteville lies in northwestern Arkansas and enjoys the distinction of being the most affordable place to live in the United States, as well as one of the best places to build a life in the country. It has been the home of the University of Arkansas since 1871. Fayetteville is definitely a destination that is off the beaten track, but does feature a large collection of fine downtown hotels and many typically southern attractions, such as barbecue restaurants and a blues music scene.
Another less-visited town in the southern U.S. is Marietta, Georgia. This is an ideal destination to experience “small town America,” with just slightly under 60,000 residents. In total, there are six historic districts, some of which are included on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll also find wonderful hotels in Marietta, making the town an ideal base to explore nearby Atlanta.
This post originally appeared on Travel Experience Live on July 6, 2016 by Bram Reusen.