Cities like San Francisco, New York, Boston or Miami may be some of the first that come to mind when you think about travel destinations in the U.S., or potential places to move to, but there are lots of underrated spots to consider too.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
For many years, Atlantic City seemed to fade off the radar, with the last decade seeing a 50% drop in its casino revenues, thousands losing their jobs and nearly half of the casinos closing. But more recently it’s begun a revival, with lots of new construction and the grand opening of the new Hard Rock casino resort taking over the former Trump Taj Mahal, promising outstanding entertainment from beach concerts and more intimate performances to big-name shows. This lively city offers a lot, in fact, you might find yourself looking through NJ real estate so that you can enjoy its iconic boardwalk with world-class restaurants, bars, games and rides along with museums, art galleries, activities on the water and more, anytime you like.
St. Augustine, Florida
While Florida is more often associated with its sunshine and beautiful white sandy beaches, St. Augustine is especially rich in history as the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, today you can still see many of the original buildings, including the historic city gate, the Plaza de la Constitucion and the 1672 Castillo de San Marcos, all while enjoying an enticing Old World ambiance. Those gorgeous stretches of sand and azure waters of the Atlantic are only minutes away too.
The largest city in Maine has a population of less than 70,000, yet it offers plenty of delights, including 19th-century brick architecture, cobblestone streets, a picturesque waterfront and fresh, mouthwatering seafood. The highly-walkable downtown area know as the Old Port is filled with shops and restaurants that boast a foodie scene that can rival any major city in the U.S., with new eateries popping up just about every week. Some of which include James Beard-nominated establishments like the Honey Paw, Fore Street and Eventide Oyster, renowned for its brow-butter lobster rolls and traditional clam bakes. While you’re in the Old Port, you can also explore the Portland Museum of Art which showcases impressive Maine-based artists as well as works by internationally-renowned names like Claude Monet and Andy Warhol.
California’s capital city is not often talked about, but it offers lots to love. Old Sacramento is a favorite destination here, serving as the historic district which runs along the waterfront. A National Historic Landmark, it hosts multiple museums, including the Sacramento History Museum where visitors can learn about Sacramento’s diverse and fascinating history, walk wooden sidewalks and cobbled streets to check out the gold-rush era storefronts and more. At the Schoolhouse Museum, learn about California’s early days of education in a living replica of a traditional one-room schoolhouse. Old-fashioned carriage and wagon rides are offered throughout the year, and in between your exploits of the city, you’ll find lots of outstanding restaurants with farm-to-table menus.
Rapid City, South Dakota
This Midwest city in the lush Black Hills of South Dakota offers a surprising number of attractions for its relatively small size, and just a short drive away there are countless others making it an ideal base for exploring the region. Just south is Bear Country USA which features the largest collection of privately owned black bears in the world along with some 20 other North American animal species like wolves, big horn sheep, elk and buffalo, all living in large natural exhibits to mimic their wild environment. You can also take a selfie with a giant Aldabra tortoise at Reptile Gardens and discover the mysteries at Cosmos Mystery Area.