Last Updated on: 12th December 2023, 09:38 pm

Summer is prime travel season in many parts of the world. But often the most popular tourist destinations get crowded and expensive during these peak months.

That’s why underrated summer travel spots that offer significant value and one-of-a-kind experiences deserve some spotlight.

From lesser-known cultural cities to overlooked natural wonders, here are 25 delightfully underrated ideas for your next warm weather adventure:

Underrated European Destinations for the Summer of 2024

Europe brims with blockbuster capitals and tourist hotspots. Paris and Rome are packed with tourists. Italian beaches are overcrowded. The Dolomites are chocked full of hikers.

But some Old World gems fly unfairly under the radar during summertime.

aberdeen university

Image by ??????? ????? from Pixabay

1. Aberdeen, Scotland

With far fewer crowds than Edinburgh, Aberdeen charms with medieval architecture, Scottish heritage attractions, and culture minus high prices.

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Image by Marcel Gnauk from Pixabay

2. Porto, Portugal

Porto’s postcard-perfect coastal scenery, wine tours, and relaxed pace attracts a fraction of Lisbon-bound travelers despite offering similar charm.

stozice arena

Image by rich998 from Pixabay

3. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Slovenia’s enchanting capital wows visitors with its lush green spaces, vibrant cafe culture, and scenic location along the Ljubljanica River.

4. Tallinn, Estonia

The exceptionally preserved medieval Old Town in Estonia’s underrated capital tops many travelers’ lists for atmospheric Baltic beauty without large crowds.

Thrilling Asian Adventures

Asia dazzles with diverse landscapes, cuisines, and cultures ripe for summer vacations minus masses of tourists at mainstream destinations.

sri-lanka

Image by Kanishka Ranasinghe from Pixabay

5. Kandy, Sri Lanka

Far cooler than Sri Lanka’s popular coasts, the hillside tea town of Kandy delights with sacred sites, rich traditions, and breathtaking train journeys through mountains.

sapa vietnam

Image by Kim Ngan from Pixabay

6. Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa offers picture-perfect mountain vistas, hill tribe villages, lush jungle treks and rice terraces without the tourist fatigue you’ll find elsewhere in Vietnam.

malaysia

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Often skipped for beaches, Malaysia’s dynamic capital unveils delightful contrasts between shiny skyscrapers, bustling Chinatown markets and peaceful gardens.

8. Bohol Province, Philippines

Swap packed Philippine beaches for Bohol Island’s chocolate hills, jungle waterfalls, historic sites and wildlife like tiny tarsiers – the world’s smallest primate.

Underrated U.S. Destinations

The United States bubbles over with dazzling summer escapes if you veer away from hotspots like Disney, Vegas, or National Parks during peak season.

lighthouse

Image by Leudy Espinal from Pixabay

9. New Haven, Connecticut

With Ivy League charm, superb dining, rejuvenated industrial quarters and easy beach access, New Haven captures quintessential New England vibes minus crowds.

atlanta baloons

Image by Chanh Nguyen from Pixabay

10. Atlanta, Georgia

Looking beyond heavily Instagrammed Savannah, Atlanta impresses with free attractions like the world’s largest aquarium, civil rights history, culinary creativity and urban green spaces perfect for summer exploration.

monterey

Image by Filip Filipovi? from Pixabay

11. Monterey County, California

Monterey offers Big Sur’s beauty, Carmel’s luxury, and breathtaking Pacific coastlines without battling traffic jams and summer crowds farther south in California.

lighthouse in Portland, Maine

Image by Steve from Pixabay

12. Portland, Maine

Portland’s plentiful microbreweries, emerging food scene focusing on fresh local seafood, nearby lighthouses and islands let visitors tap into quintessential laidback Maine summer living.

Sensational South American Spots

South America simmers with capitals and communities often overlooked compared to marquee destinations like Machu Picchu and Rio offering their own understated allure.

13. Sucre, Bolivia

Featuring UNESCO World Heritage architecture and Andean highland charms, vibrant Sucre serves as the perfect basecamp for exploring Bolivia well off the main tourist circuits.

colonia del sacramento uruguay

Image by Leiamais.ba from Pixabay

14. Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

A ferry ride from Buenos Aires lands you in picturesque Colonia, where cobblestoned streets and Portuguese colonial architecture unfurl along the calm Rio de la Plata coastline bereft of big crowds.

flamingo

Image by Woezie2014 from Pixabay

15. Aruba

Beyond peak season Spring Breakers, Aruba dazzles with candy-colored Dutch Caribbean architecture, stunning sandy beaches, otherworldly desert landscapes, and vibrant coral reefs waiting to be explored.

16. Asunción, Paraguay

Paraguay’s riverside capital unveils dynamic urban markets, modern museums and 18th-century Spanish colonial churches to delight culture lovers looking beyond mainstream South American options.

Intriguing African Destinations

Venture outside mainstay safari circuit hotspots to find enchanting African cities, coasts and communities devoid of annoying crowds and droves of jeeps when visiting during summer.

essaouira

Image by FlorianJung from Pixabay

17. Essaouira, Morocco

Trade packed Marrakesh for magical port town Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast where boutique riads (hotels), fresh seafood grills, surfing beaches, and charming souks await ignoring crowds.

tanzania

Image by Nici Keil from Pixabay

18. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Skip Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti to unwind along the Indian Ocean discovering Swahili culture, watersports, seafood barbecues and lush nature preserves around Tanzania’s bustling “Haven of Peace.”

fortaleza

Image by Gerdos Line from Pixabay

19. Maputo, Mozambique

Mozambique’s waterside capital surprises with palm-tree promenades, vibrant nightlife, rich Portuguese colonial architecture, and scrumptious seafood minus safari crowds.

madagascar

Image by photosforyou from Pixabay

20. Nosy Be, Madagascar

This lush Indian Ocean island paradise off Madagascar impresses visitors seeking alternatives to crammed Mauritius and Seychelles during summer with its eco-resorts, lemur adventures and stellar beaches.

Unexpectedly Enchanting Spots

Looking beyond peak season heavy hitters, underrated destinations around the world offer memorable magic.

banff waterfall

Image by Chinh Le from Pixabay

21. Banff, Canada in Summer

Ditch packed winter slopes to soak up epic scenery on crowd-free hiking trails, shimmering lakes, and misty waterfalls surrounding Banff town.

rugs in Santa Fe

Image by herrema51 from Pixabay

22. New Mexico’s Santa Fe

Detour from congested Southwestern national parks to find refreshingly uncrowded adobe architecture, vibrant arts traditions and colorful culture concentrated in arty haven Santa Fe.

st peter s pool malta

Saint Peter’s Pool in summer

23. Malta in June

Malta dazzles visitors in summer escaping the Mediterranean’s August peak when hotel rates drop, cultural fests pop up across the islands, and sacred temple sites open for moonlight tours.

Check out my list of the best things to see in Malta.

skyscraper in brisbane

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

24. Brisbane, Australia

Sydney and Melbourne grab Australia’s tourism spotlight, letting vibrant Brisbane and nearby Sunshine Coast beaches fly under the radar despite fantastic weather, surfing, and cuisine waiting for summer visitors.

palm beach dominica

Image by botosgy from Pixabay

25. Dominica

The underrated eco-adventure island of Dominica promises natural serenity, spectacular waterfalls, hot spring soaks and hiking routes less trafficked than neighboring peaks like St Lucia or Antigua.

Start Planning Your Underrated Adventure

Escape the ordinary and unexpected awaits! Research these summer alternatives minus crowds now to unlock travel beyond the tourist trail.

Violeta Matei