With rising inflation and a high cost of living nationwide, travel is usually one of the elements that people put on the backburner to save some money.
However travel doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are plenty of places in the US to visit that won’t break the bank.
Looking for some off-the-beaten-path travel inspiration? Look no further than this list of 10 hidden gem cities in the United States.
From charming college towns to beachside paradises, these destinations offer something unique and unforgettable for every type of traveler.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, or just a relaxing getaway, there’s a hidden gem on this list that’s sure to take your breath away. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore some of the best-kept secrets in the US!
The Best For Culture: Ann Arbour, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city west of Detroit, in the Midwestern state of Michigan. Well known for being the home of the University of Michigan, the city also boasts a number of culinary and cultural experiences.
Top things to do in the city include catching a game at the Michigan Stadium, visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, walking around the Museum of Natural History and visiting some of the city’s amazing culinary establishments.
The Best For Beach Lovers: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod, a hook-shaped peninsula of the U.S. state of Massachusetts, is a popular summertime destination. It’s home to a number of quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses, ponds and bay and ocean beaches.
Top things to do in Cape Cod typically revolve around its amazing beaches and restaurants. Take a walk down the gorgeous Race Point beach and then enjoy some fresh seafood overlooking the ocean.
The Best For Variety: Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville is a city on the Tennessee River in eastern Tennessee. A nature-loving, adventure-seeking, artsy Tennessee town, it’s the perfect destination for anyone wanting a trip with lots of variety.
Top things to do in the city include having a coffee in the lively Market Square, taking a hike through Ijams Nature Center or catching a show at the breath-taking Tennessee theatre.
The Best For A Trip Back In Time: Chandler, Arizona
Chandler is a city southeast of Phoenix, in Arizona. It is the fourth largest City in Arizona, is located in one of the fastest growing innovation and technology centers in the nation.
Top things to do in Chandler include visiting the city’s Railway Museum, experiencing the Wild West at Rawhide Western Town and exploring the shops and restaurants in Downtown Chandler.
The Best For A Route 66 Stop Off: Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo is a city located in the Texas Panhandle located on the world-famous route 66. It’s a gateway to the vast, trail-lined Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Top things to do in the city include visiting Palo Duro Canyon State Park – the second largest canyon in the United States – and taking on the “72 oz. steak challenge” at The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant.
The Best For Conservation Lovers: Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in Ohio, on the Ohio River and is the fourth largest city in Ohio by size.
Top things to do in Cincinnati include visiting the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is home to over 500 species of animals and exploring the Cincinnati Art Museum, featuring over 67,000 words of art.
The Best For Water Sports: Destin, Florida
Destin is a city in northwest Florida, in the area known as the Panhandle. The city is known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” as it city houses the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida.
Top things to do in the city include swimming with dolphins, snorkelling, fishing, jet-skiing and taking tours to nearby islands.
The Best For A City Break: Toledo, Ohio
Toledo is a city in Ohio at the western tip of Lake Erie. Its historic quarter –a UNESCO World Heritage Site– still preserves its original medieval layout, making it a fascinating place to visit.
Top things to do in Toledo include visiting the Toledo Museum of Art, which houses a collection of over 30,000 works of art and visiting the Imagination Station, a science museum that offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.
The Best For American History Lovers: College Station, Texas
College Station is a city in eastern Texas mostly known for being home to the main campus of Texas A&M University. On the campus, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum documents the life of the 41st U.S. president.
It includes a replica Oval Office and a slab of the Berlin Wall. The Sanders Corps of Cadets Center traces the history of the student military group, and exhibits medals and vintage weapons.
The Best For Travelling With Kids: Overland Park, Kansas
Overland Park is a city in north-eastern Kansas, located on a low ridge that affords a broad view of the Missouri River valley, it is a southern suburb of Kansas City, near the Missouri border.
The city boasts tons of child friendly activities, including Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, a working farm that offers visitors a chance to experience rural life and interact with farm animals as well as the Museum at Prairiefire, a natural history museum that offers interactive exhibits and programs focused on the natural world.