Summer is a great season to explore new and exciting destinations that can offer unique experiences. While popular tourist spots are always a good option, numerous underrated summer travel ideas in the USA and internationally can provide incredible experiences that fit any budget. 

In this post, we’ll uncover 25 hidden gems that cater to various budgets, inspiring you to plan your next summer adventure. From charming small towns to breathtaking natural wonders, there is no shortage of off-the-beaten-path destinations that can provide you with unforgettable memories. So, get ready to pack your bags and visit these best summer travel destinations.

Budget-Friendly Destinations

1. Bozeman, Montana

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Bozeman, Montana ​

Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Bozeman is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. This magnificent town offers endless opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, with its stunning hiking trails, crystal-clear streams, and abundant wildlife. You can go on an adventure to explore the nearby Yellowstone National Park, fly fish in the renowned Madison River, or take a scenic drive along the Gallatin Valley. 

Bozeman also features a vibrant downtown area where you can indulge in delicious farm-to-table cuisine, sample local craft beers, and explore unique art galleries. Stay at the cozy Howlers Inn B&B and Wolf Sanctuary,  and treat yourself to the mouthwatering mushroom potstickers at Little Star Diner. With its affordable accommodations and friendly locals, Bozeman is an inexpensive place to travel in the summer for adventurers.

2. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Chattanooga, Tennessee​

Chattanooga is a hidden gem that perfectly combines outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and Southern hospitality. Located alongside the Tennessee River, this fascinating city boasts a thriving art scene, delectable cuisine, and stunning natural beauty. You can take a leisurely walk across the iconic Walnut Street Bridge, explore the fascinating Tennessee Aquarium, or hike to the top of Lookout Mountain for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. 

Moreover, Chattanooga is an underrated summer travel destination in the USA that offers a wide range of affordable accommodation options. You can choose from cozy bed and breakfasts to budget-friendly hotels. The Crash Pad is a hip and affordable hostel, while Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken serves savory BBQ and chicken.

3. Flagstaff, Arizona

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff is a beautiful mountain town often overlooked due to the nearby Grand Canyon. However, this scenic town has a lot to offer on its own. Located at 7,000 feet, Flagstaff enjoys a comfortable climate even during summer. You can explore the historic downtown area, filled with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. 

Take a scenic drive along the San Francisco Peaks, or visit the iconic Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered. You can also enjoy a unique and historic stay at the Hotel Monte Vista or relish delicious locally sourced burgers at Diablo Burger. With its affordable prices and stunning natural beauty, Flagstaff is one of the best places to travel in the summer for budget-conscious travelers.

4. Greenville, South Carolina

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is a vibrant city with a remarkable transformation in recent years. Its thriving downtown area, stunning parks, and diverse culinary scene make it one of the most underrated summer travel destinations in the USA


During the warm summer days, stroll along the picturesque Reedy River Falls Park and explore the Greenville County Museum of Art. Don’t forget to try Southern comfort food at one of the many local restaurants, like Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. In terms of accommodations, Greenville has a lot to offer, from charming bed and breakfasts to budget-friendly hotels like WoodSpring Suites.

5. Valparaíso, Chile

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaíso is a lively coastal city often overlooked by visitors who prefer nearby Santiago. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of things to enjoy in this seaport town. The city’s stunning street art, bohemian atmosphere, and breathtaking ocean views make it one of South America’s best summer travel spots


It’s a beautiful city with winding streets and alleys, where you can admire the colorful houses on steep hillsides. The Winebox Hotel would be a great place to stay if you’re looking for an eclectic place to stay. Additionally, you can ride on one of the historic funicular elevators to get a stunning view of the city. The city has a thriving arts scene and a variety of delicious seafood to try at MARISQUERIA.

6. Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Cluj-Napoca, Romania

While Bucharest and Transylvania are popular Romanian destinations, Cluj-Napoca is just as charming. Cluj-Napoca is known for its thriving arts scene, delectable cuisine, and friendly locals, making it an underrated summer travel idea in Europe. With its stunning baroque architecture, lively nightlife, and affordable prices, this vibrant university town has a lot to offer. 


The historic city center is worth exploring, and you should not miss the iconic St. Michael’s Church. For a unique experience, visit the nearby Turda Salt Mine. Check out the Lol et Lola Hotel if you’re looking for a trendy and comfortable place to stay. For trying delicious Romanian dishes, Baracca Restaurant will hit the spot.

7. Cuenca, Ecuador

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Cuenca, Ecuador

If you’re looking for inexpensive places to travel in the summer, Cuenca, Ecuador, is a great alternative to the Galápagos Islands. This stunning mountain town has plenty of attractions to offer. With its picturesque cobblestone streets and vibrant markets, Cuenca might become your new favorite vacation destination. 


Visit the iconic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and wander around the city center. If you have some extra time, consider taking a day trip to the nearby Cajas National Park, a stunning natural area. For a complete experience, stay at Hotel Victoria, a charming hotel, and savor traditional Ecuadorian cuisine at Tiesto’s Cafe Restaurant.

Mid-Range Escapes

8. Asheville, North Carolina

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, a lively mountain town, has been gaining popularity in recent years. Despite this, it is still one of the underrated summer travel ideas in the USA. You can enjoy breathtaking natural scenery, a thriving arts scene, and a distinct culinary experience, making Asheville a great choice for travelers seeking outdoor adventure and cultural exploration.

Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visit the iconic Biltmore Estate, or indulge in delicious farm-to-table cuisine at The Blackbird. If you need a place to stay, the Omni Grove Park Inn is worth considering. Asheville also boasts a thriving craft beer scene, stunning hiking trails, and friendly locals, making it one of the best places to travel in the summer.

9. Leavenworth, Washington

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Leavenworth, Washington

Instead of visiting crowded Washington destinations such as Seattle and Olympic National Park, opt for Leavenworth this summer. This delightful Bavarian-style village deserves the spotlight. With its breathtaking Alpine landscapes, nutcracker galore, and the finest local wines, Leavenworth is one of the best summer travel spots. 

One of Leavenworth’s must-visit attractions is the iconic Nutcracker Museum, which houses an impressive collection of nutcrackers from around the world. If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, take a scenic hike through the surrounding Cascade Mountains, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding wilderness, and take a wine tour. Make sure to stop by Bären Haus, located near the Bavarian Lodge, for a taste of traditional German fare.


Cheap Flights from Washington, D.C. >>

10. Bend, Oregon

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Bend, Oregon

Bend, nestled in the Cascade Mountains, is another hidden gem. Surrounded by magnificent peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests, this mountain town is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Despite its growing reputation, Bend is still one of the most underrated summer travel destinations in the region.


Explore the stunning Deschutes National Forest, hike or bike along the scenic trails of the Cascade Mountains, or go kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing on the nearby lakes and rivers. In addition to its breathtaking scenery, Bend showcases the region’s local produce and craft beer culture, which you could try out at the food cart pod at The Lot. Then, check in at the Oxford Hotel to cap off your stay.

11. Taos, New Mexico

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Taos, New Mexico

Taos has a character of its own, with attractions like the historic Taos Pueblo, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway offering breathtaking views of rugged mountain landscapes. With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and friendly locals, it’s one of the Southwest’s most underrated summer travel ideas.


No visit to Taos would be complete without sampling delicious New Mexican cuisine, which fuses Spanish, Native American, and Mexican influences to create a truly unique culinary experience. Check-in at the El Monte Sagrado and treat yourself to the unique New Mexican flavors at The Love Apple before exploring numerous galleries and studios in town.

12. Rovinj, Croatia

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj is a coastal town situated in the Istrian region of Croatia. The town’s Old Town is a must-see attraction, with its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and beautiful churches. It also boasts stunning beaches, friendly locals, and a laid-back atmosphere, making it one of the best summer travel spots in Europe. We recommend staying at the Maistra Select Amarin Resort, which offers luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. 


Rovinj is also famous for its truffles, which are a culinary delight. Numerous local restaurants offer mouth-watering Istrian truffle dishes that are full of flavor. In addition to truffles, the town’s seafood is exceptional, with a wide range of fresh fish available at many restaurants, such as La Puntulina.

13. Oaxaca, Mexico

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Oaxaca, Mexico

When exploring Oaxaca, you can start by wandering around the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the stunning architecture, visit the iconic Monte Albán ruins, or explore other archaeological sites, such as Mitla and Yagul, which are equally fascinating. Moreover, Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most affordable travel destinations and one of the best places to travel in the summer.


No trip to Oaxaca would be complete without indulging in some delicious local cuisine. Indulge in some delicious mole and mezcal at one of the many local markets or at restaurants like Los Amantes Mezcalería. Oaxaca also boasts a thriving arts scene and friendly locals, and you can encounter both at the boutique Hotel Azul.


Cheap Flights to Mexico City >>

14. Ghent, Belgium

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is a medieval city that sits in the heart of Belgium. This picturesque canal town has so much to offer, making it an underrated summer travel idea. For starters, Ghent boasts stunning Gothic architecture that will transport you back in time. The intricate designs of the buildings, churches, and cathedrals add to its charm. 


Enjoy the classic Belgian waffles at Etablissement Max, and stay at the Ghent River Hotel to experience the food and architecture Ghent is known for. If you are a beer enthusiast, Ghent has got you covered. The city has plenty of local bars that serve delicious Belgian beer, making it a perfect place to unwind and relax this summer.

15. Durango, Colorado

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Durango, Colorado

Durango, a mountain town in southwestern Colorado, has endless outdoor recreation opportunities. This makes it one of the best summer travel destinations. Take a scenic ride on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and be transported back to the Wild West era, or explore the nearby Mesa Verde National Park and marvel at the well-preserved ancient cliff dwellings.


Foodies will be in for a treat as Durango is home to several local breweries where you can indulge in delicious craft beer and burgers. Steamworks Brewing Company is a popular spot that offers excellent food and drinks and a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for spending time with friends and family. For accommodations, consider the historic Strater Hotel to help you make the most of your visit.

Splurge-Worthy Adventures

16. Marquette, Michigan

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Marquette, Michigan

Situated along the shoreline of Lake Superior, Marquette boasts a natural beauty that will take your breath away. The town’s rugged landscape is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking, biking, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors. This easily makes it among the best places to travel in the summer.


Nearby, you can check out Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Presque Isle Park for a relaxed outdoor experience with scenic trails and views of Lake Superior. For food and accommodations, the Portside Inn serves delicious meals in a cozy, intimate setting, while the Landmark Inn is for guests who want to experience staying in a historic building.

17. Battambang, Cambodia

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Battambang, Cambodia

Battambang, nestled in the northwestern part of Cambodia, emanates a charm that is unmatched by most of its more popular counterparts in the country. This riverside town’s old-world charm is evident in its stunning French colonial architecture, and it is one of the inexpensive places to travel in the summer in Southeast Asia.


The town is known for its two most popular attractions — the Bamboo Train and the Angkorian temples. Take a ride on the Bamboo Train, which is a rickety railway system that provides breathtaking views of the serene rice paddies, lush forests, and quaint villages. For a peaceful stay, book a room at the Bambu Hotel, and visit Jaan Bai, an innovative Cambodian restaurant that offers a modern twist on traditional Khmer cuisine.

18. Chefchaouen, Morocco

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen’s most distinct feature is the striking blue-washed buildings that line its streets, giving it a stunning appearance. It certainly is one of the most underrated summer travel ideas in North Africa. You can wander through the narrow winding streets, browse the souks, and shop for handicrafts, textiles, and unique souvenirs.  


For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Rif Mountains offer fantastic hiking opportunities with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. For foodies, try out the traditional dishes at Aladin Restaurant, which offers delicious Moroccan cuisine. If you’re looking for a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere, the Lina Ryad & Spa is an excellent choice for accommodations.

19. Hoi An, Vietnam

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Hoi An, Vietnam

A beautiful coastal town in central Vietnam, the historic Old Town of Hoi An is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to this country. It’s full of well-preserved ancient buildings and narrow streets that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. You can explore the town on foot or rent a bicycle to get around this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

If you’re a foodie, indulge in some of the best Vietnamese food in the country and visit one of the many local restaurants like Banh Mi Phuong. Apart from its cultural and culinary offerings, Hoi An also boasts some stunning beaches like An Bang Beach and Ha My Beach. To complete your Hoi An experience, stay at the Anantara Hoi An Resort. With all that it has to offer, Hoi An is undoubtedly one of the best summer travel spots in Southeast Asia.


Cheap Flights to Vietnam >>

20. Córdoba, Spain

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Córdoba, Spain

The best thing about Córdoba is its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, who are always happy to share their city’s rich history and traditions. The city is famous for its patios that are adorned with colorful flowers. As an underrated summer travel idea, you can explore the intricate arches, domes, and columns that make up the Mezquita Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter. 

Foodies will rejoice in Córdoba’s culinary scene, known for its delicious tapas and regional wines. Bodegas Mezquita is a popular spot to try some of the local specialties, including salmorejo, a cold soup made with tomatoes, bread, and garlic. The hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío is also highly recommended for its luxurious accommodations and prime location in the heart of the city.


Cheap Flights to Spain >>

21. Tbilisi, Georgia

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, often goes unnoticed by travelers who prefer more well-known European destinations. The winding streets are adorned with beautiful buildings that showcase a mix of different styles, including Persian, Byzantine, and Soviet-era architecture. While strolling through the Old Town, you can also visit the iconic Narikala Fortress, which offers breathtaking views of the city below.

For those looking for a more relaxing experience, Tbilisi’s traditional bathhouses are a perfect choice. After a healing sulfur bath, sample traditional dishes like khinkali (dumplings), khachapuri (cheese bread), and shashlik (grilled meat) at Keto & Kote. Cap off your day at one of the best summer travel destinations with accommodation at ROOMS Tbilisi.

22. Bristol, Rhode Island

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol boasts stunning beaches and is a quaint harbor town, making it one of the most underrated summer travel ideas in the USA. One of the best places to stay is the Bradford-Dimond-Norris House, a beautifully restored home that offers a serene and comfortable stay. 


Explore the historic downtown area, featuring beautiful architecture from the colonial era. One must-visit spot is the iconic Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, which offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy during the Gilded Age. Foodies must reserve a table at the Lobster Pot, which has been serving the freshest seafood for over 90 years.

23. Staunton, Virginia

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Staunton, Virginia

Staunton is nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by majestic mountains and rolling hills. It is one of the best places to travel in the summer. Among the town’s wealth of cultural and historical attractions is the iconic American Shakespear Center. Staunton is also a natural wonderland where you can hike, bike, and go horseback riding with miles of scenic trails. 


When it comes to dining, the town is known for its farm-to-table cuisine, with plenty of local restaurants serving innovative Southern dishes. One of them is Zynodoa, which features a seasonal menu. For an upscale stay in Staunton, choose The Blackburn Inn and Conference Center, a former asylum that offers a blend of history and modern luxury.

24. Cape May, New Jersey

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May is known for its stunning sunsets, which are best enjoyed from the beach or one of the town’s many waterfront bars and restaurants. One of the main draws of Cape May is its stunning architecture, with many of the buildings in the town’s historic district dating back to the Victorian era. These characteristics make Cape May one of the most underrated summer travel ideas on the East Coast. 


Visit iconic landmarks like The Lighthouse, which dates back to 1859, or soak up the sun along Beach Ave and take a refreshing dip in the ocean. If you’re staying at the Virginia Hotel, check out its farm-to-table restaurant, The Ebbitt Room, for New American cuisine.

25. Fredericksburg, Texas

Underrated Summer Travel Ideas - Fredericksburg, Texas

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Fredericksburg is the next best summer travel spot. Fall in love with the city’s enchanting German heritage, stunning Hill Country scenery, and delightful wineries. Stay in Hoffman Haus, a cozy accommodation in a historic setting with lush gardens, a hot tub, and a delicious breakfast. 


To enjoy the scenic beauty of the Texas Hill Country, take a drive along the Willow City Loop. Don’t forget to stop at Wildseed Farms to purchase some wildflower seeds. Plus, with over 50 wineries and tasting rooms in the area, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try the delicious local vintages. If you’re more of a beer enthusiast, head to Otto’s German Bistro for German beers that pair perfectly with schnitzel, spaetzle, and house-made sausages.

As you plan your summer adventures, consider these 25 underrated travel ideas that can lead you to some of the world’s most breathtaking places. From the stunning mountains of Bozeman, Montana, to the lively streets of Valparaíso, Chile, and the charming history of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, these hidden gems offer unique experiences that cater to all budgets. 

To make your summer getaway even more seamless and enjoyable, book your flights with OneAir. With our commitment to exceptional service, competitive prices, and an extensive network of destinations, OneAir ensures that your journey is as memorable as your destination. Whether you’re seeking budget-friendly escapes, mid-range adventures, or splurge-worthy retreats, OneAir has you covered.