These under-the-radar locales show off America's unrelenting beauty.

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DenisTangneyJrGetty Images 1 of 50 Huntsville, AL

Space and beer are the two topics that Huntsville, AL is best known for—a rather disparate selection that reflects the history of this southern city. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is the main attraction in Huntsville, and has influenced just about every element of life in the city, including the craft beer scene. Check out Straight to Ale, Rocket Republic Brewing, and Salty Nut Brewery if you’re interested in a brew. And for art lovers, the Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment building is the largest privately owned arts facility in the U.S, home to 148 working studios, six galleries, a theater, and various performance venues.

Must do: Visit the Space and Rocket Center.

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filoGetty Images 2 of 50 Sitka, Alaska

For anyone with a passion for fishing and the great outdoors, Sitka is an absolute paradise. Near the capital of Juneau, Sitka has a much more quaint feel, with fishing boats in the foreground and beautiful glaciers in the background. Fish like salmon, trout, char, halibut, and rockfish are abundant in these waters, but there’s more than fish to keep you entertained. The city was part of Russia until 1867, and the beautiful Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral is a must-see. Moreover, Sitka National Historical Park serves as a reminder of the battle between Russia and the indigenous Tlingit people, and the legacy of Russian colonialism in America.

Must do: Check out Sitka National Park and see the trail of totem poles.

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DenisTangneyJrGetty Images 3 of 50 Bisbee, AZ

If you’re looking for an artistic escape, head over to Bisbee. Naturally mineral rich, Bisbee has produced nearly 3 million ounces of gold and more than 8 billion pounds of copper, making the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum a fascinating place to spend a hot afternoon. You could also check out the copious shopping and gallery scene around the city.

Must do: Check out the Lavender Pit, a former open-pit copper mine.

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Walter BibikowGetty Images 4 of 50 Hot Springs, AR

For a natural spa experience, check out Hot Springs in Arkansas. Located in the Ouachita Mountains, the city is named for its many naturally heated springs, many of which can be found in Hot Springs National Park. Hike in the park and then take a long dip in one of the many bathhouses for a truly rejuvenating experience.

Must do: Go to Fordyce Bathhouse for a luxurious hot springs experience.

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Nick Stone SchearerGetty Images 5 of 50 Healdsburg, CA

Charming Healdsburg isn’t necessarily the best known of California towns, but this Sonoma city has plenty to offer wine aficionados. Located along the Russian River, this small town has some of the best views California wine country has to offer, and some of the best art, food, and drink as well. Plus, with more than 20 art galleries waiting to be explored, you can drink, explore, and generally make merry without leaving just a few mile radius.

Must do: Check out one of the many vineyards in the area.

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Fred Langer PhotographyGetty Images 6 of 50 Boulder, CO

While most folks go to Aspen or Denver when it comes to visiting Colorado, Boulder is its best kept secret. This small town is just 40 minutes or so from Denver, but a world away. Nestled at the base of the Flatirons, the outdoor exploratory options in Boulder are unparalleled, and Pearl Street offers plenty of shopping and dining.

Must do: Hike one of the many trails in the Flatirons.

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PosnovGetty Images 7 of 50 Cornwall, CT

Incorporated in 1740, Cornwall maintains some of the same old-world charm that accompanied its founding. Named after the county of Cornwall in England, this rural community is home to one of the only covered bridges still standing in the state. The natural beauty and small-town ethos of Cornwall make this New England town a quintessential spot to visit, whether during peak foliage season or in the summer for a hike in the Berkshires.

Must do: BYOB at RSVP for a delightful French-inspired meal.

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roc8jasGetty Images 8 of 50 Delaware City, DE

The waterfront town of Delaware City is situated at the intersection of the C&D Canal and the Delaware River, and is rife with history and more modern comforts. There’s a classic ice cream parlor, crabs at Crabby Dick’s, and an old-school baseball team called the Diamond State Baseball Club that plays games during the spring.

Must do: Take the ferry ride to Fort Delaware, a Civil War military prison.

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Walter BibikowGetty Images 9 of 50 West Palm Beach, FL

Rather than going to crowded beaches in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, head over to West Palm Beach instead. Separated from Palm Beach proper by the Lake Worth Lagoon, this city is bustling with fine dining, bars, and culture, like the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, where you can check out concerts, plays, ballets, and operas. And yes, the beaches are spectacular.

Must do: Check out the Norton Museum of Art.

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KenWiedemannGetty Images 10 of 50 Athens, GA

Architecture buffs will love paying a visit to Athens in northeast Georgia. The antebellum buildings, like the TRR Cobb House, are some of the best preserved in the nation, and well worth a visit. If it’s not too hot, check out the nearby State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Oconee Forest Park, or sip on a local brew from one of the craft breweries in the region.

Must do: Go and see the Taylor Grady House, a Greek Revival mansion.

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Peter UngerGetty Images 11 of 50 Hilo, Hawaii

For a non-tourist trap version of Hawaii, check out Hilo, a more local experience. Beautiful farmers markets and quaint shops dot the waterfront, and the fresh seafood is, of course, second to none. While the beaches aren’t quite as pristine as they are in other parts of the island, the landscape is still absolutely stunning, and significantly more affordable than many other parts of Hawaii.

Must do: Get fresh fish and hit the grills.

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Mona Makela PhotographyGetty Images 12 of 50 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Not only is the name of this Idaho city beautiful, so too are the lake vistas. Known best for the plethora of water sports to be enjoyed on the lake from which the city derives its name, this city also has a large resort with the state’s best-rated golf course. There’s also the Canfield Mountain Natural Area to be explored, and a national forest to boot.

Must do: Go waterskiing on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

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Henryk SaduraGetty Images 13 of 50 Peoria, IL

As the largest city on the Illinois River, Peoria combines culture with nature. Just a couple of hours away from the bustle of Chicago, Peoria couldn’t be more different in terms of its pace and vibe. Nature lovers will appreciate the Luthy Botanical Garden as well as the Wildlife Prairie Park, where you can check out native bison, cougars, and bears. But those seeking out the culture of a big city can still get their fix at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Must do: Check out the sculpture garden at Peoria Riverfront Museum.

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Vonkara1Getty Images 14 of 50 Carmel, IN

Arts lovers will be instantly taken with Carmel, a suburb located just north of Indianapolis. This charming city’s Main Street is everything you would hope for in a modern thoroughfare, including restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries. If you make it during September, you can catch the Carmel International Arts Festival. And for folks looking to get in touch with nature, check out the Monon Trail.

Must do: See a concert at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.

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SWKrullImagingGetty Images 15 of 50 Okoboji, Iowa

Okoboji doesn’t sound like a town in Iowa, nor does it look like one. But those in the know are drawn to this beautiful city for its glacier-carved lakes, which come all the way down from the Minnesota border and span an impressive 15,000 acres. If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of many American cities, Okoboji is more than ready to provide hours of lakeside fun.

Must do: Check out West Lake Okoboji, the most famous of the lakes.

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BOB WESTONGetty Images 16 of 50 Abilene, KS

Some of the best museums in the U.S. can be found in Abilene, KS, and best of all, they’re all within four blocks of one another. American history lovers will appreciate the nod to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, who is buried at his Presidential Library and Museum in the city.

Must do: Check out the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad.

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ChrisBoswellGetty Images 17 of 50 Bowling Green, KY

If you love cars, you’ll love Bowling Green. The National Corvette Museum is a must-see for any classic automobile enthusiasts, but there’s more than just cars to provide wonder and intrigue in this city. While bourbon may be king in Kentucky, craft breweries and small farm wineries are popular in Bowling Green, too. Check out Gasper Brewing Co. or Travelers Cellar Winery to get a taste of the local watering holes. You may also get to know Duncan Hines (yes, the cake brand) a little bit better in his hometown.

Must do: Check out the Lost River Cave, the only underground boat tour in Kentucky.

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DenisTangneyJrGetty Images 18 of 50 Shreveport, LA

If New Orleans feels a little too busy for you, head over to less trafficked Shreveport, where the food and culture is just as vibrant. Check out awesome gumbo and po-boy sandwiches, go to a jazz concert, or get up close and personal with the Louisiana swamps and their inhabitants.

Must do: Visit Artspace, a 21,000 square foot art space that is a cultural epicenter for the southern U.S.

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Edwin RemsbergGetty Images 19 of 50 Bar Harbor, Maine

There are a wealth of beautiful little islands off the coast of Maine that are best accessed by another beautiful little town—Bar Harbor. Located on Mount Desert Island along Frenchman Bay, this is the perfect place to camp out—literally—in the beautiful scenery of Acadia National Park. Delightful local restaurants and shops dot the charming downtown area, and you could always take a ferry out to one of the neighboring islands if you finish your exploration of Bar Harbor itself.

Must do: Take a hike up Cadillac Mountain.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Kevin FlemingGetty Images 20 of 50 Assateague Island, MD

Assateague Island is quite literally never the same experience twice, as this 37-mile long barrier island is shaped constantly by the wind and the ocean. Most of the island is claimed by Maryland (though the southern portion is technically Virginia), but regardless of which state you’re in, you’re sure to be in a sort of paradise. Perhaps known best for being home to the Chincoteague pony, or the Assateague horse, there’s plenty of nature to be taken in on this stunning island.

Must do: Climb to the top of the Assateague lighthouse.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Kevin TrimmerGetty Images 21 of 50 Gloucester, MA

Coastal Gloucester is known primarily as a fishing town, and its rich maritime history is reflected throughout this charming New England town. Known for being home to the oldest seaport in America, foodies will delight in the wealth of fresh seafood to be found. Plus, given that it’s only a 45 minute drive from Boston, if you find yourself craving city life, you could always pop back to Beantown for a quick fix.

Must do: Visit the 1920s medieval-style Hammond Castle Museum.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Deb PerryGetty Images 22 of 50 Manistee, MI

The old glory of Michigan and its lumber industry is on full display in Manistee. The historic city has a series of site tours that will guide you across 100 sites in the county, all of which carry some form of historical significance. You can also take a walking tour of downtown River Street and check out the beautiful boutiques and restaurants.

Must do: Check out the North Country Trail where you can access 80 miles of hiking.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Per BreiehagenGetty Images 23 of 50 Orr, MN

While the Twin Cities of Minnesota may be known best, there’s much more than city life in this northern American state. Chief among them is Voyageurs National Park, the only national park to be found in the state. And the gateway community to that park is Orr, where you can stay in one of many resorts that will make you feel one with nature.

Must do: Check out Vermilion Falls.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
John ColettiGetty Images 24 of 50 Natchez, MS

This venerable city is three centuries old, and has the largest set of antebellum homes in the United States (many were saved from a fiery end because their inhabitants were Union supporters). Today, those historical properties have been transformed into quaint B&Bs, giving the whole city a distinctly otherworldly feel.

Must do: Check out Carriage House for some of the best southern food you can find.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Eddie BradyGetty Images 25 of 50 Lake of the Ozarks, MO

If you’re going on vacation in the midwest, it’s likely that you’ll have considered Lake of the Ozarks. Two state parks surround the lake—Lake of the Ozarks State Park and the famous Ha Ha Tonka State Park, both of which offer an excellent escape from more touristy sites. If you’re looking for even quieter, you could go underground and take a tour of the Ozark Caverns and check out the waterfalls known as Angel Showers.

Must do: Check out Ha Ha Tonka State Park and be sure to see the ruins of a stone mansion.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Andy RyanGetty Images 26 of 50 Livingston, MT

Americana lives and breathes in Livingston, MT. If you’re looking for a city to make a pit stop just before heading into Yellowstone, this gateway city is for you. Known for some of the best meat in this region of the country (what else could you eat in Montana), Livingston truly feels like it’s stepped straight out of a western classic.

Must do: Grab a bite (like a steak) at the Stockman.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Meindert van der HavenGetty Images 27 of 50 Alliance, NE

Teeny tiny Alliance is well worth a visit. The Carhenge, the famous 96-foot sculpture featuring 39 vehicles with their grills face down, painted to look like Stonehenge, is just one of the attractions in this unassuming city. There’s also Dobby’s Frontier Town, which has preserved a whole row of infrastructure from the frontier days of Nebraska.

Must do: Go to a drive-in movie at one of only two such theaters in the state.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Basin Light Photography / 500pxGetty Images 28 of 50 Gardnerville, NV

No matter what time of year you visit Gardnerville, NV, you’ll be able to find some form of entertainment that doesn’t involve casinos or strip malls. Unlike the more famous city in Nevada, in Gardnerville, what you’re really in town for is the natural views of mountains and valleys. Thanks to a moderate climate, you can spend ample time outside, which is ideal for exploring Lampe Park with all 32 acres.

Must do: Check out the Carson Valley Museum.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
JorisvoGetty Images 29 of 50 Hanover, NH

Home to Dartmouth College, the smallest Ivy League institution, equally small Hanover is a delightful college town that has much more to offer—namely by way of access to nature. You can take advantage of the cultural attractions the College has to offer—like Hood Museum or the Hopkins Center for the Arts, or eat at one of many delightful restaurants on Main Street—like Pine in the beautiful Hanover Inn. And then, be sure to head over to the Appalachian Trail to walk it all off.

Must do: Grab breakfast at Lou’s.

underrated us cities, where to travel in the us, best places to travel in the us,
Richard T. NowitzGetty Images 30 of 50 Cape May, NJ

Beautiful Cape May is a seaside resort that sits just at the edge of Cape May Peninsula in the southern part of the state. From grand Victorian homes to fine dining restaurants dotting Washington Street, there’s something undeniably luxurious about this waterfront city.

Must do: Check out the Cape May Lighthouse to see across the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

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