As the world begins to open up, many people are looking for travel destinations that allow for more space and are a bit closer to home. Living in the U.S. gives us lots of opportunities for excellent vacation locations, however many of our go-to spots are popular, which can lead to crowds. Travel may look different for a while, but that doesn’t mean that it has to stop. Here are some great options for the most unique travel destinations in the U.S. Below is our guide for the best unknown travel destinations.  

Best Off The Beaten Path Travel Destinations

If you like Austin, Texas try visiting Marfa, Texas 

One of the main draws of Austin, Texas is its cool artist vibes with many options for live music, great food, as well as tons of opportunities for outdoor adventure. If you want to get the same feel and remain in the Lonestar state, then Marfa is a travel destination that you won’t want to miss. Marfa is a town centered around art. With cool installations and museums this is an art lover’s paradise. The town also hosts cultural fests, concerts and more. Shrouded in mystery, don’t forget to check out the “Marfa Lights” on your next visit.  **(there’s a cool picture of the Prada pop up on Unsplash when you type in Marfa that you could use!)  

Trade San Diego, California for Pismo Beach 

San Diego is known for their perfect weather, great breweries, and awesome beaches. Get off the beaten path a bit and stay right in California as you explore Pismo beach. Sip wine at their many wineries, visit one of the several beach locations or check out their abundance of green space like Margo Dodd Park. 

Skip Daytona Beach and visit Cedar Key, Florida 

Cedar Key pops up on several lists for the best small-town beach cities in Florida, and there are plenty of reasons why. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, this island city boasts beautiful beaches, nature trails, homes from the 1920s and more. Cedar Key is also an excellent travel location for history buffs. See the Cedar Key Historic Society Museum where you can learn about unique Civil War items. 

See Boulder over Denver, Colorado

There is a reason why Denver has become one of the most popular travel and relocations destinations in the U.S. However, with its popularity comes people. If you are looking to head to the mountains and give yourself some space from humanity Boulder, Colorado is an excellent option. Hike the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, stroll Pearl street lined with cafes, or visit the University campus. 

Eugene, Oregon can replace Portland

Travelers love the hipster city of Portland. Experience another great Pacific Northwest city in Eugene. This college town comes with sweeping views nestled along the Willamette River. Explore a multitude of nature reserves and parks and stroll the city’s market. Eugene is located in the Willamette Valley which boasts an excellent climate for hundreds of wineries. Sip your way through the gorgeous landscape and enjoy this gem of a travel location.

Bottom Line

 These underrated travel destinations are great options for when the travel bug bites. Expand your bucket list for U.S. travel destinations and start seeing the hidden gems all over this great country. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, the subtle buzz of a city, or adventure and adrenaline, there is a great location that allows for exploration to continue.     

MAST’s Essential Packing List For Your Vacation

Travel Towel

A microfiber beach towel is great for travel. Bring it with you to the beach, take it to the pool, or stash it in a bag heading to the lake.    


Forget flip flops that rub between your toes and can break without warning. Slides are the multifunctional outdoor sandal that are great for beach days, slipping on in the morning while camping, and more!


A great moisturizer is important especially when traveling to keep your skin hydrated no matter what the climate or elevation you are traveling in. Using a moisturizer with sunscreen is a great way to keep your skin feeling healthy and protect it from the sun.


Great for both men and women, headbands are a great travel accessory. Perfect for keeping the sweat off on long hikes, stylish with an athleisure look, and excellent for looking put together after a long day of travel. 

Travel Bottles

Whether you are bringing soap, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, or mouthwash, travel bottles that are also TSA approved are great for saving money and using your own products when traveling.

Amber Zakem

Amber Zakem has worked in the travel industry since 2014. Although, her love of travel began far before that. Amber grew up visiting cousins stationed throughout Europe and worked as an Au Pair in Germany for a year between High School and College. She started working at a local travel agency in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, after graduating from Central Michigan University. Amber began working for MAST Travel Network in 2016 and is the Social Media Specialist. She runs the MAST Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat and she teaches twice monthly webinars to travel agents on using social media to promote travel. Amber has continued her passion for travel and social media by also teaching a course at Moraine Valley Community College in their Hospitality program.