1. Anna Maria Island, FL
A lovely retreat for the soul, Anna Maria Island should be ranked as the USA’s number one beach. In fact, two of its neighboring beaches already have been number one. Anna Maria Island might be difficult to get to because of the small bridge, but it offers incredible boutique shopping, the best coffee shop South of New York (Ginny's), and endless sandy beaches more deserted than a shopping mall during the Great Depression!
2. Detroit, MI
While most people consider Detroit a has-been city of sorts, that doesn’t bother the locals who would like to keep tourists away! This gorgeous city has a multitude of activities to enjoy, from Detroit Piston Tickets to the famous Detroit Institute of Arts. You can head on out to the famous Comerica ballpark, and then down to Motown Historical Museum.
3. Salt Lake City, UT
As most people know, local brew is watered-down and heavily regulated, but once you get past that fact Salt Lake City has more to offer than meets the eye. From breathtaking churches and parks to the fabulous outdoor shopping at Gateway, SLC is known for its cleanliness and free transportation (The Light Rail). So, get yourself a mug of Polygamy Porter, and head out to see the wonderful Leonardo Museum or Capital Theatre.
4. Oklahoma City, OK
Sprawling but quiet, lush green and windy, Oklahoma City is unfortunately known for its devastating bombing incident. However, this is a city filled with joy, culture, and class. Locals love the southern charm commingled with metropolitan flair, and tourists enjoy the un-crowded public parks. Enjoy a day at the National Cowboy Museum before visiting Bricktown Ballpark and dining across the street at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse.
5. Portsmouth, NH
A very upscale town in the midst of an industrial graveyard, Portsmouth is a marriage of class and decay. People love walking by the gorgeous Piscataqua River before dining in quaint bistros along the waterway. Small, family run shops and restaurants are the soul of this close-knit society. From a world-class children’s museum to the high-end shopping (that is right down the street for world-class premium outlets in Kittery, Maine), Portsmouth is a strolling shopper’s heaven.
6. Houston, TX
The fourth-largest city in the United States, Houston doesn’t get a just share of attention. With a world-renowned NASA science center, fantastic ballet, opera, and orchestra, and world-class shopping, Houston has more to offer than most people realize. You will enjoy Tex-Mex foods in the most welcoming (and biggest-haired) city in the USA.
While foolish travelers continue visiting Orlando and Las Angeles every year, the smartest travelers know that less popular cities are the heart and soul of America. By visiting these less-traveled areas, you will learn new things, experience new adventures, and be able to mark different states off of your national map of travels.