When you think about your next vacation, probably some places automatically come to mind, like Hong Kong, Bangkok, London, Macau, Singapore, or Paris.
Popular wisdom says that fame comes at a price which is quite tall in this case: the budget required to spend 5 days in these capitals is 00. If you got here, it’s not because you intend to spend all that, right?
Traveling with the opposite criterion – totally unknown places – is perfect for budget savings: the reduction in total expenses is around 45%. And the stories you will tell your buddies about where you went are all new.
From beautiful natural landscapes to historical architectural sets, check the following amazing unknown places!
1. Bear Lake, Idaho
Bear Lake is a lake that extends 280 km² in size, is 200 feet deep, and is located on the border of Idaho and Utah. It is also called the “Caribbean of the Rockies” due to the beautiful turquoise tones of its waters, reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea, and the refraction of calcium carbonate (limestone).
Its age is estimated at more than 250 thousand years. Native people such as the Shoshone tribes have lived around the lake. In addition to these people, other native people passed through the area. Since then, Bear Lake has undergone many changes. Its area started to receive hotels and leisure areas in the last century.
The exclusive biodiversity is a characteristic that makes this lake unique in the world. There are natural species that are only found here, nowhere else. That is why some of them bear the lake’s name, such as the Bear Lake whitefish and the Bear Lake sculpin.
If you like the water, this place is even more suitable for visiting. Water skiing, boating, swimming, sailing, and fishing are common activities for Bear Lake’s visitors. Summer will shine in June, July and August, the most suitable for your trip. Just don’t tell anyone that you are getting to know one of the most incredible hidden places to visit, okay?
To organize your trip, secure round-trip tickets from your city to Salt Lake International Airport, disembark, and rent a car. It should take you about 2 and a half hours to arrive, and you can still make a stop at Logan Canyon. The total budget for your trip should not exceed $ 1400.
2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is a small town located in the southern United States, more specifically in the state of New Mexico. It is the oldest state capital in the country, founded in 1610, and the owner of the highest height above sea level, 2,194 m.
For many centuries, its area and its collections have been homelands and villages of indigenous peoples, notably Tewa and Navajo peoples. Santa Fe was once the province of New Spain, during A Conquista.
Although the city has changed a lot until today, part of its architecture and its taste for the arts was preserved. So, have no doubts: if you like to enjoy culture, this is a perfect destination and is among the best unknown places to travel.
It is precisely thanks to its rich culture, with many art galleries and personality architecture, the city of New Mexico, has been recognized by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. There is no shortage of options for you to visit, from Santa Fe Plaza to the Palace of the Governors.
Be sure to enjoy the Fiesta de Santa Fe and musical performances, sample the tasty cuisine of local restaurants, and visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the cartoonist Chuck Jones’ gallery. You can certainly travel and enjoy this place for just $ 750. How to travel cheap? This can be an experiment.
3. Lookout Mountain, Georgia
A mountain with a unique history and breathtaking scenery. This is Lookout Mountain, located in the northwestern United States, specifically in the state of Georgia. The vast history behind this place gave its name to the title of important battles of the American Civil War.
Researchers reached out that it was inhabited centuries ago by the Chickamauga people, a group that separated from the Cherokee tribes during the American Revolutionary War. From the field of important people in the 18th century to a barrier of protection, the Mountain of Mirante has a lot of history to tell.
Rock City is also a highlight, located at the top of the mountain, where you will find some legendary views of seven states. Its natural attractions involve mysterious caverns, gigantic boulders, beautiful gardens, a suspension bridge, and a 90-foot waterfall. And do you believe that all this is not more than $ 1000?
4. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a historic city in Texas, located in the southern tip of the United States. Like other states in the southern region, its symbols are full of references from the time of the Spanish Conquest.
For example, the city itself was founded by the Spanish in 1718. Its history is also marked by the construction of the Alamo, an important place of resistance for the Texans in their struggle for independence against Mexico.
Nowadays, San Antonio has a special relationship with sports, being home to one of the main basketball teams in the NBA, hometown of one of the best professional wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels, among other sports equipment.
One of its highlights is the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, where it is possible to combine historical discoveries with physical exercises such as hiking and biking around the San Antonio River.
To honor all this history, be sure to visit the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to experience natural landscapes, you can enter the Natural Bridge Caverns or stroll through the Japanese Tea Garden.
Considering travel, accommodation, and food, your budget should be around $ 750. Do you want to travel cheap?
5. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Would a park with two different ecosystems be possible? Yes, it exists. And it is found in Joshua Tree National Park, an open-air wonder with an area of 3,196 km² located in California. It is here that the Mojave and Colorado deserts come together and offer a great diversity of fauna and flora for tourists.
It is because of this biodiversity that the park’s area was once home to important hunter-gatherer peoples, such as miners and farmers in the 19th century. Since 1936 it has become protected and cannot be inhabited or exploited commercially by anyone.
The animal species present in this place are the hare, kangaroo rat, coyote, rattlesnake, brown lynx, Yucca nocturnal lizard, desert rat, antelope squirrel, nocturnal painted snake, among others. The fauna is mainly composed of cacti and chaparral, in addition to the Joshua tree, of course.
Among the main places to visit from March to May and October to November are the Barker Dam, the Coachella Valley Preserve, the Keys View, the Cholla Cactus Garden, the Hidden Valley Nature Trail, and the Lost Palms Oasis Trail.
There are few hotel options in the park and little availability of dates. But don’t worry, you also have the option of staying at hotels in the city of Palm Springs and renting a car to visit. Either way, you can plan a budget of $ 850.
6. Portland, Maine
Despite being considered a small city, with just over 67 thousand inhabitants, the city of Portland has the highest population density in the state of Maine. It is located in the far northeast of the United States. Its main attractions are the buildings and landscapes of its historic port, architecture, and social excitement in the city center.
It is regularly confused with the other Portland, in Oregon, which has a population 10 times larger. After all, no problem! This doesn’t make it any less interesting, which is why it is here in this list of suggestions. Isn’t it? After all, only the Portland of Maine holds the title of the homeland of the famous Stephen King, and it was not for nothing that it was the scene of many audiovisual productions based on his work.
The history of this city involves the presence of Native Americans, like Algonquian speaking people, the settlement of Europeans from the 17th century, and notable events like The Great Fire of July 4, 1866, and the marine base of American forces during World War II.
You know you’ll be visiting a port city, so be sure to visit the Portland Lighthouse and Fort Williams Park. In addition to the famous Casco Bay and Peaks Island, the city also has its own Art Museum. For fans of a good beer, visit the headquarters of the Allagash Brewing Company. Plan to go from June to August, and not to spend much less or much more than $ 750. In the list of cheap places to travel to, and with the highest cost-benefit ratio, this one is one of the first.
7. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Owner of the highest dunes in North America, this park extends over an area of about 603.1 km². They are part of the Rocky Mountains, known as the “Rockies”, in the state of Colorado. Here you will probably take the most exotic hike of your life. Another unique experience will be seeing the stars on the highest dunes in North America.
Besides, you must know the Zapata Waterfall, through a trail that starts outside the park. Every physical effort involves a reward in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Be it a panoramic view, a refreshing dip, or a few pounds less.
The best time to visit this place, and even have the ideal time to visit Medano Creek, is between April and July. This is a slightly more expensive trip than the average, the amount needed to cover transportation, accommodation and food costs is $ 1000. But do you have any doubt that this is one of the hidden travel gems?
8. The Berkshires, New England
Excellent harmony between natural beauty and modern art and culture defines a city of Berkshires. This highland region is contained in two states at the same time, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Its landscape is composed of different reliefs and layers of mountains. For this reason, it was considered one of the 12 Last Great Places by The Nature Conservancy.
Behind these hills, you will find six different ecoregions and a lot of history. The Berkshires was the path of commander Henry Knox and his troops during the American Revolution and home to the oldest continuously operating farm called Hancock Shaker Village.
The activities and programs that can be done in this place are diverse and cover the interests of different tourist profiles. You can visit the Beartown State Forest or the Monument Mountain Reservation, but you can also visit the Norman Rockwell Museum or the Bidwell House Museum.
The best time to travel is the summer months so that you can swim comfortably in the natural lakes, for example. Be sure to try the local cuisine, which can be done not only through lunch at the local butcher meat market, but also by tasting its finest charcuterie, cheese, and accouterments. This trip is guaranteed with a budget of $ 1100.
9. Kauai, Hawaii
Even Hawaii, one of the places recognized worldwide for its beaches and idyllic scenery, has its hidden places. This is the case of the Kauai island, considered the smallest of all four islands in the archipelago, the greenest – that’s why it was named “Garden Island” – and also the oldest one. This is certainly one of the tops of the unknown beautiful places!
Kauai is cited by many as the rainiest spot in the entire world, with 350 days of rain, which is about 96% of the year. Many people who watch the classic Jurassic Park and King Kong films believe that their setting has some kind of computing interference. But no, its natural perfection is solely responsible for this island.
The island “was born” about 6 million years ago and originates from a volcanic formation. The first European to reach the islands was Captain James Cook, who landed at Waimea Bay in 1778. During the reign of King Kamehameha, in the 19th century, the islands of Kauai and Niihau were the last to join the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Today tourism is Kauai’s main economic activity. So, you will not stop buying those souvenirs and strengthen local commerce, okay? There is no way to get past it without visiting Waimea Canyon State Park, or the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, the Wailua Falls, and the Na Pali Coast, a recreation center that is a little bit difficult to access. This is one of the most expensive trips on the list, with total expenses hovering around $ 1300
10. Hudson Valley, New York
This region extends from the city of Albany to New York, in the northeastern United States. It involves nine different counties and comprises a population of approximately 2.4 million inhabitants. Hudson Valley is cut by the Hudson River, which often has been described as “America’s Rhine”.
The first to occupy their area were Native Americans known as Lenapes. With the arrival of the Dutch in 1610 to extract beaver skins, the formation of the colony of New Amsterdam began, which today is called New York. Its entire history is marked by the main events that shook the United States: the Pre-Columbian era, the colonization, the Revolutionary War, and the Industrial Revolution.
As well as its surface area, there is a wide range of types of industries present in Hudson Valley. Agriculture, Winemaking, and Tech Valley are just the main ones. But the main attractions for those who are visiting the region as a tourist are unmistakable for their natural beauty and biodiversity. They are the Bear Mountain State Park, the Kaaterskill Falls, the Hunter and the Bear Mountains, and the Dater Mountain Nature Park.
Cultural life owes nothing to other cities with spaces like the Storm King Art Center, the Hudson Opera House Center for the Arts, the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center. Rest assured, it shouldn’t cost more than $ 1400.
Mountains, islands, valleys, and lakes. Architecture, arts, culture, and history. Composing a whole diversity, these hidden places to travel have a common feature: the cheap price. For 5 days of travel, none will cost more than $ 1500 in your pocket. Hooray!