6 Awesome, Under The Radar U.S. Cities to Visit in 2016

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We all dream about the perfect getaway – which is why it can be a drag to have your ideal getaway spot be everyone else’s getaway spot, too. Trends and popularity aside, you should always travel where you want to travel – but if you’re looking for a destination you won’t see on your squad’s Instagram feeds, here are the cities you should visit.

Ithaca, New York

photo credit: newyorkmeetings.com

What better way to tour upstate New York than with an actual wine tour? Ithaca, NY is in the heart of the Finger Lakes, making access to dozens of wineries incredibly easy. The city also has more restaurants per capita than New York City (with none of the cheesy tourist attractions). Plus, aside from the wining and dining, Ithaca is known for its surrounding nature. As the saying goes – “Ithaca is gorges,” and it has the state parks to prove it.

Ephraim, Wisconsin

photo credit: flickr

photo credit: flickr

This tiny village is part of Wisconsin’s Door County, which borders Green Bay and by default – Lake Michigan. Though the population of Ephraim is tiny, the picturesque views of Eagle Harbor and Peninsula State Park make this a perfect respite from daily life. The County’s Norwegian and Moravian roots become apparent in the village’s local festivals – as well as the area’s arts and culture scene. They truly have the best of the old and the new.

Scottsdale, Arizona


photo credit: Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Instead of a deserted island, how about a city surrounded by desert? Arizona is full of opportunities for outdoor adventure, but Scottsdale has a thriving culture scene making it a must-visit. From Livewire, a new event venue with not one, but two bars, to the traditional Western saloons – it’s easy to find something worth watching. If you’re looking for something more cultured, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is filled with murals – and you can’t pass up a chance to tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural studio.

Providence, Rhode Island

photo credit: vacationidea.com

photo credit: vacationidea.com

This New England City might be smaller than its Boston counterpart, but what it lacks in population it makes up for in history and foodie culture. Providence is nicknamed the “Creative Capital” for its strong arts and education ties; the city is home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as Waterfire, its signature outdoor event. The RISD Museum is open to the public and is a great place to see both the past and future of the art world.

Helena, Montana

photo credit: YouTube

photo credit: YouTube

You might think of the Gold Rush when you think of Montana, but that doesn’t mean there’s not cultural gold as well! Helena more eclectic a city than you would think – there’s a great Montana-local scene of music, art, and performances. It’s also a great place to get active, as there are several hiking trails to choose from. Montana’s tourism site even has a free walking tour app for Helena’s different neighborhoods, so you can explore with a free virtual guide.

Wilmington, Delaware


photo credit: Wikimedia

photo credit: Wikimedia

Another city located near wine country, Wilmington is a perfect fix of urban energy and country charm. This Delaware city has the largest downtown area in the state and is closer to Brandywine Valley and Delaware River Valley, meaning that there’s always something fun to do. But be careful – spending the morning at the New Castle Farmers Market and the afternoon strolling through the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library may make you never want to leave.

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).


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