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A Quiet Summer Retreat: Why You Should Visit These 5 Underrated U.S. Cities This July

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Contrary to what social media might want you to believe, an amazing summer holiday doesn’t have to be an extravagant, all-out affair.

Some of the best holidays I’ve ever had have been cheap, quiet city breaks I’ve spent either surrounded by loved ones or going on solo sightseeing excursions – either way, if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, chances are that the lists coming out this time of year raving about how gorgeous Ibiza, Mykonos, or Bali is aren’t that much help.

So, where do you go instead?

Woman with backpack sitting on the top of mountain in Wenatchee, Washington

The good news is that you can always take inspiration from Airbnb’s latest trends report, a piece that outlines some of the most underrated cities in the entire country you can visit this July, and no, places like New York, Miami, Vegas, Orlando, and Seattle are nowhere near this list.

Saratoga Springs, New York

New York City is so iconic it’s almost become synonymous with the state itself, which explains why so many stunning nearby destinations get constantly overlooked – but it doesn’t justify it.

So, this summer, think outside the box and head over to Saratoga Springs instead.

Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs

This month, you’ll even get to enjoy the long-anticipated Saratoga Race Course (starting on July 11th), a perfect callback to the region’s long and rich equine background – this particular event alone dates back to 1863.

Beyond the races, Saratoga Springs is also known for its amazing spas and thriving arts scene, so if you’re looking for someplace that’ll simultaneously relax and entertain you, you’ve got yourself a winner.

Leadville, Colorado 

If a more outdoorsy holiday is more up your speed, you might want to consider Leadville instead.

Leadville, Colorado

At 10,152 feet up the Rocky Mountains, this former mining town has both historical intrigue and that adventurous kick that most popular destinations lack this time of year.

Hike across the Mineral Belt Trail, go picnicking near Turquoise Lake, and take a scenic train ride through the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad – if all that doesn’t make you feel in tune with America’s jaw-dropping nature, I don’t know what will.

Lancaster, California 

Can’t find some inspiration for that next amazing travel photoshoot?

Lancaster, California

A good camera and a trip to Lancaster’s poppy fields are just what the doctor ordered.

Try not to blink too much as you make your way through Lancaster, though – between the Aerospace Walk of Honor, the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, there’s just so much beauty and culture to take in that you won’t want to miss a beat.

Bangor, Maine

There’s much more to Bangor than what meets the eye, and because so many other travelers are starting to notice that, too, you’ll want to book your trip here before the city falls victim to mass tourism.

Bangor, Maine

If you’re a Stephen King fan, chances are you’ve already wanted to come here for a while – not only is this the author’s hometown, but it’s also a place where you can go on an actual Stephen King tour that takes you through every main site related to his work, including his Victorian mansion and some of the most iconic locations that inspired his novels.

Everyone else can spend their days kayaking on the Penobscot River, exploring the famous Acadia National Park, or reveling in the local culture through some of the season’s most exciting events, of which the Bangor State Fair has to be my favorite.

Wenatchee, Washington

With Seattle being crowned America’s top summer getaway, it’s no wonder smaller (though much more reasonably priced) Washington cities aren’t gaining the same level of traction. 

Wenatchee, Washington

However, when it comes to the Wenatchee, it might be worth straying away from the crowds.

Known as “the apple capital of the world,” this orchard-filled city looks like something straight out of a movie.

Even if you’re not too keen on all the wine and cider tastings that take place this time of year (though it’s hard to see why that would be), you can always fill your Wenatchee itinerary with bike rides through Riverfront Park, walks in the Ohme Gardens, and jet skiing sessions in the Columbia River.

Columbia River, East Wenatchee

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.