Author Topic: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US  (Read 4842 times)

MMMdude

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Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« on: February 15, 2015, 12:52:05 PM »
As a Canadian I love travelling down to the US.  We have been to the usual spots - LA, San Fran, New York, Hawaii, Montana and Las Vegas.  Had a blast in all of them

Some places we would like to get to in the future include Miami and the Keys' area, New Orleans, Chicago and Pacific Northwest.

What i'd like to know though is what places would you recommend that are maybe off the beaten path and underrated?  Bonus points if they are relatively inexpensive and are close-ish tot he beach :-)

Syonyk

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 01:01:55 PM »
No luck with being close to the beach, but if you like hiking away from lots of people, and don't mind planning a little bit around wildfires, New Mexico is an amazing state.  So is southern Colorado, but avoid the Denver area.

There are a number of amazing canyons to camp and hike in New Mexico, and the whole state slopes from the south to the north - so if you're too hot, go north, and if you're too cold, go south.

Catbert

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 01:03:31 PM »
Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina can be done in one trip.  IIRC only a couple hour drive between them.  Somewhat similar to New Orleans except no Bourbon Street so many fewer drunk tourists and college students!  Beach time could be planned into the trip.

Palm Springs isn't exactly off the beaten track.  You'll find as many Canadians there as you do at home.  However, warm and dry when you cold cold and snowy.  Bonus points if you are gay or play golf.  Palm Springs International Film Festival in January is great if you like foreign films.  Lots of pools, but no beaches.

MoneyCat

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 01:08:42 PM »
I live in New Jersey and I think the Jersey Shore is seriously underrated.  I would recommend visiting Cape May, which is a beautiful historic beach town on the very southern tip of the state.  The town has the largest concentration of Victorian houses in the USA and the entire town has been designated as a historic district.  As far as I can tell, Main Street USA at Disney World was based on the town.  There are no chain hotels in town by law and almost all the lodgings are bed and breakfasts.  My favorite place to stay is the Southern Mansion, which is rated 4-Diamonds by AAA.  The town has a very nice beach in the Summertime and wonderful homemade salt water taffy and fudge in the many candy shops.  There is also a lot of boating available on the ocean, including some really nice guided boat tours.

KariO

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 01:23:07 PM »
I second Charleston area. There is a beautiful state park on the Edisto River -- Colleton State Park -- just about an hour outside Charleston. They have CCC-era cabins, fully equipped, overlooking the river. $60-75/night for a 2 BR cabin. Also really nice camping facilities. Two years ago we paid $18/night in March for a site with electricity (which we didn't use, but is handy for some).

Also the Eastern Shore of MD and Virginia -- some areas are more posh, some are really a trip back in time. Beautiful canoeing and kayaking, good fishing and crabbing. If you hit Annapolis on the way to or from, let me know!


mozar

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2015, 05:55:49 PM »
Portland Maine, Austin Texas, Outer Banks NC. Not at all near water: Asheville NC, Salt Lake City Utah.
But these places are not underrated. I don't think you will find "hidden gems". Just about everywhere that is nice has a formal tourist industry. There are reviews for every city in the USA. Have you tried tripadvisor?

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 05:59:23 PM »
As a Canadian I love travelling down to the US.  We have been to the usual spots - LA, San Fran, New York, Hawaii, Montana and Las Vegas.  Had a blast in all of them

Some places we would like to get to in the future include Miami and the Keys' area, New Orleans, Chicago and Pacific Northwest.

What i'd like to know though is what places would you recommend that are maybe off the beaten path and underrated?  Bonus points if they are relatively inexpensive and are close-ish tot he beach :-)
Try Cumberland Island GA and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in GA. Also try Jonathan Dickison (sp?) State Park near Jupiter FL and  Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach FL.

Ricky

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 06:03:01 PM »
I agree with mozar, there's no such thing as "hidden gems" with the internet.

I second Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC.

Dabblingman

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 10:46:37 PM »
New Orleans!
Seattle and Portland
Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Enjoy!

GuitarBrian

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 12:42:53 AM »
Here are a few places I think are worth visiting. Not in order, just as I though of them.

Nature and Natural formations.

Yellowstone and Grand Tetons
Glacier National Park
Mt Rainier Nat. Park
The Olympic Peninsula
Jedediah State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park (Crescent City, CA)
Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon
Death Valley
Zion National Park/Canyon Lands/Grand Canyon (Utah)
Petrified National Forest (Arizona)
Algodones Sand Dunes
Colorado and North New Mexico (National Forest areas)
Everglades
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Acadia National Park

These are some populated areas that I feel offer something unique.
Town/Cities
New York
San Francisco/Bay Area
Seattle
Chicago
Boston
San Diego/LA
New Orleans
Austin, TX
Gulfport, MS
FL Keys
Charleston, SC
Savannah, GA
Orlando, FL
Annapolis, MD
Newport, RI
Cape Cod, MA (not a "town" but thought it fit here)
Nantucket, MA
Portland, ME
Burlington, VT
Napa/Sonoma, CA
Colorado mountain towns (Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Durango, Olathe, Glenwood Springs, Vail... etc)
New Mexico mountain towns (Taos, Los Alamos... etc)
Traverse City, MI
Mackinac Island, MI
Ashville, NC
Ashland, OR
Santa Cruz, CA
Puerto Rico
US Virgin Islands
and of course more...

Specific touristy things, but worth seeing..
Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta)
National Art Gallery (DC)
Museums in DC and NYC (Smithsonian/MET/american nat. history)
Niagara Falls

My personal recommendations.
What may or may not qualify as off the beaten path.
Mayville, NY (Lake Chautauqua and the Chautauqua Institute)
Crescent City, CA (Have been twice, and will go again, amazing place.)
Land of Lakes area of Wisconsin.
Intercourse, PA (Amish country, interesting area, next to Blue Ball, PA)
Fernandina Beach, FL (great beach)


Some aren't near water, or beaches... But everyone of the listed has something unique and interesting to offer.

lakemom

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2015, 06:11:29 AM »
The western Michigan shoreline, anywhere from about Saugatuck north to Traverse City.  Amazing beaches, tons of state parks with hiking, camping, and beaches, lots of little touristy towns to wander about in of an evening and tons of Lake Michigan history to learn about.  Here would be a good place to start if you were interested.
http://www.michigan.org
And if hanging out on the beaches is top priority then waiting until July-Aug is best as it takes a while for the lake to warm up decently and the weather can be quite cool along the shore even well into June.

marketnonsenses

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2015, 06:22:53 AM »
The western Michigan shoreline, anywhere from about Saugatuck north to Traverse City.  Amazing beaches, tons of state parks with hiking, camping, and beaches, lots of little touristy towns to wander about in of an evening and tons of Lake Michigan history to learn about.  Here would be a good place to start if you were interested.
http://www.michigan.org
And if hanging out on the beaches is top priority then waiting until July-Aug is best as it takes a while for the lake to warm up decently and the weather can be quite cool along the shore even well into June.

Most under rated award goes to this. I never knew about the west coast of MI and did not ever hear any ever talk about. Then I saw it. It is amazing. Why is this not a huge tourist area.

phillyvalue

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 06:25:15 AM »
Far from the beach, but I think Arizona (along with surrounding states) is underrated. We spent a few days in Flagstaff, AZ, which is also close enough to the Grand Canyon to do a day trip up there. And then the drive down from Flagstaff through Sedona [there's a scenic drive you can take vs. highway] to Phoenix is breathtaking.

asauer

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 07:18:42 AM »
I recommend the outer banks in north Carolina.  If you have a week- here are some of the low cost options:
1. hike part of the mountains to sea trail that follows the beach
2. go to jockey's ridge state park where the wright bros took their first flight and while you're their climb the 100 ft sand dune- if you're feeling a little spendy, plop down $20 for a sand surfing board that will provide fun for 4 hours on the dunes.
3. visit the roanoake aquarium
4. visit the Elizabethan gardens
5. hang out on the beach and swim/ fish!
6.  visit and climb the lighthouses
7. kayak go crabbing on the sound side

As far as accommodations, there are TONS of inexpensive rental cottages and condos.  Don't pay for ocean front, even the "further" rows are a close walk from the beach for those in good health.  There is a more mustachian option however.  The national park service rents cabins of varying degrees of rustic quality on Cape Lookout National Seashore: http://www.nps.gov/calo/planyourvisit/long-point-cabin-rates.htm  For the more rustic ones, even the peak season price is less than a crappy motel and they are ON the beach!  My family stays in these every other year and we love it. 

Unique User

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Re: Tell a Canadian about cool perhaps underrated places in the US
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2015, 01:20:33 PM »
I see a lot of votes for Charleston and the Outer Banks so obviously they are not underrated, Wilmington NC and Brunswick County are pretty underrated.  Beaches, historic architecture, a bit of funkiness in Wilmington and great beach towns in Brunswick & Carolina Beach.  Historic home tours from the 1700s to civil war era (Bellamy House) to Victorian era to plantations (Poplar Grove Plantation).  The historic district in Wilmington is awesome, one of the few southern cities not shelled or burned during the civil war.  Also Airlie Gardens, Battleship NC (the most awesome haunted house, um ship during Halloween), Fort Fisher (the reason Wilmington was not shelled or burned, the civil war ended shortly after the fort surrendered), Orton Plantation.  Brunswick beaches are usually not crowded and we loved kayaking in the creeks and intercoastal.