Sometimes, popular opinions are just plain wrong, just because people haven't wisened up about these cities does not mean that they aren’t exciting. So, if you want to go to the coolest emerging cities or the ones that have been quietly amazing for a while now. So plan your next vacation to these sadly underrated US destinations before influencers get there.
You won't be bragging about this soon, but later on you’ll be claiming about visiting these places when they’ll become famous. Our travel team here at Masarwings.com Now, we’ll be starting....
Overshadowed by nearby Tampa, Saint Pete is truly a hidden Gulf of Mexico gem. Floridians in the know go here for quiet beaches with impossibly soft sand and the chance to watch wild dolphins at play as the sun sets over the horizon. Fresh seafood, a laid-back vibe and the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine ever recorded combine to make this one of the best beach vacations you can take. Away from its sandy shores, the city also touts a top-rate craft-beer scene (you can even explore multiple brew stops along the cleverly re-branded “Gulp Coast'').
MUST SEE- The museum dedicated to the master of surrealism houses the largest collection of the artist’s works outside of Europe, including his masterpiece, "Hallucinogenic Bullfighter."
You don’t need to go to Nashville to experience Tennessee’s music scene. If you don’t want to rub shoulders with cookie-cutter influencers, head instead to the thriving college town of Knoxville. Here, live music shows at unassuming venues are an every-weekend thing. Prepare for a night out by getting your fill of local food in the Market Square area, where Southern staples (think fried chicken, mac n’ cheese and collard greens) reign. Once the show is over, let the night go on at one — or a few — of the city’s countless bars.
MUST SEE- An impressive 300 acres of protected wildlife habitat and natural areas, mere minutes from downtown, provide visitors with a myriad of outdoor activity options, including zip-lining, paddleboarding, hiking and biking. This is the perfect way to explore Knoxville by day.
Greenville has long passed unnoticed, but people are beginning to wake up to its perfect combination of culture, gastronomy and nature. Considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the region, this South Carolinian destination has all the comfort food you could ever wish for, along with unexpected hints of experimental and fusion cuisine. Its Downtown area is modern, boasting numerous works of public art and green spaces. Culture tourists enjoy the Greenville County Museum of Art, families cycle and play at the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and foodies never skip the Main Street Corridor.
MUST SEE- You don’t normally see waterfalls in city centres, which is what makes this fluvial park one of Greenville’s best assets. Add in fragrant gardens and excellent public art, and you have the perfect spot to spend a few hours not far from downtown’s bustle.
Texan barbecue, Spanish colonial churches and a gorgeous Riverwalk are just some of the offerings of this wonderful Texan city. Lost within the massive size of the state, and overshadowed by Austin, Dallas and Houston, San Antonio can more than hold its own against any of these cities. The famous Alamo is its biggest draw, closely followed by the San Antonio Missions, made up of four 18th-century churches built during Spanish colonisation. After taking in these historic attractions, stroll around the city’s riverfront, which has earned its nickname as “The American Venice” and, by night, is the place to be for live music, dancing and bar-hopping. Best yet, the cuisine here is just as good as in Texas' more popular cities — don’t leave without trying a breakfast taco, a local favourite.
MUST SEE- This gigantic open-air market delivers on the Texan promises of authentic Mexican food and delectable Tex-Mex fusion cuisine. Its 100-plus locally owned shops also sell authentic Mexican goods, from wood carvings to painted guitars to candies.
Travellers seeking a New England getaway tend to consider other destinations before thinking about Providence. But make no mistake: This capital city and lively college town is equally if not more appealing than the Bostons and Portlands of the region. This is a destination for art lovers who also want a great dining scene and the East Coast seasons New England is so famous for. There are plenty of galleries where you can see local art, while Westminster Street is lined with restaurants and small breweries. Make sure to check the schedule for WaterFire events, which light the city’s riverfront with bonfires for an immersive cultural experience.
MUST SEE- A magnificent collection of around 100,000 objects, from ancient Greek sculptures to contemporary art, can be found at this museum connected to one of the country’s premier art schools.
Like other Rust Belt cities, Buffalo was once one of the most important commercial centres in the country but has since seen its economic fortunes turn. These days, most people see the city as little more than a gateway to Niagara Falls. While there is something tragic to this, it’s also what has kept Buffalo gritty and real in a way that was lost long ago in Manhattan and Brooklyn. These days it is so much more dynamic than most people know. Here, you won’t feel claustrophobic as you take in Neoclassical and Art Deco architecture through the downtown area, or as you enjoy great street art and some original Picasso and Warhol pieces at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The city also has a dining scene with far more to offer than the chicken wings it’s famous for, as up-and-coming restaurants serve staples from India, Korea, Mexico and beyond. (And, yes, the wings are amazing too.)
MUST SEE- Buffalo’s park system, inspired by Paris’ parklands and boulevards and designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (famous for designing NYC’s Central Park), offers respite from the urban hustle.
Helena’s history as Montana’s capital might be shady (in a race against Anaconda, both sides bought votes), but it sure is interesting. Before becoming the capital, this city near the mountains was once a mining camp, where people came with a strong lust for gold. Of course, the city is much larger than it was when it was a mere western settlement, but its historic main street — appropriately called Last Chance Gulch — maintains some of its beautiful original brick buildings. Not surprisingly considering its location amid Montana’s epic wilderness, Helena is also a city that caters to outdoor enthusiasts. Hike, bike, cross-country ski or kayak; whatever you do, just make sure to get outside. (For good measure, both Yellowstone and Glacier national parks are within striking distance of the city as well.)
MUST SEE- The Gothic church is the city’s most iconic landmark, with two red-roofed towers that perfectly contrast the mountainous setting.
Nebraska as a whole is often overlooked, so it makes sense that its capital city would also be privy to this misfortune. Most people don’t know anything about Lincoln, nor do they imagine it as the modern, laid-back and artsy haven it is. Spend time in the city’s beautiful Sunken Gardens or historic Haymarket District, featuring bookstores, coffee shops, galleries, brewpubs and a lively monthly art walk. The city also has some surprisingly interesting nightlife, ranging from the low-key (tiki bar, Irish pub) to the sophisticated (jazz club, cigar lounge).
MUST SEE- This town isn't nearly as sleepy as you may think it is. Explore a wide collection of racing vehicles and memorabilia explaining the history of automotive racing at this one-of-a-kind museum.
Baltimore has had its ups and downs throughout history — it’s gone from being one of the East Coast’s most important port cities to a city crushed under its (sometimes exaggerated) reputation for crime. But recent years have been kinder to Balmer (as the locals affectionately call it), as the city experiences a rebirth of trendy restaurants, start-ups and commerce. Stroll through the scenic Inner Harbour, get cultured at the Baltimore Museum of Art and visit Edgar Allan Poe’s former home in this city that deserves another look.
MUST SEE- The defence of the National Monument during the War of 1812’s Battle of Baltimore inspired Francis Scott Key to pen a little song called "The Star-Spangled Banner."
It is baffling to think that Milwaukee is not a much bigger deal, considering that it has a long, rich history of craft breweries tied to its German roots. When you’re not trying local beers, you can be stuffing your face with famous Wisconsin cheese, cycling around the city’s extensive bike route or pursuing works at the excellent Milwaukee Art Museum, one of the largest in the U.S.
MUST SEE- The collection of classic bikes here at Harley Davidson Museum includes one that was owned by Elvis Presley.