There’s nothing wrong with seeing the most famous sights in a top travel destination. Going on
vacation to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower or New York City without seeing the Statue of
Liberty could leave you feeling like you missed out on an unforgettable moment that’s been

shared by millions before you.

But there’s also something to be said for finding the road less traveled and discovering an
underrated new experience your friends might not know about, especially if you’re visiting the
same place more than once. There are plenty of hidden gem vacation spots from the East Coast
to the West, many right in the backyard of your favorite destinations.

These secret, unique vacation ideas may not make it onto page 1 of Google or your guidebook,
but they could turn into some of your fondest memories.

Other Sides of Orlando

It’s easy to spend your whole vacation enjoying rides in the theme park capital of the world. But
there’s more to Orlando than characters and coasters. How about a beautiful nature walk at Harry
P Leu Gardens or the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve? You can paddle a swan boat on Lake Eola
for a romantic moment and a great view of downtown. And there’s plenty to do at night too, from
a hilarious night of improv at SAK Comedy Lab to a meal and show at Medieval Times and

New Angles on Arizona

Arizona is known as The Grand Canyon State, but you can find plenty of smaller attractions and
activities too. Did you know the original London Bridge from the 1800s was purchased over half
a century ago and brought to Lake Havasu City? If you’re more interested in nature than novelty,
try the otherworldly Petrified Forest National Park. Get a bit of Navajo culture and take home a
special souvenir at the Tuba City Flea Market. And how about visiting a vintage Route 66 soda
counter at Hackberry General Store?

Behind the Scenes of Branson

If country music and corny attractions aren’t your cup of tea, you can still find a whole lot of fun
in Branson. In addition to four stories of go-karting, the Track Family Fun Park is now home to
the famous Ferris wheel from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. You can relive the playtimes of
your youth at the World’s Largest Toy Museum. Check out The Butterfly Palace for a special
indoor nature encounter. And when it comes to shows, there’s masterful violin playing at the
Shoji Tabuchi Show and great animal tricks at the Grand Country Music Hall.

Very Vegas Diversions

Just because you’ve spent time on the Strip and checked out the Fremont Street Experience
doesn’t mean you’re done exploring Las Vegas. Feed your nostalgia with the retired signs at the
Neon Museum and the huge collection of games at the Pinball Hall of Fame. There’s even a
museum of organized crime if you’re looking for something really off the wall. And if the Nevada heat is cooperating, you can discover the outdoor gem of Red Rock Canyon, with

stunning scenery and plenty of hiking and biking trails.

More to Myrtle Beach

Away from the golf courses and tourist spots, you’ll find beauty and charm in Myrtle Beach. If
you’ve never been to Brookgreen Gardens, be sure to add it to your itinerary for an unmatched
combination of natural flora and inspiring art. Nearby is Atalaya Castle, a historic mansion from
the early 1930s. And while you’re in the neighborhood, spend a little time exploring the
shoreline and hiking trails of Huntington Beach State Park. Of course, the perfect way to top all
this off is with a wine tasting at La Belle Amie Vineyards.

Noteworthy Nashville Stops

“Music City” is another place where you can detect subtle notes at a wine tasting. Check out
Arrington Vineyards during your next visit. If you’re looking to explore the beautiful Tennessee
countryside, try a canoe trip on the Harpeth River or a hike in Cummins Falls State Park just a
leisurely drive away near Cookeville. See top horses and riders at the famed Iroquois
Steeplechase. And for a great way to pay homage to the city’s legacy, enjoy a walking tour of
Nashville’s famous Music Row.

There’s Always Something More

One of the great things about visiting the same destination more than once is the chance to mix
your favorite things with secluded spots and brand-new surprises. Taking a moment before your
trip to plan for just the right balance can turn an ordinary stay into an unforgettable vacation.
This list is a start, but there’s plenty more to discover. Have fun!