Adventurers are all about finding and following the path less traveled, so it’s only fitting that you're always looking for the best destinations that most people don’t know about.
Whether your final stop is in some obscure corner of the earth or right in your own state, outdoor adventurers know to keep their eye out for the up-and-coming spots that are lesser-known and therefore less crowded. On top of beating lines, underrated places might offer lower prices, could be less developed and give you the thrill of going somewhere undiscovered. Your boots won’t be the first to come through these areas, but you’ll be one of the few to truly enjoy the best of what these adventure destinations have to offer.
This summer you should break from the crowd and go somewhere that is far from typical. From Birmingham to Tillamook County, we’ve tracked down some of the best outdoor adventure destinations you wouldn’t have considered. These spots are obscure, awesome and perfect for your summer trip.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
This natural beauty in northern Michigan has 1,700 miles of shoreline on three Great Lakes, and that’s just the beginning of its outdoor offerings. On top of all the water sports you could enjoy on lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan, the UP also has expansive forests, mountains, lakes, streams, waterfalls, beaches, bluffs and islands nearby. Visit the remote Isle Royal National Park where moose and wolves usually outnumber humans or seek out shipwrecks in Lake Superior. Simply stated, the Upper Peninsula, with its incredible preserved land and friendly locals, is one of the very best (and oft overlooked) outdoor adventure destinations in the U.S.
Taos, New Mexico
This far-out mountain town is unlike any other place on earth—and that’s the appeal. Bordered on three sides by the towering red peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is one of the few places that retains its native culture, thriving art scene and connection to the great outdoors. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the tallest mountain in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, or if you’re a skilled paddler, take on the Taos box section of the Rio Grande.