Skip To Content
  • Great Vibes, Great Adventure badge

11 Lesser-Known (But Equally Incredible) Alternatives To Popular Spring And Summer Vacation Destinations

Raise your hand if you're already thinking about your next vacation...

Spring is in the air...which means it's not too early to start thinking about your summer. And specifically, vacations! If you're looking for an off-the-beaten path escape away from the crowds, you're in luck. Here are some lesser-known alternatives to popular summer vacation destinations that are well worth a trip before word gets out further — both in the US and beyond.


1. Instead of Hawaii, go to Oregon.

The Pacific Coast Highway.

The landscapes throughout the state are so diverse and nothing short of jaw-dropping.

A waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

2. Instead of Cape Cod, go to Fire Island.

A seaside home and the ocean

Each of Fire Island's hamlets has a totally distinct feel.

A lighthouse at sunset on Fire Island

3. Instead of the Canadian Rockies, go to Idaho.

Rolling hills and mountains of Idaho

This state is paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors.


4. Instead of Santorini, go to Tinos.

A small village in Tinos island

Set just 30 minutes from Mykonos by boat, this island feels like an undiscovered gem.

An alleyway with flowers in Tinos

5. Instead of Sicily, go to Sardinia.

A boat floating in bright blue water

Sardinia's Costa Smeralda — a 12-mile stretch of coast — is the most popular part of the island among visitors, but there's so much more to explore.

A colorful town in Sardinia

6. Instead of the Algarve, go to Alentejo.

A boardwalk leading to a quiet beach

You won't find any of the Algarve's summer crowds in this up-and-coming region.

A hilltop town in Portugal

7. Instead of Croatia, go to Slovenia.

Red rooftops of a coastal town in Slovenia

From alpine lakes and gorges to medieval cities, this country has it all.

Lake Bled during the summertime

8. Instead of the Italian Alps, go to Georgia.

A church in the mountains of Georgia

Tbilisi might just be one of the coolest cities in Europe.

Landscape of Tblisi, Georgia

9. Instead of Iceland, go to the Faroe Islands.

A traditional village in the Faroe Islands

Like in Iceland, the weather changes here in an instant, so bring your layers, but the scenery is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

A waterfall in the Faroe Islands

10. Instead of Paris, go to Dordogne.

A village of Dordogne built on a hilltop

The towns that make up this French region could have come straight out of a storybook.

An adorable French town in the Dordogne.

11. Instead of the South of France, go to Turkey's Turquoise Coast.

A rocky hilltop coastline.

You'd be hard pressed to find this unique blend of history and scenery anywhere else.

Sunbathers at Ölüdeniz, Turkey.

What's your favorite spring or summer vacation destination you'd recommend to other travelers? Tell us about it in the comments!