Skip to main content

Someone ranked the most underrated U.S. tourist attractions — here are the top 20

Under-the-radar places to visit that are totally worth your time

Spring break is around the corner. If you can’t get away on a moment’s notice, there’s always summer vacation. The list of places to visit is endless and perhaps a bit overwhelming.

Some of the country’s most notable tourist attractions may be on your bucket list: The White House, Disney World (it’s not just for kids), and the Walk of Fame. However, maybe you’ve already been to these year-round hot spots numerous times. You may also not want to deal with crowds, lines, and traffic during your summer vacation.

Related Videos

One travel blog is helping vacationers narrow down the list of places to visit by spotlighting the most underrated tourist attractions in the U.S. Consider these under-the-radar tourist attractions for your adventuring bucket list.

washington dc cherry blossoms

About the list of underrated (and overrated) tourist attractions

The folks at Hawaiian Islands, a luxury beach rental company, poured through more than 17,000 TripAdvisor reviews for places to visit in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They analyzed the reviews and ranked them based on the number of reviews that tabbed the destination as “overrated” or “underrated.”

It sounds like a ton of work, but the folks at Hawaiian Islands did it — and you, and your vacation plans, can benefit from it.

A busy airport with people getting in line at check in.

The 20 most underrated tourist attractions in the U.S.

Hawaiian Island notes that nearly 25 million people visited Washington, D.C., in 2019. The usual suspects got a ton of foot traffic: The White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Monument. There are reasons these tourist attractions are so popular — they represent history and history in the making. However, the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens earned the top spot on Hawaiian Islands’ list.

The former home of socialite, philanthropist, and collector Marjorie Merriweather Post has a notable collection of decorative arts, including Fabergé eggs (jeweled eggs). Outside, the orchids are considered some of the most gorgeous you’ll ever see. Here’s the complete list of underrated spots:

  1. Hillwood Estate, Museums & Gardens, Washington, D.C.
  2. National Postal Museum, Washington, D.C.
  3. Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago, Ill.
  4. Capitol Reef National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
  5. Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, N.J.
  6. The Morgan Library & Museum, NYC
  7. Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  8. Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio, Texas
  9. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, N.D.
  10. Fort Point National Historic Site, San Francisco, Calif.
  11. Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  12. National Museum of World War II Aviation, El Paso County, Colo.
  13. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Fla.
  14. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Philadelphia
  15. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, Broward County, Fla.
  16. Ellis Island Casino & Brewery, Las Vegas, Nev.
  17. Tohono Chul, Tuscan, Ariz.
  18. Lion Habitat Ranch, Henderson, Nev.
  19. The Met Cloisters, NYC
  20. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Seattle, Wash.

You can also check out their list of overrated attractions. Where will your travels take you next?

Editors' Recommendations

Take a break at one of these U.S. National Parks this winter
From snowy vistas to winter sun and everything in-between, winter is a great time to explore U.S. National Parks

There's never really a bad time to visit a U.S. National Park. At any time of the year, they have plenty to offer, but some parks can be inhospitable during the height of summer thanks to massive crowds and sky-high temperatures. Winter is an especially unique time of year to explore, with landscapes and wildlife changing and adapting to the season. With fewer vehicles on the road and fewer hikers on the trail, you can feel as though the whole park is yours when you visit during what most people — wrongly — call the off-season.

National Parks have something on offer for everyone, too. Whether you're looking for wildlife or hiking trails, opportunities for winter camping, or a sightseeing break to mix up your journey to or from a ski resort. There are over four-hundred national parks to choose from in the U.S. and reducing it down to just a few for winter has been no easy task, but these — we think — are the best national parks to visit in winter.

Read more
These U.S. cities are the best places for foodies to visit
Interested in foodie travel? Visit these U.S. cities
Cajun food in a pan.

It's a great time to do some foodie travel. There are more culinary travel destinations than ever thanks to a combination of technology, expertise, and regionality. Even the United States, a relatively young nation by global standards, is flexing its gastronomical might nowadays.

Back in 2004, the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation was born. It continues today, honoring cities all over the planet with unique qualifications. There are 49 cities and counting, including two American cities. The first city to receive the honor was Popayán, Colombia in 2005. Several more will join the list before the end of 2022.

Read more
Plan a trip to see some incredible fall foliage: 7 stellar spots across the U.S.
The fall colors will be gorgeous in these travel destinations
A pop of fall color in Oak Glen, California (in the San Bernardino Mountains).

The weather is cooler. The nights are longer. The tree leaves are starting to change colors. Finally, fall is here. And now, we have to think about where to go to find the best fall foliage.

Whether you need a quick weekend getaway, a nice change of scenery as you “work from home”, or another good reason to travel for great fall foliage, we have you covered. As we enter into a new season, let’s discover some new ideas for fall travel. Come for the colorful fall foliage, and stay for the stunning mountain views, the friendly locals, various pleasant surprises, and a whole lot of good vibes. 
It’s OK to not want to chase the “endless summer”

Read more