A cool thing about traveling is seeing new places. I sometimes wonder, are you really seeing something new if you’re just going to a place that you’ve seen in a million different pictures? I mean, is it really that much different to look at 20,000 photos of Times Square than it is to look at it in person?
Ok, Ok, yes, it is a bit different. But you get what I’m saying. The joy of traveling lies in experiencing new things, and taking the same picture of the Louvre for the 1,986,901,987th time can’t possibly be that special. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of awesome, underrated cities you should visit. Best of all, you won’t feel like a copycat every time you take out your camera!
When folks go to Germany, they usually head south or north. They go to Berlin, Munich, or Hamburg. Nestled in the middle of the country is Cologne, a charming city with tons of personality. It has one of the most amazing churches in the world to visit, it has river cruises to go on, and it has really delicious beer. Cologne is where Kolsch beer was invented! There’s also plenty of great shopping, tasty restaurants, and historical stuff to check out too.
Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine isn’t a city, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. Lone Pine is the spot where Hollywood loves shooting Westerns. This small town rests at the base of the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA, Mt. Whitney. It has a really charming 2 screen theater, slow-speed diners, and hidden hot springs. If you want to get an idea of what old America was like, Lone Pine will give you a first-person view.
The birthplace of Mozart happens to be a really amazing city. History abounds in this place. Check out castles, old cobblestone roads, and more. Then, when you get bored, head about 30 minutes south and explore the Austrian Alps! Pretty much everyone here speaks English, so you can get around really easily.
Everyone that visits England wants to go to London. That’s understandable, because it’s a giant, super famous city. Liverpool is an overlooked gem in England. I’m not sure I’ve ever met friendlier people than the Liverpudlians. Home of the Beatles, this city has a huge heritage of incredible music, and the Cavern Club is a must-see for any lover of rock-and-roll memorabilia. Be sure to brush up on your Scouse before you arrive!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Typically, when folks are heading to the Rocky Mountains, they go to Denver. That’s completely understandable. Denver is awesome. Salt Lake City, in my humble opinion, is just as cool. The mountains butt right up to downtown, and the backdrop is incredible. A short drive will send you into gorgeous mountain resorts, and the salt flats are a sight to behold. Take a quick trip to the Great Salt Lake and revel in its weirdness.
When traveling, I’m a huge fan of taking the less-beaten path. I like finding the hidden gems. Most places are really neat if you just think outside of the box a little bit with a willingness to explore.