This summer, we challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone when planning your summer vacation. Sure, popular destinations are popular for valid reasons but they also tend to be overcrowded destinations too. So, if you are looking for a more intimate and meaningful vacation, we hope you will consider the hidden gems on this list.

1. Mendocino, California 

Vacationers can expect whale watching, wine tasting, secluded beaches, and hidden grottoes. And those are only a few of the many unique attractions offered by this quaint northern California town.

Fun fact: Mendocino is a short drive away from Montgomery Woods, home to the tallest living tree in the world.

2. Tybee Island, Georgia



Located in eastern Georgia, this small island city is home to a mile-long beach surrounded by grass-covered sand dunes and summer cottages. 

An added bonus for Tybee Island visitors’ is the local culinary fare, art, and general great southern atmosphere. Plus, Savannah is only a short 30-minute car ride away. 

3. Orange Beach, Alabama 



Travelers can feast their eyes on this destination’s breathtaking, snow-white sand beaches. Home to the largest Ferris wheel in the Southeast, and offering year-round family-friendly activities, this destination is great for the whole family. Don’t forget about the great golf getaways and warm gulf waters!

4. South Padre Island, Texas 

Often thought of as a spring break destination, visitors to this resort town can partake in activities such as water sports, dolphin watches, and horseback riding, to name a few. Be sure to check out the destination’s Annual Sand Castle Days

5. Destin, Florida 



White-sand beaches and emerald green waters make Destin a hidden treat for visitors of the Florida panhandle. It offers world-class dining and fishing. In fact, the town has nicknamed itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!”