Thinking of taking a city break in the US? Most people consider cities like New York, San Francisco, Austin or Las Vegas. Few people consider the likes of San Diego and Cleveland – however, these cities could in fact be just as exciting in their own unique way. They may not have the famous sights and landmarks, but they certainly have their own character and their own offbeat attractions. Here are just five underrated US cities to consider.
San Diego, California
San Diego would probably be a lot more popular if it didn’t have to compete with it’s Californian neighbors Los Angeles and San Francisco. Whilst it may not have the iconic sights, San Diego does have some of the best beaches in the state and a huge amount of historic architecture, including a heavy Spanish influence. It also boasts the largest urban park in North America spanning 1, 200 acres. Few cities in the US can also compete with the quality of food and drink on offer – the city is home to huge food festivals and food markets as well as being a center for vineyards and real ale breweries. It’s also got a huge range of Mexican restaurants to try – arguably some of the best north of the border.
Cleveland is often labelled as ‘boring’ as has become the butt of many jokes, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. As these 25 things to do in Cleveland prove, there’s a lot going on in this supposedly boring city. The city is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the famous West Side Market where you can sample flavors from around the world. The city has some incredible historic architecture and a lot of parks. You can also see the only US presidential casket on display here in this city – the casket of President Garfield at Lake View Cemetery. Lake Eerie and the riverfront also make for scenic places for a walk.
Despite being situated in the famously sleepy flyover state of Minnesota, the state’s capital Minneapolis is actually a vibrant metropolis. You’ll find a number of art galleries and music venues here – it’s the hometown of musical artists such as Prince and Bob Dylan. The architecture is quirky and you’ll find many independent shops and trendy bars and restaurants to grab a beer and a burger. On top of this, it has a mall with an aquarium and roller-coaster in it.
St Louis, Missouri
St. Louis has a heavy Italian influence and is one of the top US cities for Italian restaurants as a result. It has an infamous nightlife scene and it’s also got its fair share of museums. There are also a number of landmarks in St Louis including the modern and imposing Gateway Arch and the historic Cathedral Basilica.
Asheville, North Carolina
North Carolina’s Asheville might be the least known and least visited city on this list, but it’s one of the most unique and interesting. It’s nestled in the Ridge Mountains giving it a cool backdrop. Within the city itself, you’ll meanwhile find a number of art galleries, cosmopolitan restaurants and historic buildings. It’s got a creative coffee scene, with a number of independent coffee shops, and also has a lot of street art, adding to it’s hip feel.