4 Underrated Cities You Need to Visit | Muse Health

4 Underrated Cities You Need to Visit | Muse Health

  Wellness and Self-Care

Looking to take advantage of the nation’s emergence from lockdown this summer? A staple of enjoying summertime isn’t always so much what you do, but where you go! With COVID tension still lingering, however, many families are attempting to avoid the big cities like New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, and Miami in favor of safer alternative destinations and small towns. Thankfully, there are plenty of options when it comes to visiting second-choice cultural hotspots this summer. Here is a list of 4 underrated cities across America that are worth visiting for a day or two!

Columbia, South Carolina

Acting as the beating heart of South Carolina, Columbia offers a nice inland alternative to the renowned Charleston city on the coast. Not only does Columbia boast a flourishing art scene fostered by the University of South Carolina, but the capital city is also surrounded by beautiful woodlands and wetlands, offering plenty to do when you’ve had your fill of downtown excitement. With quality restaurants serving fine food and drink seated beside art museums and buildings ripe with history, Columbia is certainly a destination you don’t want to overlook.

Want an engaging and educational getaway for the kids? Columbia is also home to the largest museum for children in the southern USA! The Edventure Children’s Museum features nine interactive exhibits tailored for the young members of the family, including flight simulators, a cooking lab with two fulltime chefs to assist you, and numerous indoor and outdoor playgrounds. Plus, the museum is home to Eddie, a multi-story monument of a 10-year-old which doubles as a play area to explore! Kids get the chance to climb through Eddie’s heart, vertebrae, and brain while learning interesting facts about the human body.

If it’s outdoor adventures you’re after, Columbia’s nearby Lake Murray offers a range of activities on the open water, including boating, paddling, swimming, rafting, and even scuba diving! The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden also provides a great opportunity to see some exotic animals and stay outdoors. Although far from Florida heat, the temperatures rise high in Columbia, so be remember to stay hydrated!

Portland, Maine

In the mood for a niched destination with good views, lobster foodies, harbor-side strolls, and Bigfoot lore? Portland, Maine will give you a taste of city living with a dash of nightlife peculiarity for good measure!

Known for its Portland Harbor, Black Cove, and Fore River, Portland is a one-stop shop for American maritime history. The miniature Portland Breakwater “Bug Light” Lighthouse stands right next to a park along the bay, offering a great combination of scenery and recreational space. Meanwhile, built just after the end of the 18th century, the Portland Observatory Museum features the only remaining coastal signal tower in the United States. Better yet, the historic landmark is just down the street from Washington Avenue, a central location for multitudes restaurants and shops.

After you’ve explored the city’s history, why not discover the undiscovered? The International Cryptozoology Museum hosts a world-class range of exhibits centered on unknown animals and cryptid tales throughout the U.S. From the legends of Bigfoot to the successful discovery of the Coelacanth, this is one road trip spot you’re sure to remember!

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Drier than Austin, Texas and smaller than Las Vegas, Albuquerque, New Mexico is a great destination for the daredevils and thrill-seekers. While the untamed beauty of the surrounding rivers and deserts already feature picturesque vistas, the bulk of your time will be spent catching your breath from the exciting, adrenaline-pumping activities offered. This isn’t a day trip for a laidback vacation!

Fun and action go hand-in-hand in Albuquerque. Expect to attend ghost tours, browse hot-air balloon options, rent a motorcycle for the spanning highways, and even join in on “air safaris” as you fly across the many deserts and witness the extent of New Mexico’s gorgeous landscape from above!

Are you a fan of the hit television series Breaking Bad? The show didn’t just use Albuquerque as the primary setting for all the action—it also filmed many of its scenes there! Ever since the series aired, it has been adopted as a cultural hallmark of the city, making Albuquerque a must-visit for Breaking Bad enthusiasts. Fans will be able to find many themed Breaking Bad attractions and gifts shops to stock up on memorabilia, as well as an old town or two featured in the show. Hone your Spanish skills and grab some souvenirs before you head home!

Rapid City, South Dakota

Situated just east of Black Hills National Forest, Rapid City, South Dakota offers the best of both worlds when it comes to a relaxing, easy-going vacation spot versus an adventurous time for the family. From the iconic wonder of Mount Rushmore to the crisp panoramas seen at Skyline Wilderness Area Park, the city has something for everyone to check off their bucket list—and a fantastic food scene, too.

Though it isn't the largest city, Rapid City lies as a gem within the South Dakota hills, boasting a landscape similar the Colorado cities Denver and Boulder. Its community is deeply influenced by the native culture of the Lakota, and visitors can expect to learn about the area's indigenous traditions and craftwork. The Dakota Drum Company can be found nestled within the city, where Lakota artist Sonja Holy Eagle sells handmade drums fashioned out of authentic buffalo hide. Meanwhile, the Dahl Art Gallery features five exhibits of paintings and other visual art, including displays which rotate.

After you’ve experienced the city’s cultural footprint, it might be time to visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park! With a mountain coaster, Soaring Eagle Zipline, and tours of Rushmore Cave, your family will certainly get its fill of heart-pumping excitement! Don’t forget that Rapid City is also home to numerous national parks, nature trails, and caves…all just waiting to be explored!

Don’t Forget to Go Prepared!

All of the beautiful cities we’ve listed are guaranteed to give your family memorable experiences. One experience you should pass on, however, is the lingering COVID which is still surviving the summer heat. Several cities (particularly locations in the western-central U.S.) have been marked as Coronavirus hotspots, or concentrated zones seeing the spread of the new Delta COVID mutation.

As such, remember to always bring your face masks and a sufficient supply of hand sanitizer to ease the weight of worry throughout the trip. With the power to effectively kill COVID-19, Muse Health’s Fragrance-Free Sanitizer also includes a variety of healthy oils to moisturize your hands from the effects of summertime heat. A perfect sidekick for your second-choice travels!