12 Underrated Small-Mid Sized Cities in the U.S. You Should Visit
Wondering where to go for your next U.S. escape? New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are all great, but not everyone fancies the rush of big cities. Nor do they want complete remoteness. So where does that leave us? Goldilocks said it best – the following 12 small-mid sized American cities are “just right.”
1. Boise, Idaho
Yes, Idaho has more than potatoes. The capital of the state, Boise, has numerous state parks and outdoor attractions for tourists with all interests.
Pay your respects at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in the Boise Cultural District. Or, history buffs can visit the Old Idaho Penitentiary for educational exhibits, paranormal investigations, and ghost tours.
If you like biking, pedal through the Boise Greenbelt, a 25-mile trail through nature and civilization. Hungry? Boise’s cuisine spans multiple cultures and countries. Enjoy Ethiopian, Indian, Thai, and Russian cuisine during your stay.
2. Anchorage, Alaska
This is Alaska’s largest city, and yet it still only has a population of less than 300,000. Known for its cultural sites and indigenous heritage traditions, it’s also a gateway into more remote regions. Why not split your time in the city with a few days exploring wilderness areas like Chugach and Kenai? We hear the nature is glorious in both.
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is full of history and is actually one of America’s oldest cities! Initially founded as a Spanish colony, it hosts Pueblo-style architecture and a traditional Plaza as its heart. Sat along the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, cultural buffs will love the artsy vibe and winding streets that surround.
4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
One of the best midsized midwestern gems to visit, or live in, is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The city offers thousands of eclectic restaurants, close proximity to national parks, affordable housing, and a bustling arts scene. The only downside of the charming city is the winter, but if you’re used to shoveling snow and icing the roads, check out Sioux Falls. There are a lot of amazing things to do in South Dakota.
5. Knoxville, Tennessee
Instead of heading to the heartland of country music, detour to Knoxville. While staying in this Eastern Tennessean town, visit the Woman Suffrage Memorial for a riveting glimpse into the past, and take a trip to the Sunsphere in World’s Fair Park to witness the city from a golden disco ball.
Knoxville is only an hour from Townsend, Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The area enjoys all four seasons, mild winters, and many major cities are within a day’s drive.
6. Greenville, South Carolina
According to several Greenville residents, Greenville is the more affordable Asheville. “It’s an incredibly modern and sophisticated town.
Lots of European manufacturers showed up about 20 years ago and brought their culture and cuisine with them. As a result, there are excellent German, French, and Indian restaurants everywhere,” shares one traveler.
7. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in the United States and hosts the oldest and largest Amish community in the states. Those who visit Lancaster claim it resembles Philly without the traffic of Philly.
The Dutch country offers several historical landmarks and attractions, including the Strasburg Railroad, President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, and the Historic Rock Ford. For kids, the Pennsylvania municipality has the Lancaster Science Factory, the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park, and the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.
8. Savannah, Georgia
Looking to step back in time and enjoy picturesque Southern charm? Savannah is your destination. To enhance the Southern allure, hop on a horse-drawn carriage and absorb the idyllic landscape.
The Georgian city houses the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the American Prohibition Museum, and the Colonial Park Cemetery. Savannah also doubles as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, so if you enjoy the eerie and peculiar, take a ghost tour, a cobblestone tour, or a cemetery tour through the ghostland.
9. Duluth, Minnesota
A Duluth resident claims the city has a great local music scene, especially in the Americana and rock genres. The area has beautiful parks, and four seasons to offer to visitors and locals. If you enjoy aquariums, Duluth has one of the only freshwater-focused aquariums in the United States.
Plus, the city’s aerial bridge constructed in 1905 still operates today.
10. Grand Junction, Colorado
“The valley has about 100k people. I know native Denverites who don’t even know where it is. It has a nice downtown, even nicer people, vineyards, orchards, and it is right to the Colorado National Monument, 30 minutes from the Grand Mesa. You can go hiking on your lunch break. It’s always sunny, not a lot of snow,” a jet setter expresses.
11. St. Petersburg, Florida
This Florida gem delights visitors and residents with pristine beaches, wondrous plant habitats, delicious food, and spectacular museums. First-time travelers love seeing St. Pete Pier, an infrastructure cemented in the Boca Ciega Bay with educational resources for kids, street performers, and award-winning restaurants.
For those that enjoy museums, check out the American Arts and Crafts Movement Museum, the Dali, or the Imagine Museum.
12. Eugene, Oregon
“Eugene, Oregon is a real gem. It’s beautiful, green, progressive, and unique. Home of the University of Oregon, it’s called both the Emerald City and Tracktown. Smart, young, funky, kind, hippie people. Immensely walkable and bikeable, with good food and lovely parks. Hiking and camping five miles out in every direction.”
Sounds like a great place to check out. Which of these places are you visiting next?
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.