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Spring break is a time for relaxation and exploration, but for many travelers, crowded destinations can dampen the experience. Fortunately, there are lesser-known gems across the United States that are perfect for avoiding the masses while still enjoying a memorable vacation. Here are 15 underrated cities perfect for avoiding the crowds this spring break.

1. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina cityscape

Tucked away in the tranquil Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC offers a peaceful getaway with plenty of outdoor fun, artsy vibes, and tasty eats minus the usual crowds. You can roam the fancy Biltmore Estate or hit the trails along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Dive into the local arts scene with cool galleries and live shows.

And don’t miss out on the diverse culinary scene, from farm-to-table goodness to hip craft breweries. Asheville’s got that perfect mix of nature, culture, and foodie delights, giving you a laid-back spring break without all the chaos of popular spots.

2. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, avoid the crowd on spring break

Savannah, with its historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and picturesque squares, provides a tranquil escape for those seeking Southern charm and hospitality. Visitors can stroll through the city’s lush squares, admire the antebellum mansions in the Historic District, or take a leisurely riverboat cruise along the Savannah River. 

For dining options, they can indulge in delicious Southern cuisine at popular restaurants like The Olde Pink House or Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. Art enthusiasts can explore the city’s vibrant arts scene, with galleries showcasing local talent. Nature lovers can also visit Forsyth Park or take a guided tour of Bonaventure Cemetery.

3. Bend, Oregon

Aerial view of Bend, Oregon

Situated amid the picturesque landscapes of central Oregon, Bend offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of spring break crowds. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in the abundance of recreational opportunities, from hiking scenic trails to skiing down powdery slopes at nearby Mount Bachelor. 

For those seeking culinary delights, Bend boasts an array of acclaimed restaurants serving up farm-to-table cuisine, fresh seafood, and artisanal fare. After a day of adventure, unwind with a leisurely stroll through the charming downtown area, dotted with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. With its scenic beauty and relaxed atmosphere, Bend is the perfect destination for a peaceful spring break getaway.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico at dusk during spring break

Rich in Native American and Spanish heritage, Santa Fe boasts adobe architecture, art galleries, and serene desert landscapes perfect for a relaxing getaway. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage by strolling through the historic Plaza, where you can shop for authentic Native American crafts and jewelry. Art enthusiasts will delight in exploring the world-renowned galleries showcasing traditional and contemporary works. 

For a taste of the local cuisine, dine at iconic restaurants like The Shed or Coyote Cafe, serving up delicious Southwestern fare. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on scenic hikes in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas of the desert landscape.

5. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona water way

In addition to its natural beauty and spiritual energy, Sedona boasts a variety of dining options ranging from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. Visitors can enjoy delicious Southwestern cuisine at renowned eateries like The Hudson, or indulge in organic, farm-to-table fare at ChocolaTree Organic Eatery

For those seeking relaxation, Sedona offers numerous spas and wellness centers where visitors can unwind with massages, yoga classes, and other holistic treatments. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the city’s vibrant arts scene, with galleries showcasing everything from Native American pottery to contemporary paintings.

6. Charleston, South Carolina

Street view of Charleston, South Carolina, avoid the crowds on spring break

Steeped in history and Southern hospitality, Charleston invites visitors to enjoy this spring break hidden gem. Wander along its cobblestone streets, savoring the flavors of Lowcountry cuisine at renowned eateries like Husk or FIG. Immerse yourself in the city’s past with visits to historic plantations such as Middleton Place or Magnolia Plantation

Opt for a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque historic district, where stunning antebellum architecture awaits at every turn. For a day of relaxation, head to the pristine beaches of nearby barrier islands like Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island, where tranquility reigns supreme.

7. Taos, New Mexico

Town square in Taos, New Mexico

Tucked away amidst the breathtaking Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of spring break crowds. Renowned for its dynamic art scene, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region by exploring galleries and studios showcasing indigenous and contemporary artwork. 

Architecture enthusiasts will marvel at the charming adobe buildings dotting the town. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as skiing on pristine slopes or taking a scenic hot air balloon ride. Culinary delights await at local eateries serving up authentic Southwestern cuisine, while relaxation beckons at the rejuvenating Ojo Caliente hot springs.

8. Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California cityscape with water and mountains in the background

With its Mediterranean climate, pristine beaches, and Spanish colonial architecture, Santa Barbara offers a laid-back coastal retreat away from the crowds of Southern California. Visitors can relax on the beaches of Butterfly Beach or East Beach, explore the historic mission and courthouse, or hike in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains

Additionally, they can enjoy delicious seafood at waterfront restaurants like The Boathouse or Brophy Bros., shop at charming boutiques along State Street, or visit local wineries in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley for wine tasting and scenic views.

9. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Aerial view of Chattanooga, Tennessee

In Chattanooga, nature enthusiasts can explore the stunning underground waterfall at Ruby Falls or take a leisurely paddleboarding excursion on the peaceful Tennessee River. For those seeking panoramic views, a scenic ride on the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape. 

History buffs can delve into the city’s rich past by visiting historic sites such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo or the Tennessee Aquarium. And when it comes to dining, Chattanooga boasts an array of restaurants serving up delicious Southern cuisine and innovative culinary creations, ensuring that visitors can satisfy their appetites while avoiding the crowds.

10. Moab, Utah

View through natural arch in Moab, Utah

Located in southeastern Utah, Moab is a haven for nature lovers seeking solitude during spring break. The city offers a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and off-roading. Adventurers can explore the stunning red rock landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, marveling at iconic formations like Delicate Arch and Mesa Arch. 

For a unique experience, visitors can embark on a scenic helicopter tour or take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. After a day of exploration, travelers can dine at local favorites like The Broken Oar Restaurant or Miguel’s Baja Grill, savoring delicious Southwestern cuisine.

11. Key West, Florida

View of long strip of beach/highway to Key West, Florida

While it may be famous for its vibrant nightlife and lively atmosphere, Key West also has quieter corners. Escape from the spring break crowds with its serene beaches, historic charm, and stunning sunsets. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature by snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park or simply lounging on the white sandy shores. 

For history enthusiasts, exploring the quaint streets of Old Town and touring its historic homes provides insight into the city’s rich past. As evening falls, gathering at Mallory Square to witness the vibrant sunset ritual is a must-do experience. Additionally, the city boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants like Blue Heaven and Latitudes offering delicious cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. 

12. Flagstaff, Arizona

Aerial view of Flagstaff, Arizona, avoid crowds on spring break

Flagstaff, nestled among the picturesque mountains and pine forests of northern Arizona, provides a serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of spring break crowds. Adventure seekers can embark on scenic hikes along the trails of Walnut Canyon National Monument, marveling at ancient cliff dwellings and stunning canyon views. 

For those craving more outdoor excitement, a trek to the summit of Humphreys Peak offers breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding landscape. In the evenings, visitors can indulge in delicious Southwestern cuisine at local favorites like The Tinderbox Kitchen or Beaver Street Brewery, followed by a captivating stargazing session at the renowned Lowell Observatory.

13. Ashland, Oregon

View of Ashland, Oregon in the mountains

Nestled in southern Oregon, Ashland is renowned for its Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which showcases top-notch theatrical performances. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of Lithia Park, offering picturesque trails for hiking and picnicking. 

Downtown Ashland features charming galleries and boutiques, ideal for leisurely strolls and unique finds. Culinary enthusiasts can indulge in farm-to-table dining at restaurants like Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine or enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at The Growler Guys brewery. With its blend of cultural attractions and outdoor activities, Ashland promises a peaceful getaway.

14. Traverse City, Michigan

View of Traverse City, Michigan across the water during spring break

Traverse City, tucked along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, offers a serene escape from the spring break crowds. Visitors can indulge in the region’s famous cherry orchards and vineyards, with opportunities for wine tasting along the scenic Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the towering sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, embark on kayaking adventures in the crystal-clear waters of the lake, or hit the trails for hiking and skiing in the nearby forests. For dining, the city boasts a vibrant culinary scene, featuring exciting restaurants, cozy cafes, and waterfront eateries serving up fresh seafood delights.

15. Newport, Rhode Island

Lighthouse along the cliffs in Newport, Rhode Island

With its historic mansions, scenic coastal views, and charming waterfront, Newport offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking a classic New England getaway without the crowds of larger cities. Visitors can tour the opulent mansions along the Cliff Walk, explore the historic Fort Adams State Park, or take a sailing cruise on Narragansett Bay

Additionally, foodies will delight in the city’s diverse culinary scene, with renowned restaurants like The Black Pearl and The White Horse Tavern offering delicious seafood and traditional New England fare. Art enthusiasts can visit the Newport Art Museum or stroll through the city’s galleries showcasing local talent.


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