When I was in my first job at 20 years old, I distinctly remember my old boss giving me life advice. One of the key nuggets of wisdom she shared with me that day was to use my younger years to see the world.
To say that I heeded her advice would be an understatement. In the 10 years that have followed, I’ve been to almost every continent and explored dozens upon dozens of cities. From Rome to Tokyo, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to destinations all over the world.
While I’ve tried to hit up most of the spots on all of my friends’ “must-visit” lists, I’ve found it’s also exciting (and more private) to travel to less explored locales. So, though they might not be top of mind, I highly recommend you check out a few of the more underrated destinations below to add to your wanderlust list.
1. Yosemite National Park in California: So much to see and so much to do in this sprawling national park! If you’re a local Californian, you’re in luck, as you can visit often and return again and again, experiencing something new every time. If you’re visiting from out of state, I highly recommend coming during the summer months and staying overnight. The hikes are breathtaking — both literally and figuratively. (Bring granola bars and water.) It’s no wonder Ansel Adams spent so much time taking photos here. (Side note: It’s because of my adoration of these photos that my oldest son is named Ansel!)
2. Iceland: You guys, Iceland may win my #1 pick for favorite place in the world. Yes, I just said that. It’s SO legit. Nicknamed the “land of fire and ice,” you can spend the morning repelling into a volcano and the afternoon traversing a glacier. You’ve got to make sure to also spend some time road tripping around to all of the hot springs! They are everywhere (the Blue Lagoon is the most famous). Stay in the capital, Reykjavic (there are tons of amazing Airbnbs), and be sure to try one of their world-famous hot dogs. I don’t even like hot dogs but I had FOUR of them on this trip! I wish I could go back every year.
3. Vancouver, British Columbia: If someone forced me to move away from San Francisco and to any other city in the world, I’d probably move to Vancouver. It’s got everything I love: mountains, water and city life. All in one! Whether you go in the summer (hiking) or winter (skiing), the views are beautiful year-round and there’s tons to do. The city itself has some incredible artisans with cute boutique shops, some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten, not to mention a thriving tech community. Didn’t I say this place has got it all?!
4. Road trip through California: As I previously shared, Dave and I went on a babymoon before our second son was born, traveling along the California coast to visit some of the most famous architecture and design spots. Not only were the homes we visited stunning, but the coastal drive was a reminder of how beautiful the Golden State is. If you haven’t done it yet, I highly recommend taking a drive on the Pacific Coast Highway in the near future.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen is paradise for design fanatics, outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. The #1 restaurant in the world (Noma) is located there, and even if you don’t get a chance to reserve a table, know that many of the Noma chefs have come and gone to open up all kinds of other restaurants in this town. So, there are tons of places to treat your taste buds. We were only there for three days and I couldn’t get enough good food! Separate from that, Danish design shops are EVERYWHERE and I was literally almost dying from eyegasms over all of the incredible things to buy. Sadly, I did not bring a big enough suitcase to transport it all home with me and shipping costs a fortune, so my biggest tip is to bring an extra bag to take things home with you! Lastly, one of the most charming parts of Copenhagen is that the people in the town ride bicycles everywhere, most often in favor of driving. It’s a great way to get a bit of exercise and also explore one of the coolest cities in the world. Go!
Planning your next trip? Where are you headed? Is it to one of these underrated destinations? Let me know on Twitter, @brit! And make sure to head to my Pinterest page for even more dreamy travel inspo.