8 underrated US destinations you should visit right now

Toby Orton, Oyster.com

Nov. 30, 2016, 11:52 AM

When it comes to planning a vacation in the US, people so often come up with the same old choices (think New YorkLas Vegas, andOrlando). Understandably, the varied combination of architecture, culture, nightlife, theme parks, and big city buzz all contribute to their popularity.

But why not buck the trend and head somewhere a little more original?

Ahead, we compiled eight of the most underrated, often overlooked destinations around the country.

Despite flying under the radar, each destination on this list has plenty of reasons to lure you down the path less trodden. These hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, and well-kept secrets — ranging from small towns, to lakeside locales, to big cities — are all places you should keep in mind for your next domestic trip.

Mississippi Gulf Coast, Mississippi

With white-sand beaches, unique coastal communities like Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis, and great paddleboarding and kayaking in the ranging waterways, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is ready for its comeback, according to Erin Kenna from Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. “The region is experiencing a true travel renaissance, but one thing remains the same -- its laid-back, coastal charm.”

Since Hurricane Katrina, the rebuilding has brought the area back stronger than ever. In addition to the beaches and arty waterside towns, there’s the wild, old-world charm of the city of Biloxi -- a great base from which to explore. Get a feel for the city’s musical obsession by staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and sample its foodie culture at the annual Seafood Festival before discovering the rest of what the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer.  

Hotel Pick: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi

Original story: http://www.businessinsider.com/underrated-us-destinations-2016-11