The Case for 10 of the Most Underrated Travel Destinations on Earth

Forget everything you know about the Jersey Shore. Honestly.

March 28, 2017 9:00 am

You’ve hit London, Paris, New York, Tokyo … the four horseman of “been there, done that” urban destination travel. But if you’ve done so at the expense of seeing Lisbon, Antwerp and Joburg, we submit that you’re doing it wrong.

Some destinations just don’t get the attention they deserve (Did you know that the Jersey Shore is beautiful and idyllic and covered in soft, pillowy sand — assuming you know where to look?).

Thus, we present this collection of 10 superlative destinations that the crowds don’t (yet) give the credit they’re due. 

1. Portugal
Portugal has remained a stubbornly hard sell for American tourists — even if the Brits love it so much that you can see the Union Jack flying all the way up and down the coast every summer. Our top pick: the National Palace at Sintra, which is as close as we’re going to get to a real-life Dorne. 

2. Quebec City
Everybody’s talking about Montreal — but Quebec City has even more of that cobblestoned, Old World-vibe. 

3. Antwerp
OK, so Belgium’s sort of like France but with more terrorists. And Brussels largely sucks. But Antwerp is a little jewel box of a city. 

4. Kuala Lumpur 
There’s more to the Malaysian capital than the Petronas Towers — like a great Islamic art museum. It’s also a serious travel hub: as AirAsia’s home airport, think of it as a gateway to everything Southeast Asian.

5. The Jersey Shore
Let the bankers go to the Hamptons. Cape May might be the prettiest stretch of Atlantic beachfront within 150 miles of New York City. 

6. Johannesburg
Cape Town gets all the fancy magazine cover stories, but it’s the interior city that’s the hugely exciting, hugely ambitious melting pot — the country’s equivalent of Manhattan. Of note: the African art galleries at the Wits Art Museum

7. Cancún
It’s popular for a reason — the superb winter weather and white-sand beaches. Head to Nizuc Resort (it was originally supposed to be an Aman) for spas, private plunge pools and — count ’em — five top-shelf restaurants.

8. Lviv
Fact: This Ukrainian city will soon be regarded as the “next Prague” (a title currently held by Budapest). So get there now, before everybody else does. Don’t miss the terrifying museum once used as a prison by both the Nazis and the Soviet police. 

9. Albania
Its tourism department should sue the makers of Taken for giving Albanians a bad rap. But the country is at times indistinguishable from the hugely popular Croatia, with lovely beaches, Roman ruins and centuries-old castles

10. Warsaw
It lacks Krakow’s small-scale charm, but it has equally good attractions and its energy is second to no other Polish city — of particular note is a museum chronicling the Warsaw Uprising


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