🗺️Summer Hidden Gems: Picture-Perfect Destinations Away from the Crowds

Are you tired of the same old summer vacation spots? Do you want to avoid crowded tourist destinations and discover something new and exciting? Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll explore some off-the-beaten-path summer destinations that will take you away from the chaos and allow you to experience hidden gems. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Instead of following the flock to Europe, why not consider exploring other destinations? This summer is the perfect time to visit these vibrant destinations. Not only will you be able to escape the crowds, but you’ll also enjoy lower prices due to the off-season from May through early August.

  1. Bali, Indonesia: May to early August is considered the dry season in Bali, making it an ideal time to visit. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, immerse yourself in Balinese culture and spirituality, and explore the lush landscapes and stunning rice terraces.

    • Nusa Penida: This stunning island located southeast of Bali offers breathtaking landscapes and lesser-known spots like Kelingking Beach, Angel’s Billabong, and Broken Beach. These locations provide spectacular viewpoints and photo opportunities with dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations.

    • Sekumpul Waterfall: Located in northern Bali, Sekumpul is a hidden gem known for its impressive series of waterfalls cascading down lush green surroundings. The trek to the waterfall offers a chance to immerse yourself in nature and capture stunning photos of the majestic falls.

    • Tegalalang Rice Terraces: These iconic rice terraces in Ubud are popular but still offer picturesque scenes and charming spots during the shoulder season. Capture the beauty of the lush green rice fields and enjoy the serene ambiance as you stroll along the terraces.

    • Sidemen: This peaceful village in eastern Bali offers picturesque landscapes of rice paddies, lush hills, and traditional Balinese culture. The quiet surroundings and stunning views make it a perfect spot for capturing authentic moments and immersing yourself in the rural charm of Bali.

    • Munduk: Nestled in Bali’s central highlands, Munduk is a hidden gem known for its stunning waterfalls, coffee plantations, and scenic landscapes. Visit Munduk Waterfall, Aling-Aling Waterfall, or explore the region’s lush countryside for picturesque photo opportunities.

    • Ubud Monkey Forest: Located in the village of Padangtegal, the Ubud Monkey Forest is a sanctuary and nature reserve inhabited by a large number of playful and curious long-tailed macaques. Within the forest, you can observe and interact with the monkeys in their natural habitat and even get to participate in a “monkey selfie” photo-op. They are accustomed to human presence and may even approach you, providing opportunities for close-up encounters and the possibility of capturing a unique monkey selfie.

    • Gates of Heaven in Lempuyang, Bali: An iconic temple complex known for its famous split gates framing Mount Agung. It requires climbing stairs and offers breathtaking views. It’s advisable to aim for the early morning hours or weekdays. These times generally experience fewer crowds compared to weekends or midday. Arrive early, dress respectfully, and capture stunning photos while respecting the sacredness of the site.

  2. Morocco: The summer months in Morocco can be hot, but this time falls within a more moderate temperature range. Explore the bustling souks of Marrakech, wander through the blue streets of Chefchaouen, and experience the unique blend of Arab, Berber, and European influences.

    • Chefchaouen: Known as the Blue City, Chefchaouen is famous for its charming blue-washed buildings. This picturesque town nestled in the Rif Mountains offers endless photo opportunities with its narrow streets, vibrant blue walls, and stunning mountain views.

    • Essaouira: Located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a laid-back coastal town with a bohemian atmosphere. Its blue-and-white medina, bustling port, and beautiful sandy beaches make it an ideal spot for capturing unique shots and enjoying a relaxed coastal vibe.

    • Ait Ben Haddou: This UNESCO World Heritage site is a fortified village located in the Atlas Mountains. Its ancient kasbahs and dramatic desert surroundings provide a mesmerizing backdrop for photography. The location has been featured in various films and TV shows, adding to its allure.

    • Merzouga Desert: Venture into the Sahara Desert and explore the towering dunes of Merzouga. The vast expanse of golden sand, camel treks, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets create a magical atmosphere for photography enthusiasts.

    • Volubilis: Step back in time and visit the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. Located near Meknes, this archaeological site offers well-preserved mosaics, impressive columns, and the opportunity to capture glimpses of Morocco’s rich history.

  3. Croatia: May and June offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists in Croatia before the peak summer season. Discover the stunning coastline, explore historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split, and relax on the beautiful beaches of the Dalmatian coast.

    • Rovinj: Located on the Istrian Peninsula, Rovinj is a charming coastal town with narrow streets, colorful houses, and stunning waterfront views. The old town area is particularly picturesque, offering countless photo opportunities with its Venetian architecture and romantic atmosphere.

    • Plitvice Lakes National Park: A true natural wonder, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its cascading lakes and waterfalls. The vivid turquoise waters and lush green surroundings create a fairytale-like setting, perfect for capturing mesmerizing photos.

    • Korčula Island: This lesser-known island in the Adriatic Sea is often called “Little Dubrovnik” for its medieval architecture and charming old town. Explore the narrow alleys, visit the impressive St. Mark’s Cathedral, and soak up the island’s relaxed vibe while snapping memorable shots.

    • Vis Island: Known for its unspoiled beauty, Vis Island offers breathtaking landscapes and pristine beaches. Visit Stiniva Beach, a secluded cove surrounded by towering cliffs, or explore the Blue Cave, a natural wonder where the sunlight creates an ethereal blue glow.

    • Zadar: With its unique blend of ancient and modern attractions, Zadar is a hidden gem on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. The Sea Organ and Sun Salutation are fascinating installations that provide excellent photo opportunities, especially during sunset when the colors paint the sky.

  4. Japan: May, June, and even September, and October are great times to visit Japan as it falls during the spring and early summer and fall seasons. Experience the vibrant cherry blossom season, visit historic temples and shrines, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

    • Shirakawa-go: Located in the Gifu Prefecture, Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its traditional thatched-roof houses. Capture the charm of this historic village, especially during winter when the thatched roofs are covered in snow, creating a magical scene.

    • Miyajima Island: Just a short ferry ride from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island offers stunning views and iconic landmarks. Its most famous attraction is the Itsukushima Shrine with its floating torii gate, which provides an incredible photo opportunity during high tide.

    • Kamakura: Situated south of Tokyo, Kamakura is a coastal city known for its giant Buddha statue (Daibutsu), ancient temples, and beautiful beaches. Explore the tranquil Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine or visit the vibrant Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine for capturing cultural and architectural beauty.

    • Kanazawa: Often referred to as “Little Kyoto,” Kanazawa offers a wealth of hidden gems. Stroll through the picturesque Kenrokuen Garden, visit the photogenic Higashi Chaya District with its traditional tea houses, or explore the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art for modern art enthusiasts.

    • Naoshima: Located in the Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima is an art lover’s paradise. This small island is known for its contemporary art installations and museums, including the famous “Yellow Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama. Its unique blend of art and natural beauty offers endless photo opportunities.

  5. New Zealand: New Zealand’s winter season runs from June to August, making May and early June a perfect time to visit. Enjoy breathtaking landscapes, go hiking in national parks, and experience thrilling adventure activities in this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

    • Lake Tekapo: Nestled in the South Island, Lake Tekapo offers breathtaking turquoise waters and stunning mountain views. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, which sits by the lake and provides a picturesque backdrop for photos.

    • Milford Sound: Located in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is known for its majestic fjords, cascading waterfalls, and dramatic cliffs. Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of this natural wonder on a cruise or from one of the scenic viewpoints.

    • Mount Cook National Park: Home to New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, this national park offers magnificent alpine landscapes. Hike the Hooker Valley Track for stunning views of the Southern Alps and the picturesque Mueller Glacier Lake.

    • Waiheke Island: Just a short ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island is a paradise for nature lovers and wine enthusiasts. Explore its pristine beaches, picturesque vineyards, and charming coastal villages for idyllic photo opportunities.

    • The Catlins: Located on the southeastern coast of the South Island, The Catlins is a hidden gem known for its rugged coastline, lush forests, and wildlife encounters. Capture the beauty of Nugget Point, Purakaunui Falls, and the adorable yellow-eyed penguins.

  6. Quebec City, Canada: This charming city in Canada is known for its old-world charm, rich history, and European flair. During the summer shoulder season, you can explore the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec, visit historic sites, indulge in French-inspired cuisine, and enjoy the city’s vibrant cultural festivals.

    • Old Quebec: Step into the enchanting streets of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Capture the European charm of Rue du Petit Champlain, the oldest commercial street in North America, and admire the iconic Château Frontenac, a fairytale-like castle overlooking the St. Lawrence River.

    • Montmorency Falls: Just outside the city, Montmorency Falls offers a stunning natural spectacle. The waterfall stands taller than Niagara Falls and provides a breathtaking backdrop for photographs. Take a cable car to the top or cross the suspension bridge for unique vantage points.

    • Île d’Orléans: Located in the St. Lawrence River, Île d’Orléans is a picturesque island known for its scenic countryside, charming villages, and agricultural heritage. Capture the beautiful landscapes, vineyards, and historic buildings as you explore the island.

    • Quartier Petit Champlain: Wander through Quartier Petit Champlain, a vibrant and colorful neighborhood filled with quaint shops, cafes, and cobblestone streets. This area offers numerous Instagrammable spots, including captivating murals, decorative storefronts, and hidden alleys.

    • Plains of Abraham: Discover the Plains of Abraham, a historic park with a significant role in Canada’s history. The vast green spaces, historic monuments, and scenic views of the St. Lawrence River make it a perfect spot for both relaxing and capturing memorable photographs.

If you prefer to stay closer to home, why not embark on an adventure in your own backyard? The United States is filled with hidden gems that are often overlooked in favor of well-known tourist hotspots. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. St. Croix: This hidden gem in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a peaceful and uncrowded getaway during the summer months. From May to August, you can enjoy the island’s pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush landscapes without the hustle and bustle. Dive into vibrant coral reefs, explore historic sites like Fort Christiansvaern, or hike through the stunning rainforests of the Buccaneer Trail. Indulge in mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine and savor the tranquility of this hidden paradise. Visit St. Croix this summer and experience a serene tropical escape like no other.

  2. Alaska: The summer season in Alaska is the perfect time to explore the state’s natural wonders and take advantage of the long daylight hours. During this time, you can witness incredible wildlife such as bears, moose, and whales as they roam and feed in their natural habitats. Embark on a wildlife cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park or explore Denali National Park for a chance to spot the majestic grizzly bears and elusive wolves. The summer also provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Hike through picturesque trails in the Chugach Mountains, go kayaking among glaciers in Prince William Sound, or try your hand at fishing in some of the world’s best fishing spots. For a cultural experience, visit the charming towns of Juneau, Anchorage, and Skagway, where you can learn about Alaska’s Native heritage, enjoy local arts and crafts, and savor fresh seafood delicacies.

  3. Taos, New Mexico: Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is a culturally rich destination with a vibrant art community and Native American heritage. Visit Taos Pueblo, hike in the mountains, and experience the unique blend of cultures.

  4. Olympic National Park, Washington: Escape to the Pacific Northwest and immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems of Olympic National Park. From lush rainforests and rugged coastlines to snow-capped mountains, this park has it all. Enjoy hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting in this hidden gem.

  5. Marfa, Texas: This hidden gem in the West Texas desert offers a unique summer vacation experience. Explore its vibrant art scene, hike in nearby Big Bend National Park, and witness stunning sunsets. Enjoy boutique accommodations, farm-to-table dining, and a laid-back atmosphere. Marfa is the perfect destination for a less crowded and off-the-beaten-path Texas getaway.

While visiting these locations, immerse yourself in the local culture, try regional cuisine, and be respectful of the local customs, traditions, environment, and communities while visiting these hidden gems. These places provide an array of Instagrammable spots and not-so-crowded atmospheres where you can capture the rich heritage, natural landscapes, and artistic allure.

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