Top 10 Under-the-Radar Destinations Around the World
Savvy travelers have used their time at home to scope out trips to these under-the-radar destinations, from Norway and New Zealand to Canada and Cornwall. If you’re looking to ditch the crowds, explore, and connect—whether you want an island escape, a sleepy fishing village retreat, or a good old beachside vacay—here’s where to head, according to the Tripadvisor 2021 Travelers' Choice awards.
This Gallic toehold in the Caribbean exudes a distinctly French air, one improved by West Indian warmth. Local culture and cuisine combine both influences. The stylish isle is dominated by Mount Pelee, which destroyed the city of St. Pierre in 1902. Black-sand beaches and rain forests are found in the north, with yet more beautiful sands to the south. Sights include La Pagerie, birthplace of Napoleon's Empress Josephine, and Diamond Rock, a 600-foot (182-meter) pinnacle, once registered as a British warship.
St. Ives boasts a quartet of golden-sand beaches. Sheltered coves draw swimmers and sun-worshippers, but water sports aficionados visit St. Ives for great surfing, windsurfing, and waterskiing conditions. And on your way there, keep your eyes peeled for a dude with seven wives; you never know when nursery rhymes might come true.
It's a historic capital, it's a beach resort, it's a lively, romantic town—whatever you look for in a Mexican vacation is on the menu in Mazatlán. Returning travelers rave about the welcoming mazatlecos, who treat you like old amigos, as well as the beaches, the food, the weather, the music, and the feeling of never wanting to leave.
Wroclaw is Poland’s fourth-largest city and the capital of the Viovodship of Lower Silesia. Originally (in medieval times) built across several islands, the city still has many lovely bridges and beautiful architecture. The Rynek (central square), lined by colorful buildings, is one of the city’s most popular destinations.
Where else can you find an azalea-framed volcano to climb, a sisterhood of deep-divers, and ancient stone statues on which to make wishes? Jeju Island. A favorite with newlyweds (and K-drama fans), this popular retreat is also home to miles of golden beaches, winding coastal trails, and Jeju Waterworld, the area’s largest water park. No matter what your fancy, one thing’s for certain: a day of sightseeing isn’t complete without enjoying some of the isle’s delicious raw seafood and famed barbecued black pork.
The fjords and mountain ranges of Tromso are simply magical. Here, the northern lights sparkle across the same navy blue sky that's illuminated by the midnight sun. You'll be spellbound by Tromso's enchanting fishing villages, fragrant botanical gardens, and crystalline waterfalls. Music is also a major part of the Tromso culture, particularly techno and electronic music, which adds some thumping thunder to the city once a year during the annual Insomnia Festival.
Armação dos Búzios
If there’s a "beach economy," Búzios is its Wall Street, where more than 20 beaches, world-class galleries, clubs, and boutiques draw an elite set of travelers. Surfers love Geriba Beach, snorkelers enjoy Ferruda, hip Ossos Beach offers upscale beachside cafés, and laid-back Ilhabela Beach offers a more down-to-earth Búzios experience.
The island of Miyako-jima is home to beautiful beaches, perfect for sunning, swimming, and snorkeling. When you’re sun-spent, migrate to the Miyakojima City Tropical Plant Garden to marvel at over 1,500 species of exotic tropical plants. Then, toast your travel companions with Japanese shochu while you nibble on specialty soba noodles.
A place like no other, lakeside Tobermory is hailed as the “scuba diving capital of Canada” and is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and 20-plus shipwrecks. Those looking for adventure on land will want to check out the Bruce Peninsula National Park. Equipped with both camping grounds and RV sites, this popular attraction is a favorite with hikers (the scenic trails are teeming with diverse flora and fauna) and also provides access to The Grotto, a wave-formed sea cave with an underwater tunnel that leads to Georgian Bay.
South Island, New Zealand
Rare yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals, and the world's only mainland albatross colony share residence in Dunedin, New Zealand's oldest city. When you're not watching wildlife, this South Island Otago Coast town also boasts impressive historic architecture from its days as a gold-rush mecca. Visit the 1906 Flemish Renaissance railway station or the country's largest center of higher learning, which resembles Glasgow University, thanks to the area's early Scottish settlers.