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  • Published on Mar 09, 2017
    Best "Little Gem" Travel Destinations 2017

    Best “Little Gem” Travel Destinations 2017

    When you think of top travel destinations many people think of the more popular towns such as Daytona Beach, FL; Denver, CO; or Nashville, TN.  But there are smaller, lesser known towns out there that have so much to offer and are those little hidden gems that you won't regret traveling to.  We’ve got a short list of the best "little gem" towns to visit in 2017.

    1. Taos, New Mexico- This charming little town is a perfect example of Spanish influence and culture in the modern world.  The scenery is beautiful, being covered in hundreds of acres of wilderness lands.  Taos gets 300 days of sunshine so there is ample opportunity for outdoor activities and they are definitely no sparse.  From rock climbing, hiking and horseback riding the countryside, to kayaking and canoeing on the Rio Grande, there is an activity for everyone.  Nearby is the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument filled with even more opportunities for recreation and camping.  Taos is also known as the most pet-friendly town in the Southwest. Everywhere you go, from restaurants to outdoor events, shops and hotels, your four-legged friend is always welcome!
    2. Estes Park, Colorado- A winter recreation enthusiast’s dream; this little town in Colorado is like a mini Denver with the charm of an old wayside village.  Estes Park has an inviting and friendly atmosphere where craft beer and local spirits are a staple.  Locals gather at their favorite dining spots for some good food and drinks. Not far away is Rocky Mountain National Park where visitors can hike, climb, and camp when the weather is permitting.  River Rafting and fishing in the nearby rivers and streams are popular in the summer, and of course skiing and tubing are popular in the winter.  Another attraction is the wildlife that runs freely in the national park and sometimes through town.  All of these things providing an experience you have to check out.
    3. Steamboat Springs, Colorado- another quaint little town in Colorado, Steamboat Springs is the town to visit for outdoor recreation.  The best part about this town is the natural hot springs that you can sit and relax in after a long day of hiking and climbing.  The Springs at Strawberry Park are a popular draw, tucked among nature, where many locals come to soak and enjoy the springs even in the winter.  Other attractions of Steamboat Springs is Fish Creek Falls where you can hike and climb to view the picturesque waterfalls; and Yampa River Botanic Park that boasts beautiful gardens and ponds over 6 acres of land.  Colorado has always been known for its beautiful scenery and you can definitely see that in Steamboat Springs.
    4. South Lake Tahoe, California- Lake Tahoe is definitely a more well-known destination in California but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its charm. Tucked among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this little town offers much to do for year-round activities. South Lake Tahoe is known for its water sports like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and boating in the summer as well as biking, hiking, and climbing.  Emerald Bay is only a short drive and is a prime spot for water sports, hiking, and just taking in the beautiful scenery of the lake and surrounding wilderness.  In the winter, skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities with prime skiing as noted by repeat visitors. Lake Tahoe is also known for its entertainment and nightlife so there’s something to do anytime of the day.
    5. Seaside, Oregon- This hidden gem on Oregon’s coast is just 30 minutes from Portland and is known for its quaint beaches and outdoor recreational activities.  Visitors can go biking and hiking through the nearby hills and kayak and surf. One of the more intriguing activities in paragliding. Soaring over the Oregon coastline offers breathtaking sights from a birds-eye-view.  Seaside also has great shopping districts, mini golf, and a Seaside Aquarium where you can feed the seals.  Coastal towns always seem to have the little charm that you can’t find in most popular tourist destinations.
    6. Fredericksburg, Texas- For a little bit of German arts and culture, this town is a great place to visit with a little bit of everything.  From the great food and wine to the arts and museums, it’s a little bit of modern with that old time charm. Nearby is the Enchanted Rock State National Area where you can challenge yourself to climbing “the Dome”.  It’s a large pink granite hill dome in the heart of the park.  Many visitors come to rock climb and hike the trails.  There are two campsites within the park so you can camp under the stars and listen to the sounds of the Texas wildlife.


    As you are planning your vacations this year, remember to keep in mind to check out the smaller towns along the way.  These little gems are a definite welcomed change from the chaotic, popular tourist destinations in the big cities. This list derived from top destinations on trip advisor; do you have a favorite hidden gem town that you like to visit?


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