Places Americans don’t visit—but definitely should

The nation's most-visited national park is also one of the best for leaf peeping. The fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains arrive as early as mid-September at higher elevations and work their way down. Take a drive along Clingmans Dome Road or the Blue Ridge Parkway for a good look.
America’s national parks offer visitors inspiring and affordable ways to unplug and reconnect with nature. Although not every state has a national park, the National Park Service also oversees national monuments, national historic sites, and national rivers, among other areas. Some parks are iconic, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, and others are underrated and lightly visited. This list highlights 50 must-see destinations — the best the country has to offer. National parks often charge an entrance fee that grants seven days of access and costs up to $35 a vehicle. An interagency annual pass provides access to all the national parks and other federal fee areas for $80. Seniors 62 or older can buy a lifetime passes for $80 and annual passes for $20. Members of the military are eligible for free annual passes. Fee-free days also are offered occasionally during the year, including Sept. 22 for National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
Slide 1 of 31: Even though Americans still carry the stereotype of people who don’t travel overseas, this is far from the truth. Yes, US citizens may not travel internationally as frequently as other cultures, particularly Europeans, but Americans are going abroad like never before. Popular destinations among Americans include our neighboring Mexico and Canada, as well as the UK in Europe, according to 2016 data from the Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office. But what about the countries not featured in the list? There are some real gems out there that Americans have left untapped. What are some amazing destinations abroad that Americans should start visiting? Click through the gallery to find out.
Slide 2 of 31: Located between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, it’s easy to see why this Southeast Asian nation is often overlooked. Though the country is poorer than its neighbors, its beauty is unmatched.
Slide 3 of 31: Why you should go: This tropical country has a long history of invasion, which has translated into fascinating influences from China, Malaysia, Europe, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
Slide 4 of 31: This North African nation got a bad rep among Americans in the post-2010 Arab Spring protests that kicked off there, before spreading to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. But the country has since cooled off, and Americans shouldn't lump it together with its more volatile neighbors.
Slide 5 of 31: Why you should go: The country sits on the Mediterranean, and has the weather and beaches to show for it. But if you're not a beach person, you should still go for the beautiful combination of French and Arab influences, as well as its rich history.
Slide 6 of 31: Bordering Peru to the west, Argentina to the south, and Brazil to the east, this landlocked nation is sometimes forgotten about.
Slide 7 of 31: Why you should go: This South American country sits on the Andean Mountains, descends into the Amazon forest, and extends into the desert, so it has a little bit of everything. Don't skip the Salar de Uyuni (pictured), the world's largest salt flat, for other-worldly photo ops.
Slide 8 of 31: After 50 years of embargo, it's easy to understand why Americans don't often go to this Caribbean nation. Now that they can, this will hopefully change.
Slide 9 of 31: Why you should go: Contrary to what many Americans might believe, Cubans love Americans and America. The country boasts a beautiful mix of Caribbean, African, and Spanish cultures, which gives Cuba its unique charm.
Slide 10 of 31: This United Kingdom nation garnered a bad rep in the 1990s due to violence between crown loyalists and the Irish Republican Army. But that stayed in the 1990s, and the country is safe to visit.
Slide 11 of 31: Why you should go: Northern Ireland offers both modern, cosmopolitan Belfast and the picturesque countryside. Don't forget to visit Giant’s Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that resulted from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.
Slide 12 of 31: This Southeast Asian country borders Thailand, the region's most popular destination for Americans. Also, the country is majority Muslim, which puts off many Americans, though the country is safe aside from the occasional pickpocket.
Slide 13 of 31: Why you should go: Separated by the South China Sea, Malaysia is located in one of the world's busiest crossroads, making it a melting pot of influences, including Chinese, Indian, Thai, as well as English and Dutch, the area's previous colonizers.
Slide 14 of 31: Americans don't really visit Africa in general, expect for South Africa and Morocco. But there are plenty of safe places to go, and Malawi is one worth checking out.
Slide 15 of 31: Why you should go: This sub-Saharan country's government has been investing in exciting developments in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, making this the perfect safari country. Also, Malawi has great cell phone coverage, so you can buy a local SIM card at the airport to stay connected throughout your journey there.
Slide 16 of 31: This country, while just 11,500 sq mi in size and home to 2 million people, is entirely landlocked by South Africa.
Slide 17 of 31: Why you should go: This mountainous kingdom is accessible from Durban and Johannesburg, and offers highland regions, panoramic views, and extreme adventure.
Slide 18 of 31: This autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark is desolate, cold, and icy (don't let the "green" in the name fool you). But the place is perfect for those in search of a quieter aurora borealis.
Slide 19 of 31: Why you should go: Few places beat Greenland in the natural beauty department, and it offers plenty to do, from dog sledding under the Northern Lights, to exploring glaciers, fjords, and mountains.
Slide 20 of 31: Since the country only opened its doors for tourism in 2012, Americans can't really be blamed for not visiting more often.
Slide 21 of 31: Why you should go: But now that they can, Americans should take advantage of this unexplored country. Since it's remained relatively free from outside influence, the country is as authentic as they come.
Slide 22 of 31: This EU country doesn't get as much love as its fellow Nordic countries, but it offers as much if not more.
Slide 23 of 31: Why you should go: One of Finland's advantages is that it's just as great in the winter as it is in the summertime: From the Northern Lights to its peaceful and pristine beaches, it just depends on what you're looking for.
Slide 24 of 31: Squished between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, this tiny 35,560-square-mile nation is easy to overlook. But you shouldn't.
Slide 25 of 31: Why you should go: Portugal has a long, complex history. It's one of the oldest European nation-states whose territory has been continuously settled, invaded, and fought over since prehistoric times. It established the first global empire, only to be completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. If you need more reasons, the food and wine are amazing.
Slide 26 of 31: This tiny Central American nation is often overshadowed by its northern neighbor, Mexico.
Slide 27 of 31: Why you should go: Belize offers the best from a Caribbean experience without the crowds and resorts. This is perfect for those seeking a more authentic, off-the-beaten-path beach vacation.
Slide 28 of 31: This landlocked South Asian country is protective of its culture and values. That's why its government advocates low-volume, high-quality tourism by charging visitors a daily fee, so keep that in mind. But oh, is it worth it.
Slide 29 of 31: Why you should go: Located in the Himalayas between Nepal, China, and India, this mountainous kingdom has preserved its rich cultural identity through years of isolation. Check out the Tiger's Nest (pictured) for a true Buddhist experience.
Slide 30 of 31: Central Asia is relatively unexplored by westerners. And Turkmenistan is by far the least visited of the region's "stans." This is likely due to the decades-long reign of the bizarre dictator, Saparmyrat Niyazov. However the country has been quickly modernizing since his death in 2006.
Slide 31 of 31: The nation is an ancient land of great spirituality, tradition, and natural beauty. Its most famous attraction is the Darvaza gas crater (pictured), also known as the "Door to Hell" or ''Gates of Hell." This natural gas field collapsed into an underground cavern when geologists set it on fire. It alone is worth the trip.

Places Americans don’t visit but definitely should

Cambodia

Cambodia

Tunisia

Tunisia

Bolivia

Bolivia

Cuba

Cuba

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Malaysia

Malaysia

Malawi

Malawi

Lesotho

Lesotho

Greenland

Greenland

Myanmar

Myanmar

Finland

Finland

Portugal

Portugal

Belize

Belize

Bhutan

Bhutan

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

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