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These are the most underrated places in the US to visit

West Virginia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts top the list of the most “underrated” states Americans would like to visit.

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Scenic Road among green hills in New Zealand.
(High fliers via shuterstock)

Three in four Americans are stuck in their ways and always go on vacation to the same kinds of places, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 adults looked at their willingness to step outside of their vacation comfort zone and found that northeasterners are the least likely to stray from their favorite kinds of vacation destinations.

Still, those who have revisited a vacation destination (68%) shared that they prefer to incorporate new experiences and sights at these comfortable destinations (55%).

Some are willing to change up their whole vacation pattern, with 78% saying that they’re likely to take a chance on visiting an entirely new destination.

And nearly three in four agree that those who aren’t willing to try somewhere new are missing out (73%) since vacations are a chance to do things outside of your comfort zone (74%).

Conducted by OnePoll for the West Virginia Department of Tourism for World Tourism Day, the survey found that of the 62% of people who have visited somewhere they didn’t think they would enjoy, a whopping 89% ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Similarly, two in three have chosen a vacation destination based on a recommendation from family or friends and have almost always ended up enjoying it (92%). This may be why 79% agree that it’s important not to judge a vacation spot before you’ve been there yourself.

Respondents recalled some of the most unique spots they’ve visited on vacation like “a cute small town with big mountains surrounding it,” “the National Harbor” or “Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia.”

When it comes to the most “underrated” states they’d like to visit, West Virginia (37%), Rhode Island (31%) and Massachusetts (31%) came out on top.

“There are so many gems to see out there, especially in the underrated states," said West Virginia Tourism secretary Chelsea Ruby. "When travelers take a chance on visiting these areas and exploring sites like underrated national parks, charming mountain towns and cascading waterfalls, they may easily find what they've been searching for."

According to the survey, the best vacation activities include spending some time relaxing (46%) or trying new food (42%).

Northeastern respondents are the most likely to enjoy adventurous activities on vacation (36%), while midwesterners have a preference for making the most of their hotel/resort (41%).

Other respondents view vacations as an educational experience, with 37% saying they enjoy learning about the history/culture of a destination and another 32% agreeing they look forward to exploring lesser-known parts of the area.

And to make sure they get the most out of their time, people are as likely to wake up early and go to bed late on vacation (78%).

Millennials (61%) lead the respondents who usually create a detailed itinerary (54%), but most confessed that creating an itinerary limits what you can do with your time.

Additionally, a majority of those who make itineraries admitted that when they’ve strayed from it, they had a better time than they could have imagined (80%).

"Traveling isn’t always about sticking to a set schedule – whether you’re craving world-class outdoor adventures, undiscovered spots or relaxation in charming small towns, there's an itinerary for all travelers alike,” Ruby said. "For a new experience, take a chance on the unexpected destination because you may end up being surprised at what you experience and see along the way."

“UNDERRATED” STATES PEOPLE WANT TO VACATION TO

  1. West Virginia – 37%
  2. Rhode Island – 31%
  3. Massachusetts – 31%
  4. Mississippi – 30%
  5. Delaware – 27%

“UNDERRATED” US VACATION SPOTS PEOPLE WANT TO VISIT

  1. Savannah, Georgia – 35%
  2. St. Petersburg, Florida – 33%
  3. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia – 32%
  4. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska – 31%
  5. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York – 30%

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