Planning a summer vacation can be tricky, right? Do you stick with the same tried-and-true destinations you've loved in the past, brave the crowds on a European adventure or head somewhere with cooler weather to escape the summer heat?

If you're looking to visit a destination that's a little more under the radar in the summer months, there are plenty of incredible options to consider both here in the U.S. and abroad.

In Europe, swap out the throngs of tourists characteristic of the region's most-visited cities for charming destinations like canal-filled Hamburg, Germany, and Norway, where majestic fjords await you. Everyone seems to be going to Tokyo right now, but the northern island of Hokkaido has plenty to offer. And stateside, summer is a great time to head north to Oregon's stunning wine region, the coast of Maine or somewhere in between.

Whatever type of vacation you're looking for, these underrated destinations might just be your new summer go-to.


Landscape of a farm in the spring with white fencing.

You don't have to love horses to love the "Horse Capital of the World," which also happens to be an incredible summer destination. However, if you do love horses, Lexington, Kentucky, and the surrounding area have plenty of places where you can get an up-close look at the majestic creatures, including the Kentucky Horse Park and various horse farms.

Lexington is also big on bourbon and has a handful of must-visit distilleries in town, like James E. Pepper Distilling Co. Some well-known distilleries, such as Woodford Reserve and Maker's Mark, are also not too far away. In fact, Kentucky has its very own Bourbon Trail, so you could plan an entire vacation around visiting the distilleries across the state.

You might already know that the late Queen Elizabeth II, an avid racehorse fan, visited horse farms around Lexington multiple times. But you might not know there's a hotel outside of Lexington that's inside a literal castle and fit for royalty. Called The Kentucky Castle, the property has 18 rooms and offers tours. If you'd rather stay somewhere in the center of town, the new luxury boutique hotel called The Manchester hits all the right notes.

Next year, Lexington will celebrate its 250th anniversary, so now's the time to visit before the party gets too crowded.

Click here for the full article from The Points Guy.