Once in a lifetime

Five Of America's Most Overlooked Cities

Think of the USA and what do you see? Perhaps the gleaming towers of Manhattan, the luxurious homes of Hollywood or a stretch of palm beaches above a stunning Florida beach.
But there is much more to this vast nation than these established locations. America offers some of the world's most breathtaking natural scenery, a limitless array of culture and a surprisingly diverse variety of natural and man-made monuments.
Here we explore the top five most overlooked US cities, all of which emit a distinctive, vibrant charm that many oversees visitors, and indeed Americans, have yet to discover.

  • Portland, Oregon
Portland Oregon

Greener than LA, more relaxed than the Big Apple, Portland's pleasant climate rewards it with a lush, vivid landscape that's ideal for growing roses. Indeed, the city is colloquially known as Rose City and is also regarded as one of the most eco-friendly built-up locations on Earth.
Portland's attractiveness can be witnessed in varied ways, from the architectural clout of the Hawthorne Bridge over the Willamette River to the Portland Art Museum, a leading US institution with 42,000 exhibits and an impressive Native American art centre.

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio

Lots don't realise that this exciting Ohio city hosts some of the world's finest Italianate architecture. Over-the-Rhine, a cultural hub north of downtown, was once known as the 'Paris of America' and is home to a selection of awe-inspiring architectural sites, including the luxury Cincinnatian Hotel, the Music Hall and the Shillito department outlet.
Cincinnati was also a hotspot for German immigration towards the end of the 19th century. The Over-the-Rhine district is included on the United States' Register of Historic Places - similar neighbourhoods are found in New York, Munich and Vienna.

  • Charleston, South Carolina

Flamboyant homes, a sub-tropical climate and a collection of impeccably-clean sandy beaches make Charleston a fantastic and unspoiled holiday destination. The city boasts an important colonial past as well as a fast-growing travel industry, trendy hotels, award-winning eateries and popular shopping malls.
AmercianStyle Magazine named Charleston one of America's top 25 arts destinations; a recognition exemplified by its large number of museums, including Charleston Museum, America's oldest. The Powder Magazine, a gunpowder museum, opened in 1713, while the Exchange and Provost, a dungeon from 1767, once housed signers of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Sacramento, California

California travel guides will place an emphasis on Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Sacramento is an important national cultural centre and is therefore not completely overlooked. The California State Railroad Museum is the US's biggest railroad museum, while the Crocker Art Museum, one of the first art museums stateside, features a stunning new 129,791 sq ft addition.
The beautiful California Delta, a large 1,000-mile waterway to the south of the city, offers a taste of authentic California and is the perfect attraction for a hot summer's day.

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Stunning mountainscapes offer the perfect background to Utah's thriving state capital. The Family History Library, the largest genealogical information centre in the world and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a diverse and internationally renowned cultural venue, are just two examples of its impressive cultural highlights.
Many visitors travel to Salt Lake City to discover its revered natural attractions close by. From the Big Cottonwood Canyon, a beautiful, lush wilderness, to the Great Salt Lake, a natural phenomenon with a lunar quality, Salt Lake City is the ideal gateway from where to roam many of the US's grandest landscapes.
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