As we begin to put our 2024 vacation plans together, a recent survey revealed 91% of Americans plan to travel domestically this year, and four in 10 (40%) plan to travel more than they did in 2023. Keen to escape the crowds and discover serenity in somewhere beautiful, unique, the hidden gems and the unknown? We got you. 

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Utilizing a list of the most beautiful places in the States and using Instagram to find those with the lowest number of location tags, was able to uncover some of the USA’s best hidden gems.

15 must-visit hidden gems in the U.S. you never knew about

Out of the most beautiful places to visit in the States, can reveal that Thor’s Well, Oregon is the best hidden gem, with only 15,300 location tags. The natural phenomenon is situated in the tiny town of Yachats, and said to be around 20 feet in depth, but appears to be a ‘bottomless’ drain for the surrounding sea. It is noted by experts that the hole is “most spectacular at high tide”.

Ranking second with only 18,000 location tags on Instagram is Skagit Valley, Washington. Considered as one of America’s most beautiful farmlands, it serves the most picturesque colorful tulip fields you could dream of – perfect Insta-envy for your followers. Who needs the tulip fields in Holland when it’s already on your doorstep!

In third place is the Palouse with 22,300 location tags on Instagram. The magnificent rolling hills encompass parts of north central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and parts of northeast Oregon. Research suggests the hills were formed over tens of thousands of years from windblown dust and silt, called ‘loess’.

Taking the fourth spot for hidden gems to visit this year is Arizona’s The Wave. As far as breathtaking views go, it doesn’t get better than The Wave’s colorful sandstone rock formation. With only 24,900 tags on Instagram, The Wave is incredibly exclusive – to protect the formation’s fragile nature and provide a quality experience, the Bureau of Land Management has long capped the number of daily permits. Prior to 2022, only 20 permits (one permit per individual) were granted per day. 

With 30,400 Instagram location tags, the fifth hidden gem to visit in 2024 is California’s Monterey County. Not only is Monterey County home to the most picture-perfect waters, but the Bixby Creek Bridge, built in 1932, is one of the most iconic structures on the California coast.