Okay, you’ve narrowed down the wish list and North America is your next destination.
But where to go?
Sure, cities like New York, Vegas and Toronto deserve the super-sized praise they receive from travellers, but have you thought about some of the lesser-visited cities in Canada and USA?
Here are 5 of Intrepid's favourite cities that often fly under the tourist radar and prove that bigger isn’t always better…
A small slice of old-world Europe in a rocky east corner of Canada, Quebec City is gasp-worthy beautiful. Whether a snow-filled playground in the winter or a non-stop street festival in the summer, this French-speaking city doles out European-style architecture, elegant cafes, refined cuisine and sophisticated style in spades.
Worth a visit? Ah oui!
Home to (a lot of) bourbon, the Derby Races and more Victorian buildings than you can poke a stick at, Louisville is a right southern gem. Move from the stately architecture of Old Louisville into the burgeoning indie-scene of Bardstown Rd, and mix it up in all the neighbourhoods in-between.
If you’re in the city on the first or last Friday of the month, grab some mates and join locals for a Trolley Hop - it’s a brilliant (and free) way to check out the city’s galleries, restaurants and shops.
Drop dead gorgeous. Well, the location is - how could it not be given it’s nestled between water and mountains? And the people are the most interesting you’re likely to meet - friendly, warm and with that pleasing touch of odd. And if you come to explore Alaska, it’s not for the big city vibes but for the outdoors - and what outdoors you’ll get. Just don’t go near the moose. Seriously, keep well away!
This might be the second most populous city in California, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it with the stunning curved bay setting and its easygoing atmosphere. Major attractions include Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo and the golden beaches of Mission Bay. In the evening, you can head down to the Old Town, which was founded in 1824. Being so near the border, you are guaranteed to find the best Mexican feast for dinner.
Self-proclaimed as the ‘live music capital of the world’, Austin is one of the best cities in the country to catch a live band at one of the many honky tonks on offer. There is a multitude of places to kick up your heels, from Coyote Ugly style bars to authentic Texan honky tonks such as The Mean Eyed Cat. By day you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied as well, with seven world-class museums, the expansive University of Texas and great shopping malls. Within a few walkable blocks of the CBD you can enjoy stretching your legs or kayaking at the Lady Bird Lake and bike trail.