20 Summer Travel Destinations Without All the Crowds

PHOTO: Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland. (photo via zhuzhu/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Holly Johnson
by Holly Johnson
Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Tue August 2, 2022

Summer Destinations Where Travelers Can Avoid Big Crowds

It's not too late to plan an epic summer getaway, but you'll be hard-pressed to find popular destinations that aren't crawling with tourists. The fact is, worldwide travel demand has been off the charts so far in 2022, and it appears there may be no end to the surge any time soon.

That said, there are plenty of travel spots to consider that are relatively free from crowds and all the hassles that come with them. Some of the best-uncrowded destinations are close to home in North America, yet others can be found in Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the globe.

If you're still looking for a way to get away but you don't want to deal with hordes of other people, you could consider heading to an isolated state like Alaska or Idaho or booking a getaway to a far-flung island off the coast of Norway or Greece. Your best bet depends on the type of trip you want to take, how much you want to spend and whether you want to see amazing sights or you just want to relax in peace and quiet on a beautiful beach.

Here are 20 travel destinations for summer that can help you enjoy your time off with fewer other tourists around to ruin the vibe.

Edisto Beach, South Carolina

Edisto Beach, South Carolina is more than an hour from a major airport, and its waterfront is filled with more single-family homes than skyrise condo buildings. As a result, visitors to Edisto Beach will find beautiful beaches with plenty of extra space as well as smaller crowds in restaurants and local attractions.

That said, the beaches in this small South Carolina town are just as gorgeous as others nearby. This means you can enjoy some rest and relaxation in a beautiful setting with fewer people around.


The island of Anguilla requires a flight to nearby St. Maarten followed by a ride on a slow ferry. This extra step, combined with the fact Anguilla is expensive to visit, keeps the bulk of regular tourists away.

Anguilla is frequently considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, so it's worth a visit. This tiny island is also home to several of the most stunning and highly-rated beaches in the world, including Mead's Bay, Rendezvous Bay and Shoal Bay East.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida is off the coast of Ft. Myers, so a visit requires some extra steps and more travel time overall. Sanibel is also much quieter than nearby destinations on the mainland, and it is known for its beautiful sunsets and abundance of beautiful shells.

If you want to enjoy Florida but you don't want to deal with loud college kids or too many screaming kids, Sanibel Island could be exactly what you're looking for.

Newfoundland, Canada

Newfoundland, Canada is sparsely populated for the most part, yet it offers some of the most beautiful and dynamic landscapes in all of North America. Visitors will find gorgeous mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes, whales galore and plenty of walking trails to keep them busy.

The best part? All the natural beauty is waiting here for you, yet you won't find as many crowds as you will in other parts of the world.

Faroe Islands, Norway

Norway's Faroe Islands can be found in the middle of the ocean in between Scotland and Iceland. This makes them somewhat difficult to reach, so many people visiting nearby destinations don't even bother.

That said, the Faroe Islands are frequently listed as some of the most beautiful islands in the world. The lush green mountain landscapes are a sight to behold, and the stone cliffs and waterfalls are worth visiting on their own.

Stratton, Vermont

Known as the birthplace of snowboarding, Stratton, Vermont offers all the beauty you would expect in this mountainous state. However, Stratton is considerably less crowded than other Vermont skiing and snowboarding destinations, and by a lot.

Also know that Stratton offers more than winter sports. Visitors can take advantage of all kinds of uncrowded attractions, including cross-country trails and a tubing park.

Molokai, Hawaii

Molokai is the least-visited of all the major islands in Hawaii, yet it's just as beautiful as other nearby destinations. Residents of the island are incredibly resistant to large-scale tourism, so they steer clear of letting cruise ships visit or adding any new brand-name hotels.

With all of this in mind, a visit to Molokai can help you enjoy Hawaii without the crowds you'll find on the island of Maui or Oahu. This will make it easier to soak in the natural beauty of Hawaii without all the hassle and stress you might otherwise encounter.


The island of Nevis is off the coast of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, and it is visited on a much smaller scale for several reasons. First, Nevis doesn't have any brand-name hotels or restaurants outside of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Second, visitors here typically have to fly into St. Kitts before taking a ferry over to the island.

Nevis is so sparsely populated that you can walk the beach for miles and find plenty of open spaces with tall grasses and roaming cows. You can even book an array of private villas on the island, which can help you enjoy paradise with utmost privacy.

Block Island, Rhode Island

Rhode Island's Block Island features 17 miles of beaches, stunning lighthouses and an endless number of paths for walking, hiking, biking and more. The ocean waters are pristine and clear, and the area is known for its fishing and sailing opportunities.

Because Block Island is an actual island off the coast of the state, it's harder to get to and considerably less crowded than other Rhode Island vacation destinations as a result. This means beachcombers and solitude seekers can book a trip here and find plenty of areas that are nearly deserted for weeks at a time.

St. Croix

The island of St. Croix is one of the less popular island destinations in the Caribbean, so it doesn't have the same kind of crowds you find in places like Aruba, the Dominican Republic and St. Thomas. In fact, St. Croix is not even crowded during the busiest travel seasons, such as over the holidays. This island is also one where you can still find plenty of beachfront villas and private homes to rent.

To enjoy some beach time on St. Croix without having to deal with all the crowds, consider visiting Grapetree Bay Beach, Salt Pond Bay or Hansen's Bay Beach.

Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Al-Ula is the country's first UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula. Frequently called the "World's Masterpiece," this ancient village in the desert features an abandoned labyrinth of streets and stunning rooms built into towering mountain bluffs.

The uncrowded region of Saudi Arabia surrounding Al-Ula is home to an array of vacation rentals and luxury hotels as well. Nearby Banyan Tree Al-Ula even offers private pool villas with one to three bedrooms, which can help you relax without anyone else around.

Want to explore Al-Ula and more of Saudi Arabia? Check out the awesome itineraries offered by Abercrombie & Kent.

Healy, Alaska

Healy, Alaska is off the beaten path in this unbelievably beautiful state, yet it's also the closest resort destination to Denali National Park and Preserve. This means you can book a stay here and head out into the wilderness, but still return home to a cozy cabin or hotel at the end of the day.

Speaking of lodging options, Healy offers an abundance of comfortable log cabins you can rent. You can even book a stay at the historic Wood River Lodge, which was originally founded in 1898 and is only reachable by plane.

Salmon, Idaho

Salmon, Idaho is in the upper northeast quarter of the state, and it's quite a drive from major tourist spots such as Boise and Missoula, Montana. This makes it ideal for enjoying the beauty of nature without all the crowds. Not only is Salmon, Idaho brimming with outdoor activities and adventure, but it is flanked by stunning mountain landscapes in every direction.

Where should you stay in Salmon? There are plenty of hotels, resorts and vacation rentals to choose from. However, a 20-minute drive to Wagonhammer RV Park can help you escape the crowds even more while enjoying some of the most stunning scenery the state has to offer.

Kefalonia, Greece

If you want to visit a Greek island but you're desperate to avoid the crowds in places like Santorini and Mykonos, consider heading to Kefalonia, Greece. This island is one of the largest and most diverse of the Greek islands, and its natural beauty is on par with other popular islands like Rhodes and Crete.

Known for its emerald-green mountains, crystal clear waters and dazzling beaches of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia offers ample opportunities for shopping, dining, hiking and watersports without the crowds and the stress.

Sumatra, Indonesia

Sumatra makes up part of the Sunda Islands off the coast of Indonesia, yet it's not visited as often as other nearby destinations like Bali or Lombok. While this island is ideal for people who want to enjoy a relaxing beach getaway, you can also visit the island to see crystal clear lakes, stately towns and villages and dormant volcanoes.

There are also myriad places to stay in Sumatra without being overwhelmed by other tourists. In fact, you can book an array of private homes and villas on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.com.

Caye Caulker, Belize

The island of Caye Caulker in Belize is fairly close to Ambergris Caye, yet it's not nearly as bustling and busy. This island requires a plane ride or ferry to visit from the mainland, and its hotels and resorts are dotted throughout the island to offer plenty of space.

If you want even more room to spread out, consider booking a stay at El Ben Cabañas. This resort sits on the north end of Caye Caulker which is barely inhabited, and you can rent a small villa that is totally separate from other rooms at the hotel.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey is known for its unique rock formations and its scenic hot air balloon rides. While this historical region of Turkey attracts tourists from all over the world, it tends to be considerably less crowded than other popular destinations such as Istanbul, Ismir and Bursa.

Aside from booking a hot air balloon ride in the area, visitors to Cappadocia can hike the rugged mountains, see historic castles and visit several open-air museums such as the Goreme Open-Air Museum and the Zelve Open-Air Museum.

Tillamook Coast, Oregon

Oregon's Tillamook Coast is known for its hiking and surfing opportunities, as well as its sprawling beaches that are often completely empty. Things to do along the Tillamook Coast of Oregon include hiking the trails, kayaking the 800+ miles of navigable waters, crabbing, clamming and fishing.

This destination also offers an array of hotels and bed-n-breakfasts you can book, and it's popular with cheese and wine lovers as well as history buffs.

Lana'i, Hawaii

The Hawaiian island of Lana'i is almost entirely owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, so you'll have to make your peace with that if you decide to visit. However, this island is considerably less touristy than nearby islands like Maui and Kauai, and there are plenty of places to soak in the beauty of the island without the crowds as a result.

If you want to enjoy Hawaiian beauty at its finest without too many people around, consider staying at the Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux. This adults-only luxury resort only has 72 suites, and it sits on 15 heavenly acres of manicured tropical gardens.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye is 50 miles long and 25 miles wide and the largest of the Inner Hebrides, yet it's not nearly as bustling as other popular tourist spots in Scotland. Known for its natural beauty, this destination features stunning mountain vistas, lush greenery in every direction and a quirky past that makes it a landmark for lovers of local history and folklore.

Visitors to the Isle of Skye will want to check out the picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles as they explore the rugged terrain. There are plenty of places to stay here too, from cozy vacation rentals to welcoming bed-n-breakfasts run by the locals.

There are plenty of travel spots to consider that are relatively free from crowds and all the hassles that come with them.

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