10 Best "Off-the-Beaten-Path" Travel Destinations, New Data Shows

American Express Travel shared their 2024 report with 10 new destinations.

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by American Express Travel found that 89 percent of respondents want to travel to destinations they've never visited before—which is why their 2024 Trending Destinations list bypasses typical vacation spots and ranks the best off-the-beaten-path trips instead. Whether that's a historic European city, a tropical Indian Ocean beach, or an Australian rural retreat, these locales offer a less touristy alternative to some of the world's most visited places.

To arrive at their list, the company looked at American Express card member bookings and expertise from their team of 7,000 travel consultants. Keep reading to learn about the 10 best (in no particular order) off-the-beathen-path travel destinations, so you can decide which will make it onto your bucket list.

RELATED: The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Visit If You Love Old Houses.

1
Adelaide Hills, Australia

Adelaide Hills Australia
kwest/Shutterstock

If you like Australia's Blue Mountains.

Adelaide Hills, located just outside the city of Adelaide, is a delightful wine region that's filled with small villages and exciting culinary treats.

According to the Amex travel report, "This stunning South Australian region produces some of the continent's finest cool-climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays."

In addition to exploring the various vineyards, you can hike up Mt. Lofty, where you might catch a glimpse of a koala in the wild. You can also check out the historic German settlements, outdoor cafes, and craft shops.

2
Bodrum, Turkey

Bodrum Turkey
Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

If you like Istanbul, Turkey.

Amex Travel refers to Bodrum as "Little Istanbul" since it only has a population of 50,000, compared to the 15.4 million of the larger city. But its smaller population doesn't mean it's lacking in culture.

Bodrum is a port city on the Aegean Sea, so it's full of fresh seafood and white-sand beaches. "And no visit is complete until you've hired a traditional wooden sailboat, or gulet, for blissful hours of sunbathing and swimming surrounded by the sea on all sides," says Amex.

You can also enjoy buzzy bazaars, all-night discos, and Turkish wines.

RELATED: 10 Most Beautiful Blue Water Destinations in the U.S.

3
Niseko, Japan

Niseko Japan
cjmac/Shutterstock

If you like Sapporo, Japan.

Niseko, Japan is a destination for anyone who loves hitting the slopes. Thanks to over 2,000 acres of skiable land, there are options for every skill level, from beginner to advanced.

There are four ski resorts to choose from, which "might be the only ones known for dining," notes Amex Travel. They'll be serving up delicacies including king crab and sea urchin, as well as local beers and Japanese whiskies.

Amex also recommends taking "a soak in the traditional hot-spring-fed baths known as onsen," as well as riding in one of the "gondolas and hooded chairlifts."

4
Porto Cervo, Italy

Porto Cervo Italy
Vlas Telino studio/Shutterstock

If you like the Amalfi Coast.

On the island of Sardinia, Porto Cervo presents a more relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Amalfi Coast. "Situated midway between Europe and North Africa, it has a rugged landscape of Mediterranean scrub, gnarled junipers, and rocky coastlines overlooking turquoise-green waters," explains Amex Travel.

Grande Prevero or Principe beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun, but you can also hire a boat to explore the tinier inlets and coves you might miss otherwise.

In Porto Cervo, you'll find designer boutiques, ruins from the Bronze Age, and delicious local cuisine like handmade pasta and fresh sardines.

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5
St. Kitts and Nevis

A view of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts
iStock

If you like the U.S. Virgin Islands.

St. Kitts and Nevis, just a quick ferry ride away from each other, have all the ingredients for a great Caribbean vacation. St. Kitts is more built up, while Nevis is better known for its natural beauty.

Nevis also offers more in the way of history, as it's the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton and has an entire museum devoted to him.

On St. Kitts, go on a rainforest hike, relax on the beach, or indulge at one of the oceanfront bars and restaurants serving cuisine with French, Indian, and Caribbean influences.

6
San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

San Miguel De Allende
Rubi Rodriguez Martinez/Shutterstock

If you like Riviera Maya, Mexico.

San Miguel De Allende, Mexico was reborn as an artist colony in the 20th century. With colonial Spanish architecture, numerous craft shops, and various art workshops, Amex Travel calls it one of the world's most colorful and stimulating cities.

"Alongside the many art galleries are some quirky and engaging theme museums: La Esquina is devoted to toys, for example, while Another Face of Mexico focuses on ceremonial masks," adds Amex.

And don't miss one of the city's most famous landmarks, Parroquia San Miguel Arcangel, a pink, gothic church that's surrounded by parks and gardens.

RELATED: 10 Most Relaxing Tourist Attractions in the World, New Study Reveals.

7
Santa Fe, New Mexico

cityscape photo of Santa Fe, New Mexico at dusk
Shutterstock

If you like Sedona, Arizona.

Santa Fe, New Mexico stands out as the only U.S. destination on the list. "The city's distinctive adobe Pueblo-style architecture forms a picturesque backdrop that has long inspired artists, writers, and creatives from around the world," says Amex Travel.

The Museum of International Folk Art has the largest collection of folk art in the world, and the unique culinary scene offers a chance to try dishes cooked with New Mexico's signature Hatch green chiles.

8
Seychelles

Seychelles
fokke baarssen/Shutterstock

If you like the Maldives.

Seychelles is an Indian Ocean archipelago comprised of 115 different islands.

"The crystal waters and white-sand beaches here are among the world's best, especially for honeymoons and other romantic getaways," writes Amex. "But with its rainforest hikes and many nature reserves, the Seychelles are great for adventure and family travel, too."

The islands are full of native animal species, including a subspecies of giant tortoises that can reach up to 550 pounds. And with influences from Asia, Europe, and East Africa, you won't want to miss the local cuisine.

RELATED: The 10 Best Off-the-Radar Winter Destinations in the U.S.

9
Udaipur, India

Udaipur India
AshishTheTraveler/Shutterstock

If you like Agra, India.

Udaipur is best known for its sparkling lakes and palaces. "The biggest single attraction of 'the white city' is its main palace complex, a granite-and-marble riot of cupolas and balconies that looks like something out of an exotic fairytale," says Amex Travel.

In addition to the magnificent architecture, the city is renowned for its handicrafts, from jewelry and clothing to furniture and art.

10
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt Switzerland
Pritesh R Patel/Shutterstock

If you like the Dolomites, Italy.

Like Niseko, Zermatt, Switzerland is the perfect skiing destination, as it's home to the iconic Matterhorn mountain.

But it also has a unique, old-fashioned charm. As Zermatt is car-free, people get around by walking, electric taxis, or buses. And businesses in town have been run by the same families for generations.

There's also plenty to eat here. "Its restaurants take signature Swiss dishes like raclette and fondue seriously," says Amex Travel. "Some of Zermatt's best spots for meals, hot cocoa, and end-of-day Champagne are on-mountain, essentially allowing you to ski or ride right up to the door."

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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