Travelers often find themselves on the path most traveled because – amid the brush and bramble of advertisements, trend pieces, and travel magazine features – it's the only passage they can imagine. And that's fine: Popular destinations tend to be popular for a reason. That said, there is a singular joy in trying something different.
To encourage travelers looking to take a chance, we've compiled a list of places they can skip in 2014 and found the places they ought to go instead. Going to Vail is not (and never will be) a mistake, but there are other adventures out there.
Don't go to Portland, Oregon.
Portland, Oregon, is far from played out, but that 'Portlandia' bit can be a little much. Take the overtly hip factor down a few notches, without sacrificing any of the artistic vibe and restaurant-microbrew hedonism, with a visit instead to Asheville, North Carolina. Like Portland, there's a lot going on here in the craft beer department. But, even more exciting, is the recent rise in local cideries. The best of the bunch is Urban Orchard Cider Co., which opened in late 2013 in West Asheville. Have a few drinks, then rent a bike to check out the galleries in the revitalized River Arts District. And remember to fill your tank along the way at Wedge Brewing Company, where pints are paired with bands, and White Duck Taco Shop, where fusion meets finger food. Add to all that, standup paddleboarding on the French Broad River and hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you've got a very long, satisfying weekend.
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