My boyfriend recently moved to Houston, TX. and I've been lucky enough to get to go explore and new place now! Houston is the 4th largest city in America but it does not at all seem like a touristy place like the top 3 do. We all know that Austin is Houston's cooler, more hip sister, but give Houston a chance!
New Orleans, LA
There is absolutely nowhere else like New Orleans. No other city in the U.S. has as half as much personality or culture. New Orleans is everything you think it's going to be, but also so much more. I know you have probably had loved ones telling you to beware of walking around New Orleans, but you can safely have fun.
As a native of Tennessee, it's been wild to see Nashville's growth. But I don't blame those dying to visit, it is a cool place! I'm sure you've seen the mural of the wings and the "I Believe In Nashville" wall, but there's even more to Nashville outside of 12 South and Broadway. Though, if you're not from the south then you definitely should save a night to go out to the honkeytonks regardless of them being touristy. Let me share some Nashville hidden gems with you!
Do you want to look more well traveled than you are? I know what it's like to crave international travel but be confined by being a full time student, your job, or anything else. That's why I think little adventures are so important, you can manage to take simple place and make it seem exciting to visit. This also helps with deeper appreciation of what is around you and what seemingly less cool places have to offer. Including wherever you call home! We so often forget to be tourists in our own city.
Charleston & Hilton Head, SC
I am combining these two since they are so close together anyway. Hilton Head Island is where my family goes every year for our beach trip since it is a sweet, fun, family friendly beach.
Charleston, SC is an absolute gem of the south. The cobble stone streets, beautiful buildings, vibrant homes, and all the history they've kept. The horse drawn carriages are problematic though, those poor sweet horses should be free so don't go on those actually. Enjoy the rest though!