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7 Under-The-Radar U.S. Spots To Turn Your Hobby Into A Vacation

11/22/2017 09:03 am ET Updated Nov 22, 2017

The holidays are right around the corner, and what better way to spend them than to indulge in activities that bring you joy?

For many travelers, the perfect getaway not only allows you to relax, but also to pursue your hobbies away from home. To help you find the ideal spot, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, dug into its data to create a list of lesser known travel destinations within the U.S. that are perfect for a range of interests.

1. Wild swimming in Crystal River, Florida

If one of your hobbies includes swimming in natural water, then pack your bags and head to Crystal River, located on the west coast of the Sunshine State. It’s one of the only places in the world where visitors can swim with wild manatees.

Where to stay: Plantation on Crystal River is a 232-acre resort located less than a 5-minute drive from the Swim with Manatees. It boasts a 27-hole championship golf course, four on-site restaurants, and an Aveda spa and salon. Guests can also take scuba diving lessons to snorkel with manatees.

2. Cycling in Davis, California

Whether cycling is a matter of fitness or a matter of leisure for you, cycling fanatics of all abilities should bike their way to Davis, California. One of the most bicycle friendly cities in the U.S., with an extensive network of bike lanes, bike paths, grade-separated bicycle crossings and flat terrain, it’s also home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

Where to stay: The Hallmark Inn UC Davis is a centrally located boutique hotel that offers bicycle hire, so guests can feel like a local while enjoying Davis’ extensive bike network.

3. Live music in Indio, California

Indio, California should be on the bucket list of any serious music fan. Nicknamed the “City of Festivals,” it hosts various cultural and musical events every year, most notably Coachella.

Where to stay: WorldMark Indio is an aparthotel located just six short miles from Coachella Valley and offers an outdoor pool and on-site spa services. Each apartment features a full kitchen, BBQ facilities, cable TV and a DVD player. The air-conditioned units also include a washer and tumble dryer.

4. History in Appomattox, Virginia

For history buffs, a trip to Appomattox, Virginia is a must. It is best known as the location where the confederate army surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, ending the American Civil War and marking an important moment of history and the beginning of peace and reunion. Travelers to Appomattox can explore a restored historic village to better understand the history of this important moment in time.

Where to stay: Located a short drive from The American Civil War Museum and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the Appomattox Inn and Suites offers travelers a comfortable accommodation with a seasonal outdoor pool, fitness center and on-site bar.

5. Nightlife in Addison, Texas

Located to the immediate north of the city of Dallas, Addison is known for its abundance of restaurants and nightlife. Within a very small radius, travelers can be treated to various Irish and English pubs, classy wine bars, lively American restaurants, fine dining restaurants, dueling piano bars, nightclubs and more!

Where to stay: Centrally located, The Staybridge Suites offers all-suite accommodations furnished with full kitchens, a 24-hour fitness center, a complimentary breakfast buffet, outdoor BBQ facilities and a spacious outdoor pool. As a bonus, The Staybridge Suites offers free area transfers, perfect for a night out on the town!

6. Culture in New Haven, Connecticut

If you consider yourself a culture vulture, you’ll be in good company on a visit to New Haven, Connecticut, home to the Ivy League Yale University. New Haven also offers an eclectic mix of ethnic restaurants, an active theater and film community, a variety of museums, music festivals and more!

Where to stay: New Haven Village Suites is an all-suite hotel located just within walking distance to Yale University, Prospect Gardens and the beach. It’s also located just under two miles from live performances at the Shubert Theatre, which was built in 1914.

7. Gourmet food in Lafayette, Louisiana

Always known as the capital of Cajun country, Lafayette has recently experienced what many are calling a gastronomic resurgence. Foodies should not miss the opportunity to try one of the many culinary delights that Lafayette has to offer.

Where to stay: Mouton Plantation is a historic, family-run bed and breakfast located just half a mile from downtown Lafayette. It offers nightly events and a cocktail hour, as well as a silver service gourmet breakfast. Bon appetit!

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