Summer won’t last forever, so it’s a good time to get out there and start discovering brand new things!

Hard to believe that we’ve reached the point of summer when schools, at least in some areas, are starting up again. So, before our prime vacation days are totally behind us, we thought we might point out a few destinations that—while perfectly wonderful on their own—are either overshadowed by more visible cities and attractions in the area, deliver something different than what visitors expect, or are just plain overlooked.

That doesn’t mean that these locations lack appeal. On the contrary, many of them are very appealing, and the excitement of discovering them for the first time may add to their allure. See if you agree.

Kyrgyzstan. This is one of those countries that gets confused with other countries that were born in the aftermath of the Soviet Union. Their names tend to sound alike, which adds to the confusion, but we’ll have you know that the land-locked country of Kyrgyzstan, surrounded by two mountain ranges, is known as “The Switzerland of Central Asia.” Kyrgyzstan offers breathtaking mountain landscapes, nomadic culture, and outdoor adventures like trekking, horseback riding, and skiing.

Oaxaca, Mexico. Okay, we get it. Put together “vacation” and “Mexico” and you think something like Cancun or Mexico City. But Oaxaca, in the southern part of the country, while not at the top of the travel tip list, may be the most colorful Mexican city of all. The state is known for its vibrant (understatement) indigenous culture, delicious cuisine, and colorful, immersive festivals. The city of Oaxaca itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to stunning colonial architecture from centuries past. It Just might be the best place to celebrate Día de los Muertos, too.

Kotor, Montenegro. If you have an interest in Medieval Times (no, not that Medieval Times!), you can avoid the crowded, often expensive tours of castles, walls, etc. in high profile European countries. Just travel to this city on the shores of the Adriatic Sea (with beaches!). Like Oaxaca, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a different cultural slant. A well-preserved 12th century church, medieval buildings, and cobblestone streets are all worth visiting, but the city wall—which stretches 4.5 kilometers and features forts, towers, and gates—is the real star here.

John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park. ‘Way down among the Florida Keys, this park is the first of its kind in the United States. Established to protect and preserve a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental U.S., the park offers snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and glass-bottom boat tours. Visitors can explore technicolor reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps, which provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The park is also home to the famous Christ of the Abyss, an underwater statue located near Dry Rocks.

Treasure Hunt: the Ride. If you ever come out to visit SSCS Headquarters in Salinas, you should know that it’s only a short drive to the Monterey Peninsula where an old high profile tourist attraction, Cannery Row, just opened its own theme park-style dark ride. The attraction is anything but high profile—all the action runs underneath the city, making it the most “underground” of the attractions we’ve covered. Called Treasure Hunt: the Ride, it is tied into the local history of the Monterey Bay, and features animatronic and digital pirates, treasures, ghosts, and we can only guess what else.

Hopefully, these attractions will inspire you to make some vacation plans. Just know that when you’re on the road, there will be no shortage of welcoming convenience stores and gas stations there to greet you—never overlooked and always of service. SSCS is honored to provide software to the stores that are such an integral part of everyone else’s down time. Happy travelling!