Positano. Vail. St. Tropez. Yellowstone. There’s one big problem with these vacation hot spots. Everyone knows about them. So, don’t be shocked when you turn up at your hard-won summer holiday, sun-screened and ready to de-stress, only to be assaulted by fellow vacationers jostling for your place in the sun. Crowds kill my vacation mellow. I go to great lengths to preserve the fantasy that I’m less tourist than fly on the wall, a traveler quietly savoring the charms of a place versus part of a herd trampling it.

Luckily, the world is a big place. And a pivot from popular destinations to others off the beaten track can deliver an equally satisfying experience. Even in the throes of peak season. Here, trendy summer getaways are paired with alternative, less-trafficked spots that echo allure and offer similar recreation.

This story ran in The New York Times on 6/24/17