Why you need to go: This North African nation sits on the Mediterranean, giving it that balmy European feel that draws people to Sicily and the South of France. You can visit Tunisia for the beach alone, but you’ll stay for the rich history, Ottoman ruins, and the incredible food. In the capital of Tunis you'll find a melting pot of Arab, French, and progressive Muslim influences. The labyrinthine Old Town of Medina is teeming with markets; the New Town, chic French cafés and locals buzzing about soccer.
Why it isn't more popular: It’s had a bad rep by association since late 2010, when the Arab Spring started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Americans lump Tunisia in with its more volatile neighbors, but the country has since cooled off.