The thought of losing yourself in the heart of Mother Nature’s mind-boggling paradise excites you, doesn’t it? You’re not the only one. Hundreds and thousands of like-minded individuals drool at the thought of jet-setting to far-off lands. Maybe you’re planning a trip to another country, but if you live in the States, take a couple of moments to sit down and ponder on the fact that your own nation is one of the prettiest places to travel.
Many people do not consider the US when planning a trip. It’s probably because they think they have seen everything. However, you'll find more than a few hidden gems spread throughout the United States that are often unnoticed. So, let’s explore some unique places that aren’t crowded and budget-friendly.
Here are a few lesser-known, almost-invisible destinations that appeal to travelers in search of something different from their ventures. Many of these places feature various levels of accommodation, from camping to luxurious hotels. Despite remaining under the radar, these places may become your new favorite destinations in America.
1. North Shore, Minnesota
The first destination on this list is North Shore, Minnesota. This place appeals to those who love state parks, waterfalls, lakes, and romantic A-Frame cabins. Located in Cook County, North Shore got its name because of the sprawling shores of Lake Superior, also recognized as the turning tip of Northern Minnesota.
If you love the outdoors, there are a few hiking trails you can meander through at the Tettegouche State Park. You can try one or two of these or hike to the tallest waterfalls in Minnesota at Judge C.R. Magney State Park and camp under the stars at Gooseberry Falls State Park.
North Shore will be an excellent choice if you’re looking to go on a road trip. You’ll head down winding roads and run into many lookout points and state parks.
2. Ausable Chasm, New York
A “hidden gem" in every sense of the phrase, the Ausable Chasm is also one of the natural wonders in Western New York. While the city hoards all the state’s glory, this location steals most of the hearts and minds of people who see it. Ausable Chasm is about five hours to the northwest of New York, so it is unsuitable for day trips. However, if you start down the hiking trails, you’ll realize sooner than later why it’s special.
Located on the opposite side of Lake Champlain, it’s a naturally created river from a waterfall - basically a smaller version of Niagara Falls. You’ll also find three different trails within the chasm: tubing, rappelling, rock climbing, and lantern trails.
Go to the main building to book tours in a jiffy! You can also stay in one of the cabins behind the entry gate. This rustic destination is perfect for a weekend getaway and outdoor adventurers. Ausable Chasm takes camping to a whole new level since you can see the gorge from multiple angles.
3. Anna Maria Island, Florida
Do you want to live the life of a romance novel character or experience what a TV show set in a beach town is like? Go to Anna Maria Island! It’s an island that acts like a barrier facing West on the Gulf Coast, Florida. Anna Maria Island is a scenic spot renowned for its beaches and shopping.
Anna Maria, on the namesake island, is a small resort town situated about 45 minutes east of Tampa and 30 minutes south of Sarasota. The turquoise green-blue waters and white sand beaches will give you Caribbean vibes.
Don’t throw in a fit if a manatee bumps into you at some locations. After all, it’s Manatee County! All the beach houses are available for rent, and restaurants offer fine dining options inside fully furnished buildings or shacks. So, fine dining won’t be a problem. Stroll down the street barefoot if you like and reach the paddleboard rental booth. You’ll be sure to fit in, just like a resident.
4. Willamette National Forest, Oregon
The Oregon Coast is a lovely spot for anyone willing to explore the United States. Go to Blue River, Oregon, to the Willamette National Forest - a part of the Cascade Range. The woods stretch over 110 miles long and occupy 1,675,407 acres.
Follow the rivers to witness three waterfalls when hiking. One of them is the second-tallest waterfall in the entire state. In fact, NASA has used some of the rocks resembling lava rocks on the hiking trails for training purposes as they match the ones on the moon.
You’ll find over 70 different camping sites along the national forest, which are suitable for outdoorsy travelers, and the dry landscape has enough history to offer as the waterfalls. More than a dozen conifer trees stand tall in this forest, and over 300 fish and wildlife species claim the lands and waters.
5. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona happens to be one of the best-kept secrets of Arizona, and it’s right in the heart of red rock country. Just like Sedona, there are many other hidden vacation spots in the Southwest, featuring winding roads that bring you to towering red rocks, canyons, and desert landscapes. Sedona is situated about 2 hours south of the Grand Canyon. It’s the best place to stay when exploring everything Arizona has to offer.
Indulge in numerous outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking on mountain trails, horseback riding, and driving ATVs. You’ll have enough in your hands to keep you busy. Do you want to know the history of Sedona? Just visit the Sedona Heritage Museum or tour the red rocks in a Jeep.
If the outdoors is not you thing or you want to relax after all the activities, there are plenty of resorts and spas. Also, enjoy the views from your hotel room or participate in a wine tasting at one of the many vineyards and wineries in the location.
6. Door County, Wisconsin
Visit Door County if you choose the Midwest region as your destination. To some people, this part of Wisconsin never ceases to incite amazement. The entire area exudes the vibes of a small town with more access to resort-town elements not found anywhere else in the Midwest.
This destination is one of the best places for tourists in Wisconsin. In fact, it’s known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. It’s a 64-mile peninsula that offers incredible views of Lake Michigan.
Door County is also popular for wine, cherries, and apples. If you plan your trip in August, and if you’re a fan of good music, you should definitely check out "Cheeseheads! The Musical" event. Don’t forget to visit the renowned von Stiehl Winery in Algoma. Also, check out the famous fish boil at Pelletier’s Restaurant & Fish Boil in Fish Creek.
7. Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country is full of hidden activities and picturesque natural beauty. Understandably, it’s one of the best-hidden vacation spots in the nation. Hill Country is in Central and South Texas, comprising the Southeastern zones of the Edwards Plateau. This place isn’t entirely to the Southwest. Instead, it’s considered to be in between the border areas of the country.
Hill Country is full of locally-owned eateries that people sing praises of, such as Der Lindenbaum and Redbud Cafe & Pub. Also, this location is close to San Antonio, which makes it a perfect family vacation destination.
You’ll encounter whole fields covered by Lavender and a Lavender Festival in Blanco. If you plan your trip at the end of August, you can watch or even participate in rodeos, parade on main, dance & car show between the 11th and 12th. Again, between September 1st and 3rd, you can satisfy your love for music with the Western Heritage Music Festival.
Gardening and stargazing are among the most popular activities to participate in. Apart from that, Topaz is found by the dozen here, even in the dirt. In short, you can literally find hidden gems spread throughout Texas Hill Country.
8. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
The Devil’s Tower is a divine national monument in Wyoming. This monument is unlike any other in the United States, as it’s a massive rock conglomerate standing 1,267 feet tall above the Belle Fourche River. The local Native American tribes call it Bear Lodge - the world’s most significant example of columnar jointing.
There are several other canyons and parks, including Bighorn Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and Badlands National Park, close to this natural wonder. Road-trippers should take a detour towards the Southwest to stop at Yellowstone National Park after exploring this awe-inspiring landmark.
9. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
One location, four different terrains. That’s what the Great Sand Dunes National Park is all about! Here you will find dunes, creeks, mountains, and forests. There isn’t any other destination in the country where tourists can enjoy as many vistas as the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. The pictures of this place can be misleading because some of the dunes are as large as mountains. As a result, the images may appear almost fake.
Participate in outdoor activities like hiking, sand sledding, swimming in Medano Creek, camping, and riding 4WD vehicles through the trails. Close to this park are waterfalls and ranches for you to stay. Just imagine staying on a ranch in Colorado and visiting some of the largest rolling dunes you’ve ever seen!
Then, walk through the national park or swim in the creek below the waterfall. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, sandboard down a small dune. Stargazing is an option for those with a cosmic fantasy before retreating to the ranch for the night. To many, this place may be one of the best, underrated vacation spots.
10. Channel Islands National Park, California
Five sensational islands off the West Coast make up the Channel Islands National Park. It’s one of the most stellar national parks in the nation and probably has the largest population of seals.
The national park is close to Los Angeles. Despite that fact, it’s the second least visited national park in all of California and also one of the most underrated national parks in America.
These islands in the Pacific include Santa Cruz Island, Anacapa Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island, and Santa Barbara Island. The best activities to indulge in at the Channel Islands National Park are snorkeling, kayaking, and seeing seals at Point Bennett on San Miguel. It’s this marine sanctuary that attracts nature and animal lovers from all across the United States to this place.
These islands provide refuge to various flora and fauna, including some found nowhere else on Earth. Channel Islands National Park is also where you’ll witness more prehistoric sites than anywhere else in North America. So, if you’re looking for a destination to run away from it all, this is where you should go!
For all wayfarers
This list is an ode to all vagabonds, rovers, and roadies residing in America. If you have an itch for wanderlust that needs scratching, this list of places to visit should suffice. Before we take off to these wonderful locations, you want to take some safety measures for there may be some obstacles waiting ahead in your adventure.
Vyncs can be the perfect partner for road-trippers. This car GPS tracker can help them out of a jam if their vehicles break down in the middle of nowhere. Travelers can also pinpoint every flaw under the hood before setting out and get them repaired on time. If a group of teens choose to drive to one of these spots, their parents can monitor them for their safety using the geofencing capability of Vyncs. You know what they say, better be safe than sorry.
5) https://www.attractionsofamerica.com/travel/most-beautiful-hidden-gems-usa.php /