From Yellowstone to Route 66, the U.S. is home to a stunning (and varied) range of landscapes. But due to its vast size, it’s also home to plenty of hidden treasures – some of which are even more magical and jaw-dropping than those well-known attractions.
So if you’re looking to explore the lesser-known side of America, here’s where you should be heading and how to get there.
1. Valley of Fire State Park
This is best explored by motorhome as you’ll want to stop off at one of its 72 campsites so you can explore the vast 42,000-acre site (OK, so maybe not all of it!).
It’s only an hour away from Vegas but this park is incredibly removed from the hustle and bustle you’ll find in Sin City. Here you’ll find 3000-year-old images that have been hand-carved into the rock as well as sandstone formations that date back 150 million years.
You’ll also want to take in the Beehives, Elephant Rock and Arch Rock which provide you with the perfect photo opportunity.
Best time to visit?
Spring or fall because summer temperatures can skyrocket above 120 degrees!
2. Door County, Wisconsin
If you love nature and exploring, you’ll definitely love this location. With local art, coves and nature in abundance, there’s something around every corner. There are also plenty of activities on offer, including a lighthouse, golf course, nature viewing points and bike trails.
3. Pismo Beach, Florida
Want to be outdoors as much as possible on your next vacation? Then you might want to head over to Florida’s Pismo Beach which is home to scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking, tennis, bicycling, golfing and more.
And if you want to escape the hustle and bustle, you’ll also find plenty of hidden caves, coves and pools. Plus, don’t miss Pismo Pier (which is 12,200-foot long!) where you can watch the sunset fall over this stunning location.
4. Damascus, Virginia
To get to this location, you’ll need to drive (or hire your own private jet charter for an added touch of luxury). But once you’re there, you’ll enjoy plenty of peace and tranquillity.
It’s a haven for cyclists and hikers as it boasts 7 intersecting trails, including the Appalachian Trail which is a whopping 2,180 miles long. Don’t worry about fuelling your journey, though, because the locals are great at putting on big, hearty breakfasts for the tourists.
5. Estes Park, Colorado
If you fancy escaping into the mountains why not drive up to Estes Parks which is nestled in the pine forests of Estes Park. It’s home to 415 square miles of wild and rugged landscapes and boasts plenty of wildlife and ample walking routes.
It’s also where you can access Rocky Mountain National Park, where you might want to continue your adventure. However, that’s not before you’ve explored the quaint town that has a wonderfully remote feel and gorgeous Victorian Buildings. In fact, if you’ve ever seen The Shining, it’s the Stanley Hotel that inspired its author, Stephen King.