We all know that the United States covers a vast territory, with so many different types of landscapes and climates that it could very well be several different countries. Why is it then that when we travel, we seem to go to the same overrun tourist destinations that we have probably visited many times before. It is time to tap into the adventure of some of the first U.S. explorers or capture the spirit of the good old days with long road trips to out-of-the way sites. Will your trip to a virtually undisturbed national park top that ski vacation you take with your buddies every year? Probably. Some hidden destinations are also not too far away from major tourist hubs, so you can easily drop in for some mainstream sightseeing while enjoying your vacation hideaway.
Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee
Leiper’s Fork has got to be one of the most unusual small towns in America. There you will find a few general stores that could easily be taken straight from the early twentieth-century. You will also find quaint restaurants with home-cooked Southern cuisine and regular evenings of bluegrass music under the moon. This rural oasis is tucked away in horse country, with a small Tennessee wilderness around it. During autumn months, it is colorful with a beautiful display of leaves and plenty of pumpkin patches to explore. You will also find high-end art galleries and luxury shops–and the homes of Nicole Kidman and Robert Plant, to name a few. This town has become a haven for celebrities because of its rural appeal and proximity to the recording industry in Nashville, which, by the way, you can visit with a thirty-minute, scenic drive.
St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska
If you are a nature lover, St Elias National Park and Preserve will feel like paradise for you. This wild, untamed region in Alaska is as big as nine states put together and represents the largest area maintained by the U.S. National Park Service. As can be expected with an area so vast, there are a multitude of sights to see and many different types of geological history. If you are a mountain climber, you will find many peaks to scale, and if you prefer to wander through verdant fields while surrounded by snow-capped mountains, this is the place for you.
We all know that Lexington is the subject of headlines around the country once a year. Hollywood stars and American royalty make their way to this Kentucky horse town once a year for the Derby. But for the rest of the year, Lexington is a relatively quiet city, with few of the tourist-town qualities that make other cities seem like cookie-cutter vacation stops. Despite what you might imagine, it is not all about the races there. Unlike many cities of its size, Lexington has never destroyed its historic downtown in favor of modern skyscrapers and high rises. You can visit whiskey bars downtown in original, historic architecture. A new visitor center with fountains and an outdoor ice skating rink make a walk around downtown even more scenic. Check websites such as Vacation Fish for comfortable rentals while enjoying your stay. Because Lexington is a college town, there are lots of unusual, local-owned restaurants and shops and a youthful energy in the city. With just a five or ten minute drive from town, you will find idyllic rolling hills and horse farms that seem to be taken from the pages of a magazine. Lexington’s central location makes it an easy trip from areas on the East Coast, Southeast, and Northeast, as well.
Hidden U.S. Tourist Attractions – This Guest post is by Ste Tasker