The way new COVID variants are appearing in what seems to be every few months makes international travel more difficult. Yet you can still please your wanderlust by traveling to places within the United States. The most visited places in the United States such as New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas, are losing some appeal to many Americans. Luckily if you reside in one of the 50 states, there are many non-tourist places to visit that will excite and amaze you. Here are the 9 most non-tourist US destinations.
If you like getting lost in nature, following hiking trails, and discovering waterfalls, then Letchworth State Park is a must-visit. Here there is a never-ending list of outdoor activities to do. There’s kayaking, rafting, biking, but if you’re looking to create lasting memories, the one thing you’ll have to experience is the hot air balloon ride. Floating over the park’s lush green landscape and powerful waterfalls will make you feel like you are floating in a dream.
California has a beautiful coast, yet Oregon may come in as second best. Along the coastline, there are beautiful sea cliffs and vast sand dunes that bring charm to this overlooked place. In the “Sahara by the sea,” you can enjoy AVT riding and sand surfing. Once you build up an appetite, there are plenty of food options ranging from the best clam chowder to succulent steak houses.
It’s not a secret that Hawaii is one of the most popular vacations spots. Often with an influx of tourism, many places can lose their authenticity. This is not the case with Molokai, also known as the “friendly island.” It’s a perfect place for anyone who wants a real getaway, far from tourist attractions, and escape to deserted beaches, a place where palm trees tower over buildings and locals greet you with an “ahola” and embody hospitality. Whether you are traveling solo, with a partner, or with the whole family, there is something for everyone to do. If you’re more active, you’ll enjoy, snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving, whale watching, and hiking. If you want to relax, you can read a book under a palm tree on one of the many white-sand beaches. Or take a mid-day nap falling asleep to the ocean waves. For more entertainment, Molokai offers hula celebrations, parades, and island exclusive festivals.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Did you know that there are islands off the coast of the Southern states? You might be thinking of the Florida Keys; however, there are more. Jekyll Island is located between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. It’s accessible by car when you take the I-95. There’s an assortment of things to do on the island. Yet the two unique and most impactful places to visit are the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the Wanderer Memory Trail. Visiting this trail, you can travel back in time, 160 years in the past, to visit the last known slave ship that came to the Americas, The Wanderer. Although the ship brought around 500 enslaved Africans to the South, the trail tells the story of one slave boy named, Umwalla. Through this interactive exhibit, you’ll learn about his journey from enslavement to freedom.
Block Island, Rhode Island
With a short ferry ride, you can have the best getaway on Block Island. This island offers white sand beaches and delicious dining experiences overlooking the ocean. For added fun, there are ghost tours and the glass project. If you happen to have a good eye during your visit, you can take part in an interactive art exhibit. Throughout the island, there are 550 glass floats or glass orbs hidden throughout the Greenway trails and the beaches. Once you find a float, you can keep it as a souvenir. Eben Horton, the glass artist who came up with this idea, asks that finders only keep one glass float per person, per year along with registering the float that you find with the Block Island Tourism Council.
Tennessee Valley, California
This is a great trip for hikers. As trails in the Tennessee Valley allow you to walk along the Pacific Ocean. The trails in the valley vary from easy to more strenuous. No matter the level of difficulty the refreshing ocean breeze will help ease the journey. There are even options for camping.
Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands. Off the coast of Washington state, orcas swim all year long, although this isn’t where the name of the island originated. Other wildlife to see include humpback whales, stellar sea lions, and minkes. The fun of this island doesn’t stop with whale watching. Visitors can also enjoy farmer’s markets, wineries, and breweries.
Surrounded by beautiful red rock scenery, Sedona has a lot to offer. Sedona tourism lists over 100 things to do including helicopter tours, live entertainment, hiking trails, and so much more. Whether you try to check off all 100 things on your visit or pick your top 10, you will marvel at the beauty of the desert valley.
Burlington, Vermont, is a welcoming city. Here you can make your own teddy bear at the Teddy Bear Factory or experience one of the most important aspects of Burlington, which is agriculture. The local farmer’s markets are an opportunity to experience organic produce and artisanal baked goods. If you visit in autumn, you can warm yourself up with a warm cider donut. If you have a sweet tooth you won’t want to leave without a pint of real Vermont syrup.
A commonality amongst many travelers is not exploring their home country enough. Yet with the United States having 50 different states, it only makes sense for more of its citizens to go out and explore. These 9 destinations are ready for your arrival.
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Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer, she has written for Travel Noire, Passion Passport, BAUCE mag, and various travel and lifestyle blogs. As a writer, her goal is to write content that inspires others to take action. As a coach, her goal is to empower women to be their most authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing to any song any where.