Think of America and you’ll probably conjure up images of the Statue of Liberty and the Hollywood sign. Treading the tourist trail is fine. But wouldn’t you rather witness wonders you’ve never seen in glossy travel magazines or holiday shows before? America is one of the world’s largest and most diverse nations, and there’s so much more to see than twinkling city lights and skyscrapers. If you’re keen to get off the beaten track, and discover some of the USA’s most precious hidden gems, here are some suggestions.
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
A visit to the beautiful state of North Carolina will enrich any American adventure. Hire a car, or use services such as GOGOCharters.com to get around. Once you’ve taken a look around the understated and welcoming city of Asheville, head for the Great Smoky Mountains. Home to a vibrant collection of flora and fauna, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful spot. Fortunately for those who like to steer clear of crowds, it often flies under the tourist radar. Here you can see everything from the magical mists descending over the rugged peaks, to brown bears in their natural habitat. Camp out under the stars for a night you’ll never forget, or get your hiking boots on and take in the panoramic views. If you’re staying overnight in certain parts of the park, you’ll need a permit. From the park, make for the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is guaranteed to be one of the best scenic road trips you’ll ever experience, especially if you visit in fall. You can check out the latest weather conditions to plan your trip at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/weather.htm
Big Bend, Texas
Texas is not all about rodeos and cowboys. Big Bend National Park is a geographical playground. Packed with features, this wonderland boasts eye-catching spectacles, such as geysers and craters. The beauty of this wild spot is not the peace, but the diversity. In one area, you’ll be staring at a seemingly endless desert plain. Drive for a while, and you’ll come across deep canyons and domineering summits. There are wonders to enjoy around every corner, and you won’t have to fight off the crowds. This park’s remote location means that few tourists visit.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Oregon’s Crater Lake is the ninth deepest lake in the world, yet it is perennially overshadowed by the likes of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Visit the Crater Lake National Park to see mysterious lunar landscapes. You’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of the mystifying remnants of ancient volcanic eruptions.
Characterised by granite cliffs and vivid blue glacial streams, Sawtooth Wilderness is a breathtaking destination. Boasting a series of peaks, almost 400 lakes and winding valleys, this place has to be seen to be believed. Visit in summer to see the trees in all their verdant glory and the wildflower meadows in bloom. July and August are the best times to visit for those who enjoy hiking.
America has so much more to offer than glitzy city breaks and seaside escapes. There’s a whole host of wonders to discover. Get off the beaten tourist trail and be adventurous. Enjoy the views and test your mettle. Ride, cycle, hike and climb. Sleep under the stars and embrace the tranquility. Above all, create memories that will stay with you forever.