It’s no surprise that when the topic turns to vacation, states such as Florida and California jump to the conversation’s forefront. Sunshine, beaches and ever long warm temperatures pull tourists in by the thousands. With so many pouring into the same locations, exploding crowds can turn others away. Let’s dive into the most under-appreciated states that offer perfect destinations for a getaway.
Don’t let the rain here scare you away. While you may need to bring your umbrella, catching even just a glimpse of the beautiful wildlife is worth it. Mountains, waterfalls, lakes and prairies make up the landscapes here. Whether you just want to hike or are interested in spending the night under the stars, you’ll definitely feel one with nature. If the great outdoors doesn’t appeal to you in that way, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Take a trip to the Space Needle in Seattle to get the city’s best views or head over to the Museum of Pop Culture pace. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to enjoy a cup—or several—of Pike Place roast coffee.
Jumping to the opposite coast, Maine is next on the list. This state offers so much more than its sometimes sub-freezing temperatures. In case you hadn’t heard, lobster is on the menu! If seafood is even remotely tasty to you, definitely visit Maine and feast on a hearty lobster dish. Around 90% of the entire country’s lobster supply comes from this one little state. A walk down the coast is also a necessity in Maine. Check out lighthouses and white-capped waves for a brisk walk.
Another top contributor to breathtaking sights is Wyoming. Tons of rich history and wide-open plains saturate this midwestern state. A plethora of national parks awaits you, along with a more well-known option, Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone actually sits on three separate states! Another perk is the relatively low populations. It would be a feat to find a large crowd in Wyoming, so book a trip today to enjoy some solitude.
Louisiana is a hot spot, but not for reasons one might think. The first things that come to mind are jazz music, Mardi Gras and spicy cajun cuisine. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that there are darker parts as well. It’s been said that Louisiana is home to some of the most haunted places in the United States. Taking a tour of the St. Louis Cemetery is sure to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Be careful; you just might see a ghost!
6. North Carolina
Besides boasting great weather for most of the year, North Carolina has multiple options as far as scenery. You can check out the beach and on the west, beautiful mountain ridges on its East Coast. Also in NC, located in Charlotte, sits a 407-acre amusement park called Carowinds. Half is a waterpark with slides and wave pools, while the other half holds some of the best roller coaster rides on the East coast.
Minnesota is known as the “bread and butter state,” and the “land of 10,000 lakes state” although it has many more (over 15,000). This state is an excellent place for paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming, considering all beautiful water bodies. Not into the water? Check out one of the many festivals held year-round for things like the Renaissance to the holidays.
Want to catch sight of glaciers? Alaska is the place for you. This one is rich in wildlife ranging from moose to bear to salmon. Hunting is a favored pastime of residents, and if you find one to take you under their wing, you might just find a newfound love for the sport.
A cruise to Alaska is a great option as well. Pass through to see some of those amazing sights. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center is a must-see as well. Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is a magnet for lovers of the automobile scene. There’s something for everyone!
Speaking of something for everyone, Kansas is a gem in this aspect. Relax by a lake with a cup of coffee or visit one of their many breweries, galleries, or botanical gardens. Why not try both scenes? With just a few days of vacation time, you can see the best of both worlds; all packed neatly in this one state. If it’s good enough for Dorothy, it should be good enough for you!
Despite what you might think, Idaho isn’t on the list for its potatoes, although who doesn’t love a good spud? This is a great place to visit because it offers the beautiful sights and wildlife that other states like California do, but with much fewer people. Meaning you can take it all in without a crowd around you. Idaho is a good choice for families who are into boats, theme parks, zoos and a top-notch aquarium.
1. Rhode Island
Despite being the smallest state, Rhode Island packs a punch with its miles of coastline and relatively warm waters for this part of the country. Sightseeing isn’t taking a backseat in this state, with attractions like the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul. Fan of tennis by chance? Check out the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Whatever your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in this little state.
As you can see, there are tons of options other than the best-known vacation spots. Next time you’re taking time off work, dig a little deeper before booking those flights to make sure you’re going somewhere that will leave a lasting impression.