You think you’ve seen America? Think again. Beyond the bright lights of New York and glitz of Hollywood are some of the country’s best-kept secrets. We’re talking hidden hot springs tucked deep in the Oregon forest, scenic byways winding through the Colorado Rockies, and charming beach towns along the Carolina coast free of crowds and full of charm.
America has no shortage of stunning and secluded spots perfect for your next getaway. The problem is finding them. Lucky for you, we’ve uncovered some of America’s hidden gems – destinations so special we’ve kept them on the down low, until now. Get ready to discover natural wonders, quaint communities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences in some of the most beautiful and unexpected places in the US. Your next adventure awaits; get started with the expired passport renewal now!
Off the Beaten Path: America’s Most Underrated National Parks
America’s national parks are full of hidden gems and secret spots waiting to be discovered. While the big names like Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon draw huge crowds, some of the most stunning yet underrated parks fly under the radar.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
Nestled in the snow-capped peaks of the North Cascades along the Canadian border, this park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude. Over 300 glaciers, countless waterfalls and 400 miles of hiking trails through old-growth forests make this a backpacker’s dream. Spot massive Roosevelt elk, black bears, mountain goats and over 200 bird species in their natural habitat.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
In far West Texas, Big Bend remains largely unexplored. Massive canyons, the Rio Grande River and Chihuahuan Desert scenery await discovery. Raft through Santa Elena Canyon, gaze at the Milky Way from a secluded campsite or spot coyotes, bobcats, and the Colima warbler. Over 800,000 acres yet only 300,000 visitors per year means you may have stunning vistas like The Window all to yourself.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
One of America’s least-visited parks is a wonderland for solitude seekers and night sky gazers. Massive limestone caverns, the ancient bristlecone pine forest, and Wheeler Peak rising 13,000 feet from the desert. Spot bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons and pronghorn antelope against a backdrop of massive granite cliffs. After dark, the Milky Way dazzles unimpeded by light pollution. A lone oasis in the Nevada desert, Great Basin is bliss for escaping the crowds.
With stunning vistas and an abundance of natural beauty minus the masses, America’s hidden national park gems offer the perfect off-the-beaten-path escape. Leave the popular parks behind and discover the solitude, adventure and wildlife viewing these underrated lands have to offer.
Small Town Charm: Quaint and Quirky Destinations in the US
Small towns are the heartbeat of America. Beyond the bustle of big cities are charming communities with quintessential main streets, mom-and-pop diners, and welcoming locals. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, consider a trip to one of these quirky and cozy destinations.
Head to Leavenworth, Washington, a picturesque Bavarian-themed village nestled in the Cascade Mountains. With Alpine architecture, annual Oktoberfest celebrations, and stunning natural scenery, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to southern Germany.
For a taste of 1950s Americana, drive Route 66 through Seligman, Arizona. This tiny town with retro motels and diners was once a popular rest stop on the historic highway. Today, it’s a living time capsule of mid-century roadside nostalgia.
In coastal Maine, picturesque Camden offers a perfect blend of natural and cultural attractions. Go hiking in Camden Hills State Park, schooner sailing in Penobscot Bay, shopping along Main Street, or enjoy a delicious lobster roll by the harbor. With covered bridges, lighthouses, and lobster shacks around every bend, Camden encapsulates the rustic charm of New England.
From the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, small town America is filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Trade the chaos of cities for the simple pleasures of quaint communities where life moves a little slower. After all, sometimes the road less traveled leads to delightful destinations.