The more I learn about tourism within my own country, the more I realize how little foreign travelers get to see of it. It seems like, for the most part, people are mainly coming to the United States to see three things: California, New York, and Disney World.
Now, I don’t blame them. California has Hollywood. New York has the Big Apple. Disney World has actual princesses and Dole-whips. I get it.
But please. I’m telling you. There is SO much more to the United States that you’re missing.
Did you know that the United States was the first country to establish a National Park system? That’s right. Yellowstone National Park was the first National Park, which began a movement around the world for nature preservation. Today, there are 58 National Parks in the United States, along with a slew of other nature preservation centers across the country. Dang Travelers has a great list of Blogger’s Top 15 U.S. National Park Service Destinations if you want suggestions on where to go.
Though vastly part of the National Park system, the mountain regions of the United States deserve their own shout out. The Rocky Mountain range stretches over 3,000 miles, running from the the northern region of British Columbia in Canada, down to New Mexico. Some of the most notable parts of the Rocky Mountains lie in Colorado, and are famous for skiing, snowboarding, and scenic drives. The Appalachian Mountain range extends from Newfoundland in Canada, to central Alabama in the US. This mountain range is famous for its 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. As a result, you do find a lot of hiking and camping on these mountains.
Historic East Coast
If history is your thing, the East Coast is where to head. United States history began on the East Coast as settlers established the thirteen original colonies. Cities like Washington D.C., Boston, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hold a wealth of information and historical sites. Not to mention old-timey architecture and atmosphere! The East Coast is a great place to learn about the United States.
When Americans mention something has “Southern Charm” they are referring to the quaintness and tranquility of the Southern States. Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana are all cities that embody the charm of the south. Grab your parasol and a sweet tea as you stroll among the gardens, listening to the musical southern accent. The south is a great place to book yourself into a Bed and Breakfast and be treated like ladies and gentlemen.
The Great Lakes of Michigan
If you’re looking to spend your vacation sprawled out on a gorgeous beach with warm sand and rolling waves, but you DON’T want to worry about your limbs being gnawed on by sharks, Michigan’s Great Lakes are what you need. While I may be sliiiightly biased, as Michigan is home, the lakes are an incredible geological feature of the United States. Michigan towns like Grand Haven, Ludington, and Traverse City allow you to enjoy your beach vacation without worrying about what’s beneath the surface of the water. As we say in Michigan: No Salt, No Sharks, No Worries.
Often forgotten by US-bound travelers, Alaska has a ton to offer nature lovers of all kinds. There are incredible glaciers and fjords to explore. See a vast amount of wildlife like orcas and humpback whales, grizzly bears, moose, and polar bears. Try your hand at dog-sledding through the snow, or salmon fishing in the icy waters. On nights between September and April, you can also enjoy the breathtaking surprise of seeing the Northern Lights. Alaska is an incredible place to consider for your next US destination.
Are you convinced? Where are you going to go on your next US vacation?