Now, it’s no secret that America is a pretty amazing destination. It's also no secret to those close to me that I really really really want to visit the US of A and I have a few favorites I want to see first. Like Texas for example. I need to visit a cowboy and horse filled farm before I die!
How can I not want to go there? You’ve essentially got the whole world in one country, with everything you might want all contained within its borders. Relaxing beach resorts? No problem. Some of the world’s greatest cities? They’ve got it! And how about some of the most beautiful spots found anywhere on earth? Yeah, they’ve got them too.
Yet while everyone’s heard of New York and Yosemite and Florida, there remains plenty of US destinations that fall just outside the radar for travellers, especially those like us from overseas. Here’s your key to some of the lesser known areas of the states that are just as good as anything you’ll find on the front page of US travel guides. Ready to step slightly off the beaten path? Here we go!
Pittsburgh might just be America’s prettiest city, yet few people think to visit there. Why? Well, its location might be a factor. It’s only a short drive (by American standards) from New York, and well, give people a choice between New York and anywhere and they’ll always be likely to choose the Big Apple. Yet if you’re spending a few days in the big city, you might just find it’s worth to take a Greyhound trip over Pittsburgh. Surrounded by lust trees, the hilly city has a number of top class museums, a passionate population, and a hilly overlook that showcases the beauty of this part industrious, part cultured city. You can easily see the all the sights in a couple of days, but it’s a generally pretty nice place to be, so feel free to spend a week or more and relax!
Like Pittsburgh, St. Louis is another of those cities that is generally overlooked by travellers in the States. Yet take a trip there and you’ll find it offers a little bit of something for everyone. It’s also generally expensive, making it an attractive spot to buy a US home; check out STL Real Estate and find yourself in a city that has among the most free attractions in America - only Washington DC has more. Built with beauty in mind, the aesthetically pleasing St. Louis comes complete with stunning buildings and monuments. Also, here the weather is always interesting. There’s proper seasons, with chilly winters and baking summers. Exactly as it should be, essentially.
Now, if you have only a rudimentary notion of Alabama then you might be surprised to see it on this list. But then again, if you think Alabama is some backward town that you should always avoid, then you’ve probably never been there! In actual fact, Alabama’s reputation works to its advantage. You won’t find a million tourists here, but you will find bags and bags of history, plenty of natural areas of beauty, and an array of beaches that are more than capable of rivalling anything you’ll find in Florida. Also, if you’ve ever seen Forrest Gump and became enchanted by the accents and hospitality of this southern state, then good news! People really are as friendly as they’re perceived to be and have an accent that, gosh, couldn’t you just listen to all day?
The economic downturn affected Michigan much more than it did other states, and this is what, more or less, the state has been associated with in recent years, especially Detroit. Detroit is back on its feet and on its way to doing good things again. However, that’s not all that important when you have so much more going on in the state. Take a trip to Northern Michigan and you’ll find natural beauty and peace that nowhere else can match. This is the home of the great lakes and in the Upper Peninsula you’ll find small towns and plenty of trees. Perfect for those long summer nights under the stars! If you want a really unique experience, take a trip to Mackinac Island. It’s an island out of Lake Huron that is 80% state park (more trees!) and doesn’t allow motor vehicles. Everything is drawn by horses! And if that isn’t enough to convince you to visit the Mitten State, then I’m afraid nothing will….
New Mexico is a world unto itself. Heavily influenced by Mexican and Native American culture, it is among the “least American” of all the American states. This makes it a particularly fascinating place to visit. It's gorgeous sandstone buildings, laid back atmosphere, and perfect climate means you’ll have an experience unlike anywhere else. Whatever you’re into, put it all aside during your trip to this state, which is about stepping into another culture entirely. Find a place that’ll take you on a horse ride and saddle your way through the magnificent landscape. In the evening, hole yourself up in one the many laid back watering holes and chat with the locals.
Being to close to California, most people generally tend to head to Cali then to Oregon, but this is a mistake. For starters, in Oregon you have Portland, which is one of the most up and coming cities in America, with plenty of great things going on - it’s essentially the best parts of California without the crowds! But that’s just for starters, because Oregon is home to vast amounts of natural beauty. It’s not on a Yosemite National Park scale, but it’s not too far off - and again, where are the crowds? Nowhere! Rent a car and take a trip around this beautiful state, which has the culture, people, and scenery to make a trip to the states really memorable.
Savannah is a bit of an oddity. The first city in Georgia, the city has a beauty that is more in line with the best of Europe rather than the rest of America. It is so beautiful, in fact, that it was spurred from being burned to the ground during the American Civil War. So it really must be something special! With stunning architecture and a charm that only the south can bring, it’s a one off destination that shouldn’t be avoided.
Where do you long to be? Is there a place in the US you've visited before? Please share and make me drool!