Tourism is a huge part of the economy in the United States. Not only do visitors come from other countries to visit the USA, people from The States are constantly traveling to other areas. Because the U.S. is so large, there are so many different places to visit and see, and you can have totally different tourist experiences depending on where you are in the country. Despite this diversity (or maybe because of it), there are certain places in the U.S. that very rarely get outside visitors.
This article will countdown the 19 Isolated Places In The US We Forgot Existed. The difference between north and south is an important distinction in the United States. It will be interesting to see how this dichotomy impacts this list. The only requirement to be featured in this article is that the place is within the boundaries of the United States and is incredibly isolated. If you have ever been the lone outsider in a place that no one else would have step foot in, feel free to tell us about your experience in the comments section.
19 South- Super Isolated In Supai
It always amazes me that some of the most isolated places in the entire country are also incredibly beautiful. If you need any evidence of this, just look up pictures of Supai, Arizona, one of the most isolated places in the entire southern portion of the United States.
As of the 2010 census, the population of Supai was less than 250. Not only do not very many people live in Supai, it is also never visited by outsiders.
For whatever reason, Arizona doesn’t get a lot of tourism, so places out of the way like Supai are even more ignored.
18 North- Tourism In Wyoming
In the past 100 years, tourism patterns in the United States have only fundamentally changed a handful of times. In the past 15 years, one of the most important shifts was the influx of tourists going to Colorado.
Cities like Denver and Boulder have become incredibly popular, and we are now in the phase where we will see if this popularity will extend into nearby areas.
It will be momentous if it does, as this area of the country rarely sees any tourists. Wyoming, in particular, is one of the most ignored states in the entire country.
17 South- RFK And The Mississippi Delta
The U.S. public has an obsession with the Kennedy family. Several members of America’s political royalty have been examined by scholars, but John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy have been particularly popular among authors. One of the most commonly told stories about Bobby is when he visited a series of poor families in the Mississippi River Delta.
One reason why this story is so striking is because this area of the country has been almost universally ignored by people on the east and west coasts.
Those families who live in the Delta have lived there for several generations, and most of these families live in abject poverty.
16 North- Ask Someone To Spell Aleutian Islands
The entire state of Alaska is very sparsely populated but some major cities like Anchorage do get a fair amount of tourist traffic. The same cannot be said for some of the more remote regions of the state, and the Aleutian Islands are a good example. The Aleutian Islands are the string of islands on the southwest portion of Alaska. These islands have a storied history but their days as a major stopping point for outsiders are long over. From interviews that have been conducted from some of the locals, you can tell that they wouldn’t have things any other way.
15 South- Life's A Beach
If I were to ask you what the major tourist attractions are in the state of North Carolina, I can almost guarantee that you would talk about their beaches. What many people outside of the state do not realize, however, is that tourists only actually visit a handful of beaches.
The North Carolina coast is huge but the majority of beaches are only visited by a few dozen locals.
Tourists instead flock to a handful of known spots and spend most of their vacations fighting for parking and a place to set up their chairs.
14 North- The Hollers Of Appalachia
The back hills of the Appalachian are so secluded that the locals had to come up with a new word for them. The hills in large portions of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee are affectionately referred to as "hollers". Not only will these areas almost never be visited by outsiders, the people who live in the hollers rarely venture more than 50 miles away from their home.
This has led to the creation of a strange counterculture in the very heart of America.
Because of a lack of national parks, these areas are not even popular destinations for hikers and outdoorsmen.
13 North- Hundred Mile Wilderness
The state of Maine is so sparsely populated, and so culturally distinct from the rest of New England, that some sociologists have referred to it as the “deep north”. While this representation isn’t entirely truthful, there are certainly some parts of the state that outsiders never travel to. Hundred-mile wilderness is a stretch of land between the town of Monson and Mount Katahdin in northern Maine. There are no towns and no supplies along the route, so hikers are warned to carry several days’ worth of supplies. It is this part of the state that has inspired several Stephen King novels.
12 South- Marfa Might Be In Need Of A Name Change
One reason why the south does not get as many tourists as the north is because a lot of the western portion of the United States is desert.
As a rule, people do not generally settle in the desert, which means that people also tend not to visit the desert.
Marfa, Texas is in a patch of desert located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park. The city itself is actually fairly large (the 2010 census recorded a population of slightly less than 2,000) but it is so far from any major metropolitan areas that it is understandable why it would be so isolated.
11 North- Copper Salmon Wilderness
The Pacific Northwest is quickly becoming more densely populated but there are still some regions that are pretty isolated. The Copper Salmon Wilderness in the northwest corner of Oregon’s Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is a good example. This part of the park holds one of the nation's largest remaining stands of old-growth forest and there is a ton of fish and wildlife in the area. In spite of all these natural wonders, this part of the park is secluded for most of the year. Even in the peak tourist months, this park does not get as crowded as other ones in Oregon.
10 South- The Population Isn’t Always Bigger In Texas
Texas is a huge state. I grew up in upstate New York, which is a pretty large state, but I don’t think that even I have a good grasp on how huge the Lonestar State is.
Texas is so humongous, in fact, that the entire western portion of the state is very sparsely populated.
The major cities in Texas are all along the coast on the eastern side of the state, so the western portion is mostly desert and small towns. The state of Texas as a whole gets a decent amount of outside visitors, but almost none of them are going to the western part of the state.
9 South- Straight Out Of Supernatural
Kansas has been the setting of several famous books, movies, and TV shows. Works that focus a lot on being on the road (like the TV show Supernatural) were smart to pick Kansas as the place for a lot of their scenes.
It seems like Kansas is all empty highways.
The southern part of the state, in particular, is very isolated. Even people traveling to Texas usually come from the east or west, making this part of Kansas totally uninteresting for outsiders. There are no big cities in this part of the state that would attract a lot of outsiders either.
8 North- Only Beasts Find Comfort In Rural Minnesota
A common misconception about the United States is that the south is rural while the northern part of the country is all industrialized. In fact, there are large sections of the northern states that are sparsely populated. One of the most remote of these locations is the rural farmland of upper Minnesota. Aside from the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota has a very low population density. This makes some of its more out-of-the-way regions incredibly isolated. WWE and UFC star, Brock Lesnar, has famously taken advantage of this isolation.
7 South-The Bayous of Louisiana
Louisiana is consistently ranked as one of the most tourist friendly states in the deep South. The problem is that most of the tourists who visit Louisiana visit either New Orleans or Baton Rouge. This means that very little tourism is going to the more rural regions.
In particular, the bayous of the state are not adapted to welcome outsiders.
There are no tourist attractions in this part of the state and getting to these areas and around these areas can be very difficult. All of these things combine to ensure that very few outsiders go trouncing around the Louisiana swamps.
6 North- Feeling Owly in Owl’s Head, Vermont
I try hard not to have these articles turn into a history lesson but I think the early history of the state of Vermont is important to understanding why outsiders don't often visit Owl’s Head. Despite being very close to the East Coast, Vermont did not become its own state until 1777. This is because there weren't a lot of people living there. Vermont was considered the back country to the much more populous and politically important Massachusetts. Vermont has since separated from Massachusetts but it still has that reputation as a place where people from Boston go to escape the city.
5 South- Sand Doesn’t Always Attract Outsiders
The majority of people in the United States associate sand with beaches. Sand itself can get annoying but it is usually (or so we think) accompanied by sun, breeze, and some body of water. This is not, however, true for the majority of the country, and it certainly isn’t true for Nebraska’s Sand Hills. The Sand Hills are 20,000 square miles of grasslands and sand dunes, and basically nothing else. Because of a 1904 homesteading act that allowed homesteaders to stake claims to massive 604-acre parcels, this part of the country was never densely settled.
4 North- As Far From The Rest Of The World As One Can Get
The state of Alaska calls itself "the last frontier", and the Alaskan city of Adak certainly lives up to this moniker. Adak is not only both the westernmost and southernmost point in Alaska, but is actually the westernmost point of the entire United States.
Because Adak is so far from the major cities in Alaska, it doesn't see a lot of outsiders.
This small island was settled as a U.S. Naval base, but the abandonment of that station has left less than 300 people living there. Despite attempts by city officials to increase tourism, Adak remains one of the most isolated places in the entire United States.
3 South- Southish?
The further west you travel, the harder it is to define what is considered the South and what is considered the North. For the purposes of our list, most of Interstate 70 in the eastern part of Utah can be considered the South. The most remote places in the United States are usually towns or other small areas, but the eastern portion of Utah is so rarely visited by outsiders that an entire interstate is worthy of a spot on this list. Between the towns of Green River in the east to Salina, in the west lies a 105-mile stretch of highway with no towns, and only six exits.
2 North- Only the Tip of the Redwood
When someone talks about the west coast of the United States most people think about California, specifically Southern California. This ignores, however, the amazing and totally unique experiences that are available in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington.
A perfect example of this is our next entry, the redwood forest of the Pacific Northwest.
The national and state parks in the area are free to visitors for most of the year. Despite all this, only a small portion of the redwood forests receive regular visitors. The small towns in the interior of the forests rarely receive any visitors.
1 South- Eureka!
One of the coolest things about small towns in the west are their names. But Eureka, Nevada makes our list not because of its name, but because of how isolated it is. Despite being located on a major roadway (Highway 50), Eureka sees less than 2,000 tourists a year. The town only has 610 full-time residents, and since the next town is over 77 miles away, no one has any reason to visit this old mining town.
I think this is a mistake!
The city has a lot of cool, older buildings that make a visit worthwhile.