Chances are, if you're reading this article, you've visited several destinations in the United States and are searching for new trip options. Despite some places below being unheard of, they might offer what other better-known sites cannot. We've all heard of famous United States locations such as Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago—they are destinations that can be revisited time after time. Despite being prominent United States locations, the previously mentioned cities may not be the most appealing tourist destinations.
The United States is a big country; the third biggest in the world. As a country that is an astounding 9.834 million km², it is not surprising why so many places in the country are left unrecognized. The locations you'll find below are not typical tourist destinations but have much to offer. The fact that these places are relatively unknown could suggest that they are more attractive places to visit. Impress your friends and family by journeying to an unfamiliar United States place!
There aren't many reasons why the locations listed below are not given recognition, other than because other United States locations overshadow them. Sites below can be national parks, developing cities, or rural towns. These are 25 places around the United States that nobody recognizes today.
25 Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
The park has some of the tallest dunes in the United States and North America. After lightning hits the sand, fusion can occur, resulting in the formation of glass! The odds of you or the dunes being struck by lightning are low, but not impossible. Lightning storms are most likely to occur between July and August.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is unlike most other national parks. As stated by softschools.com, "Wildlife found within Great Sand Dunes National Park includes pronghorns, bison, badgers, beavers, cougars, black bears, pikas, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, wolverines, rocky mountain elk, kangaroo rats, and marmots." Seven unique species of insects and spiders can be found in Great Sand Dunes National Park.
24 Thor's Well, Oregon
Thor's Well becomes an incredible sight for sore eyes during high tide. Water spills over the edges of Thor's Well, dropping a seemingly endless flow of water into what looks like a bottomless well. A nearby campground makes Thor's Well an essential and memorable trip for wayfarers.
As stated by mingmag.com, "The reality is, it’s a just a sinkhole. The problem with saying ‘just a sinkhole’ is that sinkholes are scary things in their own right. They can open up anywhere underground and the water just does its thing. That’s pretty much everywhere, and erosion happens even when you’re not looking."
23 Mendenhall Glacier
The Mendenhall Glacier is an overlooked destination of the United States, which is consistent with the entire State of Alaska. Snowshoeing around Alaska could be an unforgettable adventure. Although unbeknownst to many, approximately 400,000 people visit the glacier per year!
According to the website of alaska.org,"This 12-mile glacier is part of Tongass National Forest and its visitors' center is just a half mile from the glacier's face and overlooks the lake and glacier, which has a large aerial map of the icefield, an informational video and spotting scopes ($3)."
22 Zion National Park, Utah
The obscure site would fit well on any person's bucket list. Cliffs found throughout the park are multi-colored in colors such as pink, brown, and orange. Zion National Park wasn't always named "Zion." In the 1900s, William Howard Taft expanded the area and made it into a national park. The result, a park with a surreal appearance that would only receive more visitors. Hiking atop rock structures like the one in the photo can be dangerous, which is why it is recommended to visit the park while accompanied by a tour guide. Zion National Park is touted as a "climber's paradise."
21 Devil's Tower, Wyoming
Devil's Tower is a strange rock formation that was formed by lava approximately 65 million years ago. The Devil's Tower is similar to the Rocky Mountains because of the way it was formed but it is quite different in appearance.
Wyoming contains many tourist attractions such as Yellowstone National Park. While visiting Devil's Tower, one can learn much about geology and how a structure like this could have arisen. You can even climb it, but it's not recommended for beginners. A long time ago, the Tower was not visible, years of erosion gave it the appearance it has today.
20 Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Even from a single screenshot, one might be able to see why Antelope Canyon is considered a surreal place to visit. It is relatively unknown compared to other canyons in the United States, but the unique geological features make the site stand out. Natural light beams alongside orange walls are majestic.
Make sure you bring a camera if visiting Antelope Canyon. You'll take dozens of shots when visiting this location, which can be reached after one of the most scenic two-hour drives from the Grand Canyon. We've all heard about the Grand Canyon, but don't forget to visit Antelope Canyon while in Arizona.
19 Paterson, New Jersey
If you're someone who has yet to discover the fulfilling tourist destination known as Paterson, New Jersey, you aren't alone. There is a lot of history present in the city; it was one of the most recognized locations during the Industrial Revolution. It contained more factories than almost anywhere in America.
According to northjersey.com, ”During its boom years, the city became known for silk mills, which gave it its the nickname: Silk City.” Paterson is New Jersey’s third most populous city. Now, tourists can visit Paterson to see unheard of places like Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. The falls became a national park in 2009 after the leader of the time signed bipartisan legislation.
18 Spearfish, South Dakota
During the summertime, Spearfish is a beautiful town for walking, but in the winter time, it is covered in snow, and one can rent a snowmobile. You can have an amazing outdoor adventure in a lesser-known town that does not get the recognition it deserves. Spearfish, South Dakota is a place that must be visited.
According to the website of citytowninfo.com, "The city was incorporated in 1888. It was so-named because Native Americans and fur traders considered the stream an ideal place to spearfish. The first railroad entered the area in 1893. Mining and tourism became important in this area in the 20th Century."
17 Hill Country, Texas
Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve is one of the many places to visit at Hill Country Texas. Limestone cliffs and cypress trees encompass the magnificent reserve. Vineyards and more make Hill Country an attractive destination in the State of Texas.
As mentioned by tripstodiscover.com, one can "savor the sight of the Enchanted Rock." The Enchanted Rock provides stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can visit to "Make the climb to the top of the 425-foot landmark for a mesmerizing panoramic view of the area, while other popular activities include rock climbing and hiking." Whether you want to cool off in water or experience the countryside some other way, Texas Hill Country is the ultimate choice.
16 Ouray, Colorado
Often compared to Switzerland, Ouray, Colorado is a must-visit for those looking for a different adventure. You don't know what to expect when visiting Ouray, Colorado as there is much to be seen. See spectacular attractions like the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, diverse lodging, mining cities, and Box Canyon Falls. The city is not usually recognized for skiing or snowboarding, but there are options for that such as Lee's Ski Hill.
According to ouraycolorado.com, "you can see vistas where old Hollywood westerns were filmed and explore high country ghost towns that were once booming mining cities." Ouray, Colorado is a Jeeping destination because of its many hills.
15 Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe of California is a freshwater lake that is usually not given the recognition it deserves. The spot is ideal for visitors as it uses fresh water for swimmers and fishers. It's an alpine lake, so it is situated near a mountain's peak. The amount of blue in this lake makes it stand out from others.
The maximum depth of the lake is 1,640 feet. The water is remarkably clear, with visibility of up 75 feet. The amount of clarity in the water indicates how clean it is. You probably wouldn't want to drink from the lake without a filter, but undoubtedly, the water is cleaner than what you would find in other United States lakes.
14 Perdido Key, Florida
From dolphin watching to exploring the National Naval Aviation Museum, everyone should be able to find at least one thing to do in Perdido Key. When people think of Florida, they often think of places such as Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Miami. People seldom consider visiting Perdido Key—it's an overshadowed vacation destination.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Perdido contains rare, near-extinct animals. Also, one can visit Big Lagoon to see scenic views of hills and cliffs. Those who like warm, humid climates will find immense enjoyment by Perdido Key, Florida's wildlife and attractions.
13 Death Valley National Park, California
The arid, scorching landscape of this valley would seem like the last place someone would want to visit. The valley receives hot temperatures. It can see temperatures exceeding 55 degrees Celsius. You wouldn't want to visit for long, but it's worth seeing to say you were there. It is advisable to visit it in the winter for obvious reasons.
One mysterious site is known as "The Race Track," and has sliding rocks in the desert with movements that cannot be explained. Ice sheets may cause rocks to slide such a far distance.
12 Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
As a warning, entering the ice caves is high-risk, which is why they are often closed to the public during the winter. Putting aside the ice caves of Apostle Islands, there are plenty of other things to do. Kayaking, hiking, and camping are reason enough to want to visit the Apostle Islands.
If you're not into camping or kayaking, one can visit Lost Creek Falls or find a bite to eat at Tom's Burned Down Cafe. Tom's Burned Down Bar is outdoors and offers refreshments to customers who describe the owners as being very friendly. There's also the South Shore Brewery, which provides samples for brews.
11 Mackinac Island, Michigan
More than 80% of Mackinac Island is part of Mackinac Island State Park. Despite being one of the most fulfilling vacations, the island is rarely given the recognition that it deserves. A trip to Mackinac Island will be an experience that lasts a lifetime.
You may want to visit Arch Rock, Historic Downtown, Fort Holmes, or Grand Hotel Stable; Mackinac Island is host to a variety of attractions. In a single day, you could visit Fort Holmes to see the fort that was once named after Britain's King George III, then finish the day off with a romantic horse and carriage tour, which allows guests to choose their route.
10 Tunica, Mississippi
It is a small town that might be fun for a week-long visit. There are a few different ways to gamble if visiting Tunica, Mississippi. Some examples include the Gold Strike Casino Resort, Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino, Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall. Gold Strike Casino Resort
Tunic, Mississippi will provide a relaxing experience in one of the United States' countrysides. Most people have heard of gambling in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but after those, Tunica, Mississippi is considered the most prominent gambling region. The city was named after the Tunica Natives, and history of its inhabitants can be found at its various museums.
9 Camden, Maine
Camden, Maine is a superb choice for a day-trip, but even those who stay for longer won't regret the stay. Like many cities in Maine, Camden has various delectable seafood restaurants. Compared to most lobster found in other places, Maine lobsters have more flavor and are more succulent. As stated by mainelobsternow.com, "Although they are the same species, they do have distinct differences." Aside from an abundance of seafood restaurants, Camden hosts many concerts and provides shopping options. After a trip, one may decide to move to Camden, one of the most liveable cities in the United States.
8 Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington
In a review, Trip Advisor user Simba H said, "I've visited this festival about 3 times already and I always loved it. It was breathtaking and beautiful. The blooming fields were truly mesmerizing. Important thing to check before you visit is the bloom time because tulips doesn't have a fixed date of bloom." He then concluded his review by saying, "So my verdict is YES it's worth it, it's a true nature lovers paradise."
Based on the review provided by Simba H, and the majority of the people who reviewed Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, we can conclude that this lesser known area is spellbinding, should be visited, and given more recognition.
7 Hood River, Oregon
There are plenty of reasons to suggest that Hood, River Oregon is an underappreciated hidden gem of the United States. There are quite a few parks, museums, and other sites to see. The city is recognized for being 'fruity'. An abundance of festivals takes place in Hood River, including the Wine and Pear Fest.
December is a fitting time to ride the Mount Hood Railroad since one can take a trip to Christmas Town for an unforgettable festive journey. The ride is inspired by the book "The Train to Christmas Town" by Peggy Ellis. With lots of hiking options, skiing, tasty coffee, and lots of farmers' markets, one could spend weeks vacationing in Hood River, Oregon.
6 Berlin, Maryland
It's not a big city like New York or Chicago, or a popular vacation destination like Los Angeles; still, many will choose to visit Berlin because of its quaint nature. According to the website of visitmaryland.org, "More than a decade ago, downtown Berlin was named an official Maryland Arts & Entertainment district, and while every visit to Berlin is sure to stir the soul, the second Friday of every month is when Berlin’s artists come out to shine. Walk the streets with outdoor entertainment, great galleries, and local food and drinks."
It's a small town, but there are a surprising amount of things to do in Berlin, Maryland. Visit Berlin, Maryland at least once if you've tried everything else and are looking for a new experience.