The U.S. is known for its notable cities such as New York or Seattle, as well as natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon. While these are all more than worth visiting, they’re not all the country has to offer. From small towns to desert oases, we’ve rounded up 10 amazing lesser-known places to visit this year.
1. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona isn’t an unknown town by any means, but it also isn’t as recognizable as big-name destinations such as the Grand Canyon or Phoenix. The town itself has a variety of charming shops and accommodations, and it also sits in close proximity to some amazing outdoorsy things to do, such as hiking nearby Cathedral Rock or enjoying a natural waterslide at Slide Rock State Park.
2. Anza Borrego State Park (California)
Head about an hour outside of San Diego to enjoy this unique state park. Located in the Anza Borrego desert, this destination offers a variety of memorable reasons to visit. To start with, you’ll be able to visit a palm tree oasis. If you’re going in the spring, it’s also an amazing place to see wildflowers. Finally, it’s home to a number of quirky metal sculptures that make for a great roadside attraction.
3. Valley Of Fire State Park (Nevada)
View several thousand-year-old petroglyphs and take in some stunning natural landscapes with a visit to Valley of Fire State Park. Bright red sandstone decorates this state park, providing a breathtaking and nearly alien feel to the area. The park has a variety of trails for hikers of all skill levels, as well as campsites for those looking to stay overnight.
4. Fort Bragg, California
Fort Bragg is a small town on the Californian coast. In addition to a variety of memorable things to do in the town itself – you’ll want to check out the murals downtown – the town is also nearby Glass Beach. Glass Beach is a unique beach that showcases nature’s triumph over pollution. The beach was once used as a dump, but over time the ocean waves tumbled the broken glass into gorgeous pieces of sea glass, which now adorn the shore.
5. Marfa, Texas
If you’re looking for a quirky destination to visit, look no further than Marfa, Texas. This small town is perhaps best known for its art installation of a small Prada shop in the middle of the desert, but it is also home to a variety of artsy shops and galleries.
6. The Apostle Islands
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Wisconsin. The islands feature some gorgeous and unique red sandstone sea caves, as well as hiking trails, kayaking opportunities, and campsites.
7. Seward, Alaska
While Fairbanks and Anchorage are probably the most well-known towns in this northern State, you shouldn’t write off some of the smaller towns either! Seward is a great example of this. A charming small town on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is nearby the entrance to Kenai Fjords National Park. It’s also close to Exit Glacier, one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the state to view up close.
8. Block Island, Rhode Island
Block Island is a quaint island that is more than worth a visit! You can look forward to stunning scenery that includes gorgeous bluffs, pristine beaches, and historic lighthouses. There’s also no shortage of amenities and things to do on the island – there’s a variety of shops, restaurants, and lodging.
9. Woodstock, Vermont
If you’re looking for country charm that feels straight out of a storybook, you’ll want to consider visiting Woodstock, Vermont. This small town is home to a number of gorgeous, historic buildings, covered bridges, and a living museum. If you’re visiting in the fall, it’s also a great place to see some stunning autumn foliage.
10. Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a small city on the Californian coast this is every bit as magical as the name sounds! Several gorgeous beaches sit nearby, including Half Moon Bay State Beach, and make this spot more than worth a visit!
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