Off the Beaten Path
Every state has those hidden gems. Here are just a few of the places that not everyone has discovered yet.
CALIFORNIA: William Randolph Hearst had the Hearst Castle built in 1947, and now it’s open to tourists. You can tour the gardens and all of the notable spaces in this beautiful 165-room palace.
COLORADO: Visit the tallest dunes in North America at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. You can hike through the park, cool off in Medano Creek, and even go sand sledding.
DELAWARE: Located on Pea Patch Island, Fort Delaware was built in 1859 and used to hold Confederate prisoners of war. You can now access the fort via ferry and be transported back to the summer of 1854, with the help of costumed interpreters.
FLORIDA: If you’re visiting Key West, the southernmost point buoy is a must-see. This massive buoy marks the southernmost point in the continental United States and is only 90 miles from Cuba.
ILLINOIS: If you’re interested in history, a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is a must while in Illinois. It is the largest presidential museum in the country and prides itself on being highly interactive.
INDIANA: Indiana Dunes National Park offers 15 miles of beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan, with views of the Chicago skyline on the horizon. When you’re not sunbathing, you can visit a historical cemetery or hike on one of the park’s many trails.
KENTUCKY: The National Corvette Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “America’s true sports car.” Make sure to check out the performance area, where race cars are arranged on a racetrack, ranging from 1950s models to the most advanced cars of today.
MINNESOTA: Minnehaha Park is one of Minnesota’s oldest parks and stands out from the rest with its majestic 53-foot waterfall.
NEVADA: The Neon Museum is a nonprofit that collects and preserves the neon signs of Las Vegas. Visitors can view the approximately 150 signs within the museum and learn about how they were made and what role they played in Las Vegas history.
NEW MEXICO: Pecos National Historical Park features the remains of an Indian pueblo and offers plenty of areas to explore. Take a ranger-guided ruins tour or venture 1.25 miles to the Pecos pueblo on your own. On the weekends, van tours to Civil War sites and the Forked Lightning Ranch are available.
OHIO: Cedar Point Amusement Park is known as the rollercoaster capital of the world, with 17 coasters in total. The amusement park opened a new rollercoaster this year called Pipe Scream, which spins as it flies along the track.
OREGON: The Oregon Vortex and the House of Mystery are home to some super weird occurrences. Balls defy the law of physics by rolling uphill, brooms stand on their own, and people appear to change height while standing on a level platform. Skeptical? Come check it out for yourself.
SOUTH DAKOTA: The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, calls itself “The World’s Only Corn Palace,” and we’re pretty sure that’s correct. Every year, artists create new murals on the outside of the building made entirely of naturally colored corn as a tribute to the building’s history. The Corn Palace also hosts concerts, sports games, and other events.
UTAH: Natural Bridges National Monument was Utah’s first national monument. It features three stunning natural bridges, named “Kachina,” “Owachomo,” and “Sipapu” in honor of Native Americans who previously lived in the area. Hiking trails and overlooks allow for close-up views of these natural phenomena.
WYOMING: Grand Teton National Park offers more than 200 miles of trails, some over challenging mountain terrain and some alongside scenic lake shores. You can also float along the Snake River, which runs through the park. Source: Businessinsider.com