10 Best Hidden Vacation Spots In The US
Nothing ruins a vacation mood like a long lines, terrible parking, and crowded restaurants. Between the stress of the travel itself and the chaos of the destination, you might even feel like you need a vacation after your vacation!
Whether you’re looking for an active vacation or simply want to relax with a nice view, you must check out some of the best hidden vacation spots across the United States.
Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
This incredible park is full of some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the United States. Located near Salem, Oregon, the 9000 acre Silver Falls State Park features ten waterfalls, including the 177 foot South Falls waterfall that you view from behind. Take a hike, mountain bike, or a guided horseback ride on the 35 miles of available trails.
Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz, located on California’s central coast about 70 miles south of San Francisco is home to one of the coolest boardwalk amusement parks in the United States. If you’re looking for a beach vacation, Santa Cruz is it. Take some surfing lessons or bring your own board. Plan your visit around one of the many annual festivals like the Santa Cruz Film Festival, The O’Neill Cold Water Classic, or the Santa Cruz Blues Festival. Santa Cruz has something for everyone with several museums and state parks, you can even take a steam train ride through the Redwood Forest.
Known to the locals as “Little Hollywood” for its long history of being a filming location, Kanab Utah is located just north of the Utah-Arizona border. With its close proximity to several national parks and The Grand Canyon, it’s a great place to visit that won’t have you jammed up on the trails weaving in and out of too many people. Hike up Cottonwood or Paria Canyon or spend the day nearby on the water at Lake Powell. The beautiful red rock vistas are a photographer’s dream. Stay at a one of the many hotels or lodges, camp, or pull your RV into one of available RV parks.
Traverse City, Michigan
Tucked in the “pinky” of the glove of Michigan, Traverse city is home to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and some incredible shipwreck scuba diving. If cold water isn’t your thing, catch a horse and carriage ride to Fantail Farm or try your luck at the casinos. Once you’ve finished exploring, check out the delicious local farm-to-table restaurants or grab a glass at one of the many wineries and breweries.
Amelia Island, Florida
Situated about 35 minutes northeast of the Jacksonville International Airport, Amelia Island offers everything that other southern coastal cities like Hilton Head offer, without the crowds. With 13 miles of immaculate beaches and Victorian-era architecture, Amelia Island may have a small-town feeling, but it’s anything but boring. The historic downtown offers shopping, hotels and B&B’s, and mouth-watering cuisine. Several pristine golf coursed are located around the island for golfers. Historians and adventurers can visit Fort Clinch, a civil-war era fort located at Fort Clinch State Park. The park is open to swimming, biking, hiking, and camping.
Nemacolin Resort, Pennsylvania
Nemacolin is a luxury resort located in Farmington, Pennsylvania about 15 minutes north of the West Virginia and Pennsylvania border. Featured on Matt James’ season of the Bachelor, Nemacolin resort is one of the most breathtaking properties in the United States with plenty of varied and interesting things to do. Interact with Bengal tigers and African lions in the Big Cat Encounter or view buffalo, sheep, and foxes in the Wildlife Habitat. Fly through the air at up to sixty mph on a zip line, play a couple of holes of golf, and don’t forget about all of the five-star dining options. If you’re in the mood for something more low-key you can explore the local historic landmarks or spend the day at the Woodlands Spa and Salon.
The 1000 Islands, New York
Sitting between the border of Ontario and New York, The Thousand Islands is an incredible place to explore and choose your own adventure. Bring your passport and discover the more than 1,800 islands in the St. Lawrence River. Sail past Millionaire’s row and revel in the grandeur of the remarkably maintained estates on the water. Known for its excellent fishing, the St. Lawrence river hosts the Bassmaster Elite Series and World Carp Tournaments. There is so much to do including scuba diving, museums, wineries, shops, and restaurants. The 1000 Islands is a great escape for families with kids of all ages.
Chateau Elan, Georgia
Spread across 3,500 acres, Chateau Elan is one of the most beautiful properties in North Georgia. One of the more luxurious options, you can book a regular hotel room, a private villa, or a luxurious spa suite. With eight restaurants on property, there’s something for every palette. The award-winning Chateau Elan Winery, also on the property, offers more than 30 wines and daily guided tours and tastings. If you like golf, the Chateau course features 18 holes.
Des Moines, Iowa
Do you want to visit a big city but with a Midwestern feel and price tag? Des Moines is one of the fastest-growing cities across the Midwest. You can catch a Broadway show, listen to live music, or enjoy a locally sourced vegan lunch at the Trellis Café in the stunning Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Every Saturday, you’ll find one of the finest farmer’s markets in the United States. Des Moines is also incredibly affordable vacation destination and has a low cost of living.
Love to ski or snowboard but can’t stand the crowds or chair-lift lines? Whitefish, a resort town in the Rocky Mountains, is the perfect destination for those seeking fresh powder. In the summer you can take a ride down the Alpine slide or complete a ropes course in the aerial adventure park. If you like the water, kayak and paddle board rentals are available on Whitefish Lake. There are also over 700 miles of hiking and biking trails, making Whitefish a desirable destination for anyone who enjoys outdoor adventures.