Best Hidden Gems in U.S.

Maybe next year I should take time off on weekends and catch a quick flight to enjoy these beautiful small towns and natural landscapes. I don’t think we have entirely discovered the amazing hidden corners of this country. I always end up in L.A. or Miami or NYC, you know your typical big cities. But when I have more time to get out of the cities a bit, I find myself exploring much more intriguing destinations. Honestly, big city traveling is becoming boring and monotonous. Maybe it’s time to start backpacking to some of these local towns for a quick weekend getaway.

Lately I’ve been running into articles and posts geared towards U.S. traveling. One of those moments where you click on a link & very soon another recommendation pops up for you. And before you know it, you’re on a roll getting brain fed by all these ideas. Yep! That’s how I ran across some of these places and thought, hmmh why not share! You never know one of you might be heading close to some of these cities for your next business trip or an out-of-town family wedding. Wouldn’t hurt to rent a car and explore the surroundings!

Let me know if you have visited any of these places and what are your thoughts. Do you recommend? Where did you stay? How was your stay? What were the people like? Was the dining scene happening? I’m always curious! And never bored!

Leavenworth, WA

The entire town is modeled after a Bavarian village!

Leavenworth Leavenworth2 Leavenworth3

Stowe, VT

A place to relax into cozy small-town New England quaintness

Stowe Stowe2

Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Last year I drove right through this town on my way to Big Sur but didn’t get a chance to stop and explore. Clint Eastwood was once mayor and Doris Day helped make Carmel dog heaven on earth.

Carmel River Beach

Carmel Plaze Courtyard

Abingdon, VA

An historic city surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountains

Abingdon2

Abingdon

Jackson, WY

This cowboy town is located near Yellowstone National Park

Downtown Jackson, near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Jackson2

Marfa, TX

I’ve been meaning to drive to this artsy town for 2 years now, known for its famous Prada store

Marfa

Galena, IL

Once home to nine civil war generals

Galena Galena2

Mitchell, OR

Home to Painted Hills, one of the seven wonders of Oregon

Painted hills painted hills2

Midway, UT

Stay at Homestead Resort, home to geothermal spring where you can snorkel, soak or scuba dive

midway midway2

Channel Islands, CA

A place you don’t wanna miss!

channel islands channel islands2

Have I convinced you enough?

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The Ultimate Road Trip Across U.S.

The Ultimate Road Trip of U.S.

Randy Olson, a researcher at University of Pennsylvania, was recently challenged by Discovery News contributor Tracy Staedter to compute the optimal road trip across every state in U.S. Conditions:

  1. The trip must make at least one stop in all 48 states in the contiguous U.S.
  2. The trip would only make stops at National Natural Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Parks, or National Monuments.
  3. The trip must be taken by car and never leave the U.S.

The Result: An epic itinerary with a mix of inner city exploration, must-see historical sites, and beautiful natural landscapes, as shown in the map diagram above.

Click here for the interactive version of the map.

Destinations:

  1. Grand Canyon, AZ
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  3. Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
  4. Yellowstone National Park, WY
  5. Pikes Peak, CO
  6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
  7. The Alamo, TX
  8. The Platt Historic District, OK
  9. Toltec Mounds, AR
  10. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN
  11. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
  12. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
  13. USS Alabama, AL
  14. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL
  15. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA
  16. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC
  17. Lost World Caverns, WV
  18. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC
  19. Mount Vernon, VA
  20. White House, Washington, DC
  21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
  22. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
  23. Cape May Historic District, NJ
  24. Liberty Bell, PA
  25. Statue of Liberty, NY
  26. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT
  27. The Breakers, RI
  28. USS Constitution, MA
  29. Acadia National Park, ME
  30. Mount Washington Hotel, NH
  31. Shelburne Farms, VT
  32. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
  33. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
  34. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
  35. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
  36. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
  37. Gateway Arch, MO
  38. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS
  39. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA
  40. Taliesin, WI
  41. Fort Snelling, MN
  42. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE
  43. Mount Rushmore, SD
  44. Fort Union Trading Post, ND
  45. Glacier National Park, MT
  46. Hanford Site, WA
  47. Columbia River Highway, OR
  48. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA
  49. San Andreas Fault, CA
  50. Hoover Dam, NV

Why was Randy selected for the challenge? Well, he’s the dude who developed the algorithm for most efficiently finding Waldo in the Where’s Waldo series. Yep, you heard me.

Read more about your optimal trip across U.S. here.

via The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

If you are a road traveler, you many also want to consider investing in National Geographic’s gigantic Travel Guide Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips. This book sits on my center table as we speak. Not just for decor. This book successfully made 6 of my road trips possible in the last two years. No kidding! Good investment!

Or…

Conde Nast Traveler recently published The 5 Most Spectacular National Park Road Trips, which include:

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Blue Ridge Parkway to Shenandoah National Park, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway to Shenandoah National Park, North Carolina

Badlands National Park, SD

Badlands National Park, SD

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, Maine

…and more…

Get more information here.

Have I convinced you enough to pack your bags and set yourself off on a road journey?!!

If so, well, make sure to Travel with Style… 😉