The United States spans over 3.5 million square miles, making it the fourth largest country in the world. This massive chunk of land holds wonders around every bend, with diverse climates like tropical rainforests, lush mountain ranges, snowy countrysides, and steaming hot deserts. So how does a traveler decide where to visit out of the wide range of options?
The Fifty Nifty
One user on a popular online forum asked savvy travelers for advice. They wonder, “What has been your favorite area of the U.S. you've visited?” People flooded the thread with their responses.
1. Death Valley, California
Death Valley is like nowhere else in the U.S. It sits 282 feet below sea level and can reach temperatures up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the summer. Visitors love Death Valley because of its unique deserted landscape crusted with salt. “Standing in the Devil's Golf Course and the Salt Flats was a surreal, alien-like experience,” writes one user.
2. Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Colorado's Rocky Mountains are famous among winter sports fans because they're an excellent place to go skiing or snowboarding. However, if you're not super sporty like me, you can still have fun hiking small mountain trails or staying at a nearby resort with a view to die for.
As the last established U.S. state, Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. “It is so culturally and geographically distinct from the rest of the U.S.,” claims one commenter. Hawaii has so much to do, from exploring its gorgeous natural features like jungles and volcanoes to relaxing by the ocean to feasting on poké.
4. Lake Superior, Michigan
Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake on the entire globe. Because it's so immense, the lake has waves like the ocean. No experience compares to sitting on the white sandy shores of Lake Superior, gazing out at the clear lake that fades into the horizon.
5. New England
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut are the six states in the northeast of the U.S. that makeup New England. The region is known for its charming colonial architecture, gorgeous Atlantic coastline, and early American history. It's a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the country's roots or relax on Cape Cod's serene beaches.
6. Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee
Watching the sunset over the crests of the lush Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee is an experience like no other. Embark on a hiking trip to enjoy the remote wilderness that runs through the state. While you take gorgeous photos of the landscape, you can enjoy delicious Tennessee-style barbecue locals claim to be the best in the country.
7. The Pacific Northwest
If you love fresh seafood and rich coffee, put the pacific northwest on your travel bucket list. One commenter claims that whether you visit Oregon or Washington, you can drive “one or two hours in any direction, and you'll end up in a beautiful national park or forest.” The pure nature of the forests and mountains of the region will help you feel rejuvenated once you head home after a successful vacation.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the U.S. The diverse culture, architectural styles, and distinctly New Orleans cuisine make the city such a treasure. Stroll down Bourbon Street after sundown to enjoy hundreds of bars, many featuring talented live jazz bands every day of the week. During the day, you can visit museums to learn about the city's rich history, and make sure to eat plenty of crawfish, po boys, and beignets on your trip.
9. The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a set of islands off the coast of Florida, and once you set foot on the island, it feels like an entirely different world. Nothing is quite like “Driving on the highway with nothing but ocean all around you, especially in a convertible,” according to one respondent. On your visit to the Keys, you can enjoy ocean activities like snorkeling or relaxing by the beach as you indulge in delicious seafood and other local delicacies.
10. Moab, Utah
If you're looking for a desert destination, add Moab, Utah, to your list. The famous red and rocky terrain lets you see far into the distance. Visit Arches National Park to view stunning ancient rock formations. You can even see dinosaur footprints if you hit Copper Ridge or Blue Canyon Overlook.
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This thread inspired this post.