9 Off the Beaten Path Travel Destinations in the U.S.

9 Off the Beaten Path Travel Destinations in the U.S.

Cheapism; Mackinac Island, Michigan by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND), MizC / iStock

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9 Off the Beaten Path Travel Destinations in the U.S.
Cheapism; Mackinac Island, Michigan by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND), MizC / iStock

America the Undiscovered!

Fact: America is beautiful. Another fact: America is enormous. Yet another fact: Many places that are gorgeous are losing appeal because of the crowds of tourists, and yet, on the other hand, there are places that are beautiful but fortunately still largely undiscovered. Here are nine such places.

Prada Marfa
theresajam1 / iStock

1. Marfa, Texas

  • Perched nearly a mile high in the Chihuahuan Desert, Marfa is an artsy oasis still flying under most tourists’ radar. This quirky town is famous for its mysterious Marfa Lights, also known as ghost lights, which are unexplained glowing orbs that appear on the horizon at night. 

  • You can explore unique galleries, stay in stylish boutique hotels, and enjoy the surreal beauty of the desert landscape. Don’t miss the iconic Prada Marfa exhibit — it's a must-see for any visitor. 
  • St. Augustine, Florida, USA Skyline
    Sean Pavone/istockphoto

    2. St. Augustine, Florida

    America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, is brimming with Spanish colonial architecture and pirate lore. You can wander through the historic district’s narrow streets, explore the Castillo de San Marcos, and soak in the city’s unique blend of history and coastal beauty.

    White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

    3. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

    White Sands National Park is a surreal desert landscape that feels like another planet. The park features vast dunes of white gypsum sand that stretch as far as the eye can see.

    You can hike, sled down the dunes, or simply take in the stark beauty of this unique environment. The sunsets here are particularly breathtaking, casting a warm glow over the pristine sands.

    It's a peaceful, almost otherworldly escape that’s definitely worth the visit.

    Related: Stunning Photos of Every National Park in America

    Great Basin Bristlecone Pine
    Oke / Wikimedia Commons

    4. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

    California is chock full of beautiful spots that are packed with tourists, but that's not the case for the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. This hidden gem is home to the oldest trees on Earth, some over 4,000 years old. You can hike among these twisted, resilient trees that have withstood millennia of harsh conditions. At such high elevations, you’ll also be treated to breathtaking views of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. 

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    Mackinac Island, Michigan
    Mackinac Island, Michigan by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND)

    5. Mackinac Island, Michigan

    Mackinac Island is a charming throwback to simpler times. Located in Lake Huron, this car-free island transports you back to the 19th century with its horse-drawn carriages and Victorian architecture. You can bike around the island, explore historic Fort Mackinac, and indulge in the famous fudge that Mackinac is known for.

    Related: No Passport? No Problem for These Cool Island Vacations 

    Door County, Wisconsin

    6. Door County, Wisconsin

    Known as the "Cape Cod of the Midwest," Door County has charming small towns like Fish Creek, Ephraim, and Sturgeon Bay, plus picturesque lighthouses and scenic shorelines. You can pick cherries in the summer, enjoy vibrant foliage in the fall, and snuggle by the fire in the winter. It's a year-round spot that's criminally underappreciated.

    John Day Region in Oregon
    nathanphoto / iStock

    7. John Day Region in Oregon

    The John Day Region in Oregon is an outdoor lover’s paradise that’s often overlooked. Known for the stunning Painted Hills, where colorful layers of earth create a surreal landscape, this area is perfect for hiking and photography. You can also explore the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument for a fascinating glimpse into prehistoric life.

    Alamosa, Colorado
    MizC / iStock

    8. Alamosa, Colorado

    Colorado's Alamosa is a hidden gem in the San Luis Valley and the gateway to Great Sand Dunes National Park, where you can climb the tallest dunes in North America and sled down their sandy slopes. Alamosa’s clear skies are perfect for stargazing, offering some of the best night views in the state. 

    Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

    9. Grand Teton, Wyoming

    Skip Yellowstone’s crowds and head south to Grand Teton National Park. The dramatic Teton Range offers jaw-dropping scenery, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Whether you're into hiking, boating, or just soaking in the views, the Tetons deliver a more intimate encounter with nature’s grandeur.