Ask most people where they would want to spend their next vacation and the most common answers will include European countries. And although there is nothing wrong with that, what if you were told that you could find every exotic adventure possible in the land of the free and the home of the brave, the United States of America?
Spread across 9.8 million km2 and sharing coasts with the majestic Atlantic and Pacific oceans, America is a bucket list country for many. For those who haven’t considered it, there are some fascinating treats in waiting. Home to booming metropolitan areas, majestic natural landscapes, and a diverse variety of climates from one border to the other, there is nothing that Europe can hold over the US.
Here are some of the most exotic travel destinations that you can visit in America:
1. Great Smoky Mountains
Spread across the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most fascinating natural marvels anywhere on the face of the planet. With numerous resort towns situated close by, like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, there is an abundance of attractions for a weekend trip or even a week-long vacation.
Hiking up to the Clingmans Dome to take in those 360 views from the Observatory or visiting a traditional winery in Gatlinburg, taking the aerial tramway for a panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or taking a stroll through to grounds, watching some of the wildlife are just some of the adventures you get in this mesmerizing part of the country.
2. Napa Valley California
Thinking about visiting Tuscany in Italy? Well, what if we told you that you could get an experience close enough to the rustic vibe of that place in the US? Don’t be surprised because the vineyards and rolling hills of Napa Valley, California, are as picturesque as any place you’ll find across the Atlantic.
For the lovers of fine wine, there is a stunning 13th-century replica of a Tuscan castle that was constructed with medieval building techniques in mind, housing one of the best wineries in the country. It has all the elements you would expect from a traditional castle, like a drawbridge, a moat, and a dungeon with its iron maiden.
3. Aleutian Islands, Alaska
If you are truly in search of an exotic location that is also remote, you won’t find a better place than the Aleutian Islands. There isn’t much sunshine and beaches with crystal blue waters. On the contrary, you get snow-capped peaks in the background, a relatively harsh climate, and thriving wildlife out in the open.
On a few of the bigger islands, there are some small communities, but you’ll encounter more wildlife than people. The Aleutians can provide wildlife enthusiasts with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe rarely-seen animals against magnificent natural surroundings. Birders from all over the world travel to this area to add rare species to their list of achievements in life
4. Vail Village Colorado
After Italy, let us introduce you to a town modeled after the scenic city of Zermatt, Switzerland. Set with a backdrop of the stunning Rocky Mountains, this town is the closest you can get to an experience of the Swiss Alps as possible.
With antique architecture that features overhanging balconies, intricate woodwork, and detail-oriented entryways around town, the place is one of the most exotic you’ll find anywhere in the world. Eateries and restaurants serve Alpine cuisine out here. During winter, the place becomes a popular tourist destination for skiers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a spot for summer vacations. The long, winding, and beautiful hiking trails make a trip down here worth it in summer too.
5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Even though the whole of America is a cultural and natural melting pot, Santa Fe is the destination for you if you’re a traveler with a strong and deep interest in culture as well as history. This city’s architecture is unmatched in its capacity for being photographed and is a fusion of Anglo-American, Mexican, Spanish, and Native American traditions and attitudes.
Don’t forget to visit the Plaza while you’re there, which is the center of the community and the hub of everything this area has to offer tourists.
6. Denali National Park, Alaska
In case you’re more of a person who prefers Asia over Europe as a tourist spot, the US will not disappoint you either. For those of you with scaling the Himalayas on your bucket list, Denali National Park is worth visiting.
Home to North America’s highest peak Mount Denali, towering at a mesmerizing 20,310 feet, this national park has so much nature to offer that it is tough to leave once you get here. And don’t worry, you may not be willing to climb all 20,000+ feet of Mount Denali, but you can explore a host of other trails as well, like the Horseshoe Lake Trail. Wildlife lovers can abundantly spot grizzlies, the native Dall sheep, wolves, caribou, foxes, beavers, lynx, and herds of moose roaming around freely across the place.
7. Solvang, California
Next on the list is a replica of an old Danish Village, only it is located in California. Tracing its roots back to some Dutch teachers that settled here in the early 20th century, Solvang is a beautiful eulogy to Hans Christian Anderson. Every building, every shop, and every restaurant has the Danish architectural style oozing from it.
You can also find pieces of Europe in the form of imports, including souvenirs. You can also explore the wine culture or the boutiques dedicated to arts and crafts in the locality.
8. Olympic National Park Washington
Olympic National Park is nestled away in the far northwest and is home to a stunningly wild coastline, woods that descend to storm-lashed beaches, mountains covered with snow for most parts of the year, cliffs enveloped by fog, tumbling waterfalls, and a temperate rainforest that protects a sizable area of prehistoric wilderness.
The west side valleys, which receive more than 12 feet of rain annually, are home to some of the best temperate rainforests still in existence on the planet.
Why spend thousands of dollars on an exotic vacation in another continent when you can find all of that at home? When it comes to exotic destinations, America has everything that a traveler can hope for. From remote towns with cold weather to towering mountains with spectacular hiking trails, from wildlife reserves to adrenaline-pumping activities, whatever you desire, you can find in this country, but only if you know where to look.