Let’s steer away from Route 66 on to a less beaten path, from New York to a piercing-blue spring, which is edged with sunshine-yellow soil, a real Wyoming gem. We’re talking about stunning views that are so beautiful they’ll leave tears in your eyes and etch themselves in your memories forever.
At Co-op Travel we’re dedicated to providing the best possible holiday experience we can, and that’s why we’ve put together a list of more unusual places to visit in the USA.
White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico
They say that there is no place quite like this on earth. In the heart of the Tularosa Basin, you’ll find dunes of pure-white sand as far as the eye can see. New Mexico is home to 275 square miles of gypsum sand. The White Sands National Monument preserves most of this area, along with the plants and animals.
2. Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
Visit the Grand Prismatic Spring in Wyoming, and you’ll be treated to bright-yellow and red stone that kisses the edges of a luring-piercing-blue spring – where rainbow colours are a photographer’s dream. Located in Yellowstone National Park, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Morning Glory Pool, Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
3. The Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee
Tennessee is a bucket list must-see, as are the Appalachian Mountains, named the Smokies. This mountain range runs along the North Carolina and Tennessee border. The mountains are a heady mix of wildflowers, forests and mountain streams. In a true Tennessee tradition, a ride on horseback across the Sugarlands is highly recommended.
4. Hamilton Pool, Texas
In Texas, you’ll find the Hamilton Pool; the pool was formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed following mass erosion. This pool is upstream from the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek, which is home to a colossal-sized waterfall that plunges into the box canyon. Don’t forget to reserve your swim online if you’re travelling from May to September.
5. Northern Lights, Alaska
We know that the Northern Lights are a must-see, throwing out magical rainbow waves of colour into the sky. The best place to see the lights is in Fairbanks and Anchorage from September to mid-April. You can also take in the beauty of the Mendenhall Valley with its 12-mile glacier and surreal ice caves.
6. Thor’s Well, Oregon
The aptly named Thor’s Well in Oregon is a saltwater fountain, which is given its breath-taking power by the ocean tide. You’ll have to time it well though, so it’s best to visit an hour after high tide. Be cautious; this once-in-a-lifetime experience comes with lots of safety advice due to the sheer power of the well.
7. Bryce Canyon, Utah
With natural amphitheatres, the Bryce Canyon in Utah has a maze of geological structures formed by frost weather and stream erosion. As the sun shines, it reveals a myriad of colours, which is truly beautiful. It would also be remiss to not visit Zion National Park while you’re within 50 miles.
The Wave, Arizona
With Rapunzel-like lines of golden rock that flow seamlessly above and around you, it’s no wonder why this place is called The Wave. Set in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness near the Amazon-Utah border, the sandstone rocks are beyond picturesque.
9. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
The fresh-blue waters of Lake Tahoe in California/Nevada are surrounded by trees, making this spot look postcard perfect. The lake is the largest in North America; formed around two million years ago, it’s known for water clarity and panoramic views.
10. Sequoia National Park, California
Sometimes what a bucket list requires is seeing and touching trees that are 275-feet tall and around 2,500 years old. The Sequoia National Park is home to giant sequoia trees and the General Sherman Tree – the largest in the world.