If you’re reading this from the U.S. (which we, at Trip 101, know a lot of you all are), here’s a list of 20 beautiful places you can visit within the States this year for your next holiday! Now, you have even more reasons to drag your family on a road trip and meet up with your friends from all over the country.
1. Camden, Maine
Camden in Maine, a classic summer seaport vacation spot never disappoints. With a host of festivals, bed and breakfasts, fresh seafood and nature activities, come down to this wealthy community for a simple summertime vacation.
Access: From Boston, The Amtrak Downeaster Service offers 5 departures daily from Boston to Portland Maine
Website: Camden, Maine
2. Woodstock, Vermont
Georgian revival architecture, richly coloured hemlock trees and lots of farming communities make Woodstock in Vermont the picture-perfect New England town. Its picturesque nature makes it a popular place for weddings and wedding shoots.
Access: Take Interstate 93 North to Interstate 89 North into Vermont. In Vermont, take Exit 1. At bottom of ramp turn left on Route 4 West. Travel 10 miles to the centre of Woodstock
Website: Woodstock VT
3. Franconia, New Hampshire
Come down to this town set in the White Mountains, whose plains are reminiscent of Franconian Switzerland in Franconia, Germany (thus, the town’s name.) The famous Appalachian Trail crosses the southern part of Franconia in New Hampshire. With such romantic settings, it’s no surprise that this is where the famous actress, Bette Davis, fell in love with Arthur Farnsworth while she got lost hiking in the wood.
Franconia, New Hampshire
Access: From Boston: I-93 North to Exit 38
Website: Franconia Notch
4. Adirondack Park, New York
The laidback Adirondack region in New York state is 52 per cent privately owned, containing 102 little towns and villages. It’s known for craft brewers and its idyllic, laidback pace. Explore the area by dogsled or just hike your way through the greenery and cute, small towns.
Access: Amtrak train service leaves from Penn Station in NYC and travels directly into the Adirondack Park, stopping at historic and scenic depots along the way
Website: Adirondack Park
5. Holland, Michigan
Enjoy a little slice of Dutch culture in this quaint city. Holland, Michigan purchased 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands in the late 1920s, and every year, the city comes to life with these flashy floral delights.
Access: Holland is a stop on the Chicago/Grand Rapids route - the train arrives in Holland from Grand Rapids, and leaves Holland for Chicago at approximately 6:50am every day
Website: Holland Michigan
6. Stuart, Florida
If you like swimming and sea breeze, visit Stuart in Florida, the sailfish capital of the world. With a near tropical climate, you can escape the bitter cold of winter here, get a tan and catch some fish!
Access: The closest major airport to Stuart, Florida is Palm Beach International Airport
Website: Visit Florida
7. Asheville, North Carolina
Once voted one of America’s most romantic cities in the United States, you’ll just have to come down and see the lovely, vintage buildings here in Asheville yourself. After checking into one of the many boutique hotels in the city, make sure you visit the dome topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence. Asheville’s arts district is booming and exciting too, so artists take note.
Access: By Amtrak, the closest train station to Asheville is Greenville, SC or Spartanburg, SC
Website: Attraction Name
8. Fall Creeks State Park, Tennessee
Fall Creek State Park in Tennessee is one of the less visited state parks in the US, and it’s quite a pity since there are some really gorgeous waterfalls here. Here, hands-on environmental education is available if you’re the sort with green thumbs.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Access: GPS for the state park is 10821 Park Road Spencer, Tennessee 38585
Website: Fall Creek State Park
9. Boulder, Colorado
This famous 70s hippies hideout is full of Western history. It’s also a great place to stay as it has consistent high rankings in health, education and art. But you could come to Boulder in Colorado just for a vacay - surrounded by mountains, the views here are pretty spectacular after all.
Access: Boulder is easily reached from Denver International Airport via car or bus. The public Regional Transportation District (RTD) ‘AB’ bus runs hourly between DIA and Boulder. The trip takes about 70 minutes each way. The AB bus is a clean, safe, and easy way to get to town.
Website: Boulder Colorado USA
10. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Travel back 5000 years in time to the Mesa Verde National Park - an area which protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan sites in the states. Here you can learn about the things they used to know; about drainage systems, math and astronomy.
Mesa Verde National Park
Access: The park entrance is along Highway 160 between the towns of Mancos and Cortez, Colorado and about 35 miles west of Durango, Colorado
Website: Mesa Verde National Park
11. Aspen, Colorado
This high end ski resort of Aspen is filled with the quaintest, fanciest boutique hotels and luxurious lifestyle options. The natural surroundings are gorgeous too, no wonder its appeal has lasted for generations with vacationers.
Access: The drive to Aspen is about 4 hours from Denver. There are two major routes from Denver - through Glenwood Springs or through Independence Pass
Website: Aspen, Colorado
12. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona is a red rock paradise. It’s an intensely spiritual place for new age believers, as many believe that Sedona is the centre of a spiritual vortex. On top of renewing the mind and soul, feel free to hop right down to town and go through the numerous art galleries in the area.
Access: Flagstaff Airport is the closest small commercial airport to Sedona, just a 40-minute scenic drive away through Oak Creek Canyon
Website: Sedona, Arizona
13. Portland, Oregon
This famous home of the hipsters is a great place for young people to spend a few days at. Portland, Oregon is also known for its microbreweries, coffee houses and eco-friendly houses.
Access: The MAX light rail Red Line is the easiest way to travel to and from Portland International Airport. The trip between the airport and downtown Portland takes about 38 minutes. The first train of the day arrives at PDX at 4:45 am. The last train departs PDX at 11:50 pm.
Website: Portland, Oregon
14. Florence, Oregon
Florence, Oregon, is a unique place with that old school port town charm. If you want to go sand surfing, there’s no need for you to go all the way to the desert - there are sand dunes here that are available for buggy rides. There’s also a sea lion cave where you can come and see those cute marine mammals for yourself.
Access: Take a 1-hour plus trip from Southwest Oregon Regional Airport via US-101 N
Website: Florence, Oregon
15. Catalina Island, California
Great travel experiences are everywhere, and this sunshiney escape, Catalina Island in California, is reminiscent of a Mediterranean island. Come here for luxury chalet stays, parties and snorkelling.
Catalina Island, California
Access: You can get to Catalina Island by ferry from four mainland ports in Southern California – San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach or Dana Point – and the ride is only about an hour by boat
Website: Visit Catalina Island
16. Chinatown, San Francisco, California
In San Francisco you will find the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in North America. Taking an educational tour through this area will let you know a lot more about the history of the Asian community in North America, as well find some great Chinese food.
San Francisco Chinatown
Access: Take BART to Downtown San Francisco (exit Powell Street Station), then go above ground and transfer to 30 Stockton, 45 Union-Stockton, or cable car to Chinatown
Website: San Francisco Chinatown
17. Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, dubbed the American riviera, is dotted with white stucco buildings and red tile roofs. It’s got a carefree and laid back attitude, and it’s sandwiched between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Isn’t that cool?
Access: Amtrak, housed in a historical landmark on lower State Street in the heart of the Funk Zone, provides service on the Pacific Surfliner
Website: Santa Barbara
18. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth, Washington had experienced economic stagnancy back in the 60s, when they decided to play up the sights by modelling their village on a Bavarian village. Today, it’s one of the quaintest, cutest places to visit in the states - it looks like a fairytale town, and even more like Santa’s work area during the winter.
Access: Leavenworth is easily accessible from the west coast via US Highway 2, and the drive through the Cascades has been voted as one of the most scenic drives in the States.
Website: Leavenworth, Washington
19. Olympic National Park, Washington
Now, this is a must visit - this expansive, gorgeous park sprawls across several ecosystems - it touches the towering peaks of the Olympic mountains and covers old forests… but it’s hardly visited! Do this gorgeous piece of land justice by taking your next hiking trip here.
Olympic National Park
Access: Reach Olympic National Park via the I-5 corridor or by any one of the quieter state roadways. Once you arrive on the Olympic Peninsula, connect to Hwy 101 to reach any destinations in and around Olympic National Park
Website: Olympic National Parks
20. Skagway, Alaska
Skagway in Alaska is a beautiful town that takes you back in time with its gold rush era buildings. It has great dining options, quite a number of places for vacations and of course, is undeniably photogenic.
Access: A 45-minute commuter flight from Skagway, Juneau is the primary domestic air entry point for Southeast Alaska and travellers on the Inside Passage
Website: Skagway, Alaska
A vacation at home that you'll never forget
What are you waiting for to go out and visit some fo the best places in the United States? Your next vacation could be in one of this special towns right beside you.
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