Every year, thousands of people flock to the country’s most popular vacation destinations. Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, New York, and California get all the attention. These destinations do make for splendid vacations, but aren’t they a bit touristy? The following list boasts the country’s most surprising vacation destinations, so you can get away from the lines and the gift shops, and enjoy a truly dynamic and exciting new locale.
1. Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Country
Chickasaw Country has it all. The beautiful countryside offers a free pass to scenic views, miles of hiking trails, and pristine lakes. Camp in one of the national parks, and you’ll be treated to gorgeous waterfalls, including Turner Falls. At Turner Falls, visitors are welcome to swim under the 77 foot waterfall.
Take a break by indulging in a local spa, or playing a round of golf. When you’re ready to head inside, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and casinos to enjoy. The heart of Chickasaw Country is the area’s rich culture. You won’t want to miss the incredible Native American cultural centers, as well as the various museums and historical sites. According to chickasawcountry.com: “Rich in traditions and stories that have been passed from generation to generation, the Chickasaw Nation is ripe with opportunities to become immersed in the culture.”
2. Gambling in Connecticut
Believe it or not, Connecticut is home to two massive casinos – Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Both casinos are popular, and for good reason. Mohegan (located in Uncasville) is a full-service resort, which boasts a cabaret among its other amenities. Foxwood (located in Mashantucket) is a three-hotel complex, and features a wide range of entertainment options, as well as upscale dining. Of course, both casinos feature gambling, including penny slots, video poker, and table games.
3. America’s Dairyland
Wisconsin is popular for cheese, but it’s also a great place to indulge in wine. Is there a better pairing than wine and cheese? (Doubtful.)
The greater Milwaukee area, including the beautiful Prairie De Sac, features a number of amazing wineries. In total, there are 45 wineries in Wisconsin, and each one features flavorful blends, including cherry, apple, and cranberry. Of course, traditional wines are also available, and they pair wonderfully with the state’s delicious artisan cheeses.
4. Branson, Missouri
Branson is truly a diamond in the rough. The area is thrilling, and has been described as “strange and imaginative.” It’s one of those unforgettable destinations, but it still remains a surprising locale because most people don’t know the incredible power the city possesses (at least, not until they visit).
Branson is Missouri’s southernmost city. It’s decidedly hot, but you’ll find plenty of air conditioning in the city’s most exciting destinations. Check out the Butterfly Palace, and immerse yourself in butterflies and vegetation. The butterflies are quite friendly, and will land on you, so be sure to bring along a camera to capture the moment. Other fun places to visit include: the National Tiger Santuary, The Haygood Experience, and the Titanic Museum.
5. Indianapolis, Indiana
Last, but certainly not least, is Indianapolis. There’s a lot to do in Indianapolis, including visiting a shrine to Kurt Vonnegut, and marveling at gigantic dinosaur statues, which belong to the world’s largest children’s museum. There’s a number of quality restaurants and bars, including the ever-popular Jazz Kitchen, where you’ll be serenaded as you indulge in delicious food and drink.
The country is full of surprising destinations. For your next vacation, why not ditch the heavily-trafficked tourist traps, for something more down-toe-earth and enjoyable?