Traveling after COVID-19 can be complicated. Not to mention, most popular State Parks and U.S. attractions are overflowing with visitors. The lines to get into Yellowstone have been massive, which got me thinking…what are some places we could visit that won’t have as many lines? We all want to stay safe this season, so here is a list of 5 hidden travel gems that I found for you and your family to visit this summer and all of the summers after!
Mackinac Island, Michigan
You may have heard of Mackinac Island, or even heard of the world-famous Mackinac Island Fudge! This beautiful island is considered a jewel of the Great Lakes and is located in Upper Michigan. The water is beautiful, the weather is great, and the town is historic.
Mackinac Island is a unique vacation spot because it has no cars, no chain hotels and is also a national landmark. Spend your days eating great food, watching beautiful sunsets, or just enjoying the beach. Visit this Top 10 U.S. Island for your summer vacation this year or next!
Find out more information, HERE.
Pismo Beach, California
I’m sure you’ve heard of Malibu, CA, but have you heard of Pismo Beach? This classic beach town is placed along California’s famous central coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pismo beach is exactly what you imagine when you think of a California beach, with long white sanded beaches and spectacular sunsets.
Pismo Beach also has fantastic weather, delicious wineries, and great restaurants. If you like golf, they also have great golf courses, or if you enjoy horseback riding or surfing, they have that as well. Pismo also is home to an award-winning boardwalk adjacent to the Pismo Pier. If you are a shopper, make sure to check out the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, and be sure to visit the California Welcome Center as well.
For more information on your trip to Pismo Beach, click HERE.
Garden Valley, Idaho
Several years ago, I took a wonderful trip to Garden Valley in Idaho. Garden Valley is a true hidden gem. I’m sure that most of you have never even heard of it.
When my daughter-in-law, Jami, told me she and her beau were moving to Garden Valley, I smiled. I fell in love with the name even before I laid eyes on the small community nestled in the mountains of the “Gem State.”
When we eventually traveled to Garden Valley, it was an idyllic four days. As you can see from the above picture, it’s full of beautiful scenery. As their website promises:
“Garden Valley Idaho is home to world-class recreation, an unparalleled opportunity
for relaxation, and a chance to get back to the best things in life. Truly a gateway
to the most beautiful places in Idaho.”
Plan your trip to Garden Valley, HERE.
Valley of Fire, Nevada
Valley of Fire can be compared to places like Arizona and New Mexico. It’s perfect for lovers of the outdoors since the Valley of Fire is known for its beautiful hikes and camping spots.
Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park, and it’s famous for the red sandstone rock formations which light up the valley (especially at sunset) making it appear as though the valley is on fire. You can also find prehistoric bones buried there!
So, if you are an outdoor family, plan your trip to Valley of Fire this summer, or wait till it’s cooler in the fall.
Plan your visit, HERE.
With miles of hiking trails, shopping, and attractions, Gatlinburg is a place where outdoor lovers and nature lovers unite. As their website tagline states, “The Mountains Are Calling,” and you will definitely have your fill since Gatlinburg is nestled right in The Great Smokey Mountains.
Ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Mountain Towns to visit in the United States, it’s easy to see why just by looking at pictures of Gatlinburg. Visit fresh farmer’s markets, trails, dining, shopping, and much more. Not to mention, this is a great place for families and friends to gather and enjoy.
Plan your trip to Gatlinburg, HERE.
What are your favorite hidden travel gems in the United States? I would love to have you share them with us!
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