America is the land of attractions. Whether they are natural, like Niagara Falls, Old Faithful, and the Grand Canyon, or man-made like Walt Disney World and the world’s largest ball of twine, we’re full of them.
An RV or camper trailer plastered with bumper stickers might falsely indicate its owners have seen all there is to see, but this would be impossible to accomplish. It would take several lifetimes. Even if a person did somehow manage to squeeze in all of the better-known sights, there are many less famous attractions they are probably not aware of.
These lesser-known wonders are no less spectacular than what these sojourners have already seen, they are simply… well… lesser known. Their locations don’t paint the pages of travel brochures or get spread across looming highway billboard signs. You kind of just have to know they are there.
If worming through crowds of fanny pack wearing tourists ogling at the same thing you’re staring at is not your cup of tea, keep reading. You have options.
1 The Neon Museum – Las Vegas, Nevada
Surrealistic doesn’t come close to describing what you’ll see here. This is where neon signs once lighting up the Las Vegas strip come to die. They are bright, colorful, and in all shapes in sizes. They just no longer work.
The welcome center is in the lobby of a former space-age looking hotel built in 1961. In addition to these historical neon signs, the center puts on an audiovisual presentation which transports visitors to another era of time when the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. and prominent mafia figures ruled the roost.
A visit will be time well spent. By all means, don’t let the Neon Museum pass you by.
2 Stonehenge in New England? – New Hampshire
Yes. America has its own 4000-year-old Stonehenge and it’s equally as impressive and mysterious as the one in the U.K., just not as crowded or as frequented.
It’s unknown why the structures were built or even who constructed them. In addition to stone walls, many of the structures have chambers where the builders may have slept but this is all mere speculation, and so shall it remain.
Visitors, of which there aren’t many, are free to explore this strange phenomenon, but coming away with answers is out of the question.
3 A Huge Hidden Park – New Jersey
New Jersey may conjure up images of industrial towns in states of disrepair, but if someone looks a little harder they’ll find something they hadn’t bargained for. It’s also the home of uncrowded Kittatinny State Park.
Reimagine the Garden State with 70-miles of hiking trails through serene grassy meadows and rugged mountains. Now imagine standing on the shoreline of a glacial lake while surrounded by natures beauty. This is the New Jersey few are aware of, and this is the New Jersey you need to see.
4 Native-American Culture – Pecos, New Mexico
If early Native-American history is as fascinating to you as it is many, Pecos National Historical Park will be a thrilling visit. The park is not on as many itineraries as it should be so you won’t be climbing over people while exploring the ancient ruins of the Pueblo tribe.
A park ranger is available to take visitors to the ruins but you can forego that and explore them on your own if you prefer. On weekends only there is a van tour which takes visitors to various civil war sites and Forked Lightning Ranch which is a 2,300-acre gorgeous land preserve and home to Elk, Bald Eagles, Black Bears, Mountain Lions, and many more species of wildlife.
5 Peace to all Who Enter – North Dakota
The International Peace Garden was built as a token of friendship and solidarity between Canada and the U.S. It’s located on the border of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada.
This botanical garden takes up 2,339-acres. In addition to the spectacular arrangements of flora and fauna, there is a bell tower, a 9/11 memorial, and a huge floral clock.
Just roaming the grounds is an adventure in itself and it’ll have you wondering how in the world you never heard about this place.
6 The Up’s and Down’s – Ohio
It’s recommended to not eat a heavy meal before visiting Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio. For thrill seekers who enjoy being frightened and slammed around, this is the roller capital of the world.
With 17 roller coasters rocking and rolling at all times, this is a Utopia for fans of these type rides. Reserved for only the bravest of diehards is Pipe Scream. The cars spin as they zoom along the tracks with reckless abandon.
If you try mastering all 17 of the coasters, once you’re done showing off your prowess you’ll need to rest for a while with both feet planted firmly on the ground.
7 Unexplained Mystery’s in a Vortex – Oklahoma
The House of Mystery and the Oklahoma Vortex leave visitors wondering what in the heck they just witnessed. Strange occurrences are on the menu which hasn’t changed for years.
Brooms stand on their own, balls roll uphill, and as you stand on a level platform your height will appear to change. All of the phenomenon and perceptual oddities are naturally occurring. Whatever your theory may be, it’ll be old hat. Even scientist are challenged to explain why these things happen.
If you think nobody back home will believe what you saw, it can all be captured on video.
8 How Corny Can Things Get? South Dakota
In South Dakota being corny knows no limits. At least at the Corn Palace located in Mitchell where you’ll see more kernels than you’ve ever seen before.
Annually, artists show up to complete new murals out of colored kernels of corn on the building. All over it! This began as a way for South Dakota to show the world their agricultural richness but turned into a yearly pilgrimage for artists to create something new and exciting.
If doing things outside the norm is your habit, or you want to make it a habit, America is a big place with lots of out-of-the-way unique attractions. Any of these eight are perfect places to begin your journey.
Maybe you know of somewhere that didn’t make the list. If so, how about sharing it with us?