Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

11 Unique Places to Visit in the USA

We travel full time and get to see some amazing and unique things around the US. From snowcapped mountains to tropical beaches. From the east coast to the west coast, one thing is incredibly certain – there is no shortage of awe-inspiring, diverse, and incredibly beautiful places to visit in the USA.

Mono Lake

Mono Lake is a saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake and make its water alkaline. The most distinctive feature at Mono Lake is its eerie tufa towers-mineral structures created when fresh-water springs bubble up through the alkaline waters of the lake. The lake’s salty water not only makes you float but sustains trillions of brine shrimp, attracting millions of migratory birds to feast on them. This is such an amazing photography location.


You just can’t miss seeing this amazing part of Arizona. The towering canyon walls and jagged rock formations record 300 million years of Earth’s history. Catch a glimpse of Sedona’s unique wildlife and stunning red rocks. Don’t miss a hot air balloon ride. Sedona’s concentration of sacred vortexes radiate Earth’s power and release psychic energy to heal, inspire, and uplift its visitors. Check out some of the research done on the vortex locations. Pretty amazing!

Bisti Badlands

This place is one of the most unusual places we’ve ever been to. It didn’t even appear we were still on this Earth. Located south of Farmington, NM off of Highway 371. Photographers, hikers, and explorers from around the world visit the Bisti Badlands to see the hoodoos, desert spires, natural arches, and fossils unique to this area. You can reach some truly astonishing landscapes within 1-4 miles of the main parking lot. Also, when we were there, you could boondock in the parking lot overnight. We did, and it was amazing. You can see our whole blog post here: Bisti Badlands ~ New Mexico’s Most Hidden Gem

Apostle Island National Lakeshore

Nothing will remind you that you’re on Mother Nature’s terms quite like venturing to the Apostle Islands in search of ice caves. Each winter, crashing waves from Lake Superior freeze and form an incredible network of awe-inspiring arches and pillars. If you don’t want to visit in winter, make sure you visit in the summer. And if the weather is nice, you can kayak this amazing place. But keep in mind the conditions on Lake Superior. It can be really unpredictable.

Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital

In 1796 the Smallpox vaccine was discovered. Many cities built hospitals just for smallpox victims in order to quarantine them from other patients. In New York, Renwick Hospital on Roosevelt Island treated 7,000 patients a year in the late 1800s. The city abandoned the hospital in the 1950s, but it was then declared a city landmark in 1975. Although the hospital is not open for tours, you can still visit the ruins. The ruins are an amazing part of our history and a great place for photography.

Angel Oak

Located near Charleston, South Carolina, this tree is estimated to be 400–500 years old. It stands 66.5 ft tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. Its longest branch distance is 187 ft in length. Angel Oak is thought to be one of the oldest trees and living things as a whole east of the Mississippi River. While live oaks are known to only grow out and not upwards, the long history of Angel Oak has allowed it to grow both out and up.

Travertine Hot Springs

This stunning hot spring is located in Bridgeport, California. You can soak in these incredible hot springs while looking over at the Sierra mountain range. It features several small pools, each surrounded by lovely rock formations. Just remember, this hot springs is clothing optional, so don’t be shocked to not see any bathing suits.

Letchworth State Park

This park is remarkable but also has a special place in our hearts. It’s where Justin and I made the decision to sell our two homes and travel full time in our RV to live life more intentionally. Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is where a 17-mile stretch of the Genesee River roars through the park’s scenic gorge with three major waterfalls and cliffs as high as 600 feet. A great place for hiking! In fact, one of our favorite trails is marked as Portage Trail #6. It’s an easy, 1.5-mile trail. We did several of the trails in Letchworth and they were all amazing.

The Fly Geyser

This is considered one of the most colorful places in the US. Located in Nevada, The Fly Geyser is a manmade geyser. The story behind it is a geothermic energy company drilled a test well and found geothermal boiling water that reached 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The well was re-sealed, but it didn’t hold, creating a geyser spewing water into the air. Fly Geyser has only continued to grow during the last several decades and the thermophilic algae on its exterior adds to its strange appearance and forever changing colors and shape.

Glass Beach

Something beautiful from trash! Glass Beach is a beach adjacent to MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California, named from a time when it was abundant with sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town. If you visit, please be respectful and do not collect souvenirs. The glass is protected under California law but being depleted rapidly by tourists. There are abundant opportunities to purchase collectibles in Fort Bragg or capture the best memories with your camera.

Corn Palace

Ok, so this was one of those quick stops for us when we were visiting South Dakota. The Corn Palace is open year-round and is free to visit. The Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses to make it “the agricultural show-place of the world”. They currently use 12 different colors or shades of corn to decorate the Corn Palace. When we visited, it was the Rock & Roll theme. Definitely worth a visit if you are going through South Dakota.

We hope you found some value and fun things to put on your bucket list. Let us know some of your favorite unique places to visit.

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