USA March 10, 2016
These 50 Hidden Gems In The 50 States Will Blow You Away
One of the best things about living in the United States is its very diverse offerings. In the same country, there are breathtaking mountains, plains that allow you to see for miles, and gorgeous beaches. It’s nearly impossible to explore everything in one lifetime… but we want to help you try. Instead of showing you what comes up first in every vacation package out there, we want to guide you to the hidden gems of America. We had selected the most incredible one in each state – but everyone has different tastes, so be sure to click the links below the photos for the full article showcasing many more hardly-explored, amazing places.
Alabama - The Fictional Town of Spectre in Millbrook
Not many people are aware that Tim Burton's movie Big Fish was filmed here in Alabama. In Millbrook, you'll find the film set that was used for the fictional town of Spectre. Sadly, this film set is in ruins today.
Full Alabama Hidden Gems Article
Alaska - Petroglyph Beach in Wrangell
This strange beach in Alaska has the highest concentration of petroglyphs in the world, which justifies its name. The petroglyphs can mean many things, from land markers and hunting sights, to religious symbols and markings.
Full Petroglyph Beach Article
Arizona - Strawberry Schoolhouse Museum in the Town of Strawberry
The oldest schoolhouse in Arizona, the Strawberry Schoolhouse, was built in 1884 as a log cabin and served local children until its closure in 1916. Between then and it becoming a part of the Arizona Historical Society, the building was a home to many residents and faced a slow deterioration. In the 1980s the schoolhouse was restored and has been open to the public since.
Full Arizona Hidden Gems Article
Arkansas - Bard Springs Dam in Ouachita National Forest
The dam itself is located at the western end of the Bard Springs recreation area, and is about 65 feet long and 8 feet high at its center. It is made of fieldstone, and has a series of chutes and steps across its top. The dam was built in 1936.
Full Arkansas Hidden Gems Article
California - Castaway Restaurant in Burkbank
This hidden gem high up in the hills of the San Fernando Valley will take your breath away. But the view isn't the only reason to go - the award winning contemporary steak cuisine is sure to hit the spot. There's a location in San Bernandino as well.
Full Breathtaking SoCal Restaurants Article
Colorado - Terror-Dactyl in Manitou Springs
"The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the ride sits on the edge of a 200-foot cliff above Williams Canyon in Manitou Springs. Those brave enough to ride will be launched 150 feet into the canyon at nearly 100 miles per hour! " Not for the faint of heart (or for me).
Full Colorado Hidden Gems Article
Connecticut - PEZ Visitor Center in Orange
You can learn a lot about these little candies at the visitors center. Like did you know they were created to help deter people from smoking? Probably the tastiest cessation candy on the market! This is your chance to see the greatest collection of all time, including the largest dispenser in the world. Spoiler alert: it's twelve feet tall. But not for sale.
Full Connecticut Hidden Gems Article
Delaware - Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden in Georgetown
Wander through the gardens behind the Sussex County Cooperative Extension office in Georgetown for a glimpse of what every green-thumb hopes their garden will be. Bring the kids to check out the water features and fish below. Stroll through the shaded hosta garden, and get tips for making your lawn eco-friendly. If you're up north, check out the one in Newark at the New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office.
Full Delaware Hidden Gems Article
Florida - Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka
Florida has plenty of state parks, but this one in particular is worth a visit for its diverse 59 acres of rock gardens, cyprus buildings, and so much more.
Full Florida Hidden Gems Article
Georgia - Tiny Towne in Norcross
Give your children a real grown-up experience in Tiny Towne. Tiny Towne is an indoor mini-town for children aged 3-16. Kids can drive around the city, play games and freely roam while parents can feel safe about their kids driving! It's a fun time for the whole family.
Full GeorgiaHidden Gems Article
Hawaii - Bamboo Forest in Maui
Located on the Mauka (mountain) side between mile markers 6 and 7 en route to Hana is this tranquil, calm, bamboo forest, complete with lush jungle, four waterfalls, and several fresh water swimming holes.
Full Hawaii Hidden Gems Article
Idaho - Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail in Wallace
Not for the faint of heart, the Hiawatha Trail was formerly a rail-bed, now converted into a sublime and scenic mountain bike or hike trail 15 miles long. Repeatedly voted as the most beautiful "rails-to-trails" route in the country, the Hiawatha -- which sits hundreds of feet above the Northern Idaho treeline -- features ten train tunnels and seven sky-high trestles that will test your tolerance for heights. The trail also follows the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains near the Lookout Pass Ski Area. But fear not! Because the route is all downhill, buses are available to transport you and your bike back to the top, making the trail an easily enjoyable and unforgettable experience for all ages.
Full Idaho Hidden Gems Article
Illinois - Cave-In-Rock in Hardin County
Cave-in-Rock was originally a stronghold for outlaws including; river pirates and highwaymen, Samuel Mason and James Ford, tavern owner/highwayman, Isaiah L. Potts, serial-killers/bandits, the Harpe Brothers, counterfeiters, Philip Alston, Peter Alston, John Duff, Eson Bixby, and the Sturdivant Gang, and the post-Civil War bandit, Logan Belt. The population was 318 at the 2010 census.
Full Illinois Hidden Gems Article
Indiana - Cave Valley Near Mitchell
Cave Valley is a beautiful little waterfall and hidden gem in southern Indiana near Mitchell. It's well worth the trip especially in the Spring.
Full Indiana Natural Wonders Article
Iowa - Fenelon Place Elevator Car in Dubuque
Kansas - Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill on the Cottonwood River
Kentucky - Megacavern in Louisville
The Megacavern in Louisville has plenty of family activities from cave tours to zip lining to rock climbing. It's an underground world of its own.
Full Kentucky Hidden Gems Article
Louisiana - Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in Farmerville
Maine - Mount Agamenticus in the York/Ogunquit Area
This is a fairly easy hike that ends with a phenomenal view. The trail is a 1.5-mile loop near Cape Neddick. The trail is primarily used for hiking & mountain biking and allows dogs. Before being turned into a trail area, this was an "Upside Down" ski mountain. Drive your car up to the top and then ski yourself down!
Full Maine Hidden Gems Article
Maryland - The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
You can rock it old school with a ride on a train around scenic Western Maryland. It's a heritage railroad based in Cumberland, Maryland that goes to Frostburg, Maryland and back using both steam and diesel locomotives.
Full Maryland Jaw Dropping Places Article
Massachusetts - ‘Silo Studio’ Cottage in Tyringham
So this place is obviously ridiculously cool. The two-story cottage has a charming bedroom with canopied bed upstairs with views through trees to the lily pond and downstairs looks out on the babbling brook (complete with fairytale stone bridges). There are two acres of private woods to explore, an outdoor fireplace, and a swimming pond about two miles away. So much fairytale packed into one vacation rental.
Full Massachusetts Cabins Article
Michigan - Kitch-iti-kipi in Manistique
Minnesota - Judge C. R. Magney State Park
It's one of Minnesota's lesser visited parks but it offers offers amazing hiking and views of the Brule River, not to mention the Devil’s Kettle.
Full Minnesota Hidden Gems Article
Mississippi - All-American Rose Garden in Hattiesburg
Opened in 1974, the All-American Rose Garden attracts visitors from all over the country. The University of Southern Mississippi campus landmark features about 800 separate bushes adorned with the beautiful flowers.
Full Mississippi Hidden Gems Article
Missouri - The Cave Restaurant and Resort in Richland
The restaurant and resort, located on the Gasconade River in Richland features four cabins built in the 1920's, a fishing pond, volleyball and badminton courts, biking and hiking trails, canoe and tube rentals as well as a fishing pond. Open all year round, the resort centers around the The Cave Restaurant, which is just what it sounds like. They serve everything from steaks to Italian, but feature "Gary's catfish", locally provided. It seats 225, has a shuttle from parking lot to cave, and has live music most weekends. They are open all year round and are located at 26880 Rochester Road.
Full Missouri Hidden Gems Article
Montana - the town of Polebridge
This tiny town of 88 is only 35 miles south of the Canadian border. It’s also an amazing little spot to visit to get away from it all—between the affordable cabin rentals, the close proximity to Glacier National Park and the Polebridge Mercantile, you’ll have everything you need to relax and enjoy life.
Full Montana Hidden Gems Article
Nebraska - Happy Jack Chalk Mine in Scotia
Beloved by those who are in the know, Happy Jack Chalk Mine is still completely unknown to a lot of Nebraskans. This is Nebraska's only underground attraction; it provides a chance to walk through prehistory and more recent history all at once. The "chalk" is actually layers of ancient algae-like creatures called diatoms. An Army explorer discovered the site - which is actually an ancient lake bed - and locals began mining the chalk for building material and other uses. The mine was abandoned for quite some time, but opened as a renovated, lighted attraction in 1997. Happy Jack is one of only two known underground diatomite mines in the U.S., and the only one open to visitors.
Full Nebraska Hidden Gems Article
Nevada - Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas
The Neon Boneyard is part of the Neon Museum and offers more than 150 historic signs for visitors to view. Each sign has a unique story about when it was made and how it fits in with Las Vegas history. The Neon Boneyard is located at: 810 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101.
Full Nevada Hidden Gems Article
New Hampshire - Ruggles Mine in Grafton
At Ruggles Mine you could quite literally find a hidden gem, since the mine is full of over 150 types of minerals. Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery.
Full New Hampshire Hidden Gems Article
New Jersey - Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge in Stockton
New Mexico - Abó Ruins Near Mountainair
Abó is one of three ruined missions in the area, which are collectively called the Salinas Pueblo Missions. In addition to providing an architectural insight into the past, these ruins serve as a reminder of Spanish attempts to convert the local Native American population to Catholicism.
Full New Mexico Hidden Gems Article
New York - Ausable Chasm in Keeseville
While this may have managed to slide under your radar, Ausable Chasm is one of New York's best tourist attractions. Located in Keeseville, this historical sight to see is made up of beautiful sandstone and allows you to see the Ausable River powerfully running through it.
Full New York Natural Wonders Article
North Carolina - New-Bold Whitehouse in Hertford
Built in 1730 by a Quaker Family, the New-Bold house is the third oldest home in North Carolina, and open to the public! You'll love the colonial kitchen and muscadine grape vineyard. On your next trip to the beach, stop in for some history.
Full North Carolina Hidden Gems Article
North Dakota - Tiny Towns and Ghost Towns
North Dakota is home to many towns with populations under 100. Pictured above and located in Pembina County is Hamilton., It has a population of approximately 60. Though officially founded in 1882 when the railroad reached there, the post office in Hamilton had been in operation since three years prior in 1879.
Full North Dakota Tiny Town Article
Ohio - The Chateau Laroche in Loveland
Also known as the Loveland Castle, this small, historic castle is open for the public to explore for a small fee. It's a must see destination in Ohio.
Full Ohio Hidden Gems Article
Oklahoma - Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Located in the Arbuckle Mountains, Chickasaw is the oldest national park in Oklahoma. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy all the fun outdoor activities.
Full Oklahoma Hidden Gems Article
Oregon - Tamanawas Falls at the base of Mount Hood
After a short hike, you'll come to Tamanawas Falls... one of the most majestic sights not only in Oregon but the entire country.
Full Oregon Hidden Gems Article
Pennsylvania - Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor
Columcille's founders modeled it after the ancient Celtic Isle of Iona, a spiritual retreat off the coast of Scotland. The park, which consists of many stone structures built in the Pennsylvania woods, is meant to be a place of tranquility and reflection.
Full Pennsylvania Hidden Gems Article
Rhode Island - Beavertail State Park
Spanning 153 beautiful acres on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay, Beavertail State Park is a truly magical hidden gem. It is fully equipped with its own secret beaches, hiking trails, and mid-1800s lighthouse.
Full Rhode Island Hidden Gems Article
South Carolina - Hagwood Mill in Pickens
It is a water-powered grist mill that was originally built in 1826. Also on the grounds are a blacksmith shop, cotton gin, two restored log cabins, a gift shop, and so much more. Should definitely be on your to-do list!
Full South Carolina Hidden Gems Article
South Dakota - Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Made up of eight different counties in South Dakota, this area is absolutely breathtaking. Especially during the spring through fall months, it is a must-see. Drive through the refuge near daybreak or dusk for a chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Full South Dakota Hidden Gems Article
Tennessee - Firefly Swarms in the Great Smokey Mountains
Texas - Suspension Bridge in Regency
The only suspension bridge open to motor traffic in Texas, this is known as the "Swinging Bridge" by locals. As you drive over the bridge, enjoy the stunning views of the Colorado River below.
Full TexasHidden Gems Article
Utah - Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument
The 2,000-year-old petroglyphs at this site were carved by Fremont, Navajo, Anasazi and Pueblo people. The wall art is easy to see and photograph -- a fence keeps visitors from touching the petroglyphs, but it’s installed 10 to 15 feet from the rock face.
Full Utah Hidden Gems Article
Virginia - Chateau Morissette Vineyard in Floyd
“Old” is all about perspective when it comes to Virginia wines. While Virginia wines may be gaining international attention now, when David Morissette opened Chateau Morissette in the 1980s, the art of winemaking was still relatively new to the Commonwealth. His father, William, had been experimenting with vines since the 1970s, so when they began official production, they were among the first, and today the oldest, working wineries in Virginia. The winery now produces approximately 70,000 cases of their signature red, white and blush wines, which are known as much for the dogs on the label as the delicious wines inside. The winery features a dining room, as well as music festivals, summer music series and many more special events. Located in the heart of the Virginia countryside, Chateau Morissette is a trip you won’t be sorry you took.
Full Virginia Hidden Gems Article
Vermont - Ithilel Falls in Johnson.
Ithilel Falls in Johnson is a hidden gem for the lovers of water sports and beach goers alike. Each season brings a different personality of the river; for example, swift in spring, gentle in the summer. For added history to this lovely spot, the falls were once a Class 5 River Rapid, which caused massive flooding in the town of Johnson in 1927. The falls were later blown up by the Civilian Conservation Corps and became a Class 2 Rapid. The famous Long Trail goes over the falls by means of a suspension bridge. For the less daring, there is easy access to get here on a sandy walk with parking access via Hogback Road.
Full Vermont Hidden Gems Article
Washington - Cedar Creek Treehouse by Mt. Rainier
Cedar Creek Treehouse is a privately owned & operated retreat offering a unique B&B experience up in a 200-year-old Western Red Cedar tree at 50-feet in the air. They also have a Treehouse Observatory where you can catch some phenomenal views, accessible via the Rainbow Bridge.
Full Washington Hidden Gems Article
West Virginia - Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County
We may not be able to time travel, but on the Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County, you'll feel like your living history. Originally built to haul timber to a mill, the railroad now takes visitors on excursions through the West Virginia hills.
Full West Virginia Hidden Gems Article
Wisconsin - The Delta Diner in Wisconsin
The Delta Diner is a truly unique experience. It is located in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest. No, really. Many people visit on ATVs or on snowmobiles in the winter. You get the authentic diner experience in a truly unique setting.
Full Wisconsin Hidden Gems Article
Wyoming - The Guernsey Ruts
AKA, Deep Rut Hill. Located south of Guernsey, these soft sandstone ruts were created by covered wagons as part of the historical Oregon Trail.
Full Wyoming Hidden Gems Article
There are so many more hidden gems across America. We couldn’t possibly include them all in one post, so be sure to Like our
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