5 Places You Should Not Ignore in the US
Las Vegas, LA, New York, San Fran, Grand Canyon and maybe New Orleans. This is the typical itinerary of an Aussie travelling to the US and with good reason. These are amazing and FUN destinations to visit, BUT the US holds way more treasures for you to explore a little wider and deeper.
This state packs in snow-peaked beauty and endless adventure. Colorado is home to four national parks including Black Canyon – one of the steepest and narrowest canyons in North America. We loved camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains National Park and seeing the source of the Colorado River. Colorado also has plenty of hot springs to relax those tired muscles in. It also has some of the best ski resorts in the country and has more craft brewers than any other state.
Utah is God’s art studio – an explosion of colours and rock sculptures and beauty you’ve never seen before. It rarely makes a person’s US itinerary, but for me, it’s my favourite state in the country. With five national parks, seven national monuments, and some of the best snow in the country, there is so much to see and do. Take your pick of experiencing incredible views, driving through lunar landscapes, hiking through deep and narrow gorges, canyoning and rockclimbing, and exploring ancient spiritual lands.
Utah represents the best of the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
Easy living and a genteel spirit, that is the charm of this Southern town that has been voted America’s best city three times over. Soak up the atmosphere as you wander the cobblestone streets and past gracious antebellum mansions South of Broad Street, or SOB as the locals call it.
The nearby plantation homes and estates will sweep you into the romance of years gone by as well as providing a sobering look at the history of slavery. The locals are friendly and charming and are intensely proud to show off their city steep in American history. But it’s not just a look back into history here, as cosmopolitan restaurants, food trucks and craft breweries are opening up almost every week
4. Savannah, Georgia
Like Charleston, Savannah has cultural and historic depth that oozes Southern charm. It may seem familiar to you as it’s the place where many famous movies have been filmed, including Forest Gump. Savannah also hosts one of the world’s biggest St Patrick Day parties. Take a historic trolley tour to familiarise yourself with this beautiful city and learn so much about it. My favourite thing to do is cycle, or walk through the Squares, or communal mini-parks, scattered throughout downtown. You’ll quickly fall in love with the historic buildings and the live oaks draped in Spanish Moss.
If you need a beach fix, nearby Tybee Island is a quirky and laid-back beach town.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
Boot scooting fun awaits in Nashville! Music spills out of almost every venue in town, the most fun being the honky tonk bars! It’s a cultural must-do. It’s not just country music either, there’s alt-indie rock, acoustic hip-hop and gospel venues. Many famous musicians live in Nashville (including our own Keith Urban) and are known to jump up on stage to sing an impromptu tune or two.
Don’t miss the amazing Country Music Hall of Fame. I learned so much about the origins of music here. Nashville is also emerging as a hot foodie scene and arts scene. Just try and leave there without a cowboy hat and a pair of boots!