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Boasting inspiring national parks, gorgeous lush green valleys, plenty of adventure parks, thrilling adventure sports, and stunning beaches - the United States is the perfect place for you to head to for a refreshing vacation in 2020! And it offers a seemingly inexhaustable supply of amazing sights and experiences. If you've already seen the marquis destinations - New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, and so forth - there are plenty of lesser known places that are amazingly rewarding - and let you enjoy a holiday far away from the maddening crowds and revel in privacy and seclusion. Here are five that are well worth your time and money:
The Oregon Coast
The Pacific Northwest is a lush region full of exciting cities, charming small towns, and exuberant nature, and one of its most spectacular wonders is its rugged 362-mile coastline, full of lovely beaches; 11 historic lighthouses; nature reserves with wonderful hiking trails; and more. Highlights include the Three Capes Scenic Loop, including Cannon Beach with its iconic Haystack Rock (top); cute beach towns like Newport (known for its sport fishing, seafood, and fine aquarium) and Florence (especially popular because of its proximity to Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area).
Just under two hours south of Phoenix, the mountains-and-desert setting of this gracious city offers a relaxing mix of scenic hiking, guest ranches, fabulous dining, superb golfing, and luxurious resorts. Head up into the hills to Mount Lemmon, surrounded by the Colorado National Forest and home to a picturesque town of the same name, for hiking, outdoor adventure, and wintertime skiing and snowboarding.
Santa Barbara, California
Along the Pacific coast three hours north of Los Angeles and dubbed "America's Riviera," this city is tops when it comes to a laidback holiday, appealing attractions, and perfect year-round weather. Founded by Spanish missionaries and soldiers in 1782, Santa Barbara still has several colonial sites and well as good museums and cultural offerings - plus these days also a thriving culinary menu as well as sun-and-fun/surf scene in spots like Butterfly Beach and Arroyo Burro Beach Country Park. And the lovely local wine country and its vineyards will have lovers of the grape holding out their glasses for more.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Snow in July? You've got it, up in Montana's northwest next to the Canadian border. Encompassing more than
1,560m square miles of s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes, and yes glaciers (though due to climate change most have significantly shrunk, and some have disappeared altogether), the park has more than 700 miles of trails and 13 magnificent camp sites; you can also get backcountry-camping permits. You can also spot wildlife; the mountain goat (above) is the park's symbol, and it's also home to bighorn sheep, moose, elk, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, grizzly bears, lynxes, and of course myriad species of birds. A true nature lover's delight!
The Hawaiian Islands' second largest isle isn't exactly "lesser known," but I can't help including it because of its laid back tropical vibe, with sublime scenery and beaches, myriad adventure options, amazing dining, fascinating agritourism, a bit of history in old town Lahaina, and lovely drives like the Hana Highway.
Intrigued? Check out some more awesome US holiday packages here!