Often called “the last frontier”, Denali in central Alaska is really remote. You can visit this park only during the summer months. Take the Denali Star train or you can drive from Anchorage. The five hour road trip is going to remain etched in your memory for years. Denali is huge (bigger than Massachusetts), wild, and stunning. You can see grizzly bears, bald eagles and wolves. Try one of the cycling or hiking trails. Stay overnight at campgrounds. There are many of them in the park. And of course, there is Mt McKinley, which is the tallest peak in North America. Denali can be very cold, even during the summer, as it is on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
This is another cold and remote offbeat destination. The snow-blanketed, jagged and glacier-sculpted peaks are going to tower dramatically over your head all the time. The meadows are rich in wildflowers. The stunning aquamarine lakes complete the pristine scenery. If you love wilderness and nature at its wild best, then you have got to visit the Glacier National Park at least once. It is a favorite for a lot of people, but you will never have a crowd here.
Sleeping Bear Dunes is a mere five miles from Empire in Michigan. This 2,000 year old dune is along Lake Michigan. It was formed by wind coming in from the lake. Standing at more than 234 feet, it’s a huge dune and a prominent natural attraction with the local population. Climbing to the top is challenging and fun, but what’s more enjoyable is the ride down the hill. Views are stunning from the top. You can bike or walk along the Heritage Trail afterwards.
This is small town America at its best. It’s nothing flashy like the big cities, but it is beautiful nonetheless. Just park your car at this sleepy little town and walk around to take in all the sights. There are golf clubs, a historic opera house, and a river walk that has been beautified. End the day at one of the many restaurants. Already thinking of a return trip?
This is a 200 million year rock formation just outside Chattanooga. See the 90 foot waterfall, gardens, and the suspended bridge. There are fairytale caverns for young kids. Don’t miss the 1,000 ton balanced rock and Ruby Falls, which is the deepest and tallest waterfall in the world. Explore the trails winding through these attractions. From the top of Lookout Mountain, you will get a stunning view of seven states. There are many special events throughout the year, such as the Southern Blooms Festival, Summer Music Weekends, and the Enchanted Garden of Lights.