2020 turned out to be an unusual year and many Americans who cannot travel abroad because of the pandemic are now turning their attention to hidden tourist attractions in their own country. Are you looking for a vacation off the beaten track? Here are a few amazing places you’ve probably never heard of.
Grotto of the Redemption in Iowa
The locals call it the Eighth Wonder of the World and they have every reason to be proud of this little place in West Bend. First of all, it’s the largest man-made grotto in the world and its architecture is stupendous. The Grotto of the Redemption also features the largest collection of precious stones and gems found anywhere in the world in one place. And, yes, the place is very well guarded.
Old Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise
A blast from the past. When you visit Idaho you can have your pick among ruins of centuries past and ghost towns that still preserve the memory of their last inhabitants. The inhabitants of the Old State Penitentiary in Boise would have given anything to live elsewhere and if you visit the place you’ll understand why. This is one of the few places in the US where you can actually see how inmates lived, you’ll learn about their daily routines, plus some stories about its most famous guests, like Lady Bluebeard.
Make your trip to Idaho a full history lesson by visiting some of its famous ghost towns, like Gilmore or Custer, where you can discover the lives of the miners that came to Idaho to look for various minerals.
Blue Hole in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Want something more light for your vacation? Try the Blue Hole in Morgantown, an amazing swimming hole set in the middle of a breathtaking green forest. The water is not deep, so your kids can safely enjoy themselves and you will come back with a ton of splendid photos.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves, Wisconsin.
A trip to Lakeshore is a unique experience as the place is so varied there’s no way you’ll be bored. The 21 so-called Apostle Islands have so many things to offer – old forests, eerie lighthouses and, of course, the magical ice caves. This is a place you should visit in winter, when the caves are adorned with huge glistening icicles.
The Ghost Town of Bodie, California
The gold rush is one of the most fascinating parts of America’s history. If you’ve ever wondered about the life of those people who went West to make a fortune, now you can take a close look at it. Maybe the first guy to settle here was a Bodie, maybe not, but at the height of its prosperity over 7,000 tried their luck there. You can walk the streets and peek inside their houses, some of which have been left undisturbed for over 100 years. You’ll see clothes hanging on pegs and dishes on the tables, although the old gold-seekers are never coming back.