20 Amazing Places You Can Visit Without Leaving North America from 20 Amazing Places You Can Visit Without Leaving North America
20 Amazing Places You Can Visit Without Leaving North America
Many people dream of a vacation to a faraway place where huge crowds are never a concern. The Internet often makes it look like there is no unexplored place left on the planet. But the truth is that you most likely don’t have to go far at all to explore some of Earth’s natural wonders. So don’t let time pass you by. Get out there and travel. Visit one-of-a-kind attractions, incredible landscapes, vibrant cities and iconic landmarks in North America.
Red Rock Country, Arizona
Go on a road trip to witness incredible sights of unbelievable views of the famous Red Rock Country and experience all the thrilling adventures along the way. You can hike, bike, golf, and join tours to see just why the Red Rocks are unique. The scenic byway starts in Sedona. Some of the natural formations in the area, such as the Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock, have been featured in movies. Around one third of the region is Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness, one of ten designated wilderness areas in Coconino National Forest. Other adventures include bicycling, horseback riding, camping, fishing, swimming, sightseeing, and nature viewing.
Death Valley, California
Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth. It’s the lowest, driest, and hottest spot in the U.S., holding the record for the highest reliably reported air temperatures – 134.06 degrees Fahrenheit – measured in 1913. Park rangers at Death Valley National Park are sick of cleaning up after people frying eggs on the ground. More than 3 million acres of wilderness and almost 700 miles of backcountry dirt roads are open for camping in this spectacular national park. This is where you can see meteor showers and lunar eclipses as there is almost no artificial light disturbing the breathtaking views.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Great beaches comprising about 60 miles, food and parties round out a few of the reasons to visit and the deals on hotels are also a major draw. Senior Frogs, Club Boca and Malibu’s Surf Bar are just a few of the nightlife options and with dozens of hotels offering deals; so finding a cheap place to stay is not a problem. The friendly city is famous for having some of the best body surfing waters in the region. For a carnival-like vibe and experiences you just need to go to the boardwalk and promenade.
Crater Lake, Oregon
This is one of the most spectacular lakes in the whole world. It is the deepest in the U.S. with a measured depth of 1,949 feet. The water is so blue because there is hardly anything else in it – just water, according to the NPS. Boat tours, swimming, fishing, ranger talks, evening programs, camping, and other activities are offered. Explore old-growth forests or wildflower meadows, and climb mountains for great views of the lake. The national park, due to its breathtaking views, is one of the best places for RV camping.
Vancouver, British Columbia
The city isn’t too far from Seattle or Portland, making it a perfect trip for a long weekend. Visit in October when locals celebrate craft beer from all over British Columbia, which happens to be the birthplace of craft beer in the country. Vancouver is a beautiful costal city. It is a great place to visit in the spring as well. Japan has given it more than 37,000 cherry blossom trees. No wonder the city gets so into the sakura celebration. Visit in time for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival when hundreds of blossoms at a time can be found in different parts of Vancouver and its 50 parks.
New Orleans, Louisiana
As the Cajun French say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler”—let the good times roll. New Orleans is a destination unlike any other, steeped in history, famous fare and good times. Best known for Mardi Gras, the city has earned a wild reputation and Bourbon Street is always worth a stroll, but there’s more to the city than a stretch of bars. But there is a lot more to do besides eating and drinking – see live music, go to the Warehouse District, take a literary tour, explore the swamps to see friendly gators, or “run with the bulls.” Just make sure you don’t make these common tourist mistakes.
The Everglades made the Top 4 in the best national parks ranking this year. There is a lot more to do in the largest subtropical wilderness – more than 2,400 square miles – in the country. The park is astoundingly diverse which is amazing considering there is rarely ever a change in altitude. You can see certain places only by kayak, wildlife is like nowhere else, and it’s perfect for paddling and camping, especially in the spring. Be on the lookout for manatees, alligators and crocodiles.
Leavenworth has it all in the winter – skiing and snowboarding, sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, ski jumping and snowshoeing, snowcat skiing, and dog sledding. You will never be bored there as long as you don’t mind playing with snow. You won’t regret going to a wine tasting. The Leavenworth Valley Wine Country is one of the hottest up-and-coming wine hotbeds in the Northwest. The town is also an amazing place to climb. For a more active adventure, run along the Skyline Lake Trail, a 3.3-mile loop near the city which features a lake, and the Colchuck Lake Trail, an 8-mile out and back trail.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend visitors have many opportunities for an unforgettable camping experience, especially in the spring. The Rio Grande Village Campground, adjacent to the Rio Grande, offers a camp store and showers within walking distance, as well as an RV campground with full hook-ups. You’ll also enjoy seeing migratory birds, stunning wildflowers and breathtaking canyon views. Conservation fans can have a blast – more than 440 species of birds flock to the park this time of the year; hiking trails take you through rivers, mountains, and deserts in one trip.
Niagara Falls, Canada and the U.S.
Whether you choose to visit this majestic place from its Canadian side near Toronto or across the American border near Buffalo, N.Y., you won’t regret it. It consists of three waterfalls: The Horseshoe Falls (the most powerful waterfall in North America), the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. They have a combined fall with the highest flow rate of all of the world’s waterfalls.
Big Sur, California
Explore the gorgeous rugged California coastline. You will have the opportunity to camp among redwoods, relax in hot springs and taste some of the country’s finest wine. The rocky stretch between Carmel and San Simeon is a stunning place to visit. Make it a part of a once in a lifetime road trip if you have an extra day. Drive Big Sur’s length via twisting Highway One. The Bixby Bridge, one of the most gorgeous in the world, is a favorite spot for photos. Artists and writers often go there for inspiration. The small village, surrounded by redwood-filled parks has a few charming restaurants and galleries.
Old Faithful, Wyoming
Yellowstone’s hydrothermal systems are an enigma. The iconic geyser erupts every 90 minutes, on average, like clockwork and lasts for up to five minutes. The eruptions reach as high as 130 feet, clearing 180 feet. One way to see the geyser’s power is to join the crowds of tourists. Another is to go to the less crowded place in the dining room of the nearby Old Faithful Inn. The thrill-seekers may want to consider the mile-long hike out to Observation Point for a bird's-eye view of the Upper Geyser Basin.
Montreal has one of the best bike sharing programs in the world, so why not make the most of it and explore this beautiful city in an active and adventurous way? This is a city brimming with fine food, contemporary design, and festival after festival, celebrating the city’s rich architectural and historical heritage. In May, the metropolis is heaven for culture seekers, especially around Montreal Museum Day. The major hub for creatives like musicians, dancers and writers, the city itself feels inspired and there’s always something going on.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
You won’t find similar mixtures of color and erosional formations anywhere else. The canyon is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and about a mile deep, according to the NPS. The temperatures become too overwhelming in May, so spring is the time to see the national park in all of its might and beauty. Hiking, biking, overnight backpacking, and trips along the canyon rim are all available. Climb to the top of the stone Watchtower, which is 70 feet tall, for a panoramic view covering more than 100 miles.
Spring skiing is in many ways better than hitting the slopes in December and January – longer days, more sunshine, cheaper prices. Colorado has many of the country’s best resorts. The one in Vail is scheduled to stay open until April 23. Expert skiers and snowboarders love to frequent this big-time mountain. Spring Back to Vail, the annual spring bash celebrating the close of the winter season, returns. The weekend is jam-packed with events including the World Pond Skimming Championships, live music, sponsor Expo Village, après parties, and gear giveaways.
Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
It features North America’s highest mountain – the 20,310-foot tall Denali peak, formerly known as Mount McKinley. The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers. Denali’s more than 6 million acres also encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose. The park accommodates a wide variety of visitor use including wildlife viewing, mountaineering, and backpacking.
Williamsburg forms the “Historic Triangle” together with Jamestown and Yorktown. Spend the day idiing world-class roller coasters at Busch Gardens, visit Colonial Williamsburg, go on a sunset voyage on a pirate ship, and go for a walk around the York River State Park. The 24-mile scenic Colonial National Parkway is one of the best routes for fall leaf peeping. Another great option is the 51-mile Virginia Capital trail, which connects Jamestown and Williamsburg to Richmond. Biking, hiking or zip lining are among the most popular adventures.
Go on top of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic CN Tower. Visit several of the city’s both indoor and outdoor amusement parks to keep the kids entertained. Don’t be sad if you are missing the beach. Toronto’s waterfront parks have sand or cobble beaches for you to enjoy. Toronto is also an astonishing destination for art lovers. The city’s galleries – from contemporary and traditional art to abstract to digital structures – have something for everyone.
Napa Valley, California
Try the world-famous wine and get your fix of stunning foliage. Napa Valley is a place you need to visit at least once and fall is a great time to go. After your initial trip dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, biking picturesque paths and tasting some of the best wine in the world, your subsequent return to Napa will be practically guaranteed. The Valley’s proximity to San Francisco and Sacramento make it an easy choice for a weekend getaway. Napa Valley is also a top spot for scenic hot air balloon rides.
Banff National Park, Canada
All of Canada’s parks are free for visitors in 2017 in honor of the country’s 150th birthday this year. Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada’s first and the world’s third. Visiting the park in the winter is like being in a small Swiss skiing town. Hiking, biking and rock climbing are popular during other months and people take advantage of the incredibly diverse rugged terrain. The ancient monoliths range from 45 to 120 million years old, with the highest in the park, Mount Forbes, coming in at 11,850 feet, according to National Geographic.