The Most Crowd-Free Spot in Your State from The Most Crowd-Free Spot in Your State

The Most Crowd-Free Spot in Your State

The Most Crowd-Free Spot in Your State

Taking a break, whether for the weekend, a week or a month, and going out of town is priceless. Don’t flock to tourist traps like New York or Los Angeles. Think outside the box instead and visit places you may have never heard of before. Escape the madding crowds and check the following under-the-radar gems. They are not completely empty, but you are not going to wait for hours just to see them.

Alabama – Alabama Historical Radio Museum

Alabama – Alabama Historical Radio Museum
Image capture: Jan 2017© 2018 Google

The name kind of explains why – this museum is for radio enthusiasts, and they are not a growing bunch. Visitors get to see and listen to radios manufactured more than 50 years ago.

Alaska – Talkeetna

Alaska – Talkeetna
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Have you heard of this (winter) wonderland? Nordic skiing is among the most exotic winter experiences you can have Alaska. Or maybe snowmobiling across the frozen river? Take your pick. Chase the Northern Lights, undisturbed by city lights. The city offers many zip-line tours in the winter. If you want spectacular pictures of frozen rivers and amazing nature, in general, go flightseeing above the Alaska Range.

Arizona – Grand Canyon’s North Rim

Arizona – Grand Canyon’s North Rim
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This is the canyon’s lesser known trail. The campground is among the best places to stay but you have to reserve a spot in advance. Only a small fraction of the park’s visitors travel to the North Rim. It’s the more rugged and less touristy section. It’s closed in the winter and without many of the “comforts” of the South Rim.

Arkansas – Mountain View

Arkansas – Mountain View
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This is where you go if you want to experience traditional music and see folkways preserved. The town is all about music. Once the weather gets warm, musicians join locals and play music late into the night hours outside around the town square, according to Arkansas The Natural State.

California - Tennessee Valley

California - Tennessee Valley
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Tennessee Valley meanders for approximately two miles through serene, rolling hills down to the Pacific Ocean. During low tide, it is possible to get around the southern end to reach another small, sandy beach with interesting rock formations. Swimming is not a good idea.

Colorado - Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Colorado - Black Canyon of the Gunnison
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No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. But it’s consistently among the least visited places in the U.S. Black Canyon has some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. There are no maintained or marked trails into the inner canyon.

Connecticut – Union

Connecticut – Union

This under-the-radar city is nestled in the northern part of Connecticut. Union is the least populated town in the state. Perhaps that’s because much of it is occupied by the beautiful Bigelow Hollow State Park. Kayaking, fishing, and hiking are encourage in this small town.

Delaware – Bridgeville

Delaware – Bridgeville

This is a quiet little town on the Delmarva Peninsula. It’s known for the Apple-Scrapple Festival held every October, the mission of which is to promote the agriculture industry.

Florida - Dry Tortugas

Florida - Dry Tortugas
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The national park is only by boat or seaplane, which may explain why it gets just over 70,000 recreational visits a year. The park comprises mostly open water around seven small coral reef islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Lying some 70 miles of open sea west of Key West, 19th century Fort Jefferson is the centerpiece, surrounded by blue waters so you can snorkel with incredible marine life.

Georgia - Little Tybee Island

Georgia - Little Tybee Island
Dreamtime

This pure, uninhabited nature preserve is accessible only by boat, according to Visit Tybee. The wilderness gem is home to rich coastal salt marshes, pristine beaches, natural dunes and subtropical forests of live oak, pine and palm. Wildlife includes the egret, heron, white ibis and the endangered woodstork. Camping is allowed.

Hawaii - Lanai City

Hawaii - Lanai City
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While the Hawaiian island of Lanai is often overlooked in favor of the larger, more populated islands, but Lanai, this peaceful spot and its main city, are considered by many to be the most authentically Hawaiian.

Idaho - Craters of the Moon

Idaho - Craters of the Moon
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The rugged landscape remains remote and largely undeveloped. Craters of the Moon National Park features other-worldly volcanic formations and lava flows. Think of being on the moon but without the cool view of Earth. The monument contains three major lava fields covering almost half a million acres and a quarter million acres of sagebrush steppe grasslands.

Illinois – The Super Museum

Illinois – The Super Museum

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This is where you go for all things Superman. It’s located in the Man of Steel's official hometown of Metropolis on, appropriately named, Superman Square. It had more than 20,000 items from Jim Hambrick, who is a longtime Superman enthusiast and collector.

Indiana – Sunken Gardens

Indiana – Sunken Gardens

This is one of the most beautiful places in the entire state. It’s the only Nebraska garden listed in the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada” by National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens. Visitors can tiptoe through the tulips, watch the thousands of annuals bloom, and enjoy various trees and shrubs.

Iowa – The Grant Wood Scenic Byway

Iowa – The Grant Wood Scenic Byway
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This amazing road offers 68 miles of stunning views and art. The byway was named for 1930's Iowa native artist Grant Wood. It’s a tribute to his skill in reproducing a place and a culture through his art. Locals say the best time to go and explore the beautiful road is in the fall.

Kansas - Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Kansas - Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Cindy L./Yelp

This is a 116-acre nature preserve in Olathe that has many trails as well as an education center with animals, and exhibits. It offers many programs, making it ideal for a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll see tall grass prairies, upland meadows, bottom land forest and a gorgeous stream.

Kentucky - The National Corvette Museum

Kentucky - The National Corvette Museum

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The fact that the museum raffles Corvettes, “America's true sports car,” and you could be the lucky winner is a reason enough to visit. See over 80 Corvettes in periodic settings, including mint classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes and modern-day wonders of engineering and design. Test your knowledge at interactive trivia kiosks, and don’t miss the chance to try a Corvette on. Displays continually rotate so no two visits are the same.

Louisiana - New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Louisiana - New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Jerrye &Roy Klotz, MD/Wikimedia Commons

Can you think of a better place to have a national park dedicated to jazz? Start with the New Orleans Jazz Museum. You can go on a self-guided audio tour, but certainly make time for exploring the neighborhoods “where it all began.” The park historical is located in the Tremé neighborhood, near the French Quarter.

Maine - Katahdin Region, Baxter State Park

Maine - Katahdin Region, Baxter State Park
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Baxter State Park is home to the state’s highest mountain, Mt. Katahdin, at 5,270 feet. Most of the visitors are hikers and campers who traverse the more than 200 miles of hiking trails to witness stunning views of New England and sleep under the stars at the park’s ten campgrounds.

Maryland – Berlin

Maryland – Berlin
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Berlin, one of the most underrated small towns in America, was named the country’s coolest small town in 2014 by Budget Travel. Visiting is like traveling back in time. Stroll down Main Street to walk along the path taken by the Assateague and Pocomoke Indians well before the colonial period.

Massachusetts – Museum of Bad Art

Massachusetts – Museum of Bad Art

Do you have time to look at bad art? The museum is the only one in the world dedicated to displaying terrible art (on purpose at least). Its more than 600 pieces were mostly scavenged from dumpsters, curb sides or thrift stores.

Michigan – Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Michigan – Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
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The 7.4 mile drive loops through the Beech-Maple forest and sand dunes and provides insight to the history of the area, a sampling of the vegetative communities within the park and remarkable overlooks of the Glen Lakes, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and, of course, Lake Michigan, according to NPS.

Minnesota - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Minnesota - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
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Locals say this is the most underrated place in the state. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is part of the Superior National Forest. Over 1 million acres in size, it has over 1,200 miles of canoe routes. There are a limited number of quota permits available for each entry point.

Mississippi - Pascagoula River

Mississippi - Pascagoula River
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The river in southeastern Mississippi is about 80 miles long. Called the “singing river,” it is the largest (by volume) undammed river in the contiguous 48 states, according to the Nature Conservancy. More than 35,000 acres of land along the Pascagoula has been preserved for the public.

Missouri - Castor River Shut-Ins

Missouri - Castor River Shut-Ins

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These are Missouri’s only known pink granite shut-ins. The pinkish granite rocks from the Breadtray formation and the rushing, cascading water of the Castor River certainly make for amazing photos. Castor River flows through the area with pools, riffles, the shut-in, and small waterfalls, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Montana – Bob Marshall Wilderness

Montana – Bob Marshall Wilderness

Even in vast, wild Montana, the Bob Marshall Wilderness is vast and wild. Following the Continental Divide for 60 miles, “The Bob” has one million acres of rocky ridges, alpine meadows and dense forest populated by major North American megafauna, including wolves and grizzlies. Adding to its forbidding nature is a 22-mile, 1,000-foot-high escarpment called the Chinese Wall.

Nebraska - Gross village

Nebraska - Gross village

With only two people living here, you are not likely to run into any crowds at any time. Nebraska has a penchant for common nouns as town names, such as Magnet and Worms, but perhaps the most unappealing city name is this one. Ahead of the opening of a new railroad, the area was settled in 1893 by Ben Gross and his wife. The community began to thrive until the railroad ultimately bypassed the new city.

Nevada - Cottonwood Valley

Nevada - Cottonwood Valley
AllTrails

You’re going to like it if you are into mountain biking. Enjoy dozens of miles of marked trails just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. Cottonwood Valley has routes to entertain any rider (with an emphasis on beginner and intermediate riding) and stunning views to match.

New Hampshire – American Classic Arcade Museum

New Hampshire – American Classic Arcade Museum

It’s a borough in Camden County with just five residents. The whole purpose of it being formed was so members of Tavistock Country Club were allowed to play golf on Sundays by members of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

New Jersey - Space Farms Museum and Zoo, Sussex

New Jersey - Space Farms Museum and Zoo, Sussex

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Explore antique cars and wild animals in one place. The 100 acre zoo and museum complex – there are nine museum buildings – is located in Wantage. You can also see old horse drawn carriages and sleighs, antique dolls, one the largest private antique firearms collections, old farm machinery, and Indian artifacts.

New Mexico - Los Alamos

New Mexico - Los Alamos
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The city’s rich history will astonish you. Take the historic walking tour and see ancestral pueblo dwellings, a homesteader’s cabin, and very spot where the first atomic bomb components were assembled. Major attractions include the Manhattan Project National Historic Park, The Bandelier National Monument, and the Bradbury Science Museum. The scenic looks from Anderson Overlook Park will take your breath away.

New York - City Hall Subway

New York - City Hall Subway

Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons

Not everyone can see the station – you have to pass a background check first. City Hall was the ceremonial terminal of the first subway project in New York, according to Columbia University. It has a sharply curved platform, a Guastavino tile arched ceiling, skylights (blackened in World War II), and plaques praising the work and those involved. It was in service from 1904 until 1945.

North Carolina - Topsail Island

North Carolina - Topsail Island
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Anywhere you turn in the old-school coastal town you may see several bird species, dolphins or sea turtles and other marine animals, according to Topsail Beach. The small-town feel of the island lure visitors who want a laid-back weekend getaway. Explore the maritime forests and enjoy stunning natural landscapes.

North Dakota - Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota - Theodore Roosevelt National Park
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As is the case with almost anything that has to do with North Dakota, other than Fargo, the park is largely overlooked. Visit for a chance to see a combination of flamboyant badlands terrain, riparian habitat along the Little Missouri River, and wildlife both native and not (wild horses and longhorn cattle) without crowds.

Ohio - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Ohio - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

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This 2,202-acre controlled hunting area is located 17 miles west of Port Clinton on State Route 2, and 10 miles north of Oak Harbor on State Route 19. “Nothing can compare to the close up point blank views of migrating warblers that abounded there,” a visitor wrote in TripAdvisor.

Oklahoma - Lotsee town

Oklahoma - Lotsee town

This is the smallest town in the state with just two residents. In 2000 eleven people lived in Lotsee, which is in Tulsa County. The most the town has ever had was 16 full-time residents.

Oregon - John Day Fossil Beds

Oregon - John Day Fossil Beds

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Colorful rock formations preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years, according to the NPS. Scenic drives and hikes to explore the prehistoric past of Oregon are only topped when there is a rainbow above.

Pennsylvania – Lehigh Valley Zoo

Pennsylvania – Lehigh Valley Zoo

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Located in Schnecksville, the zoo features Kangaroos, cockatoos, bobcats, bison, pony rides, a penguin pavilion and even a camp for kids. This is a wonderful place to go, even though it’s shadowed by more famous and bigger neighbors such as the zoo in Philadelphia.

Rhode Island – Providence Athenaeum

Rhode Island – Providence Athenaeum

Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons

If you love books, this place is your dream come true. This library is about 200 years old. You will find some very rare collections here, as well as contemporary literary works, of course. Imagine if you got married here? Amazing…

South Carolina – Litchfield

South Carolina – Litchfield

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The wonderful beach lies just to the north of Pawleys Island. It is also the midpoint between the quiet, historic city of Georgetown and the very crowded fun-filled, entertainment destination of Myrtle Beach. The area was settled in the early 1700s and its name comes from Litchfield Plantation, a former rice plantation in the community, according to SCIWAY.

South Dakota - Black Hills

South Dakota - Black Hills

For a look at wild buffalo, partially frozen trout streams in the winter and soaring granite peaks – with no crowds – check out the Black Hills National Forest. With more than 1.25 million acres at your disposal, you’ll find a nearly endless array of trails and backcountry terrain.

Tennessee - Town of Bell Buckle

Tennessee - Town of Bell Buckle

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The town of about 500 people is a wonderful day-trip destination, especially from busy Nashville. What are 50 miles? Just don’t go there in June when its annual RC-Moon Pie Festival take place. The downtown area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Bell Buckle Historic District.

Texas - Guadalupe Mountains

Texas - Guadalupe Mountains
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This park is the world’s premier example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era from 265 million years ago, according to NPS. Back then a vast tropical sea covered much of the region. Today, it’s a barren desert. People who go there appreciate the park’s extensive hiking and backpacking opportunities. This hidden gem in Texas one of the country’s most pristine wilderness areas.

Utah - Castle Valley

Utah - Castle Valley
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Leave the big city and its chaos behind and spend some time and recharge in Castle Valley. It’s only 20 miles away from Moab. You’ll find adventure and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the state. Castle Rock, or Castleton Tower as the locals call it, is the No. 1 attraction. The 400-ft sandstone tower which rests on a 1,000 feet cone of looser rock, rises high above Castle Valley.

Vermont - Sugarbush Farm

Vermont - Sugarbush Farm
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It’s known for its waxed cheeses and Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. You get free samples! The farm in Woodstock is open year-round. In addition to learning and seeing how they are made, take some time to walk on the nature trail to the maple sugar woods. The fantastic sights alone are worth the trip.

Virginia - Sandbridge Beach

Virginia - Sandbridge Beach

You have most likely heard of Virginia Beach. Sandbridge Beach is a calmer, less crowded but just as amazing alternative, even though it’s a smaller beach. But parking is plentiful. This is a cute and unspoiled beach that is really worth the drive from anywhere else if you want to get away from the noise of the boardwalk.

Washington - Ross Lake

Washington - Ross Lake

Steven Pavlov/Wikimedia Commons

Take a trip into the wilderness for a premier backpacking or climbing experience. Take a class from the North Cascades Institute at the Environmental Learning Center. Go fishing in a lake or river.

West Virginia - Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

West Virginia - Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

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The gates are open for visitors every Friday and Saturday in October. The park was abandoned in 1996 after two young guests died accidentally. Many visitors say the girl who died on the swings still appears to them, according to Visit Southern West Virginia.

Wisconsin – Bayfield

Wisconsin – Bayfield
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Bayfield is all about a charming, quaint and harbor town vibe. It is the gateway to the spectacular Apostle Islands National Lakeshore - 22 gem-like coastal islands that are home to lighthouses, sea caves, hiking trails, camping, terrific blue-water sailing, and some of the best kayaking in the world, according to Travel Wisconsin. Visit the maritime museum, eclectic retail shops, Victorian B&Bs, and golf courses with remarkable views.

Wyoming - Wind River Range

Wyoming - Wind River Range
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With national treasures such as Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks, Wyoming is all about wild nature. Go on a different hiking adventure minus the crowds in the Wind River Range, a huge backcountry area encompassed by the Shoshone and Bridger-Teton National Forests. This is among the most thrilling bucket list adventures in every state.