As 4th largest country in the world, the United States has hundreds of popular and well-known travel attractions. But within her borders lie immense natural beauty, which is rarely seen by most travelers. If you appreciate nature or are an outdoor fan, and are looking for unique Spring Break destinations, keep on reading to see some of the best places to add to your next travel itinerary. Forgo crowded beaches; take a rest from the drunkard norm, because in this list, we bring out 25 of the most unique spring break destinations in the USA.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
The Great Sand Dunes National Park has the tallest sand dunes in North America and is a prime sandboarding and sandsledding spot. Trek up a 13,000 feet (4 km) mountain or cool off in the Medano Creek with the dunes and mountains nestled in the background.
Starved Rock State Park, Illinois
A little over an hour west of Chicago, you can climb frozen waterfalls like an expeditioner on Everest. Walking through some of 18 deep canyons while looking for bald eagles is a popular mid-winter attraction.
Thor's Well, Oregon
Part of larger Cape Perpetua, Thor’s Well looks like a sinkhole to the centre of the Earth. Best seen an hour before or after high tide, the ocean waves crash into the rock formation, making it seem like a volcano spouting water before reverting to a draining hole before the next wave.
Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
You might not believe native desert fish can be real, but see for yourself at Aravaipa Canyon, two hours southeast of Phoenix. The park’s restricted visitor access keeps the park in top natural shape, especially useful for seeing the more than 200 bird species.
Mammoth Caves, Kentucky
The longest known cave system in the world, the Mammoth Caves in central Kentucky stretch for over 400 miles (650 km) underground. Especially cool is Cedar Sink, a huge sinkhole featuring a small river entering and disappearing through its expanse.
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Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey
A prime spot for rock climbing in the Northeast, the Delaware Water Gap is great for hikers, nature lovers, and anglers. Take on the park by foot or auto with over 100 miles (160 km) of hiking and roadways.
Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana
With gorgeous views of Chicago in the distance, Indiana Dunes National Park features lake-side walking trails and its famous “singing sand” which make singing or whistling sound as the wind passes over the dunes.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Home to three converging ecosystems, Olympic National Park in northwest Washington state has rainforest, ocean cliffs, and alpine mountains. Popular hiking loops are along the beach and through the moss-heavy rainforest.
Chincoteague & Assateague Islands, Virginia & Maryland
The home of wild horses rumoured to have been let loose from a Spanish shipwreck (though probably put there to avoid mainland taxes), these islands spanning Virginia and Maryland are home to the annual Pony Penning Day where the volunteer fire department auctions some of the horses to raise funds and keep the population at safe levels.
Mohegan Bluffs, Rhode Island
To get a taste of an Irish landscape on the western side of the Atlantic, check out these greenery-dotted clay cliffs seemingly plummeting into the ocean. Look out over the Atlantic or walk down the staircase to watch from the bottom.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware
A major breeding ground and stopover for birds migrating along the Atlantic coast, Bombay Hook is a birdwatchers paradise. The best times to visit are in October and November when over 150,000 ducks and geese fly south.
Bracken Cave, Texas
A daily summer exodus of around 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats can be seen at this cave near San Antonio. The largest colony of bats in the world, it’s also the largest concentration of mammals–even bigger than Shanghai.
Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia
Billed as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon”, the gorgeous canyons (up to 150 feet/45 meters) may look natural but were the result of years of bad farming practices in the 1800’s. Take a hike along the rim and even camp overnight to see the best sunset/sunrise throw a host of colours on the walls.
Ruby Falls, Tennessee
A 145-foot (43-meter) waterfall fed by rainwater and natural springs, Ruby Falls is actually underground! After you wind through the cave system, the passage opens up to the falls seemingly falling out of the rock and into a small pool before draining into the Tennessee River.
Letchworth State Park, New York
An hour’s drive southeast of Buffalo, Letchworth State Park has over 50 waterfalls from a river flowing through the middle of a deep gorge. This “Grand Canyon of the East” can even be seen via a breathtaking hot air balloon ride.
Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona & Utah
Iron oxide makes up the beautiful red-orange colors of the canyons and cliffs bordering Arizona and Utah which look more like a painting than a park.
Pecos National Historic Park, New Mexico
Evidence of the Native Americans who inhabited the area, this park just off Santa Fe still has standing rock-and-mud pueblo homes. Other remnants of previous settlements and a beautiful hike through the desert canyons can be seen at the park.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
On the coast of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes features bluffs as high as 450 feet above the water. Try racing your friends up in the Dune Climb and sliding back down.
Natural Bridge Cavern, Texas
Still alive and growing, the Natural Bridge Caverns stay at a constant 99% humidity due to the seeping rainwater. Go 180 feet/55 meters underground or try the adventure course testing your balance and strength.
Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
A lesser known mountain range, the Sawtooths in central Idaho offer great rapids for kayakers and forests and lakes for hiking. Just watch out for wolves if you stay the night.
North Umpqua River, Oregon
If you want some good white water rafting or kayaking in the Northwest, visit the North Umpqua River. With rapids up to Class IV, the late summer is best for the more adventurous willing to wind their ways around the rocks of the lower water level. There’s also a section for fly-fishing and a riverside trail.
America's Stonehenge, New Hampshire
This 4,000 year old, 30 acre scattering and arrangement of stone structures is at the middle of loads of theories, just like the real Stonehenge. Likely the oldest man-made structure in North America, we still don’t know why the stones have been so arranged.
The Lost Sea, Tennessee
The world’s second largest underground lake, The Lost Sea is part of the extensive Craighead Caverns. Found by a 13 year old boy, the lake is best seen on a boat tour.
Ten Thousand Islands, Florida
Often described as a labyrinth of mangroves islands and waterways, Ten Thousand Islands is a beautiful group of natural swamp canals along the southwest Florida coast. Kayaking through the area is the best way to experience the mangroves archways which makes it seem like you’re traveling into a new land.
Apostle Island Ice Caves, Wisconsin
A walk or ski across a frozen Lake Superior will take you to what seems like a winter wonderland. Following the ice bridge will take you around and under waterfalls which have frozen in place like giant icicles.