If you're anything like me, sometimes you just want to unwind in a peaceful, relaxing vacation destination. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you want to be a tourist and go where all the people go but I also get wanting to choose a spot where it's quiet and chill. In my traveling adventures, I've done both but for the sake of this post I've put together my top United States vacation destinations that aren't overly crowded.
The list has a city in each region of the US so pick a place and go enjoy!
Stinson Beach, California: If you follow this blow then you'll know I've already done a couple of posts on Stinson Beach, mainly because I love this little town! It is one of Northern California's best kept secrets! My husband and I stayed in Stinson Beach during the month of February which was a downtime for the community but you could still do everything you want in the winter other than lay out at the actual beach. If you're looking to catch some rays I'd recommend going in the summer months but since it's on the Pacific it's always going to be a bit windy and the water will always be chilly. Some of my favorite things to do in this area include hiking, eating at the amazing local restaurants, and taking a day road trip up Highway One.
Boone, North Carolina: Boone is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway so I'd highly recommend renting a car for this trip or taking a road trip to the area as the drive is beautiful! We went "in season" to the area which is in the winter months because of the mountains and skiing but it still wasn't crowded because there are other more popular towns around Boone. Although, all of the towns in this area are within close proximity and it doesn't take long to go from one town to the next. The downtown area is very quaint and has a ton of cute stores. Boone is also home to the original Mast General Store. There are so many great hiking trails around the area but if you're only picking one then you should definitely hike Linville Falls. Boone just oozes the chill mountain vibe. This is one of those places that you could rent a cozy cabin, build a fire, and play games as a family and be as happy as ever.
Mountain View, Arkansas: Some of you may know that Mountain View holds a special place in my heart because my parents now live here. At first, it was somewhere close to our hometown that we could enjoy a long weekend get-a-way but now they've officially made the move and every time I visit I feel like I'm on a vacation. Mountain View is mostly for the outdoor adventurer. Some of my favorite things to do here include trout fishing on the White River, floating down the Sylamore creek either in a kayak or canoe, and exploring numerous trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls and overlooks. Blanchard Springs Caverns is located in Mountain View. It's a living cavern and can hardly be described in words! If you go to Mountain View you have to experience the caves. They have a ton of different guided tours. Another fun family adventure would be the Loco Ropes! It's an adventure park offering treetop activities like rope climbs, bridge walks, and zip-lining.
Omaha, Nebraska: There are a multitude of things to do in Omaha! You could spend a long weekend there or even a full week and you wouldn't get it all done. Omaha boasts the number one zoo in the entire world, that's right, in the world! The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a must visit! I've been to the zoo at least five times and it never gets old. Another place in Omaha that's amazing to visit is the Lauritzen Gardens which is a living museum of plant displays. It has both indoor and outdoor displays and is a hidden sanctuary in the heart of the city. Speaking of museums, Omaha has the Durham Museum which features Omaha and Nebraska history as well as traveling exhibits. This town also plays host to some of the best restaurants in America. Lastly, for adults only, Omaha boasts a number of awesome breweries and a great beer selection.
The Florida Keys (not Key West): The only reason I say "not Key West" is because this post is about vacation in places that aren't overly crowded. I love Key West and have nothing but great things to say about it but it's always crawling with people. If you're looking for more of a relaxing stay, there are so many other keys you can visit. This string of tropical islands are known as a destination to fish, boat, snorkel, and dive. I'd highly recommend staying at a number of different keys during one trip as each island offers its own unique atmosphere and vibe. You can feed the Tarpon at Robbie's in Islamorada, explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, visit The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, and pick a spot on any beach to enjoy yourself and gaze out at the beautiful blue water.
This list of places to visit in the US is mostly unconventional and that's why I like it! But hey, don't knock a place until you've been there! I would love to know what some of your favorite destinations are that aren't overly crowded tourists spots or if you'd been to any of the places I have listed.
My mom and step-dad just recently built their dream home in Mountain View, Arkansas. When we visit it's like having a vacation at home, how awesome is that?! I've been going to Mt. View my entire life to camp or stay in a family member's cabin there so I've done just about everything possible in this small river town which is in the Ozark mountain range. It maintains a rich tradition of preserving folk music and is also known for the many outdoor recreation opportunities.
Our family had the best time floating down the North Sylamore Creek!
Andrew and I traveled back to Arkansas for the weekend of the 4th to visit my family. My Mom and Step Dad are building a house on a bluff over looking the Sylamore Creek in Mt. View, AR. Their property is absolutely gorgeous and how cool is it that they are living their dream?! We stayed for a few days and spent lots of time enjoying everyone's company. We hiked, did some trout fishing, rode the ranger, sat by the fire, and shot fire works.
The state of Arkansas is truly "the Natural State," we love calling it our home state and now going back to visit!
Thank God for our country and our freedom!
I've been considering writing a post about the recent tornado we had sweep through our state Sunday April 27th simply because this blog is supposed to be dedicated to travel however, I've come to the conclusion that of course I'm going to write it...
Sunday, April 27, 2014 is a day I will never forget. Communities less than 10 miles from my home were destroyed by nature. A Tornado 2 miles wide stayed on the ground for 90 minutes and was an F3. I was sitting in the comfort of my home watching the news and ready to jump in my closet at anytime. Luckily, my home and city were spared but our neighbors weren't as lucky. The death toll is at 16 in Arkansas with many more still missing and injured. Andrew and I both went out with separate groups yesterday to help where we could.
It's hard to look at the ruble and imagine that houses once stood in the place where there is nothing. While I was combing through pieces of people's homes I was overwhelmed with the sense of helplessness. I truly hope that the little amount we were able to do yesterday helped in some way. Our God is a mighty God and I can only pray those that are lost right now seek him in the aftermath of this disaster.
In this photo, I'm standing where a rock house once was. Unfortunately the resident of this home did not make it. This destruction made me pause and say prayers for all the things I'm thankful for. I am blessed to be a part of a community that helps others in a time of need.
May God bless the great state of Arkansas and all those affected.
A southern girl trying to make my dreams come true. My husband and I love to travel and go on new adventures--We love Jesus and the blessings He provides!