“I’m going to Disney World!” This is phrase said by a variety of athletes and celebrities in many commercial as an advertising tactic and many people have followed that slogan. Disney World ranks as one of the top tourist destination in the United States along with the likes of Central Park in New York and the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Each state has its own tourist attraction to offer, despite not receiving the massive crowds of Disney World, Manhattan, or the Las Vegas Strip. They could be considered hidden gems that the United States has offer, but those who have discovered these gems are able to cherish the value that they bring. Here are a few tourist attractions off the beaten path that deserve recognition and should be considered by tourists all over.
Bryce Canyon National Park (Bryce, Utah)
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the Southwest region of the United States. But receiving significantly less attention is a canyon in the neighboring state of Utah, the Bryce Canyon National Park. Compared to the 5 million tourists visiting the Grand Canyon, the Bryce Canyon receives under 2 million tourists. The Bryce Canyon National Park cannot rival the Grand Canyon in visitation and attention, but can match it in the beauty it offers. There are a myriad of things to do at the Bryce Canyon National Park ranging from ATVing to hiking to camping. The outdoors and the wonders of the world are made to be enjoyed and appreciated and the Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the greatest places to do so.
Oklahoma City National Memorial (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Moving from one of the beauties of the world to a place made for reflection is the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This memorial is designed to honor all of those who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. It is built on the site of the bombing where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building stood. The memorial has mean features and components to it including a reflecting pool, a field of empty chairs to honor those that lost their lives in the bombing, and a survivor’s wall which contains the name of those who survived and were injured in the bombing. The memorial remains a staple in the Oklahoma City community. On the memorial’s website it states, “We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.”
U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)
With recent movies such as Gravity, Interstellar, and The Martian space exploration has served as entertainment to the mass public. The entertainment industry has sparked more and more industry in space exploration and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center can serve as a way for those looking to further pursue their interest in the U.S.’s space programs. The museum averages well under a million visitors per year, but it has much to offer. It displays rockets, engines, and simulators, among other things, to help make up one of the most extensive collections of space artifacts. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center offer camp programs and an aviation challenge that can be taken up by children and adults. It has its own museum and also offers bus tours to the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Denali National Park (Healy, Alaska)
Alaska does not seem like the usual tourist destination. It doesn’t offer the bright lights of New York City, the warm weather of Florida, or the multiple destinations that California has to offer. But Denali does offer the tallest mountain peak in North America. Denali and the preservation offer more than 6 million acres of land. The Denali National Park receives less than a million visitors per year. It would be best to visit the Denali National Park during the summertime when the weather is much more bearable, but still very wet, and even reaching temperatures upwards of 70 degrees. The beautiful landscape of forests leading to the mountain is breathtaking and is one that should not be missed.