99 American bucket-list delights you might have missed

Sheep crowd a pen next to Lukomir on Bjelašnica mountain.
Christmas in Copenhagen is truly adorable. There are lots of cute Christmas markets, and all of the shops and restaurants get in on the holiday cheer with stunning decorations. Tivoli Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland with half a million twinkling lights and thousands of Christmas trees, which is a truly special sight to see. The restaurants also start offering up traditional Danish holiday specials.
Slide 1 of 100: While you may well have ticked off some of America's big-hitting sights, we can guarantee there's still lots to discover across the States. From secret natural wonders to brand new family attractions yet to land themselves on the tourist trail, we reveal 99 of the USA's most underrated experiences.
Slide 2 of 100: The Anan Wildlife Observatory occupies a scenic position in the Tongass National Forest, whose ancient trees cover 17 million acres of southeastern Alaska. Reached by a half-mile hike, it overlooks Anan Creek, an indigenous fishing site that has a large number of pink salmon. Brown and black bears come to gorge on the fish here, and visitors of the observatory get uninterrupted views of the spectacle. In an effort to protect the site and enhance visitor experience, only 60 visitor permits are released each day.
Slide 3 of 100: If you’ve visited the Big Apple, you’ll no doubt have explored the city’s Grand Central Terminal but there’s another, more atmospheric station that usually slips under the radar. The abandoned City Hall subway station was first built in 1904 and was the outgoing station for New York’s first ever subway journey. It eventually closed in 1945 when it could no longer accommodate larger, modern subway trains. You can admire its vaulted ceilings and patterned brickwork on a tour with the New York Transit Museum.
Slide 4 of 100: You’ll find this collection of futuristic, eco-friendly abodes in the desert town of Taos. Built entirely of natural or recycled materials, such as tires and adobe mud, the earthships are powered by solar energy and each have their own unique design. Choose from a sand-colored structure with stained-glass made from bottles or a cute “hobbit house”. If you’ve not got time to stay overnight, drop in on the fascinating visitor center for a self-guided tour. 
Slide 5 of 100: One of the most fascinating of Arkansas' 52 state parks is the volcanic Crater of Diamonds – it's a 911-acre preserve and one of the few places on Earth where the public can go digging for diamonds. Guides will be on hand to help you identify anything shiny you unearth from the 37-acre plot reserved for jewel hunting. Look out for white, yellow or brown diamonds, plus other precious stones such as amethysts and quartz.
Slide 6 of 100: The wild beaches of La Push are some of the most striking strands in the whole of the US. The most popular among them is First Beach. It’s perfect fodder for photographers with driftwood, surrounding forests and imposing sea stacks. It’s also a favorite with surfers willing to brave the notorious fog. Take a stroll along the wind-whipped sand or catch some waves if you’re feeling adventurous.
Slide 7 of 100: Addictive Netflix original Ozark, starring Jason Bateman as a money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel, put this scenic lake in Missouri in the spotlight last year. It’s a vast reservoir hemmed in by some 1,000 miles of lakeshore and cliffs, and the area is studded with bars, restaurants (some of which are right on the water), campsites and golf courses. The best way to explore is by boat – take to the lake on a summer’s day and anchor up for a swim.
Slide 8 of 100: There are plenty of reasons to visit the Luray Caverns in northern Virginia. There are delicate stalagmites and stalactites, vast echoing chambers and the so-called Dream Lake, whose shallow tract of water dramatically reflects its surroundings. Most unique of all is the caverns’ stalactite (or “Stalacpipe”) organ. Touted as the world’s largest musical instrument, the organ makes ethereal music by gently knocking on the surface of hanging stalactites.
Slide 9 of 100: Now one of California’s most curious state parks, Bodie was once a thriving gold-mining town. Its high point was in the late 1870s, when a mine collapsed revealing a copious amount of gold ore. But by 1881, the supply had all but dried up and the miners followed their fortune elsewhere, leaving Bodie abandoned and festering. You can explore Bodie year round: whizz around the town by snowmobile in winter or wander between the wood-paneled houses on foot in summer. Discover the secrets of other abandoned Gold Rush towns around the US too. 
Slide 10 of 100: While many head to California for a desert break, this underrated portion of the Chihuahuan Desert is well worth a visit. Made up of gypsum sand, the White Sands National Monument is an otherworldly dune field spreading over some 176,000 acres, making it the largest of its kind on the planet. The 16-mile Dunes Drive loop allows visitors to ride between the lofty sand mounds by car.
Slide 11 of 100: There are loads of sights in the Big Easy, so it’s no wonder that some go unnoticed. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is one such sight. Its fascinating store of art works is a celebration of the American South, with fine art and photography joining avant-garde prints and sculptures. Free guided tours run every Thursday. Read our full guide to New Orleans here.
Slide 12 of 100: At a whopping 45 miles long, Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior. The waters of this underrated park may be chilly but those who brave them will come across some of the most wonderfully preserved shipwrecks in US waters. Divers travel to see ambient wrecks such as The Emperor, a 525-foot Canadian steamship that was sunk here in 1947 when it made contact with a jagged reef. If you’d prefer to stay above the water, take to one of the many trails: the 1.2-mile, forested Windigo Nature Trail is ideal for those who want something gentler.
Slide 13 of 100: New Hampshire’s wild flowers are often overlooked in favor of blooms elsewhere (the poppies of California’s Antelope Valley to name but one spot). But the White Mountains put on a dazzling display of their own and there are abundant trails from which to view them. In June, head to the little hamlet of Sugar Hill. The village has a festival dedicated to the area’s blooming lupines (pictured), including hikes from the flower-filled town out into the blossom-covered surrounding mountains.
Slide 14 of 100: Savannah’s American Prohibition Museum opened to much applause in 2017. Dedicated to the Sstates’ prohibition era (1920–1933), this is the first museum of its kind in the country. You’ll learn about the temperance movement that resulted in America’s dry period, the effect of prohibition on the country and, of course, the many ways the American people bucked the law. Finish up in a traditional, speakeasy-style bar for a classic cocktail and a last dose of the roaring Twenties.
Slide 15 of 100: It’s a mystery why this South Carolina national park remains one of the USA’s least visited but it does, and that means you’ll likely have its wooden boardwalks all to yourself. A loop trail will take you right through the dense forest and wetlands – look out for deer, turtles and alligators along the way. Or if you’d prefer to get out on the water, a marked canoe trail winds through the park’s Cedar Creek.
Slide 16 of 100: America has little shortage of curious roadside attractions, but this is surely one of the quirkiest. You’ll find it in the wilds of Nebraska, near the city of Alliance, and it’s made up of 39 cars, painted silver and stacked together in a mirror image of England’s Stonehenge. The structure, the brainchild of artist Jim Reinders, is built to the same proportions as the English landmark. It’s free to visit. Discover more unusual roadside attractions here.
Slide 17 of 100: San Francisco has plenty for art buffs but its most unique artsy attractions don’t lie within the city’s galleries. Four mammoth sculptures by British artist Andy Goldsworthy are dotted throughout The Presidio, San Francisco’s answer to Central Park. Spot them all on a three-mile hiking loop. Favorites include the Woodline, a 1,200-foot trail of eucalyptus branches zigzagging through the forest, and Spire, Goldsworthy’s first piece here, and a striking 100-foot tower made from the trunks of cypress trees.
Slide 18 of 100: Too often eschewed in favor of the national parks in Utah’s south, this scenic section of the state generally goes unnoticed. That means that the trails of the Wasatch Mountain State Park – a protected area of forested peaks and rolling hills covering 23,000 acres – may well be deserted. Take to the tree-lined dirt paths on an all-terrain vehicle and see stunning woodland scenery flash past as you enjoy a rattling ride in an all-terrain vehicle.
Slide 19 of 100: A little-known subterranean wonder, Tennessee’s Lost Sea has been turned into a fun family attraction. The site comprises of a significant cave system, whose depths can be explored with knowledgeable guides, and a vast lake, the largest known underground lake in the USA. Once you’ve finished a walking tour of the caverns, take a boat ride on the four-acre lake, which lies some 140 feet below the ground.
Slide 20 of 100: While you can get your creative fix in plenty of America’s biggest cities, Detroit has something a little different for art lovers. Perhaps the quirkiest of all of the city's artistic offerings is the Heidelberg Project – a collection of peculiar sculptures wrought from found materials by eccentric artist Tyree Guyton. Wander the site on an East Side block in Detroit and take in the colorfully painted clocks, the thoughtfully placed dolls and the houses bedecked with stuffed toys.
Slide 21 of 100: The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail pairs views with brews on a route through this scenic valley in western Virginia. You’ve a choice of 15 breweries: they range from the industrial-chic Pale Fire Brewing Co in Harrisonburg at the trail’s northern end to the more rustic Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery and Tap Room to the south. You’ll get a stamp on your Beerwerks passport for each brewery you visit and drink in plenty of mountain vistas on the way too. Be sure to assign a designated driver.
Slide 22 of 100: This intriguing grotto is the product of one man’s unwavering faith. The late Father Paul Dobberstein contracted pneumonia and desperately ill, he prayed to the Virgin Mary, promising a wonderful shrine in return for his health. Once the pastor recovered, he began building an intricate grotto in his then hometown of West Bend. The sprawling caves were made up of rocks and precious stones (agate, topaz, quartz and more) that Dobberstein had gathered over the years. Today, you can tour the grotto, visit its dedicated museum and overnight in the adjacent campsite.
Slide 23 of 100: While you may well have the Grand Canyon’s Skywalk on your bucket list, there’s another dizzying observation tower that you should know about. Above the treetops of Kinzua Bridge State Park, you’ll find the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk which, at 301 feet high, is the remains of the world’s tallest section of railroad. Now, following devastation by a tornado in 2003, it acts as a head-spinning lookout tower.
Slide 24 of 100: Liberty Island, home, of course, to the Statue of Liberty, is likely to be on your travel wish list but you may not have given much thought to lesser-visited Ellis Island. Make time in your itinerary to pore over the poignant displays at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. The complex tells the stories of some 12 million immigrants who traveled through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.
Slide 25 of 100: Bumpass Hell is a fascinating geothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. The Golden State is awash with natural wonders, so the site is frequently passed over but its blue and yellow pools give it a similar appearance to the revered Grand Prismatic Spring up north in Yellowstone. Hike the three-mile trail here and take in the whistling steam vents and the simmering mud pots.
Slide 26 of 100: Visitors come in their hordes to take in the basking seals, colorful amusements and wacky street performers of Pier 39 but Pier 7 is a quieter (and dare we say more sophisticated) alternative. You won't find any sea lions here. Instead, take in ocean views from the bench-lined jetty, gape at the impressive, pyramid-shaped Transamerica building and dine at the upscale Waterfront Restaurant, opened in 1969.
Slide 27 of 100: The Space Needle has become an emblem of Seattle. Though, if you choose to visit its popular observation deck, you'll miss views of the very building that makes the Seattle skyline so unique. Head, instead, to Columbia Center and the Sky View Observatory, the tallest viewing platform in the city. You'll get unparalleled vistas of the Emerald City by day or night (Space Needle included) for a cheaper price.
Slide 28 of 100: For those after total relaxation, Surfrider Beach is the perfect spot. Only a 20-minute drive from the kitsch pier and humming promenade of Santa Monica, the strand forms part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach and is beloved for its unspoiled sands and fantastic surf. If you're a history buff, make a beeline for the Malibu Lagoon Museum afterwards and learn more about the area's past.
Slide 29 of 100: Philadelphia's Italian Market – one of the oldest in the country – is often bypassed in favor of trendier Reading Terminal Market. But that's a mistake. Upwards of six million people come to Reading Terminal Market every year, and while its Italian counterpart is hardly quiet, you can expect fewer queues. Add to this the fact that the Italian Market is home to both Pat's and Geno's – the city's two premier (and rival) vendors of its beloved cheesesteak – and you'll be happy.
Slide 30 of 100: While Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser hogs the limelight, Castle Geyser falls into the shadows. But though lesser known, it's equally as impressive. Also cone shaped, Castle is actually larger and older than its famous sister, though eruptions are less frequent. When Castle Geyser does put on a show, waters can shoot up to an impressive 90 feet. Find out more about Yellowstone's hidden corners in our feature here. 
Slide 31 of 100: The sobering legacy of America's slavery history is spotlighted by a new museum that opened in Montgomery in spring 2018. The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration explores slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration on a site of one of America’s most prominent slave markets. It uses sculpture, videography and compelling visuals to tell the visceral story of racial injustice, the world's largest prison system and the 'Jim Crow south'.
Slide 32 of 100: Gaze up at the spectacular show of the Northern Lights from your own luxury dome retreat at Borealis Basecamp, which opened in September 2017, just a 30-minute drive from Fairbanks. Sleep under the stars on the north-facing Arctic slope while admiring the starry sky, eagerly anticipating the aurora borealis. The domes may be enveloped by wilderness but they don’t scrimp on luxuries, coming equipped with kitchenettes, baths and warm water.
Slide 33 of 100: Upwards of three million tourists visit Mount Rushmore every year to take in the carvings of four formative American presidents. But less than 20 miles away another significant figure is cast in rock. The tribute to Crazy Horse, a Lakota Warrior who fought off white settlers encroaching upon native land, was begun in 1948. Upon completion, it's set to be the largest mountain carving in the world, peaking at a gargantuan 563 feet. Be sure to explore the on-site Indian Museum of North America before taking in the spectacle itself.
Slide 34 of 100: One of the latest additions to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is a pair of epic ziplines which let adrenalin junkies soar nearly 1,000 feet above the floor of a side canyon amid the stunning desert scenery. The Zipline at Grand Canyon West, which opened in January 2018, consists of two 'quad ziplines' allowing groups of four to soar parallel to one another at speeds approaching 50 miles per hour. There’s 3,500 feet of zipline to whizz down over two separate runs.
Slide 35 of 100: The Unexpected project is an annual, week-long modern art festival in the northwestern Arkansas town of Fort Smith. Each year the project unleashes international contemporary artists on street art in the city’s downtown district. Eight striking new murals were unveiled for the project in 2017, making a total of 30 to brighten up the town so far. In 2018, these artworks were tied together neatly with a modern art trail that gives a nod to Fort Smith’s Old West history.
Slide 36 of 100: Fort Tryon Park is the perfect antidote to Central Park's maddening crowds but it's often forgotten. At 67 acres, Fort Tryon is much smaller than its larger sister yet what it lacks in size it makes up for in style. There are eight miles of peaceful pathways and the Cloisters, a branch of the Met focusing on medieval works. Visit in fall when the park is at its prettiest.
Slide 37 of 100: Fancy stargazing in California? Scope out the Rancho Mirage Observatory, which was the first of its kind to open in the Coachella Valley in spring 2018. The $3.6 million observatory features a 75-ton telescope, an open deck for budding amateur astronomers and projections of the starry night sky. The telescope itself is research-quality, with a 28-inch diameter mirror. More than enough to handle those Californian stars.
Slide 38 of 100: The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster is the latest attraction to arrive at Aspen Snowmass. Riders travel through a mile of forest on an elevated track at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour for an eight-minute thrill through a variety of curves, angles and hairpin turns. Passes include a two-hour session with access to tubing and unlimited rides on the new Alpine Coaster. The coaster is open seasonally from November to April. 
Slide 39 of 100: North Cascades, in Washington state, remains blissfully off the radar. One of America's least-visited national parks, it's all blue lakes, snowy peaks and fir-covered hills. North Cascades also boasts more than 300 glaciers (compared with the now 25 active glaciers in the ever more popular Glacier National Park to the east). Hikers should make for the park's North Klawatti Glacier, which is more than a mile in length.
Slide 40 of 100: A pulse-racing four-line zipline opened in Connecticut in March 2018. The Foxwoods HighFlyer will launch you from 350 feet in the air, off the rooftop of Fox Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino and land you over 3,700 feet away at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. This one's reserved for those with a head for heights.
Slide 41 of 100: What could possibly be more fun at the fair than a turn on the bumper cars? Bumper cars on ice, that’s what. In September 2017, the Delaware State Fairgrounds at Harrington installed this novelty at its Centre Ice Rink. It has custom-built 10 battery-powered bumper cars that will have you sliding about safely on the ice in a hilarious fashion. You can even have the rink to yourselves for private hire, perfect fun for that bumper birthday party.
Slide 42 of 100: When partygoers are planning a trip, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is usually eclipsed by the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. But that's a shame. The Boardwalk has the slots, glitzy hotels and party spots that Sin City is famous for, but dialled down a notch or two, with a breath of sea air in place of oppressive desert heat. If you've got little ones, there are plenty of family attractions too. The Steel Pier will be a sure favorite with its rides and kid-friendly restaurants.
Slide 43 of 100: Buckle up for a full-throttle experience at Universal Orlando, as the new Fast and Furious Supercharged ride opened in spring 2018. Check out some of the classic vehicles and locations from the film franchise, before being plunged into a high octane chase alongside Dom, Letty, Hobbs and the rest of the turbo-powered family.
Slide 44 of 100: Opened in May 2018, Great Wolf Lodge promises to deliver the ultimate water park experience, just an hour from Atlanta in LaGrange. There’s a wealth of child-friendly games, activities and even a kids’ spa all under one roof. Other key assets include spacious suite options, on-site dining and a range of shopping outlets. This water park resort is the perfect way to cool off in Georgia’s simmering sunshine with a memorable holiday experience for the whole family. We've got more family days out in the USA here.
Slide 45 of 100: The Rockefeller Center is not the tallest building in New York City, yet it can't be beaten for great city panoramas at a reasonable price. While most visitors scramble up the Empire State Building to look across Manhattan, those in the know make for the Top of the Rock. The Rockefeller's observation deck will afford you views of Central Park, the Hudson River and the towering Empire State Building itself. Time your visit for sunset for the most epic vistas.
Slide 46 of 100:  Eco-friendly helicopter tour company Paradise Helicopters has launched a new adventure-packed tour of Oahu’s most historic Second World War sites and famous movie settings. The Kualoa Expedition Tour sets off from near the Ko Olina resort area, whisks you over Honolulu Harbor, Waikīkī and Diamond Head Crater, and touches down at Kualoa Ranch. Here you can choose from three ground adventures: a horseback tour, an ATV tour, or a zipline tour through the Kaaawa Valley, which featured in Jurassic Park.
Slide 47 of 100: In November 2017, a huge wedge of central Idaho was designated as America’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. The 1,400-square-mile area around the Sawtooth Mountains that is the Central Idaho Dark Sky Park takes in towns such as Ketchum, Sun Valley and Stanley. The clear skies in this wilderness area makes it one of the best places in the USA to see the Milky Way. During daylight, enjoy hiking, horse riding and backpacking from 23 trailheads in the area.
Slide 48 of 100: To see a quieter side of LA, make for the Strand, or the Marvin Braude Bike Trail as it's also known. The laid-back cycle path hugs the Pacific Ocean for some 22 miles, spooling out from Will Rogers State Beach. If you're craving more of a buzz, fear not, you'll whizz past Venice Beach Boardwalk with its street performers and souvenir hawkers, and Santa Monica Beach on the way.
Slide 49 of 100: Care for a dash of dizzy disorientation? In spring 2018, Six Flags Great America Amusement Park in Gurnee opened the world’s largest loop coaster at 100 feet tall. The Mardi Gras Hangover coaster gives riders record hang time and 360-degree revolutions ensuring you’ll soon lose track of which way is up. The 32 face-off style seats let you see the blood-drained faces and reactions of your fellow riders. Discover more jaw-dropping roller coasters here.
Slide 50 of 100: A southwestern Indiana amusement park has splashed $3.5 million on new aquatic attractions for children. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has built two cute elephant-themed water play areas called Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides, opened in May 2018. Tembo Falls offers eight junior water slides designed for smaller children, including racing slides, twisters and even a mini-Bakuli. Nearby the Tembo Tides pool provides gentler waves to enjoy.
Slide 51 of 100: This epic red-rock landscape is known as the Grand Canyon of Texas for good reason. Palo Duro Canyon, on the outskirts of Amarillo, may be second in size to Arizona's famous canyon, but it's certainly not second best. Palo Duro has the same rugged hiking and biking trails (30 miles in total) and awesome sunsets and sunrises, but a fraction of the visitors. Regular open-air performances are put on here during the summer months too.
Slide 52 of 100: Cone Park, Sioux City's newest all-season park, offers a gamut of outdoor fun, including a tubing hill, ice skating rink, an alfresco fire pit and a day lodge. Located near the Lewis & Clark ball park, Cone Park’s day lodge will be available to rent during the warmer months, while the ice skating rink will convert to a free public splash pad in the summer. A two-mile trail loop will also connect hikers with Sertoma Park to the east.
Slide 53 of 100: The mammoth Field Station Dinosaurs theme park in the Wichita suburb of Derby has 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs roaming its grounds. Visitors to the 14-acre dino domain can dig for fossils, walk the paths beside the life-like giants, learn about dinosaurs unique to Kansas and play a round of miniature dino-themed golf. 
Slide 54 of 100: Those with a taste for something alternative should seek out the Vertical Gallery over Chicago's more traditional artistic institutions. It's quirkier than its strait-laced sisters (we're looking at you, Art Institute of Chicago), showcasing new and established talent in street art, prints and illustration. There's also work for sale if your walls are looking bare.
Slide 55 of 100: Kentucky has more than the angel’s share when it comes to bourbon production, but there’s always room for more excuses to sample the stuff. Enter the Old Forester Distillery, a brand new bourbon tourism experience that opened in Downtown Louisville in spring 2018. The $45 million facility raises a glass to the craftsmanship of America’s first bottled bourbon with a state-of-the-art fermentation room, cooperage, bottling line and a tasting room where we guess you’ll want to linger.
Slide 56 of 100: The Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail, a self-guided driving tour, was launched in September 2017. It shows how water, people and land have shaped life and landscapes through the ages across one of America’s most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions. Over 50 trail stops take in nature walks, paddling trails, Cajun culture and a host of cultural experiences, so pack your camera, binoculars, fishing pole or kayak.
Slide 57 of 100: Less than two hours' drive from Niagara Falls, Letchworth State Park boasts its own impressive set of cascades. At their highest, the waterfalls reach 600 feet, rushing over craggy cliff faces and cloaked by lush woodland. There are plenty of vantage points to drink in the views, plus opportunities for rafting, hiking and swimming when weather permits. Discover more of the world's most impressive waterfalls here.
Slide 58 of 100: TimberStone Adventures Inc, opened this year, is an experience where visitors can hike to a private mountaintop castle with panoramic views, while their gear is towed up a cable bridge. It's set on over 50 acres of land bordering the White Mountain National Forest and offers three lodges. Visitors can also enjoy the wooded 18-hole public disc golf course too.
Slide 59 of 100: Pull a pint at Baltimore’s Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House the first Guinness presence on US soil since 1954. The brewery sits on the site of the Maryland Distilling Company, the first distillery to open after prohibition in Maryland in 1933. You can take a brewery tour, shop for merchandise and whet your whistle in the tasting room, where exclusive US-only brews like Guinness Blonde American Lager will be available.
Slide 60 of 100: Buena Park's Knott's Berry Farm touts itself as California's "best theme park and amusement park" – a bold claim given its proximity to Disney's California Adventure Park. While it might not have all the thrills of Disney's mammoth sites, Knott's Berry is a little easier on the pocket. Zip between the rides, make a splash at the on-site water park and finish with a feast at Mrs Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. 
Slide 61 of 100: In summer 2018, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau unveiled a digital map for the Path of Presidents connecting the stories of presidential history in the city. The path will cover presidents who were born here, went to school here or otherwise made an impact on the region. This will be backed up by a repository of digitized documents and images chronicling presidential stories, which will grow over time as new information is discovered. Read our full guide to Boston here.
Slide 62 of 100: Northern Michigan opened the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in July 2018. The cultural center offers a year-round line up of world-class programming across all genres – music, dance, theater, movies and film, intellectual dialogue, and education. The architectural landmark building features an intimate 500-seat theater, a community engagement room and a rooftop deck overlooking Lake Michigan for special events.
Slide 63 of 100: You'll find Devils Tower, an awesome monolith and national monument, in the northern reaches of Wyoming. Hallowed ground to the local indigenous populations, it towers some 5,111 feet above the prairie floor. The hiking trails surrounding the tower remain little trodden and the climbing here is world-class.  Read our full guide to northern Wyoming including Devils Tower here.
Slide 64 of 100: The Bell Museum of Natural History dates back to 1872 but in 2018 it opened a new facility with a planetarium on the University of Minnesota’s St Paul campus. Its exhibits, displays and programs showcase the state’s diverse nature and geology. They include wildlife dioramas, a digital planetarium and a ‘Touch and See Lab’, where you can lay your hands on a variety of insects, animal skins and bones. 
Slide 65 of 100: The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is a powerful institution which shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the world. The museum opened in December 2017 in downtown Jackson and presents eight galleries focusing on the years 1945–1976 when the state was a veritable ground zero for the national Civil Rights Movement. Look out for the centerpiece sculpture, This Little Light of Mine, which glows brighter as visitors gather.
Slide 66 of 100: Water Holes' undulating sandstone walls, rugged exterior and orange glow gives it a similar appearance to the famous Antelope Canyon, a mere 17-minute drive east. But while Antelope Canyon's fame means it's crammed with hikers and budding photographers, Water Holes' comparative anonymity makes it a dream to explore. You'll need a permit from the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation organisation to visit.
Slide 67 of 100: When it opened in April 2018, Silver Dollar City’s Time Traveler became the steepest, fastest and tallest spinning coaster in the world. The steampunk-themed Time Traveler will plummet riders 100 feet straight down a mountainside in Branson Ozark’s wooded terrain at 50 miles per hour. The two-minute ride will flip you upside-down three times during a 95-foot-tall vertical loop, a dive loop and a zero-G roll.
Slide 68 of 100: This outdoor music venue enjoys a spectacular natural setting on the banks of the Blackfoot River. The KettleHouse Amphitheater opened in summer 2017, right next to the award-wining KettleHouse Brewery in Bonner, Montana, attracting acts as diverse as Diplo, Pixies and Alice Cooper. The 4,250-capacity venue offers three types of admission: stadium seating, a standing pit and lawn seating, perfect for long hot summer nights of alfresco partying.
Slide 69 of 100: The Freedom Trail remains Boston's top attraction, yet it's not the only route worthy of your attention. The Black Heritage Trail chronicles the history of Boston's African-American inhabitants, from the 400 enslaved people who were brought to the city in the 17th century, to the first free black community here. Look out for the memorial to the 54th Regiment (one of the first official African-American units in the Civil War) and The African Meeting House.
Slide 70 of 100: Eye-catching artworks by three of Nebraska’s most prominent sculptors are rounded up for display at the Museum of Nebraska Art’s Hillegass Sculpture Garden. Highlights include the oversized ceramic head by Jun Kaneko, totem-like figures inspired by the opera Aida and Charley Friedman’s advancing gang of life-size bronze squirrels armed with nuts, berries and carrots.
Slide 71 of 100: Saddle up and paint your wagon, there’s a new museum in town. The Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada, opened in February 2018 to preserve the legacy of the Vaquero and the American Buckaroo. The museum showcases the rich history, culture and traditions of the cowboys of the American West, representing the deep-rooted heritage of the ranching and cowboy lifestyles through exhibits, demonstrations and programs.
Slide 72 of 100: Overshadowed by the likes of Miami's South Beach, Fort Lauderdale's palm-fringed strand might have slipped under your radar. Laid-back Fort Lauderdale Beach lends itself perfectly to an afternoon's basking, with its pedestrian promenade and string of waterside cafés and restaurants. If you feel like getting active, get involved with jet-skiing, volleyball and windsurfing.
Slide 73 of 100: New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Cog Railway has opened a free Base Station Museum experience packed with interactive exhibits and fun simulators. The attraction now offers one-way tickets for hikers who want to hike up Mount Washington and take the train on the way back. It has also expanded its free annual event offerings to include a Steampunk Festival and a Handcrafted Festival.
Slide 74 of 100: In autumn 2017, Albuquerque unveiled its 50-mile activity loop that connects more than 400 miles of existing bike paths. The route creates a bicycle, running and walking loop around the city for cyclists, runners, and lovers of the outdoors with a view of the city neighborhoods, Sandia Mountains and Rio Grande Valley that can’t otherwise be seen so easily.
Slide 75 of 100: While visitors flock to San Diego Zoo, it's not the only Californian center making strides when it comes to conservation. Lions, Tigers and Bears is a mid-sized, not-for-profit sanctuary outside Alpine, California, dedicated to rescuing and caring for abused and/or abandoned animals. As its name suggests, the site looks after lions, tigers and bears, among other wild species and day visitors are welcome. You can pay a higher fee to tour the center with its founder.
Slide 76 of 100: Do you fancy yourself as a hacker or a handler, an agent or an analyst? Put your sleuthing skills to the test at Spyscape, America’s first fully interactive museum of spy craft, which opened in Manhattan in February 2018. Learn the secrets of lie detection, surveillance and how to navigate a laser tunnel, alongside the inside stories of contemporary espionage, from the Second World War code-breakers to the teenager who hacked the CIA’s website.  Now discover more unusual museums around the USA.
Slide 77 of 100: The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, featuring 31 of the late artist's curious wind-powered sculptures, opened in November 2017 in Wilson, a city on the Interstate 95 corridor. Simpson, who lived on a nearby farm until his death in 2013, was a farm machinery repairman who transformed old bicycles, road signs and other cast-off items into giant kinetic sculptures which have been meticulously created to dance in the breeze.
Slide 78 of 100: The orange structures of the Natural Bridges monument are almost carbon copies of those at famous Arches National Park. While the latter is heaving under the weight of surmounting visitor numbers, Natural Bridges' beauty remains more under-the-radar. Gaze up at the natural bridges, carved out by rivers over millennia, and don't leave before nightfall. This was the first International Dark Sky Park in the world.
Slide 79 of 100: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland deserves a firm place on your bucket list. It has just had a $15 million facelift where the words ‘Long Live Rock’ are now spelled out in six-meter-high letters. The new Connor Theater houses its signature hall of fame experience featuring concert-quality sound, larger-than-life video screens and fan interactivity.
Slide 80 of 100: A Gathering Place for Tulsa, finished in 2018, has transformed nearly 100 acres along the Arkansas River in Tulsa into a massive urban park complete with playgrounds, nature trails, skate parks and gardens. The park includes a lodge, boathouse, nature walks, two land bridges connecting the two sides of river parks, sporting areas and a pond.
Slide 81 of 100: From the people who brought you goat yoga comes the Goatel Retreat Center. It’s a hotel with goats in the hills of Willamette Valley, the world’s first destination to offer goat yoga and goat happy hours, along with hikes in the Coastal Mountains, local brewery and winery tours and organic meals from local chefs. Bond with the goats, help bottle feed babies or just cuddle up. We can think of few better ways to recharge.
Slide 82 of 100: Explore the underground quarters of The Breakers, a historic house built in 1885 by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in Newport County. Learn how new domestic technology transformed daily life, including how electricity and the emergence of the modern lift shaped the ‘Gilded Age’ of America’s industrial boom. This tour, which launched in 2017, takes you into the tunnels beneath this distinctive Newport ‘cottage’ and designated National Historic Landmark.
Slide 83 of 100: If you're dreaming of a coastal road trip, Oregon may not be the first state that springs to mind but it should be. Ecola State Park more than matches the beauty of California's fabled ocean roadways to the south, but you'll likely have great swathes of it all to yourself. Stop to take in the rock-studded sands and you may even spot a whale if you're lucky. Our guide will help you plan a perfect American road trip. 
Slide 84 of 100: Since it opened in 1929, the Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Jim Hamilton-LB Owens airport in Columbia hosted the likes of Amelia Earhart and Franklin D. Roosevelt. For decades it fell into disrepair, until it underwent a $1.2 million renovation in 2018. It’s now open to the public and houses the Hunter-Gatherer Brew Pub, Columbia’s newest and most unusual brewery.
Slide 85 of 100: It may be South Dakota’s newest state park, but Good Earth State Park is actually one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. The 3,000-acre park offers hiking trails and plenty of observation points. There's also an 11,000-square-foot visitor center, which tells the story of how the river, abundant wildlife, fertile flood plains and mineral wealth made the area an important gathering and trading place for many indigenous peoples from the 14th century onwards.
Slide 86 of 100: The majority of view seekers in Chicago make for the Willis Tower but the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, housed on the 94th floor of the 875 North Michigan Avenue skyscraper, grants equal panoramas. It sits above the Windy City at 1,000 feet, offering sweeping vistas through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Adrenalin junkies will also love Tilt, a new thrill experience in which the glass windows "tilt" outwards leaving visitors to hold on and enjoy the view directly downwards. 
Slide 87 of 100: Go back to the future at the August Moon Drive-In. Coming to Nashville in 2019, the August Moon is the first indoor cinema experience to replicate the look and feel of a mid-1960s drive-in, complete with meal service, fireflies, 500 modified classic cars and a simulated starry sky. The drive-in is housed in a 40,000-square-foot dome and offers America’s largest non-Imax cinema screen.
Slide 88 of 100: Sea Turtle Inc on South Padre Island has been rehabilitating sea turtles for over 40 years, but February 2018 saw a brand new education facility. Here you can watch early morning hatchling missions of Atlantic Green Sea, Loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley turtles. Stick your head in the bubble tank to get a turtle’s eye view and learn about the human impact on their marine environment with special presentations in the new classroom and 230-seat amphitheater.
Slide 89 of 100: Rose gardens and topiaries are the stars of the show at most botanic gardens but Phoenix's offering gets points for originality. Wildflowers, cacti and succulents take over the 140 acres of the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona's capital. Follow the carefully organized trails which all explore some aspect of the Sonoran Desert, its plants, people and history.
Slide 90 of 100: If the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics had you hankering to hurtle down a bobsled run at 70 miles per hour, you can now do precisely that at the Olympic-approved St Regis Deer Valley resort in Park City. Tackle the course’s 10 breakneck turns and feel the full force of 3G in the capable hands of silver medallists Valerie Fleming and Shauna Rohbock, who’ll also give you a tour of the park afterwards.
Slide 91 of 100: In spring 2018, the CEB Tower opened the Observatory at Central Place: an observation deck at the top of the 31-story building in Arlington’s Rosslyn Business Improvement District. The tallest building in the Beltway will offer an outdoor cantilevered terrace giving visitors truly spectacular views of the DC skyline. The 15,000-square-foot space will also be used as an exhibition area with a restaurant and bar.
Slide 92 of 100: Lake Clark remains one of the least-visited parks in Alaska – and indeed in North America as a whole – but there are reasons aplenty to visit. There's the breathtaking Chigmit and Neacola Mountains, plus Lake Clark's relative quietness (compared with big hitters like Denali) allows for unparalleled wildlife viewing. Look out for brown and black bears, sheep and caribou, who roam undisturbed in the park's 2.5 million-plus acres. The beaches of Chinitna Bay are one of the best places for bear spotting.
Slide 93 of 100: America’s largest museum dedicated to the legacy of Nordic peoples, the Nordic Museum got a cool new home in May 2018 when it opened a new 57,000-square-foot facility in Seattle. The building’s design boasts a ‘linear fjord’ effect, weaving together the many stories which comprise the Nordic American experience. It also offers improved exhibition galleries, a café, store, auditorium and classrooms.
Slide 94 of 100: Square up to the story behind one of the most famous feuds in American history: the Hatfield McCoy family feud, which rumbled on for more than 30 years during late 19th century. The new Hatfield-McCoy Country Museum at Williamson, West Virginia, on the Kentucky border, features the world’s largest collection of artifacts relating to the famous Appalachian feud. Attractions include the interior of a 1920s coal camp house and the Underground Theater, which looks like the inside of a coal mine.
Slide 95 of 100: The nation's capital is renowned for its world-class museums, and especially for the string of Smithsonian institutions that line the National Mall. On your next trip, give the National Museum of Women in the Arts a chance. The only major museum of its kind, it highlights the work of female artists from all over the globe. Its core collection consists of 4,500 works from the 16th century onwards, and you'll get free admission on the first Sunday of every month.
Slide 96 of 100: Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, America’s largest water park, unfurled a new monster of a slide in summer 2018. As the name indicates, 'Raja – The World’s Largest King Cobra' will be the tallest and longest of its kind in the world. Riders will race side by side on two-person tubes from six stories up, snaking through more than 335 feet of twists and turns at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. For the finale, the ride will plunge you 37 feet into the mouth of the massive king cobra.
Slide 97 of 100: There's never been a better time to visit the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. The site unveiled the Grand Conservancy, a 28,000-square-foot addition to the Gardens, in August 2017. The new expansion includes a multi-story conservancy that's now home to thousands of tropical plants. This adds to three greenhouses, a waterfall pond filled with koi fish and gardens blooming with perennials, annuals, wildflowers, roses, herbs and cacti.
Slide 98 of 100: Mokuleia Beach Park, in northern Oahu, is a world away from the popular resorts of the south (think sandy playgrounds such as Waikiki). Perfect for those looking to recharge, though, Mokuleia rewards its visitors with a secluded arc of sand and waters that lend themselves perfectly to wind and kite surfing. Amenities are limited here, so best bring a picnic.
Slide 99 of 100: Dubbed Denver's living room, the 100-year-old Union Station is the city's answer to New York's Grand Central Terminal. The airy atrium is dotted with comfy chairs, hooked up with free Wi-Fi and lined with plenty of great places to get a quick drink or a bite to eat. Browse volumes in the Tattered Cover bookstore before sinking into a puffy leather chair, cocktail in hand.  Discover 40 more surprising places you didn't know were in the USA. 
Slide 100 of 100: You’ll hardly believe that these color-splashed mounds are in Oregon but they are, and Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway is the best way to explore them. The entire route spans some 161 miles and was created to join up the three archaeologically-rich “units” of the John Day Fossil Beds, of which the Painted Hills are one. There are a few challenging portions, but small towns such as the aptly-named Fossil offer a welcome pit stop along the way.  Need more inspiration? Check out our list of 101 bucket-list adventures around the world to book now.

Underrated America for all ages

Spot wildlife from the Anan Bear Observatory in Alaska

The Anan Wildlife Observatory occupies a scenic position in the Tongass National Forest, whose ancient trees cover 17 million acres of southeastern Alaska. Reached by a half-mile hike, it overlooks Anan Creek, an indigenous fishing site that has a large number of pink salmon. Brown and black bears come to gorge on the fish here, and visitors of the observatory get uninterrupted views of the spectacle. In an effort to protect the site and enhance visitor experience, only 60 visitor permits are released each day.

Visit New York City’s abandoned underground station

If you’ve visited the Big Apple, you’ll no doubt have explored the city’s Grand Central Terminal but there’s another, more atmospheric station that usually slips under the radar. The abandoned City Hall subway station was first built in 1904 and was the outgoing station for New York’s first ever subway journey. It eventually closed in 1945 when it could no longer accommodate larger, modern subway trains. You can admire its vaulted ceilings and patterned brickwork on a tour with the New York Transit Museum.

Sleep in an earthship in New Mexico

You’ll find this collection of futuristic, eco-friendly abodes in the desert town of Taos. Built entirely of natural or recycled materials, such as tires and adobe mud, the earthships are powered by solar energy and each have their own unique design. Choose from a sand-colored structure with stained-glass made from bottles or a cute “hobbit house”. If you’ve not got time to stay overnight, drop in on the fascinating visitor center for a self-guided tour. 

Dig in Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas

Discover First Beach in La Push, Washington

Go boating on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri

Addictive Netflix original Ozark, starring Jason Bateman as a money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel, put this scenic lake in Missouri in the spotlight last year. It’s a vast reservoir hemmed in by some 1,000 miles of lakeshore and cliffs, and the area is studded with bars, restaurants (some of which are right on the water), campsites and golf courses. The best way to explore is by boat – take to the lake on a summer’s day and anchor up for a swim.

Hear a stalactite organ in Virginia’s Luray Caverns

Explore the ghost town of Bodie in California

Now one of California’s most curious state parks, Bodie was once a thriving gold-mining town. Its high point was in the late 1870s, when a mine collapsed revealing a copious amount of gold ore. But by 1881, the supply had all but dried up and the miners followed their fortune elsewhere, leaving Bodie abandoned and festering. You can explore Bodie year round: whizz around the town by snowmobile in winter or wander between the wood-paneled houses on foot in summer. Discover the secrets of other abandoned Gold Rush towns around the US too. 

Drive through the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

Discover the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans

There are loads of sights in the Big Easy, so it’s no wonder that some go unnoticed. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is one such sight. Its fascinating store of art works is a celebration of the American South, with fine art and photography joining avant-garde prints and sculptures. Free guided tours run every Thursday. Read our full guide to New Orleans here.

Go diving in Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park

At a whopping 45 miles long, Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior. The waters of this underrated park may be chilly but those who brave them will come across some of the most wonderfully preserved shipwrecks in US waters. Divers travel to see ambient wrecks such as The Emperor, a 525-foot Canadian steamship that was sunk here in 1947 when it made contact with a jagged reef. If you’d prefer to stay above the water, take to one of the many trails: the 1.2-mile, forested Windigo Nature Trail is ideal for those who want something gentler.

Spot wildflowers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Drink a cocktail at the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah’s American Prohibition Museum opened to much applause in 2017. Dedicated to the Sstates’ prohibition era (1920–1933), this is the first museum of its kind in the country. You’ll learn about the temperance movement that resulted in America’s dry period, the effect of prohibition on the country and, of course, the many ways the American people bucked the law. Finish up in a traditional, speakeasy-style bar for a classic cocktail and a last dose of the roaring Twenties.

Walk the boardwalks of Congaree National Park in South Carolina

Gaze up at Nebraska’s Carhenge

America has little shortage of curious roadside attractions, but this is surely one of the quirkiest. You’ll find it in the wilds of Nebraska, near the city of Alliance, and it’s made up of 39 cars, painted silver and stacked together in a mirror image of England’s Stonehenge. The structure, the brainchild of artist Jim Reinders, is built to the same proportions as the English landmark. It’s free to visit. Discover more unusual roadside attractions here.

Follow a woodland art trail in San Francisco

San Francisco has plenty for art buffs but its most unique artsy attractions don’t lie within the city’s galleries. Four mammoth sculptures by British artist Andy Goldsworthy are dotted throughout The Presidio, San Francisco’s answer to Central Park. Spot them all on a three-mile hiking loop. Favorites include the Woodline, a 1,200-foot trail of eucalyptus branches zigzagging through the forest, and Spire, Goldsworthy’s first piece here, and a striking 100-foot tower made from the trunks of cypress trees.

Take an ATV ride through Utah’s Wasatch Mountains

Sail on Tennessee’s Lost Sea

A little-known subterranean wonder, Tennessee’s Lost Sea has been turned into a fun family attraction. The site comprises of a significant cave system, whose depths can be explored with knowledgeable guides, and a vast lake, the largest known underground lake in the USA. Once you’ve finished a walking tour of the caverns, take a boat ride on the four-acre lake, which lies some 140 feet below the ground.

Marvel at Detroit’s Heidelberg Project

Follow the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail in Virginia

The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail pairs views with brews on a route through this scenic valley in western Virginia. You’ve a choice of 15 breweries: they range from the industrial-chic Pale Fire Brewing Co in Harrisonburg at the trail’s northern end to the more rustic Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery and Tap Room to the south. You’ll get a stamp on your Beerwerks passport for each brewery you visit and drink in plenty of mountain vistas on the way too. Be sure to assign a designated driver.

Take a tour of Iowa’s Grotto of the Redemption

This intriguing grotto is the product of one man’s unwavering faith. The late Father Paul Dobberstein contracted pneumonia and desperately ill, he prayed to the Virgin Mary, promising a wonderful shrine in return for his health. Once the pastor recovered, he began building an intricate grotto in his then hometown of West Bend. The sprawling caves were made up of rocks and precious stones (agate, topaz, quartz and more) that Dobberstein had gathered over the years. Today, you can tour the grotto, visit its dedicated museum and overnight in the adjacent campsite.

Brave the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk in Pennsylvania

Hop over to Ellis Island in New York City

Liberty Island, home, of course, to the Statue of Liberty, is likely to be on your travel wish list but you may not have given much thought to lesser-visited Ellis Island. Make time in your itinerary to pore over the poignant displays at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. The complex tells the stories of some 12 million immigrants who traveled through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.

Head for Bumpass Hell geothermal area in California

Make for Pier 7 in San Francisco

Head up Seattle’s Columbia Center

The Space Needle has become an emblem of Seattle. Though, if you choose to visit its popular observation deck, you’ll miss views of the very building that makes the Seattle skyline so unique. Head, instead, to Columbia Center and the Sky View Observatory, the tallest viewing platform in the city. You’ll get unparalleled vistas of the Emerald City by day or night (Space Needle included) for a cheaper price.

Relax on Surfrider Beach in Los Angeles

Feast at the Italian Market in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Italian Market – one of the oldest in the country – is often bypassed in favor of trendier Reading Terminal Market. But that’s a mistake. Upwards of six million people come to Reading Terminal Market every year, and while its Italian counterpart is hardly quiet, you can expect fewer queues. Add to this the fact that the Italian Market is home to both Pat’s and Geno’s – the city’s two premier (and rival) vendors of its beloved cheesesteak – and you’ll be happy.

Go in search of Yellowstone’s Castle Geyser

While Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser hogs the limelight, Castle Geyser falls into the shadows. But though lesser known, it’s equally as impressive. Also cone shaped, Castle is actually larger and older than its famous sister, though eruptions are less frequent. When Castle Geyser does put on a show, waters can shoot up to an impressive 90 feet. Find out more about Yellowstone’s hidden corners in our feature here. 

See poignant displays at The Legacy Museum in Alabama

The sobering legacy of America’s slavery history is spotlighted by a new museum that opened in Montgomery in spring 2018. The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration explores slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration on a site of one of America’s most prominent slave markets. It uses sculpture, videography and compelling visuals to tell the visceral story of racial injustice, the world’s largest prison system and the ‘Jim Crow south’.

Spend the night at Alaska’s Borealis Basecamp

Gaze up at the spectacular show of the Northern Lights from your own luxury dome retreat at Borealis Basecamp, which opened in September 2017, just a 30-minute drive from Fairbanks. Sleep under the stars on the north-facing Arctic slope while admiring the starry sky, eagerly anticipating the aurora borealis. The domes may be enveloped by wilderness but they don’t scrimp on luxuries, coming equipped with kitchenettes, baths and warm water.

Visit the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota

Upwards of three million tourists visit Mount Rushmore every year to take in the carvings of four formative American presidents. But less than 20 miles away another significant figure is cast in rock. The tribute to Crazy Horse, a Lakota Warrior who fought off white settlers encroaching upon native land, was begun in 1948. Upon completion, it’s set to be the largest mountain carving in the world, peaking at a gargantuan 563 feet. Be sure to explore the on-site Indian Museum of North America before taking in the spectacle itself.

Ride the zipline at Grand Canyon West in Arizona

One of the latest additions to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is a pair of epic ziplines which let adrenalin junkies soar nearly 1,000 feet above the floor of a side canyon amid the stunning desert scenery. The Zipline at Grand Canyon West, which opened in January 2018, consists of two ‘quad ziplines’ allowing groups of four to soar parallel to one another at speeds approaching 50 miles per hour. There’s 3,500 feet of zipline to whizz down over two separate runs.

Discover an ‘Unexpected’ street art trail in Arkansas

The Unexpected project is an annual, week-long modern art festival in the northwestern Arkansas town of Fort Smith. Each year the project unleashes international contemporary artists on street art in the city’s downtown district. Eight striking new murals were unveiled for the project in 2017, making a total of 30 to brighten up the town so far. In 2018, these artworks were tied together neatly with a modern art trail that gives a nod to Fort Smith’s Old West history.

Take a walk through New York City’s Fort Tryon Park

Stargaze at California’s Rancho Mirage Observatory

Fancy stargazing in California? Scope out the Rancho Mirage Observatory, which was the first of its kind to open in the Coachella Valley in spring 2018. The $3.6 million observatory features a 75-ton telescope, an open deck for budding amateur astronomers and projections of the starry night sky. The telescope itself is research-quality, with a 28-inch diameter mirror. More than enough to handle those Californian stars.

Ride the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Colorado’s Aspen Snowmass

The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster is the latest attraction to arrive at Aspen Snowmass. Riders travel through a mile of forest on an elevated track at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour for an eight-minute thrill through a variety of curves, angles and hairpin turns. Passes include a two-hour session with access to tubing and unlimited rides on the new Alpine Coaster. The coaster is open seasonally from November to April. 

Hike across the North Cascades’ North Klawatti Glacier

Soar over Connecticut on the Foxwoods HighFlyer

A pulse-racing four-line zipline opened in Connecticut in March 2018. The Foxwoods HighFlyer will launch you from 350 feet in the air, off the rooftop of Fox Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino and land you over 3,700 feet away at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. This one’s reserved for those with a head for heights.

Try bumper cars on ice in Delaware

What could possibly be more fun at the fair than a turn on the bumper cars? Bumper cars on ice, that’s what. In September 2017, the Delaware State Fairgrounds at Harrington installed this novelty at its Centre Ice Rink. It has custom-built 10 battery-powered bumper cars that will have you sliding about safely on the ice in a hilarious fashion. You can even have the rink to yourselves for private hire, perfect fun for that bumper birthday party.

Hit the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey

Ride Fast & Furious Supercharged at Universal Orlando, Florida

Make a splash with the kids at the Great Wolf Lodge in Georgia

Opened in May 2018, Great Wolf Lodge promises to deliver the ultimate water park experience, just an hour from Atlanta in LaGrange. There’s a wealth of child-friendly games, activities and even a kids’ spa all under one roof. Other key assets include spacious suite options, on-site dining and a range of shopping outlets. This water park resort is the perfect way to cool off in Georgia’s simmering sunshine with a memorable holiday experience for the whole family. We’ve got more family days out in the USA here.

Scale New York City’s Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center is not the tallest building in New York City, yet it can’t be beaten for great city panoramas at a reasonable price. While most visitors scramble up the Empire State Building to look across Manhattan, those in the know make for the Top of the Rock. The Rockefeller’s observation deck will afford you views of Central Park, the Hudson River and the towering Empire State Building itself. Time your visit for sunset for the most epic vistas.

Take a Kualoa Helicopter Tour in Hawaii

Eco-friendly helicopter tour company Paradise Helicopters has launched a new adventure-packed tour of Oahu’s most historic Second World War sites and famous movie settings. The Kualoa Expedition Tour sets off from near the Ko Olina resort area, whisks you over Honolulu Harbor, Waikīkī and Diamond Head Crater, and touches down at Kualoa Ranch. Here you can choose from three ground adventures: a horseback tour, an ATV tour, or a zipline tour through the Kaaawa Valley, which featured in Jurassic Park.

Gaze upwards in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Park

Cycle along the Strand in Los Angeles

Ride the world’s largest loop coaster in Illinois

Care for a dash of dizzy disorientation? In spring 2018, Six Flags Great America Amusement Park in Gurnee opened the world’s largest loop coaster at 100 feet tall. The Mardi Gras Hangover coaster gives riders record hang time and 360-degree revolutions ensuring you’ll soon lose track of which way is up. The 32 face-off style seats let you see the blood-drained faces and reactions of your fellow riders. Discover more jaw-dropping roller coasters here.

Discover a water park built for the little ones in Indiana

A southwestern Indiana amusement park has splashed $3.5 million on new aquatic attractions for children. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari has built two cute elephant-themed water play areas called Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides, opened in May 2018. Tembo Falls offers eight junior water slides designed for smaller children, including racing slides, twisters and even a mini-Bakuli. Nearby the Tembo Tides pool provides gentler waves to enjoy.

Take in the views over the Palo Duro Canyon in Texas

Have an outdoor adventure in Iowa’s Cone Park

Cone Park, Sioux City’s newest all-season park, offers a gamut of outdoor fun, including a tubing hill, ice skating rink, an alfresco fire pit and a day lodge. Located near the Lewis & Clark ball park, Cone Park’s day lodge will be available to rent during the warmer months, while the ice skating rink will convert to a free public splash pad in the summer. A two-mile trail loop will also connect hikers with Sertoma Park to the east.

Explore a theme park dedicated to dinosaurs in Kansas

The mammoth Field Station Dinosaurs theme park in the Wichita suburb of Derby has 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs roaming its grounds. Visitors to the 14-acre dino domain can dig for fossils, walk the paths beside the life-like giants, learn about dinosaurs unique to Kansas and play a round of miniature dino-themed golf. 

Discover Chicago’s Vertical Gallery

Those with a taste for something alternative should seek out the Vertical Gallery over Chicago’s more traditional artistic institutions. It’s quirkier than its strait-laced sisters (we’re looking at you, Art Institute of Chicago), showcasing new and established talent in street art, prints and illustration. There’s also work for sale if your walls are looking bare.

Taste bourbon at the Old Forester Distillery in Kentucky

Kentucky has more than the angel’s share when it comes to bourbon production, but there’s always room for more excuses to sample the stuff. Enter the Old Forester Distillery, a brand new bourbon tourism experience that opened in Downtown Louisville in spring 2018. The $45 million facility raises a glass to the craftsmanship of America’s first bottled bourbon with a state-of-the-art fermentation room, cooperage, bottling line and a tasting room where we guess you’ll want to linger.

Follow the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail in Louisiana

The Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail, a self-guided driving tour, was launched in September 2017. It shows how water, people and land have shaped life and landscapes through the ages across one of America’s most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions. Over 50 trail stops take in nature walks, paddling trails, Cajun culture and a host of cultural experiences, so pack your camera, binoculars, fishing pole or kayak.

Take a trip to New York’s Letchworth State Park

Less than two hours’ drive from Niagara Falls, Letchworth State Park boasts its own impressive set of cascades. At their highest, the waterfalls reach 600 feet, rushing over craggy cliff faces and cloaked by lush woodland. There are plenty of vantage points to drink in the views, plus opportunities for rafting, hiking and swimming when weather permits. Discover more of the world’s most impressive waterfalls here.

Hike to a mountaintop castle in Maine

TimberStone Adventures Inc, opened this year, is an experience where visitors can hike to a private mountaintop castle with panoramic views, while their gear is towed up a cable bridge. It’s set on over 50 acres of land bordering the White Mountain National Forest and offers three lodges. Visitors can also enjoy the wooded 18-hole public disc golf course too.

Sip some suds at The Guinness Brewery in Maryland

Pull a pint at Baltimore’s Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House the first Guinness presence on US soil since 1954. The brewery sits on the site of the Maryland Distilling Company, the first distillery to open after prohibition in Maryland in 1933. You can take a brewery tour, shop for merchandise and whet your whistle in the tasting room, where exclusive US-only brews like Guinness Blonde American Lager will be available.

Get your thrills at Knott’s Berry Farm in California

Buena Park’s Knott’s Berry Farm touts itself as California’s “best theme park and amusement park” – a bold claim given its proximity to Disney’s California Adventure Park. While it might not have all the thrills of Disney’s mammoth sites, Knott’s Berry is a little easier on the pocket. Zip between the rides, make a splash at the on-site water park and finish with a feast at Mrs Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. 

Discover Boston’s Path of Presidents

In summer 2018, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau unveiled a digital map for the Path of Presidents connecting the stories of presidential history in the city. The path will cover presidents who were born here, went to school here or otherwise made an impact on the region. This will be backed up by a repository of digitized documents and images chronicling presidential stories, which will grow over time as new information is discovered. Read our full guide to Boston here.

Get your cultural fix at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Michigan

Northern Michigan opened the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in July 2018. The cultural center offers a year-round line up of world-class programming across all genres – music, dance, theater, movies and film, intellectual dialogue, and education. The architectural landmark building features an intimate 500-seat theater, a community engagement room and a rooftop deck overlooking Lake Michigan for special events.

Gaze up at Wyoming’s Devils Tower

You’ll find Devils Tower, an awesome monolith and national monument, in the northern reaches of Wyoming. Hallowed ground to the local indigenous populations, it towers some 5,111 feet above the prairie floor. The hiking trails surrounding the tower remain little trodden and the climbing here is world-class.

Read our full guide to northern Wyoming including Devils Tower here.

Get curious at the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minnesota

The Bell Museum of Natural History dates back to 1872 but in 2018 it opened a new facility with a planetarium on the University of Minnesota’s St Paul campus. Its exhibits, displays and programs showcase the state’s diverse nature and geology. They include wildlife dioramas, a digital planetarium and a ‘Touch and See Lab’, where you can lay your hands on a variety of insects, animal skins and bones. 

See moving exhibits at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is a powerful institution which shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the world. The museum opened in December 2017 in downtown Jackson and presents eight galleries focusing on the years 1945–1976 when the state was a veritable ground zero for the national Civil Rights Movement. Look out for the centerpiece sculpture, This Little Light of Mine, which glows brighter as visitors gather.

Explore Water Holes Canyon in Arizona

Water Holes’ undulating sandstone walls, rugged exterior and orange glow gives it a similar appearance to the famous Antelope Canyon, a mere 17-minute drive east. But while Antelope Canyon’s fame means it’s crammed with hikers and budding photographers, Water Holes’ comparative anonymity makes it a dream to explore. You’ll need a permit from the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation organisation to visit.

Get an adrenalin hit on Missouri’s Time Traveler Rollercoaster

When it opened in April 2018, Silver Dollar City’s Time Traveler became the steepest, fastest and tallest spinning coaster in the world. The steampunk-themed Time Traveler will plummet riders 100 feet straight down a mountainside in Branson Ozark’s wooded terrain at 50 miles per hour. The two-minute ride will flip you upside-down three times during a 95-foot-tall vertical loop, a dive loop and a zero-G roll.

Catch a concert at Montana’s KettleHouse Amphitheater

This outdoor music venue enjoys a spectacular natural setting on the banks of the Blackfoot River. The KettleHouse Amphitheater opened in summer 2017, right next to the award-wining KettleHouse Brewery in Bonner, Montana, attracting acts as diverse as Diplo, Pixies and Alice Cooper. The 4,250-capacity venue offers three types of admission: stadium seating, a standing pit and lawn seating, perfect for long hot summer nights of alfresco partying.

Follow the Black Heritage Trail in Boston, Massachusetts

See the striking Sculpture Series at the Museum of Nebraska Art

Eye-catching artworks by three of Nebraska’s most prominent sculptors are rounded up for display at the Museum of Nebraska Art’s Hillegass Sculpture Garden. Highlights include the oversized ceramic head by Jun Kaneko, totem-like figures inspired by the opera Aida and Charley Friedman’s advancing gang of life-size bronze squirrels armed with nuts, berries and carrots.

Nose around Nevada’s Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum

Saddle up and paint your wagon, there’s a new museum in town. The Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada, opened in February 2018 to preserve the legacy of the Vaquero and the American Buckaroo. The museum showcases the rich history, culture and traditions of the cowboys of the American West, representing the deep-rooted heritage of the ranching and cowboy lifestyles through exhibits, demonstrations and programs.

Bask on Fort Lauderdale Beach in Florida

Ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Cog Railway has opened a free Base Station Museum experience packed with interactive exhibits and fun simulators. The attraction now offers one-way tickets for hikers who want to hike up Mount Washington and take the train on the way back. It has also expanded its free annual event offerings to include a Steampunk Festival and a Handcrafted Festival.

Get outdoors with the Albuquerque Activity Loop

Head to California’s Lions, Tigers and Bears

While visitors flock to San Diego Zoo, it’s not the only Californian center making strides when it comes to conservation. Lions, Tigers and Bears is a mid-sized, not-for-profit sanctuary outside Alpine, California, dedicated to rescuing and caring for abused and/or abandoned animals. As its name suggests, the site looks after lions, tigers and bears, among other wild species and day visitors are welcome. You can pay a higher fee to tour the center with its founder.

Go undercover at New York City’s Spyscape Museum of Spying

Do you fancy yourself as a hacker or a handler, an agent or an analyst? Put your sleuthing skills to the test at Spyscape, America’s first fully interactive museum of spy craft, which opened in Manhattan in February 2018. Learn the secrets of lie detection, surveillance and how to navigate a laser tunnel, alongside the inside stories of contemporary espionage, from the Second World War code-breakers to the teenager who hacked the CIA’s website.

Now discover more unusual museums around the USA.

Take in quirky sculptures at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in North Carolina

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, featuring 31 of the late artist’s curious wind-powered sculptures, opened in November 2017 in Wilson, a city on the Interstate 95 corridor. Simpson, who lived on a nearby farm until his death in 2013, was a farm machinery repairman who transformed old bicycles, road signs and other cast-off items into giant kinetic sculptures which have been meticulously created to dance in the breeze.

Visit Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah

Visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland deserves a firm place on your bucket list. It has just had a $15 million facelift where the words ‘Long Live Rock’ are now spelled out in six-meter-high letters. The new Connor Theater houses its signature hall of fame experience featuring concert-quality sound, larger-than-life video screens and fan interactivity.

Hang out in A Gathering Place for Tulsa in Oklahoma

A Gathering Place for Tulsa, finished in 2018, has transformed nearly 100 acres along the Arkansas River in Tulsa into a massive urban park complete with playgrounds, nature trails, skate parks and gardens. The park includes a lodge, boathouse, nature walks, two land bridges connecting the two sides of river parks, sporting areas and a pond.

Relax & recharge at The Goatel Retreat Center in Oregon

From the people who brought you goat yoga comes the Goatel Retreat Center. It’s a hotel with goats in the hills of Willamette Valley, the world’s first destination to offer goat yoga and goat happy hours, along with hikes in the Coastal Mountains, local brewery and winery tours and organic meals from local chefs. Bond with the goats, help bottle feed babies or just cuddle up. We can think of few better ways to recharge.

Go underground at The Breakers in Rhode Island

Explore the underground quarters of The Breakers, a historic house built in 1885 by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in Newport County. Learn how new domestic technology transformed daily life, including how electricity and the emergence of the modern lift shaped the ‘Gilded Age’ of America’s industrial boom. This tour, which launched in 2017, takes you into the tunnels beneath this distinctive Newport ‘cottage’ and designated National Historic Landmark.

Drive through Oregon’s Ecola State Park

If you’re dreaming of a coastal road trip, Oregon may not be the first state that springs to mind but it should be. Ecola State Park more than matches the beauty of California’s fabled ocean roadways to the south, but you’ll likely have great swathes of it all to yourself. Stop to take in the rock-studded sands and you may even spot a whale if you’re lucky. Our guide will help you plan a perfect American road trip. 

Visit the brewpub at South Carolina’s Curtiss-Wright Hangar

Since it opened in 1929, the Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Jim Hamilton-LB Owens airport in Columbia hosted the likes of Amelia Earhart and Franklin D. Roosevelt. For decades it fell into disrepair, until it underwent a $1.2 million renovation in 2018. It’s now open to the public and houses the Hunter-Gatherer Brew Pub, Columbia’s newest and most unusual brewery.

Learn about human history at South Dakota’s Good Earth State Park

Take in the views from the 360 Chicago Observation Deck

The majority of view seekers in Chicago make for the Willis Tower but the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, housed on the 94th floor of the 875 North Michigan Avenue skyscraper, grants equal panoramas. It sits above the Windy City at 1,000 feet, offering sweeping vistas through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Adrenalin junkies will also love Tilt, a new thrill experience in which the glass windows “tilt” outwards leaving visitors to hold on and enjoy the view directly downwards. 

Watch a movie at Nashville’s August Moon Drive-In

Go back to the future at the August Moon Drive-In. Coming to Nashville in 2019, the August Moon is the first indoor cinema experience to replicate the look and feel of a mid-1960s drive-in, complete with meal service, fireflies, 500 modified classic cars and a simulated starry sky. The drive-in is housed in a 40,000-square-foot dome and offers America’s largest non-Imax cinema screen.

Learn about turtle conservation at Sea Turtle Inc in Texas

Sea Turtle Inc on South Padre Island has been rehabilitating sea turtles for over 40 years, but February 2018 saw a brand new education facility. Here you can watch early morning hatchling missions of Atlantic Green Sea, Loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley turtles. Stick your head in the bubble tank to get a turtle’s eye view and learn about the human impact on their marine environment with special presentations in the new classroom and 230-seat amphitheater.

Visit Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden

Rose gardens and topiaries are the stars of the show at most botanic gardens but Phoenix’s offering gets points for originality. Wildflowers, cacti and succulents take over the 140 acres of the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona’s capital. Follow the carefully organized trails which all explore some aspect of the Sonoran Desert, its plants, people and history.

Try bobsledding at St Regis Deer Valley in Utah

If the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics had you hankering to hurtle down a bobsled run at 70 miles per hour, you can now do precisely that at the Olympic-approved St Regis Deer Valley resort in Park City. Tackle the course’s 10 breakneck turns and feel the full force of 3G in the capable hands of silver medallists Valerie Fleming and Shauna Rohbock, who’ll also give you a tour of the park afterwards.

Drink in the views from the Observatory at Central Place in Virginia

In spring 2018, the CEB Tower opened the Observatory at Central Place: an observation deck at the top of the 31-story building in Arlington’s Rosslyn Business Improvement District. The tallest building in the Beltway will offer an outdoor cantilevered terrace giving visitors truly spectacular views of the DC skyline. The 15,000-square-foot space will also be used as an exhibition area with a restaurant and bar.

Discover the bears & mountains of Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

Lake Clark remains one of the least-visited parks in Alaska – and indeed in North America as a whole – but there are reasons aplenty to visit. There’s the breathtaking Chigmit and Neacola Mountains, plus Lake Clark’s relative quietness (compared with big hitters like Denali) allows for unparalleled wildlife viewing. Look out for brown and black bears, sheep and caribou, who roam undisturbed in the park’s 2.5 million-plus acres. The beaches of Chinitna Bay are one of the best places for bear spotting.

Weave your way through Seattle’s Nordic Museum

America’s largest museum dedicated to the legacy of Nordic peoples, the Nordic Museum got a cool new home in May 2018 when it opened a new 57,000-square-foot facility in Seattle. The building’s design boasts a ‘linear fjord’ effect, weaving together the many stories which comprise the Nordic American experience. It also offers improved exhibition galleries, a café, store, auditorium and classrooms.

Get a dose of history at West Virginia’s Hatfield McCoy Country Museum

Square up to the story behind one of the most famous feuds in American history: the Hatfield McCoy family feud, which rumbled on for more than 30 years during late 19th century. The new Hatfield-McCoy Country Museum at Williamson, West Virginia, on the Kentucky border, features the world’s largest collection of artifacts relating to the famous Appalachian feud. Attractions include the interior of a 1920s coal camp house and the Underground Theater, which looks like the inside of a coal mine.

Explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC

The nation’s capital is renowned for its world-class museums, and especially for the string of Smithsonian institutions that line the National Mall. On your next trip, give the National Museum of Women in the Arts a chance. The only major museum of its kind, it highlights the work of female artists from all over the globe. Its core collection consists of 4,500 works from the 16th century onwards, and you’ll get free admission on the first Sunday of every month.

Ride a giant cobra slide at America’s largest water park, in Wisconsin

Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, America’s largest water park, unfurled a new monster of a slide in summer 2018. As the name indicates, ‘Raja – The World’s Largest King Cobra’ will be the tallest and longest of its kind in the world. Riders will race side by side on two-person tubes from six stories up, snaking through more than 335 feet of twists and turns at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. For the finale, the ride will plunge you 37 feet into the mouth of the massive king cobra.

Get lost in Wyoming’s Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

There’s never been a better time to visit the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. The site unveiled the Grand Conservancy, a 28,000-square-foot addition to the Gardens, in August 2017. The new expansion includes a multi-story conservancy that’s now home to thousands of tropical plants. This adds to three greenhouses, a waterfall pond filled with koi fish and gardens blooming with perennials, annuals, wildflowers, roses, herbs and cacti.

Sunbathe in Mokuleia Beach Park in Hawaii

Hang out in Denver’s Union Station

Dubbed Denver’s living room, the 100-year-old Union Station is the city’s answer to New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The airy atrium is dotted with comfy chairs, hooked up with free Wi-Fi and lined with plenty of great places to get a quick drink or a bite to eat. Browse volumes in the Tattered Cover bookstore before sinking into a puffy leather chair, cocktail in hand.

Discover 40 more surprising places you didn’t know were in the USA. 

Ride the Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway in Oregon

You’ll hardly believe that these color-splashed mounds are in Oregon but they are, and Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway is the best way to explore them. The entire route spans some 161 miles and was created to join up the three archaeologically-rich “units” of the John Day Fossil Beds, of which the Painted Hills are one. There are a few challenging portions, but small towns such as the aptly-named Fossil offer a welcome pit stop along the way.

Need more inspiration? Check out our list of 101 bucket-list adventures around the world to book now.

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