Sunset at a pier on False Bay in South Africa, a location where a Skift colleague dreams of traveling to in 2021. Delyth Angharad / Flickr
There’s no escaping the fact that everything is getting more expensive. With the increased cost of living, you may be looking for ways to reduce how much you spend on your upcoming trip to Germany.
To help out, I’ve come up with a few suggestions to keep costs to a minimum. Although this post is about visiting Germany on a budget, the tips can be applied to just about any popular travel destination.
There are some costs you can’t avoid when traveling, like the price of a visa or travel authorization. The good news is that, if you’re from a visa-exempt country such as the US, you don’t need a visa to travel to Germany for up to 90 days. The new travel authorization for Germany, ETIAS, won’t be operational until 2023 so you don’t need to pay these fees either just yet.
Most other travel costs, however, are under your control. Let’s have a look at some of the top tips for visiting Germany on a budget.
Eat at the Markets
The food you’ll find at German markets is both fresh and reasonably priced. It’s also often organic, so you know that what you’re eating is good for you! You’ll find traditional German foods like bratwurst, potato pancakes, and pretzels. You can also try something new—there are often vendors selling international cuisine at the markets.
If you have access to a kitchen, you can shop for local ingredients and cook up your own delish dishes without spending a fortune.
Stay Outside of Major Tourist Areas
Staying in a hotel or hostel outside of the major tourist areas is one of the easiest ways to save money while traveling. And, since all of Germany’s major cities are relatively safe, it’s not like you need to worry about your safety. There are plenty of options for accommodation in every price range and style preference.
Avoiding the most touristy areas is a great way to reduce your accommodation costs. Just make sure it’s not so far out that you’ll end up spending too much on transportation. Go for hotels and hostels that are within around 30 minutes walk of the main attractions and well connected by public transport to other areas.
Also, don’t dismiss budget accommodation. There are loads of great hostels in Berlin and other German cities that provide everything you need, especially if you’re going to spend most of your time out and about.
Find an Apartment to Rent Online
If you are unfamiliar with the city you are visiting, Airbnb is a great option for accommodation. In addition to having access to the amenities of a hotel (like a kitchen and washing machine), many hosts have been known to act as tour guides and offer suggestions on where to go out in town or what attractions are worth visiting.
There are many other websites that can help you find apartments for short-term rent in Germany. Wimdu offers properties ranging from apartments and chalets to farmhouses and tree houses throughout Germany—though some listings may require booking several weeks in advance if they’re popular during high season. The site includes vacation rentals from more cities across Europe including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt.
There are loads more options too, invest some time when looking for accommodation in Germany and it could save you more money than you think.
Use Public Transportation
Public transportation is a great way to get around in Germany. If you’re planning on visiting Berlin, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn are your best bets for getting around. They’ll take you from one part of the city to another quickly and easily—and it’s much cheaper than taking cabs every time!
In cities like Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich, trams are also convenient ways to get around.
Buy Your Plane Ticket Early
Booking early is important when looking for cheap flights to Germany. In general, the earlier you book, the more likely it is that you can get a good deal on your ticket.
Use flight price comparison websites to find the best option. Several low-cost airlines fly to cities across Germany. If you’re traveling within Europe, you can find cheap flights to Germany from just about any European city.
Also, think about when you’re going to travel. The price of your flight to Germany will depend on the time of year, if you don’t mind the cold, January could be a cheap month to travel to Germany.
Visit Museums on Discounted Days
You may also be able to save money on museum tickets on discounted days. Many museums in Germany offer a reduced price for certain days of the week, as well as reduced admission for senior citizens and students. You can check the website of each museum you want to visit for a list of discounted days and special offers.
Finally, if you’re staying in hostels or hotels while traveling around Germany, ask them if they have any deals that will help reduce your costs while visiting museums.
Go on Free Walking Tours
Ok, so they may be called free walking tours but the truth is you’ll be expected to pay your guide a well-earned tip. Nevertheless, this is a really cost-effective way to get to known German cities.
Walking tours take you to all the major attractions and monuments. During a walking tour of Berlin, you’re likely to see Red Town Hall, Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate, among other highlights.
Prague is a beautiful city and it’s easy to see why 8 million people savor all that it has to offer every year. As well as the touristy city center highlights, the Czech city has nightlife in abundance. Whereas the Old Town is geared towards the tourists, the suburbs of Prague is where the action is, and where the better night spots can be found.
After you’ve checked in and upacked at one of the best hotels in Prague, it’s time to embark on a nighttime adventure!
Whether you’re here as a tourist or for business purposes, get yourself a metro ticket and head out to the districts of Holešovice, Smichov and Kárlin, and prepare yourself for a night, or several nights, to remember.
So let’s see what Prague has to offer in terms of nightlife.
Deja Vu Music Club
Prague is synonymous with partying and this spot, known for its cocktails and great happy hour, is a good introduction. It’s bustling but with a laid-back atmosphere, offers wonderful drinks at affordable prices and has a comfortable vibe for travelers and locals of all ages. Everything from the music to the service receives rave reviews from those who spend an evening here, creating an ideal spot to start the night before you head to the nightclubs later on.
There are no bells here but this hard rockin’ dive bar will lift your spirits no matter what night of the week you show up. Located in Smichov, Hells Bells has been rockin’ out and serving cold beer for as long as anyone can remember. It’s a cellar pub so it can be dark down there, but if you’re after riffs and good beer, then a visit to Hells Bells is an absolute must.
Many festivals happen in Prague and when they do, they frequently happen in Letná Park. The park is the highest point in Prague and offers fantastic views over the city as it was built near the edge of the Vltava River. Be sure to check the festival schedule while you’re here and if there is a festival taking place in Letna Park, it’s probably worth attending. The atmosphere is usually welcoming and energetic and it can be a great place to meet some local people.
At the very least, the park is an ideal spot to drink a quality Czech beer in the evening, whether there’s a festival or not!
U Zlateho Tygra (The Golden Tiger)
Sometimes, you have to go to the more expensive bars to get the full Czech experience. The Golden Tiger is one such place and after entering, you’ll immediately know that you’ll be drinking in the footsteps of giants. Indeed, this bar boasts that Bohumil Hrabal, one of the country’s greatest writers, enjoyed a few beers regularly at The Golden Tiger. Bill Clinton has also paid this bar in a visit. Famous for their pilsner, it’s also well-known for often being full so make sure you get there early and hopefully you’ll get to enjoy this unique pub.
Prague is truly full of excellent spots for nightlife. And taking a little trip off the beaten track, outside the main tourist center, is definitely worth your time if you want some memorable evenings out on the town!
Offering one of the most diverse varieties of landscapes and wildlife around the globe, Australia is nothing short of a dream holiday destination for nature lovers. The Oceanic country is home to over a whopping 500 national parks, each providing a unique experience for its visitors. Whether it’s sandy beaches, coral reefs, unique rock formations or lush rainforests – Australia, a big land with a big story – is guaranteed to take your breath away. So, if you are looking to explore some incredible nature, here are 4 absolutely stunning national parks in Australia.
If you are staying in Sydney during your visit in Australia, the Blue Mountains is an absolute must-see day-trip destination, around 60-minutes drive away. This national park is the perfect location for mountain biking and other adventure sports, while also perfectly suitable for peaceful hiking on its many historic trails.
The park is not called Blue Mountains without reason – covered in eucalyptus forests, the mountains reflect a unique blue glow every time they get direct sunlight, creating a truly magical feel. Besides the magnificent eucalyptus forests, the region is rife with other natural wonders, including grand landscapes, waterfalls, valleys, and charming villages.
This list would simply not be complete without Kakadu, the largest and perhaps most popular national park in Australia. Kakadu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its incredible biological and ecological diversity. The national park is home to around 2,000 plant species, around a third of all Australian bird species and around a fifth of all mammals.
Only reachable by 4WD or a boat, the Kakadu National Park is a highly preserved and tranquil destination, surrounded by rocky landscapes and lush greenery. Make sure to visit the iconic Jim Jim Falls and the Twin Falls while there as well to witness the most beautiful sunset from the Nadab Lookout.
K’gari (Fraser Island)
Located at the southern coast of Queensland, K’gari is the world’s largest sand island and undoubtedly one of the most stunning national parks in Australia. The island was named K’gari by the local Indigenous people, meaning Paradise, and what better name to describe the beauty of the golden beaches and sand dunes, turquoise blue waters, champagne pools, subtropical rainforests and plentiful freshwater lakes.
In addition to the heavenly nature of Fraser Island, you may also come across a range of exotic wildlife there, such as dingoes, Swamp Wallabies, Humpback Whales, Echidnas, Sea Turtles, and a variety of birds.
Widely different from the ones above, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is famous for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Located in the Red Centre of Australia, the park has been home to local Aboriginal people for thousands of years and holds a powerful spiritual presence, strongly felt by its visitors.
The two key attractions are Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, and Kata Tjuta, or The Olga’s. Uluru is a huge sandstone monolith which formed over 550 million years ago. The rock used to be a popular destination for climbers, however, in 2019 climbing Uluru was banned due to its importance for the locals. It is surrounded by Kata Tjuta, a total of 36 domed rock formations, which are particularly stunning to see during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.
Vacations are needed by all of us. In a world that is constantly shouting GO! GO! GO!, sometimes the best thing we can do is stop and slow down for a few moments. With a vacation, if done correctly, you can have that break and return feeling fresher and more rejuvenated. It’s important in order to avoid stress and frustrations building up to the point where it affects our lives. Nobody wants that!
One vacation option is sailing. It’s a cool idea for such a break for several reasons.
You Can Explore The World
Did you know that the ocean covers up to 70% of the earth’s surface? That’s a remarkable amount. But, for most of our lives, we’re stuck on land and apart from perhaps a trip to the beach every now and then, the ocean doesn’t play much of a role. In fact, for many of us, travel doesn’t play much of a role either, despite its importance.
So, with a sailing vacation, you can actually get out into the world a bit, in a different way. You can take advantage of the vast oceans and seas, explore destinations that you wouldn’t otherwise reach and travel at your own pace as well, all without the crowds and hassle of land travel.
For example, you could enjoy a sailing trip around the stunning islands of Greece or island-hop in the Caribbean. And those are just two of endless options that exist for a rewarding travel experience!
You Can Have An Adventure
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it.” Embracing adventure is an integral part of living a full life.
While sailing, each day spent on the open sea is typically a day filled with adventure. Whether it’s spotting marine life, taking a swim in beautiful waters, visiting destinations you can only reach by boat or enjoying the true peace and quiet of being surrounded by the sea in all directions, it’s difficult not to feel the rewards of such a trip.
And if you want to learn the ins and outs of sailing during vacation, you could learn about rope knots, nighttime navigation methods, hoisting the sails and so much more to keep you busy.
Fill each day with new experiences and challenges and your vacation will be even better than you hoped for!
It’s Good For Your Health
When we think about health and wellness, we often think about spending time at the gym or following all kinds of self-help advice that’s currently trending. However, it’s important to simply remember a core idea – to treat our bodies and minds well. There’s a lot more to being healthy than spending thirty minutes on a treadmill.
With a sailing vacation, you have a chance to move your body and exercise your mind at the same time. And since you don’t have to force yourself to go to a gym, it will be far more enjoyable. You’ll actually have fun being out in the warm air, learning how to sail, swimming and again, using the mesmerizing, peaceful surroundings and variety of destinations you visit to clear your mind and focus on what’s important.
That’s the definition of health and when it comes to a vacation, the idea is to experience what is best for your body and mind and come back feeling better than before you left.
It’s Money Well-Spent
It goes without saying that travel and taking a vacation can prove to be quite costly these days. Airfare prices are up, hotels can be scarce, cars need to be rented and so on.
A sailing vacation actually takes care of some of those issues. The value can be remarkably high since your accommodation and transportation expenses, often along with food, are all wrapped up into one. You can simply enjoy the sea, and also the destinations you visit by picking out a few appealing activities before returning to your boat. As a result, expenses are quite reasonable for what you get with this kind of a trip.
Of course, you can also shop around when looking for an affordable yacht rental or sailing vacation so that you can find the best value option for you and your group. There is no shortage of options.
When you take a sailing vacation, it also comes with the kind of flexibility that other trips don’t often enjoy. You can have exactly the type of vacation you want to have – whether it’s slow and relaxed, action-packed or anything in between. You decide and with a yacht, you have the freedom to make anything happen.
Even better, being on a sailing vacation allows you the freedom to alter plans. There are no hotel bookings or flights to change if you want to suddenly do something different. It’s you and your yacht and you can travel as you wish.
When you wake up each day, you can decide if you want a day full of swimming and snorkeling or a wander through a town on a Greek island or a night out in a popular port city. Drop anchor, and make it happen.
You Can Bond With Your Loved Ones
Life certainly gets busy when we’re at home. As a result, our priorities often get all mixed up and we even find it difficult to spend time with the very people we want to spend time with. It’s just how life goes.
But another benefit of a sailing vacation is to get these priorities straight for awhile. Being together on a yacht allows you to reconnect with your friends and/or family in such a beneficial way. You’ll all be there on that boat, away from the noise and bustle of life of land, and as a result, you can focus on each other and the quality time you are spending together. Also, with the fascinating experiences you’ll be sharing in this unique environment, you’ll create memories that will only help to solidify and grow the bonds with each other.
A sailing trip definitely stands out in this way!
The post Why You Need To Take A Sailing Vacation At Least Once appeared first on Wandering Earl.
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Travel is back and hopefully you have a trip planned for the near future! If you do have travels coming up, you’ll most likely want to figure out a way to stay connected while overseas. Things are changing quite quickly when it comes to this topic but luckily, it’s now remarkably easy, and inexpensive, to travel with a constant data connection. It’s all about eSIM cards as they are definitely the most traveler friendly option that exists.
What is an eSIM?
An eSIM is different than your usual SIM card that you would insert into your phone. Usually, your cellular company provides you with a physical SIM card and once inserted into your device, you are connected to their network.
With an eSIM, there is no physical card. Instead, it’s 100% digital, enabling you to connect to a cellular network without having to put anything in your phone’s SIM card slot. In short, it’s software that you download and that installs directly onto your phone.
A good example is Holafly’s eSIM for Europe as it allows you to download an international eSIM so that you can remain connected to the internet while traveling.
Why you should use Holafly eSIM?
First, it’s easy to set up and use. As you’ll see below, it only takes a couple of minutes from the moment you purchase your eSIM until it is ready to be used.
Second, the value is hard to beat. What you’ll pay for a month of data with a Europe eSIM card is about the same as you would pay for only 3 or 4 days of international roaming offered by your cellular company at home!
Third, it offers extensive coverage for travelers. You can purchase an eSIM for an individual country or even an entire region, such as Europe or Asia. This ensures that you are seamlessly connected wherever you go on your adventures, without having to worry about finding ways to get online every time you cross a new border.
Advantages of using an eSIM to travel to Europe
Let’s suppose you’re taking a trip to Europe. With HolaFly’s eSIM for Europe, you can buy your eSIM online in about 2 minutes and choose a plan that suits your travels. You can choose a plan for an individual country or for all of Europe if you’ll be bouncing around. You’ll also find plans for 7 days, 15 days and 30 days, depending on the length of your trip.
Keep in mind, you’ll still keep your phone number from home. If you have a regular physical SIM card in your phone, nothing will change with your phone number. But with the eSIM, you’ll be getting your data connection through HolaFly’s network of cellular companies, which is much cheaper than if you use the data connection offered by your cellular network at home.
Then, as soon as you land in your destination, you’ll be connected. And you won’t have to worry about exorbitant international roaming fees or paying for the very expensive international plan that you your cellular company at home offers.
How do I purchase an eSIM for Europe?
As mentioned, it’s simple. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to HolaFly’s eSIM for Europe page: https://esim.holafly.com/esim-europe/
- Check the box that says “Phones compatible with eSIM” to make sure your phone is on the list
- Choose the plan that suits your travels and add it to the cart
- Go to “Checkout” and pay for the eSIM
- You’ll then receive an email with a QR code.
- Whenever you arrive in your destination (or right before you travel there), you just scan the QR code with your phone and the eSIM will be immediately delivered straight onto your device.
- Once this happens, your eSIM is activated and you’ll be connected!
Which devices work with the Holafly eSIM card?
There’s a long list of phones that are compatible with a Holafly eSIM card. Here’s the quick list but you can always check out the complete list of individual phones to make sure your device is indeed able to use an eSIM: Holafly compatible devices
- All models from the iPhone XS, XR onward, including the iPhone SE 2 (2020)
- From the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra onwards
- From the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Fold 2 and onwards
- From the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and onwards
- From the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and onwards
- Huawei P40, P0 Pro and later models
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro and later models
- Google Pixel 3, 3a (some versions do not allow eSIM)
- Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5 and later models
- Oppo Find X3 Pro
- Oppo Reno 5A
- Motorola Razr (2019)
- Motorola Razr 5G (dual SIM)
How much do I need to pay for an eSIM to travel to Europe?
The prices for an Holafly eSIM for Europe varies depending on the length of time. For the eSIM package that will connect you to fast internet in 40 European countries, here are the options:
5 days unlimited = $19.00 USD
10 days unlimited = $34.00 USD
15 days unlimited = $47.00 USD
20 days unlimited = $54.00 USD
30 days unlimited = $64.00 USD
60 days unlimited = $84.00 USD
90 days unlimited = $99.00 USD
Alternatives to Holafly eSIM to have a data connection in Europe
Of course, an eSIM such as Holafly is not the only way you can have a data connection while traveling in Europe. Here are some other options:
This involves simply keeping your phone on as normal when you go overseas. It’s certainly easy enough but you’ll end up paying a fortune as the rates your cellular company at home will charge you for international roaming will leave your jaw on the floor! To lower those costs, many cellular companies offer an ‘international plan’ which you can certainly use. However, these plans still cost much more than an eSIM. You can expect to pay around $10 per day (plus taxes) for such an international plan, so after 3 or 4 days, you’re already spending more than if you had an eSIM to travel to Europe, or anywhere else. Also, you often need to actually call your cellular company, wait to speak with customer service and then go through an activation process in order to set up the international plan.
Another option is to purchase a local SIM card in each of the countries you visit. When you arrive, you can find a shop selling SIM cards and by inserting one into your phone, you’ll be able to connect to that network. It’s also quite common these days to find kiosks and shops at airports where you can buy such a local SIM card upon arrival. The main downside is that you won’t be connected as soon as you arrive in a new country as you need to find a shop first in order to buy the SIM card. Also, if you are traveling to multiple countries, you’ll generally need to buy a new SIM card in each country you visit instead of simply being connected automatically through one eSIM.
You can also purchase an international SIM card. This would be more like a traditional physical SIM card that you would insert into your phone. Several companies offer these international SIM cards and they can be a good option, especially if your phone is not compatible with an eSIM. In general, you would get the same benefits of an eSIM although the cost of data would be more expensive with a physical SIM card.
Final thoughts about Holafly eSIM card
The days are gone when having a data connection while traveling was difficult, to say the least. The transition from internet cafes to expensive local SIM cards to expensive international plans has finally landed in a sweet spot. With an Holafly eSIM card, you can have fast internet wherever you go, for a very affordable price.
As long as your phone supports an eSIM, it’s the best option to stay connected while on the road by far. And the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to get connected is a huge bonus. You could be on your way to Europe right now, download an eSIM while waiting to board your flight and as soon as you land in your destination, turn on your phone and you’re connected!
*This sponsored post comes at an ideal time. I just used an eSIM while on my recent trip to Iraq and I wanted to share why this is the best way to stay connected while traveling.
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Many major Canadian cities are fast becoming the most expensive places in the world to live. Ideally, you should travel to Canada before settling there for a significant amount of time, to get a feel for the place. But, for reference, you’re looking at at least $2,000 for a 80-square-meter apartment in Toronto, and you can double that if it’s a spacious place in the city center. Likewise, Vancouver is similarly priced, and whilst these cities have incredible amenities, the point of being a digital nomad is to be free from living in areas that we cannot afford.
So, when looking at flights to Canada, make sure you decide on the city that is right for you.
Halifax, Nova Scotia – Up And Coming
Halifax is on the rise, and whilst it used to be overshadowed by Vancouver, it’s soon becoming a wise alternative in the property market. Halifax has a decently-sized city feel to it when it comes to amenities and things to do, whilst its dense downtown is less easy to feel lost in than, say, Vancouver. It’s a small big city, in a way.
Halifax is cheaper than most of the big cities, but it is fast accelerating in prices, so you may not want to wait around. It’s currently around $1,500 for a one-bed apartment in the city. Because people are flocking here since the rise of remote work, it’s beginning to build a buzzing economy that has plenty of start-ups, making it ideal for networking and finding clients.
Ottawa – Affordable Big City
Ottawa is a great choice if you like a big city with plenty to do. With an average one-bedroom apartment costing around $1,600 per month, Ottawa is affordable for Canadian standards, given its 1-million population and strong economy. Often, the more affordable options in Canada have fewer things to do and less nightlife – but not Ottawa, it has it all. It’s a pedestrian-friendly and diverse city that has some great history to it.
Because of its cosmopolitan and progressive nature, Ottawa is popular and friendly towards immigrants. Much more so than say, Quebec, and it remains to have a very high median income and stable economy. Plus, you’ll meet tons of other digital nomads.
Edmonton – Cheap Big City Near Nature
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, which lies in the midwest of Canada. Despite having almost a one million population, Edmonton is both very cheap and in the midst of amazing nature. With an average rent of $950 for a one-bed apartment, Edmonton is arguably the cheapest city on this list.
Although the city grid is fairly large, conservation areas and nature parks surround it. Elk Island National Park, Muttart Conservatory, William Hawrelak Park… The list goes on. And, despite the large city feel, Edmonton has one of the best bus networks in all of Canada, with 7456 bus stops. Usually in the US and even Canada, you can only have one of the two: Affordability and public transport. However, Edmonton offers both, making it ideal for the low-key outdoorsy types.
The extensive landscape of the US makes it a popular destination for tourists the whole year round.
There’s something to do for everyone: families, couples, and single travelers alike. No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, there’s a destination for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you love exploring the corners of new cities or you want to go hiking off the beaten track, we’ve got some beautiful destinations that will satisfy your wanderlust.
This guide will take you through some of the best entertainment options as well. It’s not just the views that can take your breath away!
Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, bars and restaurants or even casinos, we’ve got all the entertainment you need. There are many options to choose from, including some Michigan online casinos.
No matter what you’re looking for in the USA, we’ve got all the best destinations off the beaten tourist track.
Bars Off the Beaten Track
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Michigan
One of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, it’s no wonder that Baker’s is a must-see attraction in Michigan. Built all the way back in 1934, this historic arts venue has always been a Detroit hotspot. The food is some of the best in town and the service is always impeccable. And with legends such as Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson and George Shearing having graced its stage, Baker’s legendary status is no surprise.
Tunnel Bar in Northampton, Massachusetts
If you’re a fan of a martini in an unusual location, then the Tunnel Bar in Northampton is the bar for you. Located in (or under) Northampton’s Union Station, this tunnel was previously used for commuters and train workers. Now, it’s been transformed into a beautiful bar with all of its original brick and stone fully intact.
The Coffin Club in Portland, Oregon
This next bar is not for the faint-hearted! It’s the Coffin Club in Oregon and we think you can probably guess the theme. It’s full of spooky memorabilia and glow in the dark skeletons that makes for a spooky night out. The Coffin Club has even been voted as being one of the top ten themed bars in the world!
Unique Nature Sites
Ocqueoc Falls in Rogers City, Michigan
If your interests are less city and more out in the wilderness, why not take a trip to Ocqueoc Falls just outside of Rogers City? Not only can you experience the beauty of these magical waterfalls but there’s also a campsite nearby where you can stay. You’ll have to be quick though, there are only 15 sites for tents and small campervans and they’re available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
You can hike up to the falls along the Bicentennial Pathway and you can even do some trout fishing if you’re so inclined. Make sure you’ve got the right equipment to cook it though! There are only very basic amenities onsite including vault toilets and a hand pump well for water. So it might be campfire cooked trout for dinner!
Sleeping Bear Dunes in Lake Michigan
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are found alongside a 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline. This park is known for its incredible scenery including its beaches and forests as well as, of course, the sand dune formations. You’ll also find the North and South Manitou islands nearby which are accessible via ferries.
There are 20 miles of hiking trails as well as an 1871 lighthouse that you can visit. And if you’re a history buff, there are plenty of tours you can take as well as a museum to visit and learn all about the rich history of the dunes and surrounding areas.
Goblin Valley State Park in Green River, Utah
Don’t let the name put you off – Goblin Valley is one of the most unique sandstone formations you’ll see anywhere in the world. In fact, its landscape is often compared to that of Mars! With its weird and wonderful sandstone formations, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. It’s a once in a lifetime sight and one you won’t want to miss!
Devil’s Tower in Wyoming
Another unusual rock formation is the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. This astonishing geological feature was formed by molten rock millions of years ago and has managed to stand the test of time. There are lots of hiking trails to complete – or even rock climbing if you’re feeling brave! But note that there is an annual climbing closure for the month of June to respect the Native American cultural significance of the site.
White Sands National Park in New Mexico
The White Sands National Park is so unique that it is even home to a type of sand that is rarely found anywhere else. It’s called gypsum and is so rare because it is actually moderately soluble in water – meaning that you won’t be finding it on a beach. White Sands National Park is actually the largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles.
The rarity of this landscape means that all of its life and plants are protected. It also means that not a lot of people know about it – so it’s always a peaceful place to visit.
Channel Islands National Park in Ventura, Los Angeles
Despite its proximity to Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is the second least visited park in California. That’s great news for travelers who prefer to bask in the beauty of nature in peace. It’s also a must visit place for activity lovers! There are loads of hiking trails to explore such as the Smugglers Cave trail.
If a day trip just isn’t enough time for your island trip, there’s also the option to camp on the island. Just make sure you pack light – it’s a mile long hike to get from the ferry to the campsite!
Given the vastness of the USA, it’s no surprise there are some places that are hidden away from the usual tourist traps. Whether it’s a park, lake, or entertainment venue – there are plenty of unknown places to explore.
Which hidden gem would you like to add to the list?