The weather is getting warmer, school is winding down, and you’ll soon start seeing summer vacation photos on every social media feed. After a week of scrolling, most of us develop a sense of deja vu.
How often have you seen identical photos from the same indoor waterpark, sanitized resort, or mouse-themed amusement park?
There is no need to settle for a cookie-cutter family vacation in a country as large as America. This nation is home to endless out-of-the-box US vacation destinations, whether you’re looking for a long adventure or a quick weekend getaway.
Are you ready to hit the road and see something quirky? We’ll share a few of our favorite fun attractions from coast to coast. Keep reading to discover an unexpected domestic travel destination you’ll never forget.
The Paper House in Rockport, MA
The moral of The Three Little Pigs is “Don’t build a house out of random junk.” Apparently, paperclip mogul Elis F. Stenman missed the message. He constructed The Paper House in Rockport, Massachusetts, and this tourist attraction is just what it sounds like.
Stenman constructed the entire home from varnished newspapers (besides a few basic wooden support structures). It has now stood for just over a century and shows no signs of going anywhere.
Shell Beaches near Sanibel Island, FL
We understand why you’d want to visit warm, stunning, beach-covered Florida—but we also understand why you’d want to avoid it during tourist season. If crowds and anthropomorphic mice aren’t your thing, consider checking out shell-studded Sanibel Island. It’s home to some of America’s most gorgeous shell beaches, so your activity can become your souvenir.
As a bonus, one of our favorite Hilton vacation club locations is right near the action, so you can lounge in comfort after a day of beachcombing. We’d call that the best of both worlds!
Dancing Fireflies in Gatlinburg, TN
If you’re seeking a destination that will take your breath away, schedule a trip to Great Smokey Mountain National Park in early June. You just might catch the incredible dance of the synchronized fireflies. These glowing creatures light up the sky in perfect synchronicity each year, filling the Tennessee forests with magic.
This alternative to catching the northern lights is perfect for an outdoorsy family, as the park is full of opportunities to camp, hike, and explore.
Learn About UFOs in Roswell, NM
The 1947 UFO crash may have put Roswell, New Mexico, on the map, but its unique tourist offerings have kept it there. Why not visit The International UFO Museum And Research Center?
Whether or not you’re into aliens, the museum is a remarkable building in its own right. The Out of This World exhibit is set up inside a movie theatre from the 1930s. Inside, you’ll discover everything you need to know to form an opinion about extraterrestrials.
Get Lost in San Jose, CA
The Winchester Mystery House is the perfect California destination for a tourist who loves adventure. It took Sarah Winchester 38 years to build her famous mansion, earning it the world record for the longest continuous construction project.
It’s supposedly one of the ten most haunted places. The labyrinthine home has a reputation for its architectural oddities, like stairways leading to nowhere.
Unique US Vacation Destinations for the Quirky Traveler
Most of us go on vacation to break our routines and experience something out of the ordinary. If that’s what you want, why do you repeatedly take the same familiar family trips? This year, choose one of the unique US vacation destinations on our list and discover what it really means to escape your daily grind!
You don’t always need to jump in the car to beat the day-to-day monotony. Browse our other lifestyle posts to discover fun ways to add something new to your everyday routine without leaving home.