Summer Escapes off the Beaten Track

Are you planning for that long awaited summer vacation? If you fancy taking a well earned break and the chance to try out something new, away from mass tourism and crowds, then check out this selection of alternative destinations. All guarantee to offer excitement, adventure and the chance to be that little bit different.

North California’s Lost Coast

North California’s Lost Coast begins where Highway 1 ends. Highway 1 offers an exhilarating drive as it fights its way 700 miles along the curving shores and crumbling cliffs of the Pacific Coast. When the road finally gives up, a new journey begins as you enter a secluded corner of the nation’s most populous state. Here mountains rise vertically out of the water and blankets of trees shroud themselves in mist to create an ‘other worldly’ feel. Here, giant redwoods and black sand beaches combine with the rugged terrain to prevent mass tourism from taking hold. The whole area is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and offers a true wilderness feel. Pack up a back sack, ditch the mobile phone and start planning that adventure at the King Range National Conservation Area website.

The Black Hills of South Dakota

Mount Rushmore and its huge rock chiseled faces of the country’s Presidents is probably the most famous feature of Dakota, but take a trip 41 miles South to discover a surreal world just begging to be explored. At the Wind Cave National Park, those in the know can take a trip underground to immerse themselves in a place where space and time no longer matter. Anyone with a passion for exploration will love the thrill of cave exploring. When it comes to caves, they don’t come much bigger than those found at the Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. The National park is home to one of the longest natural cave systems in the world and guided tours take visitors below the earth to discover this vast underground network. The caves may be huge but they make up just one of six national parks in the Black Hills area. Natural beauty, Old West history and scenic byways are yours to explore at this very much overlooked park.

The Eureka Dunes, California

If the idea of dramatic views, towering mountains and the chance to camp out under the stars ignites your passion, then the Eureka Dunes in California State are a must see. Accessible only by dirt roads, the Eureka Dunes in Death Valley National Park rise ominously out of the landscape, watched over by the towering Last Chance Mountains. Lose yourself completely in this wonderful landscape where the sand sings beneath your feet and the Dunes can be climbed for inspiring views across the landscape. Vehicles are not permitted in the dunes and hiking allows you to enjoy the wonderful silence and camp under star filled skies to be at one with nature.

Have you had an adventure on a road less travelled? If you know a great place that tourism forgot why not tell us all about it in the suggestions box below.

David Wilson is a travel writer for AreaVibes who are specialists in finding the best places to live in America.

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