It’s easy to think of the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and the Hollywood Sign when the United States is brought up. It’s no surprise that such a huge continent has far more to offer travellers. Outside of the major cities lies a world of natural environments that paint a picture of the real United States. The parks range from the beautiful and pristine to the vast and empty. A personal travel manager can be your park ranger to help find the perfect landscape for you.
A great place to start your American adventure is Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Just two hours outside of Manhattan is the mysterious Ringing Rocks Park. The park gets its name from the musical boulders found within that ring out like a bell when struck. The cause of this musical wonder remains a mystery with scientists still unable to explain what causes the unique sound. Souvenir loving travellers should avoid taking one of the rocks as a trinket. Once the rocks are separated they lose their musical mojo.
Continuing throughout the states, about 10 hours southwest of Pennsylvania in Seawater Tennessee, rests the largest underground lake in the US. Guided tours are available and begin with a mile of underground caverns and tunnels before eventually reaching the Lost Sea. A glass-bottom boat takes tourists on a trip through the beautiful and untouched lake that is brimming with marine life. Don’t wander off though, when the cave was discovered in 1939 a jaguar skeleton dated at 20,000 years old was found. If a jaguar can get lost it would be easy for a human to stray too far from the group.
Across Arkansas and Oklahoma into the middle of the Texan desert rests one of the best roadside photo opportunities around. Along the famous Interstate 40 there is Cadillac Ranch, a large-scale art installation in the middle of the desert. Since 1974 there have been 10 brightly coloured and painted Cadillac cars standing with their noses buried in the ground. Although not quite jaw-dropping enough to drastically change a route, it does make for one of the best “guess where I am” social media photo opportunities along the I-40.
A few hours northeast of Cadillac Ranch is one of the biggest and most intricate sandstone structures in the world. Linked back to the ancient Puebloan people, Mesa Verde National Park is home to sandstone buildings within cliff faces. One of these structures, the Cliff Palace, contained 23 kivas (ceremonial rooms) and 10 inhabited rooms. Mesa Verde however was only inhabited for 100 years, and no one quite knows what drove the inhabitants from their home.
If continuing further west, in the centre of the desert, there is Joshua Tree National Park. What separates this place from the other national parks within the US is its colourful, rock and roll inspired, history. The famous Joshua Tree Inn has housed many famous people trying to get away from Los Angeles. Joshua Tree is famous for rock stars visiting the barren landscape to “escape and expand their minds”. Incidentally, it is also the location of Gram Parsons death and subsequent cremation carried out by his manager and members of the Rolling Stones.
Finally, the journey can come to an end on the far-west coast, in the depths of Redwood National Park Santa Cruz, California where possibly the most intriguing and mysterious place on this list waits. The Mystery Spot, as it was coined in 1941, bends the laws of physics and gravity to create one of the strangest sights in the United States. Balls roll up-hill, chairs sit on walls, and people lean over so far they can’t see their shoes; yet they don’t fall down. Only 150m squared of the park is affected by the phenomenon. The park has some believing that extraterrestrial activity is the explanation – we’ll leave it up to you to make your own conclusions.
While the traditional tourist spots are always worth seeing, there is a lot more to be seen across the United States. Talk to your personal travel manager now to find out more http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/