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Photos of the Week: 6/6/2019: Places in the United States that are unique that most people miss but should see !
Sometimes as Americans, we think it is so amazing to visit other countries, to see the beauty of what the world has to offer, but, in reality, there is so much to see right here in our own country. There are amazing things to see right here in our own backyard. For those who don’t live in the United States, this might be really interesting to see that these kind of places even exist here, and it is not highly publicized. Well that is why we are here! To showcase these amazing places. We need to see some more amazing places, right here in our own back yard:
Cross the Longest Suspension Bridge in the Western Hemisphere The Mackinac Bridge, also known as “Mighty Mac,” is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth-longest bridge of its kind in the world. This suspension bridge is an incredible 8,614 feet in length, or about 1.6 miles long. However, the entire bridge — not just the suspended portion — is 26,372 feet in length, or about 5 miles long. Ever since Mighty Mac opened to traffic on Nov. 1, 1957, an annual bridge walk has been held. On Sept. 2, 2019, you can join Michiganders and bucket list-checking travelers alike in a journey across the historic landmark!
Peer Into a 16-Story Pit Lined With Waterfalls and Plant Life If you’re already in Anniston, Alabama, you really should stop by Fackler, which is just two hours away. This unassuming town is home to one of the coolest places to visit in the U.S. — the Neversink Pit. The sinkhole-cave combo is 162 feet deep, measuring 40 feet wide at its mouth and double that at its floor. The walls of the Neversink Pit are lined with waterfalls, ferns and endangered plant species in the spring, making it a nature lover’s dream. If you’re not brave enough to enter the pit, you can at the very least take some pretty impressive pictures at the top.
Visit the Place Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year-Round Believe it or not, you can actually travel to the North Pole, and you don’t have to be an Arctic explorer to do it. In fact, North Pole, Alaska, is about 30 minutes away from Fairbanks International Airport, making it fairly easy to find Christmas magic year-round. The Miller family started the Santa Claus house in the town around 1949, and it offers reindeer-petting, a 42-foot-tall fiberglass Santa and other Christmas-themed fun. The Millers have received tons of wish lists over the years and replied with more than 2 million personalized letters “from Santa” to children around the world.
Hike to Horseshoe Bend Amid Beautiful Red Rocks Arizona is a hiker’s dream — and it’s even better if you’re aiming for the perfect Instagram shot. The state’s red rock formations are a natural wonder and make for gorgeous photo backdrops. Explore Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, where the Colorado River curves gently around a massive rock formation, creating — you guessed it — a horseshoe shape. However, remember to be careful! There are no railings around the cliff edges.
Drive (or Ride a Horse) Along the Pony Express National Historic Trail In 1860, the Pony Express was founded. It was a horseback mail delivery service that ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, all the way to Sacramento, California. At the time, the Pony Express was the fastest way to send a letter. Today, you can travel the 1,800-plus miles by car or — if you’re feeling adventurous — take a 10-day horse ride along the trail with hundreds of riders from the National Pony Express Association.
Plant Your Feet on the Highest Bridge in the US Cañon City, Colorado, is home to one of the coolest places to visit in the U.S. — the Royal Gorge Bridge. This structure is the highest bridge in America, and it was also the highest bridge in the world before China’s Sidu River Bridge surpassed it in 2009 (which, in turn, was surpassed by the Duge Beipanjiang bridge in 2016). At its highest point, Colorado’s impressive bridge is 956 feet above the valley floor below. What’s even more impressive, though, is the unsettlingly small amount of money used to build the bridge: $350,000. If you’re brave enough, you can zip line across the gorge or take an aerial gondola. But you can also just walk across the bridge.
Stand Among Giants — aka the Tallest Trees on Earth Venture to the Redwood National and State Parks, where the tallest trees on Earth — redwoods, of course — reside. The park spans 37 miles of California coastline and is home to numerous other species of wildlife, including black bears, banana slugs, oak trees and Douglas fir trees. Take a hike, go camping or — if the timing is right — even get married in this magical forest.
Get Swarmed By Bats Under Congress Avenue Bridge In Austin, Texas, the Congress Avenue Bridge — which crosses Lady Bird Lake — is home to the largest bat colony in North America. The roughly 1.5 million bats take flight in droves nightly between mid-March to November. You can watch the phenomenon happen from several different vantage points — including aboard a cruise ship.
Retrace the Lewis and Clark Expedition Across the US Lewis and Clark’s National Historic Trail spans nearly 5,000 miles across 16 states. If you don’t have a covered wagon handy, you can drive a regular car to retrace the famous explorers’ steps. There are numerous visitor centers and museums in each state, which promise to keep you informed during your epic road trip.
Marvel At the Gigantic, Stony Likenesses of 4 US Presidents What’s better than learning about past U.S. presidents from a history book? How about gazing at their gargantuan heads carved into a mountainside in South Dakota? At Mount Rushmore National Memorial, learn all about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — from their childhoods to their presidential legacies — by starting with an informational film in the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and then walking along the approximately half-mile, information-packed Presidential Trail.
Immerse Yourself In a Play on the Biggest Stage in America New York City has so many iconic destinations — including the Empire State Building, Central Park and Times Square — but the Big Apple is perhaps most synonymous with its entertainment. Broadway hosts the country’s most popular musicals, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King,” “Chicago” and “Hamilton,” and its selection changes routinely. If you want to see a mesmerizing show, there’s no better place to do it.
Snap a Selfie 605 Feet Over Seattle The Seattle skyline wouldn’t be complete without the Space Needle, which was originally made just for the 1962 World’s Fair, themed “The Age of Space.” The futuristic structure has seen many renovations over the years, and now features floor-to-ceiling glass walls on its observation deck and boasts the world’s first and only glass floor that rotates. If you’re not afraid of heights, grab a bite at the top and look out at the city, ocean and mountain range beyond.
Gaze At Colorful, Bubbling Geothermal Systems in Wonder Spanning three states, Yellowstone was the first area to be named a national park, due in part to its 10,000 thermal sites, including geysers and hot springs. Some of the geothermal systems include entrancing, rainbow-colored pools that are among the hottest environments on Earth. Not only can you explore these natural aquatic wonders, but you can also experience all the wildlife that the giant park has to offer. Drive through and spot black bears, bison, coyotes, foxes, deer, eagles and more.
Trace the Grizzly History of This Uniquely Shaped Mountain Devils Tower in Wyoming doesn’t have a grisly past — as the name might suggest — but it does have a grizzly one. A Kiowa folk legend says the mountain got its distinctive shape when two girls were chased to the top by giant bears that left claw marks in the mountain’s sides. Whether it’s true or not, you can climb the national monument or simply snap a picture of it from the safety of the ground below.
Tour a Massive Dam Constructed During the Great Depression Colorado’s Hoover Dam is a sight to behold, with the American Society of Civil Engineers dubbing it one of the “Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders” in the U.S. The dam is also a testament to American resilience, as it was built during the height of the Great Depression. The dam is open to the public year-round from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. if you want to visit on your own, but you can also take guided tours of the facilities.
Backpack Through Beautiful and Mountainous Backcountry Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park offers impressive views of the Teton Range, as well as beautiful wildflowers and wildlife. You can backpack, camp, take a ranger-led hike or simply relax in nature. However, you should also note that the elevation gets up to 13,770 feet, so be prepared if you’re planning to trek through the park. These photos were all courtesy of Shutterstock.
This is blog #974