Venturing over to the United States? Instead of typical landmarks like the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building and the Grand Canyon why not have a less cliché experience by visiting equally mesmerising places that you won’t be buying a t-shirt of at the airport souvenir shop. We’ve uncovered some of North America’s hidden gems that need to be added to your bucket list.
Monument Valley, Utah
Monument Valley is home to the Navajo lands creating an utterly awe inspiring backdrop. The Valley lends itself as one of the most beautifully scenic and photographic places to visit in North America. This magnificent valley plays host to towering sandstone creations of 400 to 1,000 feet, and from afar, appear nestled amongst angelic white clouds. Add the gentle, revealing touch of the sun on the sandstone, shrubs and sand, and Monument Valley becomes the most enchanting place.
In Monument Valley you will find the great Navajo people with a culture rich in hospitality. They are also known as the ‘The People’ and ‘Children of the Holy People’. They are not a warring Native America tribe and have a history that elders will tell freely and succinctly. The Navajo people radiate independence and positive energy that is uplifting and inspiring.
To find your way around with a map or for more information, the Visitor Centre will give you all the help you need. Nearby the Navajo people walk the streets selling native food, artwork and souvenirs so you can take home a slice of their culture.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio in Texas is strumming and thriving like a honey bee. Not only can you catch a glimpse of early Spanish colonial life but there is a merging of Native Americans, the Canary Islands, and the Wild West. There is so much history to uncover and get lost in that you will want to stay forever. As well as indulging in the past, there is the present day with events and boutiques along the famous River Walk along with an endless list of things to see and experience in San Antonio.
The Esquire Tavern has been relentless in its popularity and is the number one watering hole for tourists and locals alike. It is the oldest bar on the San Antonio River Walk, so old that you’d think it had a cane, long grey beard and reading glasses. Instead you’ll find an artfully crafted bar top which at over 100 feet is the longest alcohol soaked wooden bar top in Texas. Its popularity originated from it being opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of the Prohibition Act.
The tavern now accommodates for everybody, whether you want an ice cold beer, elegant evening cocktail or food that is fit for a culinary showdown. There’s so much faith in the culinary skills that this month Esquire Tavern is competing in San Antonio Flavor’s culinary Showdown. On your way to the Tavern you won’t be able to miss the interwoven walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River. They wind through the city centre and are perfect for a long stroll.
The Esquire Tavern is located at 155 East Commerce Street, San Antonio. Along the way you will find vibrant umbrellas shading riverside tables where you can eat from a vast choice of cuisine ranging from barbeque, Italian and contemporary touches on traditional dishes.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Spanish founded Santa Fe in 1610, and its colourful history shines through to the present day. A part of its history is the creation of a staircase inside the Loretto Chapel, which is a place of wonderment that has also sent engineers and architects crazy because of what it holds inside. A staircase has never received so much attention as this one in New Mexico. Its existence defies laws of physics because it makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands twenty feet tall and has no centre support. It rests solely on its base and against the choir loft. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. To make it simpler, it stands lacking the support expected for such a structure.
It’s been called a miracle and it’s been called confusing, this staircase has been called a great many things by many people from around the world but it still stands beguiling and transfixing in the chapel. The Loretto Chapel is now a museum for The Miraculous Staircase built between 1877 and 1881 which took six months to build and is a must-see especially if you’re interested in structures and designs.
Appalachia Mountains, Tennessee
The Appalachia Mountains run through approximately ten states including Tennessee. The water from these mountains isn’t drinkable as it has been intoxicated for over a hundred years. The mountains are beautiful and expansive; you can travel through states and notice the scenery change while the presence of the mountains is still great.
A popular sport in Tennessee is white water rafting, and you can go rafting on the Pigeon River with www.smokymountainrafting.com near Gatlinburg. They have been professionals since 1993 and take you through the Smoky Mountains so you can get close to the sight. Whilst in the state go over to Nashville and make the most of the place known worldwide as Music City which is also the Songwriting Capital of the World and has hosted a great number of artists.
Swamp Tours, Louisiana
Louisiana is a state steeped in history and culture but it is also home to swamps. It may sound slightly disgusting but this is a place of magic and natural wonder. Take a swamp boat tour and find yourself in another world. You will get the chance to see swamp wildlife such as alligators, herons and turtles. Swamp life is completely different and bursts full of natural abundance. There are flowers that you can smell that don’t have a scent, but once submerged in water, their fragrance is unleashed.
The swamp tours sound much more appealing once you realise what is there to uncover. There are a number of tour companies to try includingwww.champagnesswamptours.com and www.cajuncountryswamptours.com. Enter another world and meet the people who live next to the swamp.