Not all stereotypes of the city are smoke and mirrors. New York is actually 40 theaters in five square blocks. Austin smokes a hell of a chest. And you can’t walk a mile in Denver without going through a dispensary.
But following the masses on your next long weekend isn’t just narrow-minded – it also tends to be more expensive and crowded. It’s like waiting six minutes to spend $ 10 at a Heineken airport – they have you where they want you and charge you accordingly.
With the country open for business again, you know the busiest places will be more crowded than ever. In a spirit of discovery, we therefore offer you a variety of alternative American Destinations: A series of venues that serve a particular convenience (eg, live music) just as well as their more fancy counterparts.
From touring the Oregon wine country to surfing on Long Island to wig in an open container in a southern town that is not New Orleans, find our favorite little-known destinations below.
a barbecue: Instead of Austin, TX, head toâ¦ San Luis Obispo, CA
SLO is a haven for California coast tri-tip grilling (triangular pieces of beef cut into the sirloin, grilled on the edges to a dark crust) and a welcome change of pace from the barbecue scene. from the southâ¦ Head to Old San Luis BBQ Company for three point slidersâ¦ Come back with a three point sandwich at Firestone Grill (or grab an ABC burger)â¦ If you’re still hungry, try Rib Line or Mo’s Smokehouseâ¦ Oh and the eyesight shouldn’t be too bad either.
Coffee Culture: Instead of Seattle, WA, Head toâ¦ Ann Arbor, MI
Someone Calls Jerry Seinfeld: University Towns Are Java Wonderlandâ¦ Look for Black Eye Diesel Coffee for Michigan Roaster Beansâ¦ under the local Leatherworkers and Watchmakers Outpostâ¦ And you’ll stay at the Graduate Hotel, which houses – you guessed it – the Poindexter Coffee.
Live Music: Instead of Nashville, TN, head toâ¦ Jackson, MS
Reintroducing The City of Soulâ¦ First, head to Duling Hall, a stained-glass elementary school turned into a concert hall, for country, blues and jazzâ¦ Hungry? Try Hal & Mal’s for bites and honky-tonk in a multi-room setting … More of a festival-goer? Cathead Distillery hosts one every summerâ¦ And there’s also Spacecamp for alternative rock.
Food: Instead of Portland, OR, head toâ¦ Asheville, NC
Welcome everyone to the stopover in the South should talkâ¦ Sovereign Remedies serves dishes from local farmers / pickers, from jalapeÃ±o pig ears to shrimp sausagesâ¦ CÃºrate is a former bus depot that now produces mouthwatering Spanish tapasâ¦ Biscuit Head covers you with, uh, cookies ( and fried chicken)â¦ And try Wicked Weed, Asheville Brewing or Hi-Wire Brewing for craft beer.
Lake Life: Instead of Minnesota, head to … Idaho
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and New York has George and Placid, but believe it or not, there is plenty of freshwater fun to be had in Idahoâ¦ Book a summer cabin at Hill’s Resort or to Elkins to Priest Lakeâ¦ Then visit Pend Oreille Lake, the largest in the state and the fifth deepest in the country (over 100 miles of its coastline are rugged mountains)â¦ Spend a few nights at Redfish Lake, located at walk to the Sawtooth National Recreation Areaâ¦ And don’t forget CJ Strike Resevoir for watersports galore.
The Performing Arts: Instead of New York, NY, head toâ¦ Louisville, KY
Louisville offers more than baseball batsâ¦ Start at the Actors Theater, which has been in existence for 55 years and puts on 30 shows a year, while also hosting a nifty apprenticeship programâ¦ The Humana Festival of American Plays is approaching its 45th year of existence. existence. (three previous plays won the Pulitzer Prize)â¦ Other notables: Louisville Theater for Broadway shows and Kentucky Center for the Arts for plays, comedy specials and concerts.
Outdoor Adventure: Instead of Boulder, CO, Head toâ¦ Santa Fe, NM
Fill up with a world-famous breakfast burrito and get started. Plan a six mile round trip hike to the top of Atalaya Mountainâ¦ Take a few shots of volcanic ash cones along Petroglyph National Monumentâ¦ Hike Carson National Forest on the South Boundary Trailâ¦ Hitchhike at bike with Taos Bike Tours while you’re at itâ¦ And once the temperature drops, head to Ski Santa Fe for a little New Mexico pow pow.
R&R: Instead of Scottsdale, AZ is heading toâ¦ The Ozarks, AR / MO
It’s hard to relax when Arizona wants half your bonus. Instead, try the Ozarks, starting with Beckham Creek Cave, a private lodge built into the mountainside with 260 acres of wilderness to exploreâ¦ Then spend the weekend at the Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, MO, which will soon feature courses designed by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woodsâ¦ You can also mix meditations and massages at Spa Shiki or Old Kinderhook.
Race Car Driving: Instead of Indianapolis, head toâ¦ Sacramento Valley, CA
No more tailgates! It’s time to get behind the wheel yourselfâ¦ Explore Thunderhill Raceway Park in Glenn County, California. It can be rented for racing, drifting, karting, driving schools, advertising, weddings, etc. The city also hosts a pretty cool festival of lights when there are no cars on the road.
Salmon Fishing: Instead of Alaska, Head toâ¦ Washington
It’s hard to replicate the legendary Alaskan salmon fishing, but Washington gives the Lower 48 a fighting chanceâ¦ Head to Neah Bay in July for chinook salmon up to 50 pounds, and to the Skagit River in September (odd years) to catch pink salmonâ¦ Washington newbs should stay at Sun Mountain Lodge for an array of outdoor entertainment.
Street Parties: Instead of New Orleans, head toâ¦ Savannah, GA
One of the few places in this Puritan country with relaxed open-container laws – as long as you stay in the Historic District and keep your drink in a 16-ounce plastic cup, you’re good to go … heading to town for one of its many Irish celebrations (Irish Festival, Greening the Fountain, St. Pat’s)â¦ Or, for a traditional drink inside, visit The Rail Pub or Treylor Park dive bar.
Surf, Brah: Instead of Southern California, head toâ¦ Montauk, NY
Welcome to The End, perfect for all kinds of surfers from barneys to brosâ¦ Head to Ditch Plains Beach for reliable waves or Terrace to avoid the crowdsâ¦ Stay at The Crow’s Nest for casual digs and / or booth -up paddle on Lake Montaukâ¦ Take a longboard or beach cruiser into town and buy some food at Hideaway (Mexican, barbecue, seafood) or Herb’s Market (fried chicken).
Weed Haven: Instead of Denver, CO, head toâ¦ Burlington, VT
Rejoice, Vermont has joined the list of legal states (as long as you avoid smoking on Lake Champlain, in public parks, etc.)â¦ Book a stay at the Mt. Philo Inn, a âBud and Breakfastâ at only 30 minutes from downtown Burlingtonâ¦ Visit the Champlain Valley Dispensary for refuelingâ¦ Spend an afternoon biking the Burlington Trailâ¦ whet your appetite with a pastry or two starting August 1st .
Wine Country: Instead of Napa Valley, CA, head toâ¦ Willamette Valley, OR
A 150 mile valley teeming with over 500 wineries, Willamette is a slice of Pinot Noir heavenâ¦ Spend a few nights at the Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard or the equally well-appointed Atticus Hotelâ¦ Visit three to four wineries during an exclusive tour with Backcountry Wine Toursâ¦ Check out the absurd waterfall of Silver Falls State Park to extend the whole âpourâ theme.
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