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Impressive Less Traveled Parks And Small Towns

By Expert Author: www.cheapfares.com

If planning an affordable trip by carefully reviewing your cheap travel options, including cheap fares, cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, cheap auto rentals, and cheap vacation packages is important to you, then you should consider selecting a destination less well traveled (i.e., one with fewer crowds).

The following are some of America’s most amazing parklands and unique small towns that are highly recommended by Budget Travel:

• Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is about an hour’s drive northeast from Las Vegas and home to 150 million year old sandstone formations and 3,000 year old petroglyphs (images carved in rock). There you can visit Arch Rock, Elephant Rock, and Beehives, all of which are essentially solid stone versions of their names.

• Beaufort North Carolina is where you will find clean water, great fishing, and friendly people. The town has an air of Southern gentility about it, with restored 17th and 19th century buildings that flank the local historical society. Beaufort has a wild side, starting with undomesticated horses you will see roaming just across Taylors Creek. Blackbeard’s spirit can be explored at the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

• Ludington State Park in Michigan is snug between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. The park comprises almost 5,300 acres and includes seven miles of sandy, dune strewn beaches, a historic lighthouse that can be climbed, over 20 miles of hiking trails, as well as paths for biking and cross country skiing, and the shallow, clear Big Sable River, ideal for drifting down in inner tubes.

• Hammondsport New York is home to vintage seaplanes that have been restored and are available to view at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. Hammondsport’s passion for the past derives largely from wine. The Pleasant Valley Wine Company opened there in 1860. In 1962 a Ukrainian viticulturist transformed the local wine industry by successfully planting European grapes in the colder New York climate. Today wineries are the mainstays of the landscape. Many of the best things in Hammondsport are free including select wine tastings, sunbathing on condo-less Keuka Lake, relaxing on the town square and taking in outdoor summer concerts on Thursday nights, and jam sessions in the basement of the Union Block Italian Bistro.

• Cache River State Natural Area in Illinois is one of the northernmost examples of a true Southern swamp. The park gets about 200,000 annual visitors which works out to be less than one visitor per acre per month. The park’s wetlands, floodplains, forests, and limestone barrens harbor over 100 threatened or endangered species. It is best explored by canoe. There are also 20 miles of foot trails and a floating boardwalk that leads to the center of Heron Pond.

• Weaverville California is where you will find trappings typical of any Gold Rush town including a saloon, a main street and a hitching post. You will also find a 138 year old working Chinese temple and the Joss House State Historic Park which is a testament to the town’s unsung history of tolerance. Chinese immigrants, facing discrimination in ports such as San Francisco, were welcomed here and often settled, accounting for up to 25 percent of its rush era population.

• Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia is equally eye catching whether dressed in its bright greens of spring, the Crayola box colors of fall, or silvery winter, when parts of the falls freeze into man size icicles. The falls water looks more brown than black and get its unique hue from tannic acid that leaches into the river from hemlock and red spruce needles upstream.

• Damascus Virginia is a hiking and cycling heaven, where seven major trails intersect, including the undulating Virginia Creeper and the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail.

• Katy Trail State Park in Missouri is the largest rails-to-trails conversion in the country. The mostly flat path is open to hikers and cyclists, as well as in some sections to horseback riders. This path traverses historic railroad bridges, tunnels, forests, valleys, and open fields, as well as miles of nature preserves, vineyards, and river views.

• Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania is an all-purpose park that sports four waterfalls, 79 miles of trails, 27 miles for cyclists, 11 for horseback rides, and almost 40 for cross country skiers, as well as a couple of natural water slides. The lifeblood of the 20,000 acre park is the Youghiogheny River Gorge with Class I, II, and IV whitewater rapids for rafters and kayakers.
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