Off the Beaten Track: 7 American Wonders You Need To Visit
America, oh America. I do love thee. The land of opportunity, success, and outstanding landmarks! It’s safe to say that this country is oozing with adventure, and what better person to undertake its adventure than yourself! I often consider the States as my second home, or at least I like to think so. It’s one of those places where every time you visit you’ll gain a whole new experience, and drawing from my own US escapades I’d like to take you on a journey to seven American wonders you just need to visit…
1. OATMAN, ARIZONA
Situated on the historic U.S Route 66 is the wonderfully authentic western town of Oatman. Formerly a mining town located in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Oatman is the perfect location for those looking for a truly American experience. Here you’ll be able to feed wandering wild burros, witness spectacular staged gunfights in the Oatman street theatre, and soak up the extensive western landscape whilst riding horseback or via wagon. Without a doubt this charming little town is one of my most profound US experiences - absolutely fantastic!
2. BLUE MAN GROUP, BOSTON, CHICAGO, LAS VEGAS, NY, FLORIDA
Electrifying, exhilarating, and mind-blowingly vibrant are just three words I’d use to describe the wonder that is the Blue Man Group. This cobalt trio provide a recipe of theatrical, musical, and interactive elements to ensure you a magical evening. Their shows can be caught in various locations across the United States, including the tourist hotspot of Universal Studios, situated in Orlando, Florida. And what makes the Blue Man Group’s performances hugely popular are their spellbinding combinations of art and science that seem to captivate audiences from far and wide, and keep them coming back for more. I’ll come clean and admit that I’m going back for a second showing in October this year. Watch out guys!
3. BUSCH GARDENS, TAMPA FLORIDA, AND WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA.
If you are a thrill seeker and looking for a fun-packed day out Busch Gardens is the place for you. Instead of opting for the conventional U.S theme parks such as Disney World, Universal Studios, and Six Flags, Busch Gardens is one of America’s most underrated amusement parks. Not only does it boast a variety of white-knuckle coasters, but it’s also home to a large number of wildlife. Busch Gardens, which is owned and run by SeaWorld Entertainment, currently has two active amusement parks; one in Tampa, Florida, and the other in Williamsburg, Virginia. So if you’re looking for more than a few kicks be sure to stop off here.
4. TRUMP TOWER, NEW YORK CITY
If you’ve ever caught an episode of the American ‘The Apprentice’ then you’ll be eager to visit one of New York’s most prestigious locations, the famous Trump Tower. Situated in Midtown Manhattan and towering up to sixty-eight stories, Donald Trump’s breath-taking skyscraper is a must-see for those visiting the city! And the best part is is that you don’t even have to be a billionaire to experience this small slice of luxury. At the heart of the Tower you’ll find both The Trump Store and The Trump Gift Shop where you’ll be able to purchase a variety of products, including high end clothing and beauty products, in addition to essential New York souvenirs and The Apprentice merchandise. And if you’re looking for a more glamorous respite ascend the golden stairs to the Trump Grill and Bar. Here you’ll be free to indulge to your heart’s content on a selection of mouth-watering dishes, followed by a cool glass of beer or a luxurious cocktail. Don’t mind if I do.
5. THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VISITOR CENTRE, ARIZONA
The Grand Canyon National Park, one of Arizona’s most famous and spectacular landmarks, and often deemed one of the modern natural wonders of the world. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye! When I visited The Grand Canyon it absolutely took my breath away, but visiting the National Geographic Visitor Centre was also something that stuck in my mind. It’s the perfect location to commence your once in a lifetime experience. Complete with an IMAX theatre where you’ll be able to catch a viewing of “Grand Canyon - The Hidden Secrets”, Jeep tours that will whisk you off to best viewing spots, and if you’re feeling brave, you’ll even be able to experience the canyons colossal views via helicopter! And if you’re still eager for more have a browse of the National Geographic gift shop or catch a bite to eat with family and friends.
6. LOVE SCULPTURE, NEW YORK CITY
Here’s me chilling out on the corner of 6th Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan, New York City. Or otherwise known as the LOVE sculpture, created by American artist Robert Indiana. The original image was created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964, followed by a US postage stamp in 1973. NYC’s rendition of the piece is just one of many across the country, but with that gorgeous Manhattan backdrop, it’s definitely one to visit! In addition to being an iconic piece of eye candy it’s also the perfect location to snap that new profile picture you’ve been meaning to take! I bet none of your friends will have had this as their Facebook photo.
7. THE MCCALLISTERS HOUSE FROM “HOME ALONE”, ILLINOIS
And finally, if you’re a huge Christmas movie geek like me, or just happen to be wandering Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois, then be sure to head over to the famous McCallister house from the incredibly popular 1990 film “Home Alone”. The incredibly grand red bricked Georgian house will undoubtedly revert you back to your favourite festive memories and make you wish it was December all over again! And if you’re going to make the most of it you just have to snap a selfie outside (and preferably with you pulling the famous Kevin McCallister scream….AAAAAAH!). Whilst the traditional tourists spots are often breath-taking and social media worthy it’s often the places you’ve never heard of that touch your heart the most. The best memories are those that are created from unique adventures, great company, and unquestionably, great food (of which you’ll find loads of in the U S of A). So that leaves one thing…pack your suitcase and get-a-travelling! We’ll catch you across the pond!
A bit about the author, Hannah Harrison..
I'm a twenty year old English student at the University of Exeter. I'm currently writing for a select amount of online publications, with these often focusing on student life. In the past I have held the role of Campus Correspondent for Exeter-Cornwall's online magazine. In addition to journalism, I also enjoy travelling. This is where Clickstay comes in! Whenever I'm not studying I love to go on little adventures - whether that be to a whole new country, or even just the local beach. I love to wander and see where life takes me... and I never forget my travel journal! I look forward to writing more pieces and taking you along for the ride.