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Top Destinations In The USA For Outdoor Vacations

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From the West jagged peaks to the Southeast rolling mountains, waterfalls, canyons and the forests of Pacific Coast; the United States of America is the hub of tourism. The country is full of diverse destinations, making it almost impossible to decide the best place to visit during the forthcoming holidays. However, there are a variety of factor you can consider to narrow down the list as per your preferences, including budget, accommodation, dining options, family spots, etc.

Here, we have rounded up top most convenient and affordable destinations in the USA for outdoor adventures to help you plan your next vacations. Read on till the end to choose from the list.

Convenient And Affordable Outdoor Tourism Spots in the USA

It’s high time to update your bucket list with the following options, and you are never going to regret your decision. Guaranteed!

1. Maine – Acadia National Park

The first on the list is the only national park present in the New England. It covers a great part of the Mount Desert Island, which is a rocky, massive island that is extended into the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, Acadia park is popular for in land lakes, heavy forests and beautiful mountain and ocean views.

The tallest peak of the United States ‘Cadillac Mountain’ is also a must-visit, which is present within the park and has an amazing collection of architecture from the 19th century. Besides, Acadia is an affordable option and less crowded as compare to the rest of New England destinations, like the Hampshire coast and Cape Cod.

Point to ponder

It is important to clear here that New England is basically a northeastern region of America as a lot of people get confused by its name because of the relevance with another country.

What is The Best Time To Visit The Acadia Park?

In this part of the world, winter starts from November up till April, while spring is a raw and muddy season here that stays till June. If we talk about the best weather of the year at Acadia National Park, then it would be in July and August. These months are the most expensive yet busiest out of the rest. Besides, mid-October is another peak foliage time.

In case you don’t like to be surrounded by the mass, consider a trip in the mid to late September when the temperature is pleasant, the crowd is thin and the trip costs is reduced.

Accommodation at the Acadia National Park

Accommodation is not much of the problem here as you may find a lot of places to stay in the Bar Harbor and its surroundings. However, the prices may be as high as $150 per night even when it’s off-season. Another option to try out is lodgings outside the Bar Harbor named Primrose Place. The rates of room start from $100 per night or less in the mid-September.

Activities to Enjoy

Acadia is more like a DIY kind of park, making it an ideal choice for frugal travelers. In case you couldn’t bring your bike, there is an option of renting one from the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop for as low as $19 for four hours maximum and for full day, it will cost you $25.

Secondly, hiking trails like the Cadillac South Ridge Trail and the Great Meadow Loop are also there to entertain you. If you happen to visit Acadia somewhere in the late September, then you will be able to enjoy the Acadia Night Sky Festival as well.

2. Kentucky – Mammoth Cave National Park

Another park made it to the list of top outdoor locations in the United States because why not? Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most tourist-friendly places with over 400 miles of caverns (although only a small fraction is opened for tourism). Right above the caverns, a forested landscape is present to fulfil your climbing and hiking related adventures. The best part about this place is that, there is no entrance fee to explore it. However, if you are interested in the cave tour, then it may cost you between $7 to $55, according to the location and length.

What Is The Ideal Time To Visit Mammoth Cave?

The climate in southern Kentucky is diverse with chilly or at times snowy winters and muggy summers. The most comfortable time of the year is the mild transitional season that starts from April to May and then in September to November. Whereas October is the crowded and expensive of all the months.

Accommodation at Mammoth Cave National Park

There are plenty of lodges near the Mammoth Cave’s entrance. Besides, cheap motels and hotels would cost around $55 to $65 or more for a night stay in the Cave City. For camping and exploring the park, two campgrounds are available for walk-in or drive-up campers. While the cost is $20 for Houchin Ferry and around $20 for Mammoth Cave.

Activities To Enjoy

The focus is mainly on the cave itself, including the Mammoth Passage Tour, visit to the Domes and Dripstones and the Great Onyx Dripstones Lantern Tour.

Besides, the American Cave Museum is right outside the park and a legit attraction for the tourists. It displays subterranean wildlife and geology in addition to Native American artifacts. The Museum is open throughout the year.

3. Colorado – Keystone

Although resorts present in the Colorado Rockies are not much seen on the list of vacation destinations, but Keystone is a great option to consider for outdoor adventures. Apart from slopes, this place has more fun to offer in summers as compare to the winters in terms of hiking, biking, water sports, rafting, fishing and the list goes on. Moreover, Keystone is an inexpensive place with affordable rentals and of course the beauty of the location is undeniable. On the top of that, there is absolutely no entrance fee for visiting Keystone or surrounding areas.

What is The Best Time to Visit Keystone?

The destination is ideal for snow lovers, regardless of the fact that skiing and boarding are not cheap there. However, if you wish to enjoy the taste of warm weather; it is suggested to visit the location from late August to early October. In these times, the summer crowd is already less and there are no traces of snow falling yet. While the foliage season starts in the late September.

Accommodation at Keystone

No need to check in an expensive resort to enjoy outdoor adventures in Keystones when you can find a plenty of affordable options at hand, starting from $60 to $90 for a night stay. Moreover, the main road heading to the town has a lot of inexpensive hotels. For camping, the surrounding areas of Keystone feature campgrounds for the purpose, costing $21 to $26 per night.

Activities To Enjoy

Keystone features over 100 miles of mountain biking trails. Although the day pass may be pricey for you at $40, but it is definitely worth it. Besides, you can enjoy fishing near Lake Dillion with a three-day fishing license for $31.

Several festivals take place at Keystone during the warm season, such as Bluegrass and Beer Festival, Wine & Jazz Festival and Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour.

Pro Tip

During the cold season, you need to make sure that your backpack contain enough warm dresses to stay healthy as it can be extremely chilly at Keystone.

4. Georgia – Coastal Wildlife Refuges

This destination features wildlife, like waterfowl and migratory birds that nest nearby the wildlife-rich waters. The presence of campgrounds, no-frills lodgings and economical prices make Coastal Wildlife Refuges an ideal place to enjoy the holidays in the USA. None of the refuges charge anything on the entrance, but you would need to buy a fishing permit, which is $45 for the non-residents and $9 for residents.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Coastal Wildlife Refuges?

Coastal Georgia doesn’t have a pleasant weather during summers. However, the most affordable time of the year to visit this place is in summers as the local hotels decrease prices due to lower demand. On the other hand, fall and spring season are quite expensive and crowded. While January and February are also light on pocket, if you don’t mind covering properly.

Accommodation at Coastal Wildlife Refuges

Camping is not allowed in the sensitive wildlife refuges, but you can stay at the two nearest parks: Fort McAllister and Skidaway Island. It is expensive to accommodate in a hotel within or around Savannah, but a bit down the coast, Darien and Brunswick, have a lot of clean and cheap lodgings.

Activities to Enjoy

The best way to see these refuges is by the boat for $95 for the starting day and $25 will be included in the bill for additional days. For a dry sightseeing, you can rent a bike from Monkey Wrench, St. Simons. Besides, you can head towards the Tybee Island for a family-friendly beach experience.

Fall and spring at the Coastal Wildlife Refuges are lively, while winters are quite dry in terms of events or celebrations.

5. Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma – The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains

The Ozark and Ouachita are the two rugged plateaus with excellent hiking trails, world-class driving roads and great rivers. Despite its popularity, the location is quite affordable particularly for camping and biking. If you really want to enjoy the true flavors of Ozarks and Oauchitas, then you need to keep your focus on the natural gems, such as Ouachita National Forest and Hot Springs National Park. You know the good part? Entrance in both of these said places are free of cost.

What is The Best Time To Visit Ozark and Ouachita Mountains?

The location is known for fall foliage that starts a bit late here, typically in the end of October to the start of November. Besides, April and May are also good to visit, if you wish to see woodland flowers blooming.

Accommodation at Ozark and Ouachita Mountains

At Hot Springs National Park, camping would cost you around $30 per night throughout the year. While the prices at the Lake Catherine State Park start from $29 per night with modern campsites equipped with electric and sewer hook-ups. If you are looking for a warm bed for the night, then it would cost you almost $50 per night.

Activities to Enjoy

The location has a number of lakes, such as Lake Catherine besides Hot Springs, Table Rock Lake nearby Branson and a couple of navigable rivers. Having said that, fishing are boating are the fun activities to enjoy here. And there is no doubt that American’s love their boats!  Besides, hiking is another fun thing to do, especially where there Ozark Trail Association maintains a network – the Missouri side.

Tourist who visit Ozark and Ouachita Mountains in October can enjoy the Ozark Folk Festival. Moreover, Ouachita Challenge also occurs during late March for the biking enthusiasts. However, you would need to book your spot earlier for this one as the space is limited.

Final Word

It was not possible to list down the names of all the top destinations of the United States for outdoor vacations, but we have surely mentioned some great options here. The best part is that; we have made sure that the recommended locations are pocket-friendly in terms of tourism and accommodation. Don’t forget to share your traveling plans with people around you to seek advice, especially from those who have been to the place before. This way you will get some useful tips to stay healthy while bag packing.

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