15 Places to Visit on Your Mini-Vacation in the United States

Escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities and save yourself the frustration. It is, after all, your mini-vacation.

If you’re looking to unwind and escape the noise of the crowd, here are the top places you need to visit.

  1. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

whitesands

A beautiful landmark of southern New Mexico, White Sands is truly a national treasure. While there aren’t any long hike, it’s a rather small place, you will feel like you’re in a different world as you step onto the white sands. Go sledding, go hiking, or just drive through with a camera; it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget.

-Mitch, Google Review

2. Big Sur, CA

Big Sur

While sightseeing from the car is the most popular way of taking in the 90 miles of California coastline, hiking and mountain climbing offer a more adventurous take on Big Sur. Or camp and explore the remote beaches — there are plenty of state parks along the way. Check out these tips before heading out West for the summer.

-Gabriel Ceballos, Facebook

3. Mt. Hood – Oregon

mthood

There’s hiking, skiing, sledding, and snowboarding in this mountain. It also looks really pretty and the staff at the skiing place are really helpful. Also the food is pretty good in the restaurant/rest stop on the bottom of the mount hood slopes.

-Sarah, Google Review

4. The Ozarks, Arkansas

ozarks

Long winding roads lead you to pristine woods full of pines, oaks, and numerous other trees. Leaves in red, orange, brown and yellow all rich in color. The air is clear and fresh, skies clear blue, better than a post card, better than a picture. So pack a picnic basket and pick a park and enjoy. The parks are easily accessible and have comfortable facilities with nice big table under shady trees. Enjoy the Ducks and Geese that swim in these vast water, Novice or world traveler you are sure to enjoy the Ozark Mountains, its beauty, its people, and its good eats.

-Jesfire, TripAdvisor Review

5. Estes Park, Colorado

estespark

Beautiful scenery and amazing mountains, Estes Park is one of the most beautiful mountain towns in Colorado. Rocky Mountain national park is a breath taking place, and the town itself is very beautiful, it’s a must to visit

-Christopher, Booking.com

6. Palouse Falls, Washington

palouse

The falls are stunning. You would not expect a sight like this to be located in the area it is in. The drive to the park is really cool as well. There are plenty of tight turns and hills to keep you on your toes. I would highly recommend making the trip to visit this place.

-Louis, Tripadvisor.com

7. Valley Of Fire, Nevada

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The beauty and serenity of this place is simply awe-inspiring. The trails are really nice and everything is scenic. There are some gorgeous petroglyphs on the rocks in one of the trails. The visitor center is worth seeing and a great base from which to decide what you want to cover. Visit, enjoy and respect the peace of this place.

-Fabien, Local Guide

8. Havasu Falls, Arizona

havasu

One of the best adventures you can imagine, the most impressive landscape I’ve ever Seen. We were lucky with the permission. My boyfriend called from Vegas and had the permission within half an hour and we started 2 days later from the hilltop. We are from Austria and can’t believe until now, how easy it was. The tour into the Canyon down to the falls was magic. And the Falls are not from this earth, it is heaven! !!!!!!!
– Manuela, Local Guide

9. Grotto of the Redemption, Iowa

grotto

A beautiful surprise in NW Iowa, an incredible monument created as a testimony to love, faith, honor, sacrifice, and devotion. From my initial glimpse of the Grotto, I fell under its breathtaking spell, eager to explore every nook and cranny. The Grotto is a true work of art, worthy of repeat visits.

– Kim Taylor, Facebook

10. Painted Hills, Oregon

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The Painted Hills are not located near anything so it is a long drive along winding roads just to get there. On top of that it won’t take long to explore the entire area because it isn’t very big. That being said the color of the scenery is gorgeous and definitely worth seeing. 4 of the trails are something like 1/2 mile in length or shorter and the 5th trail up to the top of the ridge looking down on the hills is only something like 3 miles round trip so you mine as well get them all in. None of them are difficult. They recommend late afternoon as the best time to visit because the hills will have the most color in the afternoon sunlight and I would have to agree with that. There are very few trees so bring sunscreen and bring your camera.

– MC Hiker, alltrails.com

11. Death Valley National Park, California

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Death Valley is a must see. There is much more here then just a dessert. This is a natural wonder. For added fun make the drive from Death Valley to Lone Pine. It’s just a couple of hours but you can go from the lowest place in the Continental United States to the highest. The view of Mount Whitney rising from the dessert is astonishing. A great slab of granite filling the horizon.

-David, Google Reviews

12. Letchworth State Park, New York

letchworth

Incredible place. Niagara and the Grand Canyon rolled into one. Great place to hike and sight-see. I have already been here twice – once in fall and the other in summer. There are 3 waterfalls inside this state park – the upper, the lower and the middle, with the middle being the largest of the 3, but the lower being the most accessible. In all, there are close to 20 viewpoints along the central road, and some that are off road as well. My personal favorites are the stone bridge, near the lower falls and the Inspiration point, from where you can see both the upper and the middle falls.

-Sagnik, Google Reviews

13. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

apostleislands

We have continued to come back to the Apostle Islands through the years. Each trip is different and we experience something new each time. We have camped, stayed in condos or rented cabins. This is a haven not only for boats, but for those who need to refresh their souls! We have chartered sailboats and speed boats, we have hiked, basked on the beaches, wandered the town and enjoyed the, orchards, restaurants and nightlife. Its a great extended vacation or a quick weekend getaway.

-Diane, Facebook

14. Portland Lighthouse, Maine

portlandme

There’s a reason this is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine. It is beautiful! The surrounding area is great for hiking and taking photos as well. It was well worth the drive to check it out, everything is very picturesque with the waves crashing against the rocks that are covered in greenery and bright flowers. The gift shop has some stunning artwork to take home in case you can’t get that professional shot.

-April, Google Reviews

15. Pebble Beach, CA

pebblebeach

Beautiful views, fresh air, great opportunity for a stroll & a few sunset pictures. Very clean, well respected. A lot of character, such a special place. Everyone should come by at least once to look at the salt flats and beautiful glass rocks and pebble filled shores, it’s a gorgeous sight.

– Gina Marie, yelp.com

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