The New Year has arrived and if your thoughts are already turning to vacations, you might be interested in the top US destinations for 2013. Some of these spots are not the run-of-the-mill places to visit, but these predictions for some of the top US destinations this year may surprise you with their wealth of variety and things to see and do. Try something just a little different this year and check out some of the top US destinations for 2013. All you need is a sense of adventure to try something and somewhere new and maybe, just a little bit different.
1. American Samoa
This South Pacific Paradise is US territory so you only need your American passport to holiday here. Travel here takes longer than to Hawaii but the reward of vacationing in this pristine spot is well worth it. You can get flights from Honolulu to Pago Pago on the island of Tutuila. Here you will find beautiful beaches to relax on or go snorkeling in the crystal clear Pacific waters, waterfalls and quaint fishing villages. The tiny Manu’a islands of Ta’u and Ofu are just a short flight away and here you will find palm tree edged white sand beaches with a backdrop of beautiful mountains. April 17th is Flag Day and a perfect time to visit as there are activities galore to try. All this puts American Samoa on the list of top US destinations 2013.
2. Fairbanks, Alaska
Have you ever wanted to see the Aurora Borealis, better known as the northern lights? Then Fairbanks in Alaska is the place to go. Visit from the end of August to April when the daylight is weaker to see the beautiful display of blues, greens and reds splashed across the night sky. 2013 is a great year to visit here as it is the end of an 11-year- cycle when sunspots will be particularly active, making for an even bigger night show. While there you can sample traditional Athabascan cuisine at Taste of Alaska or how about taking part in the Great Fairbanks Pub Paddle; a very unique pub crawl.
3. Glacier National Park, Montana
The Glacier National Park in Montana becomes a firm favorite of anyone who visits and regularly features in lists of the top vacation spots in the US. This park is one of the remotest, wildest and most pristine parks in the country. You can see meadows full of wildflowers, crystal clear lakes and snow covered ridges. There are 25 glaciers in the park which are slowly melting because of current climate changes and it has been predicted, that if it continues like this, they could have melted altogether by 2030, so a visit to see these wonders is a must, and sooner rather than later.
4. Verde Valley, Arizona
Arizona’s new go-to destination is the Verde Valley. This beautiful region is between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. The increase in popularity to this area, with its red rock rimmed canyons, is down to wine. Linking four new vineyards grouped around Cornville, near Sedona, is the new Verde Valley Wine Trail. Alcantara vineyard is actually reached by kayaking, which is a great way to travel and take in the scenery.
5. Northern Maine
Northern Maine is a great place for a wilderness adventure and one of the best US destinations for vacations with lots of outdoor pursuits. Hiking, white water rafting, you will find it all here. There are 200,000 acres of lakes and mountains in Baxter State Park, which is where the Appalachian Trail begins. You can take a ride on a 99-year-old steamboat on Moosehead Lake. In Aroostook County to the north, you will find miles of bike trails made from converted rail beds and can paddle right up to the Canadian border on multi-day canoe trips.
6. Eastern Sierra, California
This overlooked flank of the Sierra Nevada range has some amazing natural attractions. Travelling along Route 395 you will come across Bridgeport, where you will find the Travertine hot spring and Bodie, an old Gold Rush ghost town. Another sight you must see is the 60-foot curtain of basalt columns at the Devils Postpile National Monument. These columns were made by rivers of molten lava. And no visit would be complete without looking at the weird calcified tufa towers at Mono Lake.
7. Louisville, Kentucky
Looking for a lively and offbeat culture on your next trip? Louisville is asserting itself among the top US destinations. Here you will find local breweries in converted warehouses, cool restaurants to eat at and hip stores for shopping. Of course, Louisville is also the home of Bourbon and the Bourbon Trail starts here. Don’t forget the Kentucky Derby, which runs on the first Saturday in May.
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is quickly becoming known as an art capital. Here you will find the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is world renowned. Make sure you are there for First Friday, where on the first Friday evening of every month, 40-plus art venues open from 5pm to 9pm for people to look around. After looking at all the art the fun doesn’t stop as the festive atmosphere goes on in the clubs, bars and live music venues nearby.
The top US destinations for 2013 offer a mix of the outdoors, the cultural and the simply beautiful. Have any of them inspired you to visit?