We’ve all been to a tourist destination we were dying to see just to find it packed with people. It can take away from the experience sometimes. But often these famous sites have unknown activities or areas that are less traversed that will offer you an out-of-the-ordinary opportunity. We’ve taken the liberty of finding cool sites that are off the beaten path at some of your favorite destinations.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is physically massive, and there is so much to do beyond sightseeing from the edge of the canyon, hiking, and white-water rafting. For one, you can check out the Skywalk in the western Grand Canyon for a much more exciting sightseeing experience. The walkway extends 70 feet beyond the edge of the canyon, jutting into the void in a huge horseshoe shape. The area also offers helicopter tours. There are also opportunities in the vicinity to learn about ranching.
If you ask anyone about Mount Rushmore, all they can probably tell you is it’s the mountain with the presidents’ faces—though maybe not which presidents (FYI it’s Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson). However, there is so much more to be found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Historically, both gold and fossils have been found there, so there are opportunities to go on archaeological digs. The area also boasts a national forest with incredible views and great fly-fishing.
Sequoia National Park
This protected nature reserve offers far more than just big trees—although it is important to note these marvels of nature. While California Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, sequoias found in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the biggest in circumference and volume. Check out the Giant Forest Museum. Beyond the typical hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities found at national parks, Sequoia has a marble cavern to explore and the opportunity to go horseback riding. Additionally, Moro Rock and the other granite domes can be scaled for incredible views.