The phrase “flyover country” is often used to describe huge swathes of the American mainland. It’s a term that entered usage by business executives, whose major knowledge of the states between the coasts (and particularly New York and California) was that it was viewed from 65,000 feet. It’s a fairly dismissive term that has entered into common acceptance; if it’s not one of the “major” state, it’s not worth bothering with.
For the traveller, this has the unfortunate side effect of meaning you miss out on a huge amount of potential tourist gold. The coasts may have some of the major attractions in the US; from the glitz of Las Vegas to the cool north shore of the East coast, there’s plenty to keep you busy without setting foot anywhere landlocked. But if you truly want to experience something different, then why not try the bit in between?
South Dakota: Mount Rushmore
Admittedly, most USA escorted tours will make a stop at the famous mountain that depicts the face of four presidents. However, there’s plenty to be enjoyed around South Dakota itself. If you like lush scenery and peace and quiet, there are few states in the union that would be a better fit for you.
Philadelphia: The Battle of Gettysburg Memorial
If you’re a fan of history, then it doesn’t get more on point than the site of the infamous battle of Gettysburg. This decisive battle marked the beginning of the end of the civil war, and given its importance, there’s plenty to do for a visitor wishing to mark the occasion. You can visit the field itself with a guided tour narrating an account of the battle, and even witness civil war reenactment battles if you go at the right time of year.
Ohio: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Found in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an essential for any music fan. The museum is stuffed full to the brim with more memorabilia than you could ever dream of, from handwritten song lyrics right through to Michael Jackson’s famed glitter-encrusted glove.
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan: Lake Superior
If you’d prefer to have your holiday fun on the water, then look no further than with Lake Superior. As the name would suggest, the lake is the largest in North America – and the third largest in the world. It’s larger than entire states and, in fact, entire countries: Austria could nestle within its surface area quite comfortably. If you want to see it and experience the various watersports available in the area, then – due to its vastness – you have the pick of three states to do it from. Or why not do the “Circle Tour”, which takes you the 1,300 miles around the exterior rim?
Oklahoma: McGee Creek National Scenic Reservation Area
As the name would suggest, the McGee Creek Area is a perfect tourist stop if you want to get back to nature. You can hike, mountain bike or ride horses across your choice of 30 separate trails, taking in natural wonders and lush greenery you wouldn’t normally expect from a plains state.
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