Yes, you can most definitely travel the world without leaving the country. Sound crazy? Here are the beautiful places in America that will make you feel like you're abroad:
Leavenworth, WA - Isn't a cozy mountainside town dotted with A-frame homes and colorful shutters exactly what you picture for an Alpine village? Look no further than Washington state. If you visit in the winter, grab a thermos of hot chocolate and a pastry at Bavarian Bakery and snuggle with a fuzzy blanket while overlooking the mountains. The town adopted a Bavarian style after its formerly successful sawmill and logging industry fell apart when the railroad left. It almost fell off the map until the community rallied to change the deteriorating town into a vibrant Bavarian village. Their rennovation worked and people flock from all over to get their Alpine fix in the states!
Big Sur, CA - Ahhh, breathe in the fresh air of... California? Okay we all know California is beautiful, but seriously? This is beyond gorgeous. It's reminiscent of that Caribbean trip you've always wanted to take. This part of Big Sur is the perfect recipe: Azure blue water, soft sand, giant rocks and a waterfall. In fact, check out this road trip that takes you right through this part of the beautiful coast!
Byodo-In Temple, Oahu, HI - There's a reason this place strongly resembles Japan. The Byodo-In temple is a smaller replica of a 950+ year old temple in Uji, Japan. It was built to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.
Napa Valley, CA - Visiting the Tuscan countryside is on tons of people's bucket lists. But you can visit America's own Tuscany, if you will, in Napa Valley. There are over 400 vineyards and wineries in the lush valley. You can even take balloon tours at Balloons Above the Valley and see the valley from a bird's eye view!
The Greek Parthenon:
Nashville, TN - The Parthenon in Nashville definitely doesn't look as weathered as the Parthenon in Athens, built in 438 BC. But on a summer day while you set up your blanket on the field you can imagine yourself as part of the Greek gods and goddesses. There's something a little more magical about having a picnic or playing frisbee with a massive Greek temple behind you. The inside functions as an art museum and you can check out the statue of Athena Parthenos, a giant and meticulously recreated sculpture imitating an ancient classic.
Joshua Tree National Park, CA - Not quite a safari filled with Zebras and Giraffes, but landscape-wise, the desert of Joshua Tree National Park is very similar to the African Steppe. You will see some Bighorn Sheep, though. This park is so large that it covers a land area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC - Oui oui, the famous Biltmore will definitely have your imagination bouncing to French royalty. The 8,000 acre estate is almost similar in the way that French estates would be passed down through the royal bloodline. Currently run by George Washington Vanderbilt II's great grandson, the estate has an old world charm and provides visitors with beautiful tours, outdoor opportunities and a gorgeous venue for weddings.
Denali National Park, Alaska - No need to risk your life at Everest. Get your Himalayan fix by taking a visit to the Alaska Range mountains, the highest mountain range outside of Asia and the Andes. The rugged park covers over a million acres and is home to Mount Mckinley, North America's highest peak. Denali is home to caribou, grizzlies, golden eagles and tons of other majestic animals. If you're up for an adventure, Alaska is definitely the place to go.
Want to visit cool places like these? Check out this guide for outdoor trips with views that will take your breath away!