Five US Destinations To Visit In The Off-Season

While countless individuals across the globe are yearning to get back to a life filled with travel, there’s one particular concept that nobody is looking forward to: namely, crowds. Whether it’s a lengthy traffic jam, a two-hour wait at an acclaimed restaurant, or sidewalks packed full of slow-moving visitors, it’s no secret that peak tourist season can quickly turn a dream vacation into an unending series of frustrations. For those wishing to avoid the constant crowds on their next cross-country trip, consider visiting one of the following destinations during their off-season.

A small portion of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Jackson County.

Located in the rural western reaches of North Carolina, this rustic region is best known for its spectacular natural beauty, serving as a popular destination during the spring and summer. While January through March sees far fewer tourists across the county, this “Secret Season” is no less beautiful than the warmer months, offering visitors the opportunity to hike amidst frozen waterfalls on the Panthertown Valley Trail without worrying about constant crowds. If outdoor adventure isn’t your thing, there’s no need to worry—Jackson County is packed full of spectacular restaurants ranging from Sylva’s Caribbean-inspired Guadalupe Cafe to The Orchard, a venue serving up Southern cuisine in a restored farmhouse in the remote reaches of Cashiers.

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Ludington is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, the largest lake area-wise in the United … [+]

An ideal destination for immersing oneself in the natural beauty of rural Michigan, Ludington’s many surrounding nature trails make it a popular destination for cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and snowmobilers when the snow is at its peak—but that’s not all that this idyllic city has to offer. For those visiting during the warmer months, trade your snowshoes for hiking boots and head to Ludington State Park, a coastal preserve that’s home to 21 miles of trail perfectly suited for exploring. Ludington’s close proximity to the inland Hamlin Lake also makes it the perfect destination for water sports in the summer, with miles of sandy coast to kayak, canoe, or fish along.

The National World War II Museum was officially established in 2000.

While this bustling cultural capital sees massive throngs of tourists during Mardi Gras season, July and August tend to see a large drop in visitors due to intense heat and humidity. Fortunately for summer travelers, New Orleans is rife with indoor attractions perfectly fit for those aiming to avoid the sun. For nature enthusiasts, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas allows guests to view over 250 different marine species, while the nearby National World War II Museum is an absolute must-visit for any history buffs. After working up an appetite exploring New Orleans’ finest institutions, be sure to grab a shrimp po’ boy from Mother’s Restaurant, a treasured local venue that’s been in business since 1938.

North Lake Tahoe hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960.

Surrounded by world-famous ski resorts such as Squaw Valley and Northstar, North Lake Tahoe has been a paradise for winter sport enthusiasts for decades, but the region has a wealth of activities for outdoor adventurers even long after the snow has melted. Visitors wishing to cruise atop the lake at blinding speeds should be sure to book a wake surfing excursion with Tahoe Surf Company, while Squaw Valley’s Alpenglow Expeditions is perfect for navigating the valley’s dizzying via ferrata system. For those less inclined toward thrills, head to Tahoe City’s Olympic Bike Shop and book a two-wheeler, then take a leisurely cruise down the idyllic Truckee River Bike Trail.

Portland was formally founded in 1786.

Given New England’s propensity for harsh winters, it should come as no surprise that Maine tourism dwindles between leaf peeping season and the springtime. However, one particular commodity is available all year long to thirsty visitors—namely, beer. Fresh off the heels of releasing Kurkuma, a fragrant ale brewed with fresh turmeric, Portland’s Allagash Brewing Company is a major player and innovator within Maine’s beer industry, while Rising Tide and Lone Pine are two ideal venues for those who want to explore the charming avenues of downtown Portland. Though these businesses aren’t currently open for tours, they remain perfectly poised for a brewery crawl during one of Portland’s future winters.

For the first few decades of my life, my exposure to the world outside of Massachusetts was limited, sparking a desire to experience life outside of New England. This

 

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