Four Awesome Places to Visit in the USA (that aren’t NYC)

Towards the end of last year, my Postcard From feature suddenly and mysteriously filled up with posts about the USA. For about six weeks in a row, all my submissions were from America, and many of them were from parts of the states that I’d never heard of – and that I now desperately want to visit. Here are a few of the best places that other travellers have recommended…

READ MORE: 6 Incredible Train Journeys in the USA 

Hancock, Michigan

Quincy Mine, Postcard From Michigan

Finnish travel addict Sanna recommends her new hometown of Hancock in the often-overlooked state of Michigan. This tiny town on the edge of one of Michigan’s two enormous lakes is, as Sanna puts it, “kind of in the middle of nowhere” – but it’s also well worth a visit. From the fall foliage on Mount Bohemia in October, to the incredible winter sports, this part of America has a lot to offer. Don’t miss the local speciality of pasties, brought to this former mining community by the Cornish!

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Postcard From North Carolina, USA,

A tiny strip of land off the coast of mainland North Carolina, with the Atlantic on one side and Pamlico Sound on the other, the Outer Banks are a beautiful and peaceful escape in the states which come highly recommended by Emma Hart, the blogger behind Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles. Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, and Kitty Hawk – the beach where the Wright brothers first flew a plane – are all highlights, while Emma recommends the seafood at Outer Banks Brewing Station.

Bandera, Texas

Postcard From Texas

Double denim and cowboy hats galore – Bandera, Texas is a good old fashioned Wild West town, where the major draw for tourists is the opportunity to stay on a real-life cowboy ranch. Luke from Backstreet Nomad tried his hand at a week of the cowboy lifestyle and loved it. Think s’mores round the campfire, BYO meat bbq restaurants in town, and, of course, so much horse riding that your saddle sores get saddle sore!

Yosemite National Park, California

Postcard From California,

People hear California and they think of Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, and good old Governor Arnie. But there’s so much more to this awesome state than those major attractions, as blogger Kristy of Global Whispers discovered when she visited Yosemite National Park. “Hiking to the Sequoia trees, seeing the wildlife and taking in some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world is something I wont ever forget.”

A Few Things UK Citizens Need to Know About Visiting the US

If you’re visiting the US from a country which is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), like the UK is, then recent changes in the law mean you’re now required to go through the ESTA USA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). This is a new system designed to strengthen security measures for visitors entering the states, which analyses traveller information to asses whether they’re eligible to travel to America.

Application ESTA is a secure online company through which you can complete the ESTA application process. Provided there are no issues, the whole process takes no more than 24 hours – in fact it usually takes just minutes – and it’s very simple to complete. Plus, you get total support as all applications are reviewed by an agent to check for errors or missing information. Simple!

Have you got any other great tips for places to visit in the USA, or things UK citizens should know about visiting? Let us know in the comments!

About Emily Luxton

Award-winning writer and solo female travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper travel. Lover of fun, adventure, food, Harry Potter, hiking, beaches, and chatting about the weather. Can be bought with cake.


  1. The three years I spent living in England taught me to appreciate 1) the ability to marvel at the diversity of nature, history and culture near to wherever one may live and 2) the diverse and vast beauty of the United States. There are SO many breathtaking places in the US. The challenge is getting to them all! The Badlands in South Dakota, for example, are stunning and other-worldly… but quite far from much of anything else (aside from Mount Rushmore). This post makes me want to pack up the car and go see what I can find!

    • Hi Lynn! Thanks for commenting :) there is so much diversity in the US, I feel like you could spend the rest of your life just exploring one state! People from the uk often seem just to go to NYC, Miami, or Vegas and almost nowhere else – so it was really nice to get a spate of ‘postcards’ from quite unusual places in the states at the end of last year.

      If you’ve been somewhere in the us recently or live somewhere nice you’re more than welcome to join in Postcard From – just drop me an email using my contact me form :)

  2. I have never heard of the aforementioned places except Yosemite National Park, but I agree one should spend quantity amount of time in just one state and explore. I train-traveled the USA for nearly a month during the end of my stay and awake to the wilderness in North Dakota, big sky Montana and coast line in Washington State is one of the beautiful moments of my trip, and this post just want me to do the road trip again.

    • That sounds like an awesome road trip! There’s just so much to see and do in America, confining any trip to just one city seems like a waste – I would love to explore some of the less visited (by UK travellers) states and really get to know the country a bit more :)

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