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10 Unique Travel Destinations USA: Hidden Gems for Women Over 50

By Sandra Roussy June 30, 2023 Travel

Are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure? Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or someone seeking new horizons, let’s discover a few hidden gems and unique destinations found in the USA.

Get ready to step off the well-trodden path and embrace new experiences as we delve into these lesser-known treasures.

  1. Door County, Wisconsin – Located on a peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay, Door County boasts picturesque lighthouses, charming small towns, wineries, and beautiful coastal scenery.
  2. St. Augustine, Florida – As the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States, St. Augustine is rich in history and offers cobblestone streets, Spanish architecture, museums, and lovely beaches.
  3. Taos, New Mexico – Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is an artistic and cultural hub with a vibrant art scene, adobe architecture, the Taos Pueblo (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and scenic landscapes.
  4. Bar Harbor, Maine – Located on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a coastal town that serves as the gateway to Acadia National Park. It offers stunning ocean views, hiking trails, and delicious seafood.
  5. Moab, Utah – Known as the adventure capital of Utah, Moab is surrounded by breathtaking red rock formations, including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. It offers hiking, mountain biking, and off-roading opportunities.
  6. Marfa, Texas – Located in the remote desert of West Texas, Marfa is a small town known for its rich arts scene and unique installations like the Prada Marfa art installation. It offers a quirky atmosphere, galleries, and spectacular sunsets.
  7. Hana, Maui, Hawaii – Situated on the eastern coast of Maui, Hana is a secluded and lush paradise with scenic drives, waterfalls, black sand beaches, and a slower pace of life. It’s a perfect place to unwind and enjoy natural beauty.
  8. Eureka Springs, Arkansas – Tucked away in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is an enchanting Victorian town known for its preserved historic architecture, vibrant arts community, and healing springs. It offers a relaxing and artsy retreat.
  9. Orcas Island, Washington – One of the San Juan Islands, Orcas Island is a serene and idyllic destination with pristine forests, sparkling lakes, and gorgeous mountain views. It offers hiking trails, whale watching, and a tranquil island experience.
  10. Bisbee, Arizona – Nestled in the Mule Mountains, Bisbee is a quirky and artistic town with a rich mining history. It features colorful buildings, art galleries, unique shops, and offers a bohemian atmosphere in a beautiful desert setting.

How to Prepare for an Off-the-Beaten Track Trip

Preparing for a unique trip requires some additional considerations compared to more popular destinations. Here are some key steps to help you prepare.

Research Your Destination

Start by gathering information about the place you plan to visit. Learn about the area and any safety concerns. Search online and websites like Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet.

Plan Your Itinerary

Determine the duration of your trip and create a rough itinerary. Take into account the travel time, transportation options, and the activities you wish to pursue. Keep in mind that offbeat destinations may have limited infrastructure, so plan accordingly.

Read 20 ESSENTIAL TRAVEL APPS FOR WOMEN OVER 60 and use apps on your mobile devices to help you plan.

Pack Appropriately

Pack clothing and gear suitable for the specific environment and activities you’ll be undertaking. Research the local weather conditions and terrain to ensure you have the necessary clothing, footwear, and accessories. It’s also a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit, insect repellent, and any other essentials for the region.


Arrange Accommodation and Transportation

Depending on the destination, accommodation might be limited, so book in advance if possible. Research different lodging options such as guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, or eco-lodges that align with the local atmosphere. Also consider the modes of transportation available and make necessary arrangements such as renting a car or utilizing local transportation.

Stay Informed and Connected

Keep updated with the latest travel advisories and weather alerts for your destination. Make sure to share your travel plans with a trusted friend or family member and have a way to stay connected.

Stay Flexible and Open-Minded

Off-the-beaten-path travel often comes with surprises and challenges. Embrace the spirit of adventure and be open to new experiences. Stay flexible with your plans and allow for spontaneity.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a memorable and unique journey. Enjoy the excitement of discovering hidden gems and immersing yourself in unique landscapes.

Why These Destinations

The selection of unique travel destinations in the USA was based on the following factors.

  • Reputation as a hidden gem or off-the-beaten-track location.
  • Recommendations from travel experts.
  • Positive reviews from travelers.
  • Unique attractions or characteristics of the destination.
  • Overall appeal of the location for women over 50.

By considering these factors, I was able to compile a diverse and interesting list of destinations to offer a range of off-the-beaten-path experiences for the women in our community.

Unique Travel Destinations in the USA

These hidden gems provide a range of experiences for women over 50, from exploration and relaxation to outdoor adventures and natural beauty.

Door County, Wisconsin

Door County is a captivating destination located on a scenic peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay. It enchants visitors with its natural beauty, charming small towns, and beautiful coastal landscapes.

Door County is renowned for its idyllic lighthouses, vineyards, cherry orchards, and stunning sunsets. The area offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with activities like boating, fishing, hiking, and biking.

Visitors can explore the quaint shops, art galleries, and enjoy local cuisine, including freshly caught fish and delectable cherry treats. With its enchanting scenery and warm hospitality, Door County is a hidden gem that promises a delightful and rejuvenating experience.

Visit the Door County website to learn more about the activities you can find in the area.

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is a fascinating city rich in history and charm. As the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States, it offers a glimpse into the nation’s past. The city is adorned with cobblestone streets, Spanish architecture, and well-preserved landmarks.

St. Augustine boasts a lively arts scene, cute shops, and a thriving culinary culture. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the Castillo de San Marcos, the Lightner Museum, and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

The city also offers pristine beaches, scenic boat tours, and a variety of outdoor activities. With its blend of history, culture, and coastal beauty, St. Augustine is a captivating destination that delights travelers of all ages.

Check out the travel website to find out about all the things to do in St. Augustine.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos is a lovely town nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, offering a unique blend of art, culture, and natural beauty. Renowned for its artistic heritage, Taos has long attracted creative individuals inspired by its stunning landscapes.

The town features adobe architecture, art galleries, and a thriving arts community. Visitors can explore the historic Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to learn about Native American culture and traditions.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities for hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting in the nearby mountains and rivers. Taos also offers rejuvenating hot springs and a vibrant culinary scene, making it a delightful destination for exploration and relaxation.

Have a look at the Visit Taos New Mexico website.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a coastal town that serves as the gateway to the stunning Acadia National Park. Nestled on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor offers a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and small-town charm.

Visitors can explore the rocky coastline, hike along scenic trails, and enjoy breathtaking views from Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the U.S. East Coast.

The town itself features small unique shops, art galleries, and delicious seafood restaurants where visitors can savor fresh lobster and other local delicacies.

Bar Harbor also offers boat tours, kayaking, and whale watching opportunities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the region’s rich maritime heritage.

Visit the Bar Harbor website to plan your next adventure.

Moab, Utah

Moab is an exciting and unique destination that is known as the adventure capital of Utah. Situated amidst breathtaking red rock formations and spectacular desert landscapes, Moab offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The region is famous for its two national parks: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Visitors can marvel at the iconic Delicate Arch, hike through the dramatic canyons, or go mountain biking on the famous Slickrock Trail. Moab also offers opportunities for off-roading, rock climbing, river rafting, and road trips along the Colorado River.

The town itself has a laid-back atmosphere with charming shops, art galleries, and excellent dining options. Whether you seek adrenaline-pumping adventures or serene desert beauty, Moab is an exceptional destination to explore the wonders of the American Southwest.

For more information check the Discover Moab website.


Marfa, Texas

Marfa is a distinctive town located in the remote desert of West Texas. Known for its lively arts scene and intriguing installations, Marfa offers an offbeat and creative atmosphere.

The town’s most famous installation is the Prada Marfa, a permanent art installation resembling a luxury boutique in the middle of the desert. Visitors can explore the numerous galleries, studios, and exhibitions that showcase contemporary art and creativity.

Marfa’s small-town charm is enhanced by its cafes, boutique shops, and adobe architecture. The surrounding desert landscapes provide opportunities for stargazing, hiking, and exploring the vast and awe-inspiring West Texas scenery. For those seeking an unconventional and artistic experience, Marfa offers an enchanting and thought-provoking destination.

Check out the website for more information about this truly unique place.

Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hana is a secluded paradise located on the eastern coast of the Maui island. Known for its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Hana offers a serene escape from the bustling tourist areas of Maui.

The scenic Road to Hana, a winding coastal highway, leads visitors through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and dramatic coastal views. Hana’s black sand beaches, such as Wai’anapanapa State Park, are astonishing and provide a peaceful retreat.

The area is rich in cultural heritage, with opportunities to visit ancient Hawaiian temples and learn about traditional practices. Hana is a place where time seems to slow down, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty, relax, and rejuvenate in a truly idyllic setting.

Plan your trip by visiting their website.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs is a town nestled in the scenic Ozark Mountains. Known for its Victorian architecture, Eureka Springs exudes a whimsical and historic ambiance.

The town is home to beautifully preserved buildings that house art galleries, boutique shops, and cute bed and breakfasts. Visitors can explore the winding streets and discover hidden gems like Thorncrown Chapel, a stunning glass chapel nestled in the woods.

Eureka Springs is also renowned for its healing springs, which have attracted visitors seeking wellness and relaxation for centuries. The surrounding natural beauty offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and scenic road trips.

Visit the official visitor site for more information.

Orcas Island, Washington

Orcas Island is a tranquil destination located in the San Juan Islands. Known for its unspoiled natural beauty, the island offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by picture-perfect landscapes.

Visitors can explore the lush forests, pristine lakes, and mountain views that make up Orcas Island’s terrain. Outdoor activities abound, including hiking through Moran State Park, kayaking along the coastline, or taking a leisurely bike ride around the island.

Orcas Island is also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with opportunities for whale watching and birdwatching. The island features inviting coastal villages with local shops, art galleries, and farm-to-table dining experiences.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or a tranquil escape, Orcas Island provides an unforgettable and rejuvenating destination in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the official website for more information about this destination.

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee is a gem nestled in the Mule Mountains, offering a unique and bohemian atmosphere. Known for its rich mining history, the town is adorned with colorful buildings, art galleries, and eclectic shops.

Bisbee’s dynamic arts scene attracts creative individuals from all walks of life, contributing to its offbeat and laid-back ambiance. Visitors can explore the historic district with its well-preserved architecture, visit the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum to learn about the town’s mining heritage, or take a ghost tour to discover its intriguing past.

The surrounding desert landscape provides opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby Copper Queen Mine. Bisbee’s quirky charm, friendly locals, and unique setting make it a delightful and unconventional destination for those seeking an authentic Arizona experience.

Browse the Discover Bisbee website to find out more.

Safe travels!


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you been to any of these destinations? Do you plan on visiting one of these unique places in the USA? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Just spent 5 weeks in st Augustine..great place, amazing beaches, lots to do..Recommend historical walking tour , college tour. Alligator farm …do research so much to see. Also drove to Kennedy space Center was fascinating .

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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