Meraki Journey

Best Hidden Vacation Spots

Best Hidden Vacation Spots

There’s plenty of destinations we all think of when we hear the word "Vacation": Miami, San Diego, New York, Seattle, and so many more. All of these spots have earned their fame for good reason. That doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of fun and long lasting memories at lesser known destinations.

Often it's the hidden gems that shine the brightest. So today we'll look at some of the best hidden vacation spots across the US.

Leavenworth, Washington 

Stepping into a new, exciting place is what a vacation is all about. Few towns invoke that feeling quite like Leavenworth, Washington. Located way up in the Cascade Mountain range is a town bursting with vibrant architecture, quaint charm and natural splendor. The town has modeled itself after traditional Bavarian Alps Mountain Villages. The style and flare is applied across the town. Bavarian inspired beer halls, defined specialty shopfronts and magnificent grand concert halls are all imbued with the bright, stylized looks of Bavarian Architecture. 

During your stay, you can tour and enjoy drinks from their many local breweries and distilleries. There’s many select locations for this, there's no shortage of destinations to enjoy a good beer. The beer hall that is revered as the 'go-to' spot is Munchen Haus. Serving not only a wide range of locally brewed beers, they also offer phenomenally seasoned and charred Bavarian Sausages. With its open roof design, paired with fine wood pillars and many tabletop fireplaces, Munchen Haus offers an unforgettable eating experience. 

Don't stop there, make sure to check out one of the most refined distilleries in the town, Blue Spirits. Enjoy their many in-house distilled spirits (like their Signature Straight Bourbon Whiskey) alongside a warm, savory plate of Caprese Focaccia. 

The many, traditionally inspired, Alphorn concerts that are performed throughout the year is one of the few outstanding events you don’t want to miss. While donning traditional Bavarian Attire the musicians pay tribute to their instrument and its centuries old traditions.

Whether you want to explore the mountain range, sit in a cozy lodge, enjoy local food or enjoy live music, Leavenworth has something unique for you to enjoy during your stay. 



Juneau, Alaska (Mendenhall Glacier)

A sight to behold, the Mendenhall Glacier is a stunning natural wonder. Breathtaking ice sheets that wrap over, around and underneath the Coast Mountain Range. North America’s fifth largest icefield covers over 1,500 square miles of land. This natural wonder is located in such an isolated location, that it can only be reached by Air or Sea- that’s right, no roads. There are many natural splendors to explore during your visit. With so much ground to cover, let’s narrow down the best places to check out while in Juneau. 

This stunning 12 mile long glacier is only about 10 miles from downtown Juneau, making your drive to and from where you’re staying a breeze. The hard part is choosing where to start exploring the glacier. For the adventurous readers, there are many ice caves that change (as well as just outright disappear) throughout the years. One famous ice cave that is still around today is formed by a Waterfall adjacent to Mt. McGinnis. This cave runs through the middle of the glacier, and gives you access to the gorgeous natural all-blue caverns that give you direct access to one of the most impressive natural marvels in North America. 

If you’d rather check out the natural beauty of the glacier on the surface, there’s a litany of options. First and foremost, kayaking. Offered at Mendenhall Lake, you and your group can paddle alongside icebergs and the mountain range. Doing this alone is not for the inexperienced however. If you’re a beginner, there’s guided tours on offer from many different local tourist companies in the area.

If hiking is more your speed, check out the many trails laid out by the Mendenhall National Park. Regardless of your experience, check out the Nugget Falls trail. With easy terrain and a clearly marked trail, it gives every visitor a chance to explore the natural splendor of Mendenhall. Regardless of what you do, Mendenhall will be one of the most memorable places you’ll ever visit. 


Branson, Missouri 

An underrated gem in the Midwest, Branson has stunning and expansive nature as well as unique restaurants and eclectic attractions. Together, we’ll explore what makes Branson such an underrated vacation destination. 

Branson's Strip is one of the unmatched destinations in the midwest- it’s as campy as it is exciting! There’s stand up, restaurants, crazy attractions, and musical performances. A restaurant that perfectly encapsulates ‘Missouri Barbeque’ is Gettin’ Basted. This award winning restaurant has amazing, signature dishes. Fried Okra served with an Ancho Sauce Drizzle; Rich, juicy and well seasoned ‘St. Louis Style Ribs’ and many savory, saucy sandwiches. This restaurant is right in the heart of the strip, so you're never too far away from this iconic Missouri Eatery. 

The strip has many fun attractions and activities for you and your group. If you’re into a one stop shop for cheesy, good fun, check out BIGFOOT Fun Park. Have you ever wanted one place where you can play mini golf and arcade games, take part in interactive digital experiences, and hop on a few amusement park rides, then BIGFOOT fun park is your one stop shop for all that and more!

Whether you want great food, fun attractions or explore the natural splendor of Missouri-Branson is your one stop shop for all of that and more!


Supai, Arizona (Mooney Falls) 

We all know about The Grand Canyon, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world- this is the one place on everyone's bucket list. You can't see it all, so you have to focus on the best spots in the national park. Together, we will explore Mooney falls, a natural wonder within the Grand Canyon.

What is Mooney Falls: It’s the largest waterfall in the grand canyon. Coming in at a staggering 200 feet tall it is a gorgeous, dream-like oasis buried in the Arizona wilderness. Being just a short hike from most of the local campsites, you don't have to walk more than a mile or so to get there. The difficult part is traversing the unique trail. In order to arrive there, you have to take a 20th century passageway by miners that hugs the side of the canyon. Once you get to the top of the falls, you have to make a steep descent down the cliff side and some ladders in order to reach the base of the waterfall.

Be sure to pack some sunscreen, bring plenty of water, and have handy some quality sunglasses. The journey to Mooney Falls is for the more experienced hikers, but the final sight is worth the hike. At the base of the waterfall is a magnificent and unforgettable oasis. From there, you can explore the expansive mining caves or throw your swimwear on to cool off after the hike. If you brave the journey to Mooney Falls, it will be one you won't forget.



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