In Europe, it’s not uncommon for someone to leave their home on a Friday for a weekend trip that includes crossing international borders. For much of the EU, a few hours drive or train ride will land you in another country—or perhaps a few countries over. In the United States, that same scenario is pretty rare due to the sheer size of the country. Residents of many states can drive for hours without ever leaving the boundaries of their home state, much less the country.
It is perhaps for this reason that the most common destination spots for US travelers are within the borders of the United States. While many people visit Disney World in Florida or The Statue of Liberty in New York City every day, it’s less common that these US travelers know about or visit places such as Antelope Canyon, Seven Magic Mountains, or White Sands National Monument. Check out some of the craziest, coolest, and most intriguing destinations for your next vacation right here in the Southwest United States.
Mat Bevel’s Museum of Kinetic Art, Tucson, Arizona
Lose yourself in the intoxicating space where science meets arts meet technology and magic! Located in Tucson, Arizona and billed as “High Art for the Whole Family” this museum is definitely worth the stop. This museum features nearly 100 found-object moving sculptures, a surrealistic pop science theater, hands-on learning experiences and digital media arts.
Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona
Thanks to social media, and especially Instagram, this spot has become the most-photographed and most-visited slot canyon in all of the American southwest. Millions of years of wind and water erosion have formed the smooth and flowing shapes found in this spectacular canyon. This area is extremely dangerous as it is prone to flash flooding but can be visited through professional guided tours. You can find this stunning natural wonder in Page, Arizona.
Neon Boneyard and Mob Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
While most people visit Las Vegas, Nevada for the gambling or shows on the Strip, this funky collection of decommissioned neon signs is an impressive stop not far from the action of Fremont Street. To get the most out of your experience, purchase the combo ticket that allows you entry to both the Neon Boneyard and Mob Museum, visit the Museum during the day and schedule your guided tour of the Neon Boneyard just before dusk to experience the signs in natural light as well as lit up.
Seven Magic Mountains, Sloan,Nevada
Located just 10 miles outside of the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada this art installation features seven 30 foot tall fluorescent “totems”. Visitors can walk up to the stacked works of art, take stunning photos, and even listen to a guided audio tour via their personal cell phones. If you want to see this attraction, you’ve gotta act fast–this installation is only on display until May 2018!
White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo, New Mexico
When you think of miles of white sands, you probably think of the beach. Not the case in this southern New Mexico attraction! This area is covered in undulating pure gypsum dunes, the most active of which move in a northeasterly direction at a speed of up to 30 feet per year! A reserve can be found at this park which features specially adapted plants and animals, but for a truly unique experience, purchase a sled and try out some dune sledding!
Bonus: If you’re going to be in the Alamogordo area anyway, make sure to stop by the World’s Largest Pistachio! While it’s (probably) not worth the trip to the area just to see this record-holder, it’s another way to spice up your trip to this area!
Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Diving head first into a toilet might not sound like your idea of a good time, but wait until you see the adventure that lies within. Nothing is what it appears at Meow Wolf, an interactive choose-your-own-adventure art and experience gallery which houses the House of Eternal Return, the first permanent installation in Meow Wolf’s collection (and supported by Game of Thrones’ George R.R. Martin).
Musical Highway, Tijeras, New Mexico
Located just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico is the famous Route 66. While many people have heard of this famous southern highway, this particular stretch has a novelty of it’s own: It sings. Driving on this stretch of highway at exactly 45 mph treats vehicle passengers to a rumblestrip rendition of “America the Beautiful” over a quarter-mile stretch.
The United States is filled with so many great attractions, tourist destinations, and things to do and see. Have you fallen in love with the weird, wacky, and wonderful Southwest? From Arizona and Nevada to New Mexico and beyond, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home on RealtyHive.