How to Travel the World Without Leaving the U.S.

If you’ve ever wished you could flee the country, but don’t actually have a passport, you’re in luck. Here are 10 exotic U.S. locations where you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a different country:

Tin Mine Hike [El Paso, Texas]

10. El Paso, Texas | Situated right along the border, El Paso shares people, food, language and culture with its neighbor Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Eat up El Paso’s famous red enchiladas, go rock climbing, or simply soak up the warm weather.  

9. Joshua Tree National Park, Calif. | It doesn’t take too much to imagine a pride of lions perched on one of the park’s rocky outcroppings. The Joshua Tree itself looks like something from a science fiction novel. You’re in a land like no other.  

Mountain range along Inside Passage [Alaska]

8. Inside Passage, Alaska | Alaska’s frozen fjords and blue-green glaciers remind some of the similar landscapes lining the coast of Norway. You’ll have to visit both places in order to appreciate their similarities – and their differences. 

7. New Orleans La. | New Orleans’ French Quarter isn’t like anywhere else in the U.S. Despite its name, the Spanish actually built the neighborhood. Spanish, Creole and French influences are everywhere. 

Vineyards [Napa Valley, California]

6. Napa Valley, Calif. | As you gaze out over the endless vineyards of Napa Valley, you could easily transport yourself to Tuscany. A glimpse of the beautiful and turreted Castello di Amorosa will complete the illusion. 

5. Charleston, S.C. | Charleston’s unique Single Houses mix Federalist, Victorian and West Indian styles. You won’t find historic neighborhoods like Charleston’s anywhere else, but the city’s attention to preservation gives it a European flair.  

Biltmore Estate [Asheville, North Carolina]

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4. Asheville, N.C. | America’s largest home, Biltmore Estate, was built to resemble a French Renaissance castle.  As you wander the formal grounds, or take an audio-tour of the interior, you could be visiting any of Europe’s finest chateaux.

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico | As you stroll San Juan’s ancient city walls you might be reminded of the countless medieval European cities with the same defense. It’s no accident: the Spanish gave San Juan the same design as their home cities. 

Las Vegas Strip [Las Vegas, Nevada]

littleny | Shutterstock
2. Las Vegas, N.V. | You won’t ever think that you’re in Paris or in ancient Egypt while you’re visiting Sin City, but with the replica Eiffel Tower and the imitation Sphinx you could pretend to if you wanted. 

1. Florida Keys, Fla. | Bahamians were the first to settle the Florida Keys. The combination of brightly colored, raised Bahamian bungalows and outstanding snorkeling makes the Keys very similar to their Caribbean neighbors.   

Ready for more U.S. exploration? Try The 20 Most Shockingly Beautiful Places In America You’d Be Crazy to Ignore





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Carmen Fifield

The delight of finding an unknown park, a captivating history museum or a fantastic desert means exploration is never far from Carmen Fifield’s mind. Carmen’s favorite travel memories include biking to historic sites on the island of Guernsey, huffing and puffing up the stairs to the Great Wall of China and eating the most delicious crab cake ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carmen’s Favorite Travel Tip: Say goodbye to airplane food and tuck some fruit and your favorite sandwich into your carry-on.