Check Out These Outdoor Attractions Across the USA

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, a spring break destination, or just a reason to enjoy the warmer weather, there are plenty of outdoor attractions and great spring destinations across the country to visit. From traditional beach vacations to unique experiences in music and culture, below are five fun things to do and places to visit.

Soak up the sun in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Surfworks in Myrtle Beach – courtesy of surfworks.com
With 60 miles of breathtaking beaches and 14 unique coastal communities, there’s always something new and exciting to explore in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—a popular beach trip destination. This year, several new attractions, developments, and restaurants are coming to this oceanside town. After being destroyed during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the town of Surfside Beach is reconstructing their iconic pier, making it stronger and safer than ever before. The new pier will feature a restaurant and vendor space and is slated to reopen in spring of 2023.
Myrtle Beach will also soon be home to South Carolina’s first man-made surf park, called Surfworks. The park’s surfing lagoon will generate up to 1,000 waves per hour, with waves between 2-6 feet tall. The development will also include an amphitheater to accommodate up to 15,000 people, a surf school, a restaurant and a brewery. Plus, a new family entertainment complex is coming to Myrtle Beach’s Coastal Grand Mall in 2023. The 52,500-square-foot Stars and Strikes Getaway-n-Play will offer an immersive, augmented reality bowling experience, as well as an arcade, a multi-story laser tag arena, axe throwing and more.
This spring, the South Carolina beach town has a slew of newly opened restaurants to enjoy. First-time restaurant owners, Steve and Grace Harrington, moved to South Carolina looking for the best place to open their authentic Filipino restaurant, Kainan Filipino Eatery. The Conway restaurant serves up traditional Filipino breakfast items, appetizers, noodle dishes and desserts. Myrtle Beach resident Tina Littleton opened the Seawitch Cafe in October 2022 in The Market Common. The quaint cafe offers a variety of delicious breakfast staples, such as omelets, avocado toast, donuts and other pastries. With 40 years of New York-style deli experience, Don Jackson opened Don’s Deli with his son in fall of 2022. The Conway restaurant serves up New York-style sandwiches and a full line of desserts with customers raving about the deli’s delicious bites. A sister restaurant to the beloved Bubba’s Fish Shack, Bubba’s Fish Camp offers a beach-inspired menu with fried and grilled seafood along with meats smoked in-house. It’s also conveniently located right across from Broadway at the Beach. South Carolina Restaurateur of the Year in 2011 and South Carolina Chef Ambassador in 2018, Heidi Vukov, is opening a new ice cream and coffee shop this spring 2023. The shop titled,Coffee & Cream Cabana at Heidi’s Corner, will offer sixteen seasonal flavors of ice cream, homemade waffle cones, cookie ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cakes, as well as specialty coffees, light fare foods and treats.

Stop and smell the flowers in Columbus, Ohio
Franklin Park Conservatory – courtesy of fpconservatory.org
Take in a variety of botanical beauty throughout Columbus this spring, including along the Scioto Mile riverfront downtown, named one of the 21 Best Urban Parks and Trails for City-Dwellers by Men’s Journal and the perfect place for biking, jogging or walking. Visitors don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. or Japan to take in cherry trees. Columbus is home to more than 5,000 of the iconic trees, with a high concentration in Franklin Park and Berliner Park. Franklin Park’s lower and upper ponds are lined with 80 cherry trees, making it a great location for a spring picnic.
See the trees during their peak bloom in early April during the 2023 Greater Columbus Cherry Blossom Festival. The second-annual event takes place April 1st-9th throughout Columbus with the final celebration happening April 8th at Franklin Park and featuring food trucks, entertainment, exhibits and cultural displays. Nearby, get up close and personal with hundreds of butterflies while also enjoying bright tropical blooms at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Blooms & Butterflies now through May 29.
Enjoy a spring getaway without breaking the bank by taking advantage of Experience Columbus packages and discounts. If visitors book a two-night stay through experiencecolumbus.com/hotels, they can choose from either two complimentary tickets to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, two tickets to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or a free Lyft credit. Another way to save 20% at the city’s top attractions is by taking advantage of the Columbus Attractions Pass.

Go fishing in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
Fishing in North Carolina – courtesy of Brookings Anglers
If you want to take advantage of the warming weather, head to the North Carolina mountains for a great outdoor adventure. In the Jackson County area, tourists will also find great new dining options, hotels, and attractions. “This is an exciting year for Jackson County, NC,” said Nick Breedlove, JCTDA’s Executive Director. “From the introduction of a luxurious lodging property in Sylva to a new eatery from some of our best local restaurateurs, the region is buzzing with anticipation. Now, visitors can discover our destination in a whole new light with fresh experiences that will leave a lasting impression.”
Outland Great Smoky Mountains, a new luxury private retreat from Outland Hospitality Group, opened recently in Sylva. Tucked along a high mountain ridge just minutes from walkable downtown, the 22 acre property features two separate lodging options: The Chalet, a seven bedroom vacation rental ideal for families and groups, and Spa Suites, better suited for romantic retreats. Guests at either will enjoy mountainous views and access to several trails, a Clubroom with a cozy fireplace lounge, streamside relaxation room, outdoor games such as bocce and cornhole and more. See photos here.
Head to Brookings Anglers, a longstanding company in the destination providing fishing gear and expertly guided trips along the WNC Fly Fishing Trail®, in Cashiers, NC.
While the mountains are best experienced outdoors, the area also has an interesting indoor attraction. The quirky Museum of the Housecat tourist attraction just south of Sylva is anticipated to reopen this spring. Founded and owned by Harold “Catman” Sims, a retired biology professor, the museum showcases several works from fine art to multimedia productions that all display the house cat in some way, including a rare, mummified cat from ancient Egypt.

Try maple-flavored delicacies in the Adirondacks, New York
Whitney’s Maple Spring Farm – courtesy of adirondackharvest.com
Vermont may be the largest producer of maple syrup in the nation, but New York is home to the largest resource of tapped maple trees in the country, where most of the maple syrup production takes place within the Adirondacks. Sugar maple trees are tapped from February through early April to harvest syrup, and the familiar sight of metal buckets, or “sap buckets”, can be seen in maple groves and areas across the region. As a result, there are hundreds of types of syrups, foods, beverages, candies, cocktails and experiences that showcase local Adirondacks maple. And once you are in the Adirondacks can learn all about the difference between maple sugar candy, maple sugar blocks, granulated maple sugar, maple butter and maple extract.
There are hundreds of types of syrups, foods, beverages (including maple bourbon imperial stout and maple mules), candies, cocktails and experiences that showcase local Adirondacks maple. Tour local sugarhouses, sample syrups and join tapping demonstrations during New York State’s Maple Weekends (March 18-19 and March 25-26). The Maple Wayfinder Trail from the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid highlights producers around the region and where to find sugary treats. The Adirondack Harvest website lists local producers and distributors, along with maple-themed events throughout the region. Visitors can purchase locally produced maple syrup and products at roadside stands, at retail locations throughout the Adirondacks and at the production facilities themselves as many have retail shops adjacent to their collection and evaporation sites.
Big Slide Brewery’s maple bourbon imperial stout is hyper-local, aged in a barrel previously used for locally produced maple syrup. Many Adirondack-region restaurants have “maple glazed” items on the menu: salmon, pork, chicken, vegetables and more. Chef Mike Rush at Campfire Grill in Saranac Lake is renowned for obtaining kegs of maple syrup for use throughout the year. While dining out, keep an eye out for barbecue sauces, as many restaurants incorporate maple syrup into their homemade sauce.

Maple isn’t just for tasting. The Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid offers the Adirondack Maple Sugar Body Scrub, a maple-based spa treatment that exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin. Another great place to stay is High Peaks Resort, which is holding a Spring Sale including a $25 dining credit at Dancing Bears Restaurant, perfect for some maple pancakes!

Attend a music festival in Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi, known for its southern charm, fascinating history and significant architecture, is preparing for warmer weather, blooming flowers and an exciting lineup of spring events, including exclusive historic home tours, music festivals and more. Not only are there unforgettable events in store this spring, but Natchez also offers affordable and cozy bed and breakfast options such as Devereaux Shields House and Choctaw Hall, and a taste of real southern cuisine at local favorites including, The Castle Restaurant, The Camp and The Little Easy.
Every March, thousands gather at the Natchez Bluff to celebrate the area’s rich Native American heritage at the Natchez Powwow. The annual event includes traditional Native American dancing, singing and fun. This year’s event takes place on March 25th and 26th.
Throughout of the entire month of May, the town celebrates the Festival of Music, a series of live musical performances featuring special shows from musicians spanning various genres, including blues, rock & roll, theater and much more throughout the fall and spring seasons. Also in May, the Mudbug Music Festival takes place and features incredible live music from country music superstars, fresh crawfish and a wide variety of food vendors complemented with cold beer, drinks and cocktails along the Natchez Bluff.

Enjoy!

Adventures, Features, Travel Tips and Advice, USA Travel

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