We’re firm believers that every state is filled with beauty. But some believe in “flyover” states, or places that aren’t worth vacationing. We’re proving that wrong with 10 attractions that you’ll only find in states that aren’t traditional vacation destinations.
Check out a few of our favorite “flyover” states with great destinations below. You won’t be disappointed when you visit them during your next outdoor vacation.
5 “Flyover” States with Exciting Attractions
Many Iowans joke that their state has more hogs than humans. That may be true, but there’s no shortage of exciting attractions for humans in the Hawkeye State. We’ve highlighted two of our favorite destinations below, but you may also be interested in other hot spots, including:
- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium – Dubuque, Iowa
- Pappajohn Sculpture Park – Des Moines, Iowa
- Effigy Mounds National Monument – Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Maquoketa Caves State Park
Nestled 50 miles north of the Quad Cities, Maquoketa Caves State Park has more caves than any other state park. A six-mile trail system links scenic bluffs to the caves. Several caves can be explored by foot, while others are reserved for spelunking, or cave diving.
It’s a 65-mile drive from Sunset Lakes RV Resort to Maquoketa Caves, the perfect distance for a day trip.
Closer to Sunset Lakes RV Resort is the Riverboat Twilight, a restored steamboat in LeClaire, Iowa. This historic ship cruises the mighty Mississippi River, offering a throwback to the days of Mark Twain. Trips range in duration from a short sightseeing tour to a two-day cruise to Dubuque, Iowa, and back.
Known for bluegrass and the annual Derby, Kentucky is anything but a “flyover” state. The terrain ranges from the Ohio River in the north, to the Appalachian Mountains in the east. Along with the highlighted attractions, consider visiting these other destinations:
- Kentucky Derby Museum – Louisville, Kentucky
- Natural Bridge State Resort Park – Slade, Kentucky
- Mary Todd Lincoln House – Lexington, Kentucky
John James Audubon State Park
If you drive one hour southwest of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, you’ll find John James Audubon State Park. This preserve honors America’s most famous birder who, quite literally, wrote the book on North American birds.
The Audubon Museum is housed within the park and contains more than 1,000 items, including the founder’s writings and paintings. Outside, the nature center offers hiking trails through forests and wetlands.
Mammoth Cave National Park
A two-hour drive south of Lake Rudolph will bring you to Mammoth Cave National Park. This is the world’s longest cave system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guided cave tours are available, with reservations strongly encouraged.
Many visitors to Illinois only explore Chicago. But the state has more to offer outside the Windy City. We spotlight two of our favorite stops below, but you can also explore more destinations in Illinois:
- Buffalo Rock State Park – Ottawa, Illinois
- Anderson Japanese Gardens – Rockfield, Illinois
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum – Springfield, Illinois
Starved Rock State Park
A scenic area of canyons, Starved Rock State Park is located 35 miles southwest of Jellystone Park™ of Chicago. Visitors can hike trails through canyons, along bluffs, and behind waterfalls. Additionally, the park is a popular spot for fishing and boating along the Illinois River.
John Deere Pavilion
American manufacturing is synonymous with John Deere. Families can explore the company’s creations at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois. This museum features a huge (literally) history of heavy machinery with hands-on exhibits for kids.
John Deere Pavilion is closest to Sunset Lakes RV Resort in Hillsdale, Illinois.
With its location on the East Coast, Virginia is a surprising “flyover” state. Yet, the Commonwealth State has fewer visitors than many of its neighbors. That means you’ll find smaller crowds when exploring the state’s great attractions.
In addition to the two destinations highlighted below, we recommend making time for these wonderful spots:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon – Mount Vernon, Virginia
- Virginia State Capitol – Richmond, Virginia
- False Cape State Park – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park
Home to Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park protects Virginia’s portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is home to seemingly endless scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and waterfalls. This park is very busy during weekends, so if you can, we recommend visiting on a weekday.
You can also camp nearby at Shenandoah Acres in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. This outdoor destination places you close to the park and the popular college town of Charlottesville.
Accessible from both New Point RV Resort and Gwynn’s Island RV Resort, Colonial Williamsburg is an American treasure. Set on 301 acres, this living history museum is a recreated 18th century village. You can walk through on your own or take one of the guided tours that are offered.
Known for basketball and NASCAR racing, Indiana is often written off as a “flyover” state. But that’s a mistake! The Hoosier State has plenty to offer. Check out our attraction spotlights below, as well as these great destinations:
Spring Mill State Park
Spring Mill State Park is located 70 miles northeast of Lake Rudolph RV Resort & Campground. This destination features a revived pioneer village with a historic mill. Famously, the park’s streams don’t freeze, as the waters flow from warm cave springs.
Driving 45 miles east of Lake Rudolph will bring you to Marengo Cave. A 5-mile retreat, Marengo Cave is best known for its underground canoe tours on subterranean streams. Other activities include walking tours, gemstone mining, and pedal karting.
Next time you’re traveling, don’t hesitate to visit a traditional “flyover” state. With unique attractions and fewer crowds, these states can be the best destinations. Share this post and ask your friends which out-of-the-ordinary destination they’d like to visit!