Unique Travel Ideas: Vacationing in the State Capitals
Planning a vacation is a delicate process. Traveling is expensive, so it’s imperative that your time is spent somewhere that will reward you for the effort you put in to get there in the first place. Popular vacation destinations aren’t always what you bargain for. Take Miami for example, it’s a beautiful city bursting with culture and unique places to visit but the traffic is horrendous, the city is connected to less manicured neighborhoods by extension, and the majority of popular activities involve staying up until the sun comes up or catching sun on the beach – which can be done in virtually all vacation hotspots.
State capitals are the centers of government in every state. Capitals vary in size and population density. Tallahassee in Florida might seem like a surprising choice for a state capital. It’s isolated from other cities in Florida and is relatively rural, but it possesses a certain charm because it is the capital.
Honolulu on the other hand is a vacation paradise, a sprawling beachside city nestled in the gorgeous environment that covers the island of Hawaii. While it may have nothing in common with Tallahassee, they share one thing in common – they are essentially the center of life in their state, the place where all the big decisions are made.
Traveling to state capitals can be hit or miss, but this list has compiled the most desirable state capital vacation destinations so you can change up your vacation from the norm with one of the best unique travel ideas we’ve had a while.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Photo by Rabbit via Trover.com
North Carolina is an environmental wonder. The state possesses this simultaneously fresh and rustic beauty that captivates all who visit. Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital, is also known as the “City of Oaks” for its enchanting oak trees that grow through the middle of the city. People are beginning to take notice, Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, so booking a flights and hotels in Raleigh now is crucial. Raleigh is also famous for being one of the most pleasurable cities to live in due to its clean living conditions and progressive commerce. An array of museums, performing arts centers, and other artistic destinations inhabit Raleigh. Hockey fans will be happy to learn that Raleigh is also the home of the Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey team.
Likely the most obvious selection: Honolulu, Hawaii is a savory option for vacation in a state capital because it is already a highly popular vacation destination. Honolulu is one of the most aesthetically beautiful cities in the country from a natural and architectural standpoint. There’s just nothing quite like it. It combines its iconic Asian, Island, and American culture to create something truly unique. Whether perusing delicious foods in Honolulu Chinatown or shopping in Waikiki, there’s an endless array of exciting things to do in Honolulu. Diamond Head is one of Honolulu’s enormous inactive Volcanos that can be hiked. From the top of the volcano, you can see the entirety of Honolulu’s astonishing beauty. It’s been said that every hotel in Honolulu, beachfront or not, has a view.
If you thirst for something truly different, Richmond, Virginia may be the perfect destination. It’s only the fourth most populous city in Virginia, but its strategic location on the James River has made it a center for law and commerce for over 100 years. It’s also the headquarters for six Fortune-500 companies. If you’ve ever felt like your life wasn’t as far along as you hoped, Richmond has plenty of impressive examples of success to inspire you. Richmond is also a cradle for many old American monuments and landmarks. Patrick Henry’s famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech was delivered in Richmond as well. While it might not be packed with exciting nightlife hotspots or upscale shopping malls, it does pack an impressive dose of American history and evidence of the American dream in its commerce. Find one of the cheap hotels in Richmond and give it a go.
Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the fun. Austin is the premier vacation destination in Texas anyway, so the fact that it is the state’s capital is mostly a bonus. Austin is a thriving city of young artists and old artisans. Sometimes referred to as a “hipster city”, Austin doesn’t share very much in common with other major cities in Texas. Austin’s music scene is famous across the country, from mainstream to obscure, Austin caters to every genre and fan base making it a must visit city for music aficionados. Austin is equal parts natural beauty and urban sprawl, with an impressive array of parks, theaters, museums, and venues, there is always something to do. Austin is in driving distance of Houston if you want to stay the night and catch a basketball game, or San Antonio if you want to do the same thing but return to Austin afterward.
Photo by Aaron D. Hunt via Trover.com
Atlanta is the seventh most-visited city in the United States and a cultural and economic center in the state of Georgia. Atlanta is famous in pop culture for being the birthplace of many famous hip-hop careers like OutKast, T.I. and 2-Chainz. Since the city is decorated for its modern contributions to music, the scene is extremely active with an array of famous venues to visit when vacationing.
The childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is in Atlanta, preserved to this day for visitors to pay respects to the famous activist. The World of Coca-Cola is also in Atlanta; a museum dedicated to the most popular soft drink in the world. The Varsity, the largest drive-thru restaurant in the entire world is located here as well. Grab a famous burger and soft drink then head down to Turn Field and watch the Atlanta Braves blast home runs out of the park.
Switching up the formula when it comes to planning a vacation can take you surprising places you’d never expected to go. State capitals have a lot to offer for the wayward traveler, and help foster a deeper understanding of what it took to build a state thank to their connection with state government. Next time you plan a vacation, try to visit one of the state capitals listed above.