Why you need to go: Bounce out of the Great Smoky Mountains to explore the history of moonshine runners evading “revenoors” along the White Lightning Trail. The Museum of Appalachia resurrects archetypal mountain life, while nearby, the old stagecoach town of Dandridge contains four original taverns: Hickman Tavern, Roper Tavern, Thomas Tavern, and Shepard’s Inn, which has hosted US presidents including Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson.
The one must-do thing: Ponder your American dream inside Mark Twain’s family cabin on the Museum of Appalachia’s campus. Also consider Sheep Shearing Day or the Barn Dance. Man up.
Why you need to go: To improve your balance. Or, you know, go skiing. Vermont has 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and it summits Stratton Mountain, where there's also a ski resort. Not only is Stratton the birthplace of snowboarding, but it continues to be relevant as the epicenter of advances in snow-riding and human-balance technology (!!!). Seriously, snowboarding pioneer Brew "Vew” Moscarello created Vew-Do Balance Boards there and even offers balance lessons.