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8 Trips for People Who Hate Tourist Attractions

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Experiential travel is the hot ticket for learning about history and culture. While it does mean learning about the culture of a place, you don't have to travel to the far corners of the world if it's not in your budget.

The U.S. is a vast land; the melting pot status it has enjoyed has created some unique culture not found anywhere else.

We put together a list of eight unique experiential U.S.-based adventures that allow travelers to dive into the many regional cultures in this country:

You don't have to travel to the far corners of the world if it's not in your budget. There are many unique experiential adventures right in the U.S.

New England
Cape Cod and New England may be well known for lobsters, but oysters are also a mainstay for East Coast seafood lovers.

Wellfleet, Mass., is one of the best-kept secrets on Cape Cod, and the Oyster Fest is its annual homecoming and celebration. The Fest, held Oct. 13-14, is produced by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, a nonprofit organization devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the town's shell-fishing industry. The bonus is that the festival itself is free.

Highlights include local cuisine, educational lectures, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, children's activities, live music, road races, walking tours and the Oyster Shuck-Off competition. Of course, there are plenty of beaches and hiking and biking trails as well. For a real treat, you can stay at Chez Sven Bed & Breakfast, a green B&B. The owners treat visitors as houseguests and relish talking about world events and the environment. Tip: There's a lot of traffic on this particular weekend, so residents recommend staying three nights. $225 a night.

The Southwest
Durango, Colo., is home to two prominent facilities for Native American studies: the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College and the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum.

Mesa Verde Country, home to Mesa Verde National Park , is the archeological center of America, offering an unforgettable opportunity to see and experience the life of the ancient Ancestral Pueblo Indians. A three-day World Heritage package tour is available (prices vary, depending on time of year) or you can explore the area on your own and stay at the Skye Ute Casino Resort for as low as $130 a night.

San Francisco
If you want to learn about the environment and sustainable food, San Francisco and the Berkeley areas are ground zero for what's happening on the cutting edge of "green."

Bay Area Green Tours offers fun, educational tours in the Bay Area that highlight sustainable businesses and solutions in action. Participants go behind the scenes, visiting local pioneering, high-impact, immediate models of sustainability. Carbon-free walking tours of downtown range from $35 per person and waterfront tours from $60 per person. Stay in either Berkeley at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza or San Francisco at the Hotel Vitale from $170 a night.