10 great places to explore in Appalachia, from a NASA museum in Alabama to rafting in West Virginia

Although it stretches across more than a dozen states, Appalachia is largely unknown to most Americans, says Nancy Brown Diggs, author of “In Search of Appalachia” (Hamilton, $24.99). She says the largely rural region makes a great place to travel, providing plenty of chances to explore the outdoors while naturally keeping social distance. “I was really surprised by some of the spectacular scenery,” she says. “It’s a very welcoming group of people, and a lot cheaper than most places.” She shares some favorite discoveries with USA TODAY.

Abingdon, Virginia

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