From snowcapped mountains and roaring rivers to sandy beaches and ocean cliffsides, the United States is home to some of the most magnificent destinations. Of course, there's a reason it's known as "America the Beautiful!" There are so many beautiful places in the USA that it could take a lifetime to discover them.
In 1895, Katherine Lee Bates penned the anthem "America the Beautiful" to describe this country's awe-inspiring, unforgettable beauty. Her words, "spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties," say it all. The United States' diverse, natural beauty is unparalleled.
Bates' words remain true today as the mountains, oceans, forests, and prairies remain mostly unchanged. Some of the country's greatest natural treasures are designated national parks and protected by the National Park Service. These gorgeous lands will forever be open to the public and protected to ensure the world's future citizens can enjoy them as well.
The most beautiful places in the US are easily reached by plane, train, or automobile, whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or cross-country road trip. It’s not difficult to hop in the car and set off to some breathtaking places! Camp, hike, bike, or simply jump out of the car and marvel at all America offers.
While it's impossible to curate a list of all beautiful locations in the United States, the following list will inspire you to explore this fantastic land. From sea to shining sea, these are the top 50 most beautiful places to visit in the US.
|Table of Contents [Show]|
Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link.
One of the most stunning attractions in the heart of Yellowstone National Park is the Grand Prismatic Spring. This colorful, bubbling hot spring is the largest in the United States and third-largest in the world.
Its enormous size and stunning colors make it the most photographed feature in the park. Visitors worldwide flock to the park to stand in awe at the surreal colors produced by this geothermal feature.
Various species of pigmented bacteria thrive in Grand Prismatic, giving the hot spring its striking colors. The hues change with the season and darken from vibrant blues to dark yellows and oranges in the summer.
Without a doubt it is one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Address: Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming
Also known as "Corkscrew Canyon" and located in northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a renowned slot canyon that leaves visitors in awe.
The canyon features wavelike towering rocks and light beaming down into the openings. Its otherworldly appearance is what brings thousands of visitors to this unique natural sculpture.
Water eroded the rock for millions of years to create the tall, wavy sandstone seen today. Photographers are known to flock there in the summer to capture amazing photos of the beams of light making it the most photographed attraction in the US.
The upper and lower canyons are both available for guided tours. Learn about the canyon’s history and regional culture while you explore this wondrous sight.
It really is one gorgeous spot and one of the most beautiful places in the USA.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Page
Address: Navajo Tribal Park, Page, AZ 86040
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Arizona
In April, travel to Washington State and discover millions of blooming tulips and a festival built around it. Located in the northwestern corner of the state, Skagit Valley puts on an annual festival to attract tourists and celebrate the beautiful blooming tulips.
Drive through endless fields of color and experience the Skagit Valley culture in the additional activities. Every year, the region puts on a festival surrounding the tulips.
There's something for everyone to delve into the local culture, from scenic helicopter tours to art viewings and wine tastings. Kids will enjoy princess and hero parties. The entire family can enjoy a tulip country bike tour through the blooming fields.
For families looking for beautiful places in America should come to the Skagit Valley Tulip Fields.
Address: 311 W Kincaid St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Washington State
Located just 10 miles west of the ski resort town of Aspen is the most photographed spot in Colorado: the Maroon Bells.
The snowcapped peaks known as Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak provide an awe-inspiring backdrop behind a reflective lake and towering aspen trees whose fall colors make the scenery even more breathtaking.
Both peaks, towering more than 14,000 feet high, are a staple of the Rocky Mountains. Formed by millions of years of geologic and glacial activity, the mountains and surrounding landscape are something that can't be missed.
Several hiking trails ranging in difficulty to get you the Maroon Bells' best views, from one mile to 3.6 miles.
The picturesque and breathtaking view of the peaks puts this place on our list of beautiful places in the US.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Aspen
Address: Maroon-Snowmass Trail, Aspen, CO 81611
Also Read: Best Things To Do in Colorado
Located in the Gulf of Mexico a few miles off Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is known for its abundant sea life. Discover colorful coral reefs and visit feeding grounds to encounter local tropical birds.
Snorkel in the waters and see if you can find one of the legendary sunken treasures, or walk through Fort Jefferson, a massive historic fortress.
The undisturbed tropical paradise brings thousands of visitors to snorkel, bird watch, camp, scuba dive, fish, and boat each year. The crystal clear waters allow you to see the reefs' bottom while taking in cultural artifacts like shipwrecks.
There’s no shortage of beautiful places in Florida, and the Dry Tortugas National Park is one of them.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Key West
Address: Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West, FL
The Haiku Stairs of Oahu is next on our list of most beautiful places in the US. Ascend 4,000 steps above clouds and into the mountains of Oahu on the Haiku Stairs. Also known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” the cliffside steps and 360-degree views will leave you breathless.
Originally constructed to reach a top-secret Navy facility, some of the original stairs are still noticeable today. The stairs travel along a narrow ridge and ascend the entire way, so it's not for the faint of heart.
The hike up the stairs is currently so treacherous that the trail is officially closed and illegal to access. Local officials are trying to develop regulations and solutions for access to make the stairs accessible and enjoyable for all.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Kaneohe
Address: Kaneohe, HI 96744
Also Read: Beautiful Places to Visit in Hawaii
Thousands of years ago, an underground river ceiling collapsed and eroded to create a swimming hole paradise just 23 miles west of Austin, Texas. The natural pool has a cascading waterfall, vast cave, and cerulean waters perfect for cooling off on a hot Texas day.
Designated a preserve in 1990, Hamilton Pool attracts visitors from all over to enjoy the natural site. Because of Hamilton Pool's popularity, reservations are required to enter.
The pool is open every day from March through October and weekends and holidays from November through February. There are also hiking trails around the reservoir where visitors can discover more of the Texas natural splendor.
Visit in the summer and Hamilton Pool is a beautiful spot in the US to relax and take a dip in the sun.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Dripping Springs
Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Also Read: 20 Most Beautiful Places in Texas
Photographers, adventure-seekers, and everyone in between make a point to visit the Wave and encounter spectacular rock and sandstone formations.
The Wave itself, located on the Utah-Arizona border, is a sandstone rock formation with wavelike features that seem to undulate and move in a smooth line. The trek to the Wave is a 5.2-mile round-trip hike that requires reservations.
While the elevation change is minor, the walk is mostly on slippery sands and red rocks in a hot desert. The Wave is so breathtakingly extraordinary that aspiring visitors must apply through a lottery four months before heading there.
Address: Marble Canyon, AZ 86036
Have you ever seen a natural phenomenon that makes you question the laws of physics? Thor’s Well does just that. Located near Cape Perpetua on Oregon’s rocky coast, Thor’s Well is an enormous sinkhole continuously swallowing the water around it.
The seemingly bottomless hole appears to drain water from the ocean, giving visitors a mysterious, mystical experience. Thor’s Well is best seen at high tide or during storms when the water is most violent and active.
The site is well known to be a risky spot for photographers and adventurers trying to get an up-close look at the wonder. For the safest trip, the best time to visit is about an hour before high tide as you watch the water fill up.
Thor's Well is, indeed, amongst the most beautiful places in America.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Yachats
Address: Highway 101, Yachats, OR 97498
Also Read: Amazing Places to Visit in Oregon
Washington's official state waterfall is something everyone visiting the state must see at least once in their lifetime. Palouse Falls features a nearly 200-foot waterfall cascading over tall basalt cliffs into the Palouse River as one of the last remaining pieces of evidence to glacial movement in the region.
Located in the state park named after it, Palouse Falls is a famous muse for artists and photographers looking to capture Washington state's natural beauty. The falls are accessible all year, whether you're looking to see spring rainwater rushing through the river or admire frozen crystals diving over the cliffside.
Address: Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse, WA 99143
Visitors to the Mendenhall Ice Caves will find a magical experience beneath blue ceilings frozen inside an ancient glacier. The 12-mile-long Mendenhall Glacier is home to sparkling ice caves accessible only by kayak and some glacier climbing.
Guided tours safely take visitors to experience the breathtaking, one-of-a-kind adventure in a cave formed beneath a glacier. Located just a few miles outside Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is visible from the visitor center.
The passages beneath the glacier range from vast openings to tiny caverns and tunnels. The tours provided give you a glimpse into geological formations and natural phenomenon, unlike any others.
It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in America!
Accommodation: Where to stay in Juneau
Address: Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, AK
Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Juneau, Alaska
In 2015, Watkins Glen State Park won third place in the USA TODAY Readers' Choice Poll for Best State Park, and its natural beauty is a testament to that award.
The state park is a fascinating natural wonder in the Finger Lakes region, from waterfalls cascading over 200-foot cliffs to a scenic gorge among the greenery.
Watkins Glen is best known for its numerous waterfalls that descend through the gorge. Beautiful pathways take you along the water, over and under waterfalls, and through the Cavern Cascade, the most famous waterfall in the park.
Walk, hike, camp, and explore the area to discover all it offers and why it's one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Watkins Glen
Address: 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Another highly photographed and gorgeous place in the US is Monument Valley Tribal Park, Navajo Nation's pride and joy. The valley is home to fantastic sandstone formations that rise to 1,000 feet high..
Surrounded by colorful mesa and buttes, this expansive land spans more than 90,000 acres across Utah and Arizona. Situated in the heart of the desert, this mesa oasis is a must-see.
These impossible formations were created over millions of years of wind and water, cutting the plateau to reveal what we see today..
The park offers guided tours that take you to some of the park's most magnificent landmarks, including Ear of the Wind and Mitten and Merrick Buttes.
Address: Indn Route 42, Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ 84536
Nothing compares to the rich colors and majestic, historic features like Crater Lake. The lake sits in the heart of Crater Lake National Park and is the deepest lake in America. Formed out of a volcano that collapsed thousands of years ago, Crater Lake's only water source is snow or rain, which maintains a vibrant blue color.
Visitors can drive around the lake's rim and discover volcanic rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and eroded pumice rock in a castle-like structure. At night, enjoy some of the darkest skies in the region where you'll see satellites, planets, and even parts of the Milky Way galaxy.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Crater Lake
Address: Crater Lake National Park, OR
Also Read: Most Unusual Places to Visit in the USA
Niagara Falls is one of the greatest New York attractions and one of the most beautiful places in the US that draws in almost ten million tourists every year.
While many visiting Niagara Falls head to the Canadian side, you can still enjoy the incredible beauty of these falls right in New York. As one of the world's most beautiful natural wonders, Niagara Falls will catch your breath as you walk alongside the water and take in the large, cascading falls.
Niagara Falls State Park is America's oldest state park and opens 24/7 to visitors wanting to get an up-close view of the falls.
Take a ride on Maid of the Mist, where you'll be so close to Niagara Falls you might get soaked! In the summer, the park features nightly lights – and sometimes fireworks – that illuminate the falls.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Niagara Falls
Address: Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Also Read: 10 Best Things To Do In And Around Niagara Falls, New York
Despite its name, there's a lot of life amidst Death Valley National Park. The region, which sits below sea level and is famous for a never-ending drought and extreme summer heat, is home to tall peaks, wildflowers, and diverse wildlife.
It's the ghost town, salt flats, and colorful rocks that make it one of America's most breathtaking places. The desert region brings many mysteries to visitors. It’s one of the lowest, hottest, and driest areas in the country, yet there’s so much to discover.
At the Racetrack Playa, watch as sailing stones drift across the desert floor on their own. Look out across Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. The astonishing desert landscape is one of the most beautiful places to see in America, which will leave you speechless.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Death Valley
Address: Death Valley National Park, CA
You hardly need to exit your car to discover one of the most beautiful spots in the United States. Running from Cherokee, North Carolina, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains to the mountains of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a slow scenic drive through the mountains.
The speed limit stays 45 miles per hour the entire way, but you may even want to go slower to take in the endless vistas, rolling mountains, and misty views around you.
There are even stops along the way to have a bite to eat, explore the region's arts and culture, or shop at local businesses.
Address: 2551 Mountain View Rd,Vinton, VA 24179
Just south of Yellowstone is another national park that can’t be missed. Grand Teton National Park, known for its breathtaking mountains and abundant wildlife. The park is home to the tallest peaks in the Teton Range (Grand Teton, which sits at 13,7775 feet tall).
From snowcapped mountains to crystal clear lakes, the natural scenery is unforgettable. Near the visitors center at Jenny Lake, take a scenic cruise or water taxi to the other side for popular hikes, like Inspiration Falls.
Jackson Lake is where visitors can rent boats for sailing, water skiing, and even windsurfing. The more daring adventurers have opportunities to go backpacking or attempt challenging hikes up Granite Canyon or to the Static Peak Divide.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Grand Teton National Park
Address: Grand Teton National Park, WY
Named for its turnip-like shape formed over constant waves smoothing out limestone, Turnip Rock is a popular spot to kayak in the US. The rock, which is surrounded by water, towers up above you.
The rock is located in Michigan’s Upper Thumb, and it’s only accessible by canoe or kayak. The trip is easy and takes about four hours round-trip. While kayaking to this natural wonder, take in Lake Michigan's sights and the surrounding trees and wildlife.
The trip makes for a beautiful day on the water. It's best to go on sunny, calm days when paddling is easy, and you can enjoy the sunlight shining down onto the water.
No wonder this is one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Address: Port Austin, MI
Known for colorful spires, endless gorges, and some of the world's most significant fossil beds, Badlands National Park transports visitors to a different world. Discover diverse wildlife and millions of years of natural history while hiking, camping, and driving through this 244,000-acre park.
The best way to experience this park's natural beauty is through a scenic drive along the famous Badlands Loop Road.
The scenery and overlooks along the way seem surreal as you pass by towering spires and gorges that strike against the blue sky. The endangered black-footed ferret calls the region home, and you may even be able to spot it!
Address: 25216 Ben Reifel Road Interior, SD 57750
Oregon is home to abundant outdoor destinations, including Multnomah Falls, the most visited natural recreation area in the Pacific Northwest, and the tallest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.
Millions of people visit the falls each year to take in the breathtaking 620-foot fall. Walk across the Benson Bridge, a historic bridge that stretches across the lower falls.
Visit the Multnomah Falls Lodge, a National Historic Landmark built with every rock found in the Columbia River Gorge. With numerous activities and opportunities to learn more about the region's natural and human history, Multnomah Falls is a must-see attraction in Oregon.
Address: Mt Hood National Forest,Oregon
Also Read: 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Oregon
Experience vast mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, and active glaciers during a visit to Glacier National Park. With more than a million acres of forests, meadows, valleys, and more, the park boasts more than 700 miles of trails waiting for you to explore.
The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road is the easiest way to experience the park's best attractions. The road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. It takes you from one end of the park to another, stopping at beautiful scenes and overlooks along the way.
Adventurous visitors come here for backpacking trips and treks along some of the Rockies' most rugged trails.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Glacier National Park
Address: Glacier National Park, MT
The largest gypsum dune in the world is just a short drive or flight to southern New Mexico. Bury your toes in endless white sand. Explore the southwestern desert among a sea of dunes.
There are nearly 275 square miles of dunes in the area. The dunes are always moving and evolving, and the most active dunes move up to 30 feet each year. Visitors start their white sands adventure at the visitor center.
Activities available include backcountry camping, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and more. An eight-mile scenic drive takes you to the heart of the dunes for an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Alamogordo
Address: U.S. Route 70 Alamogordo, NM 88310
Nestled on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the US, and for a good reason.
The rolling mountains are home to numerous plants and animals, and the Southern Appalachian culture is unlike anything else. There are black bears, historic buildings, and beautiful scenery to discover.
There are miles upon miles of trails that take you to some of the most beautiful spots in the park, including views of foggy vistas and forested hills. The fall brings impressive colors as the leaves change. The cascading waterfalls and mountain streams provide refreshing mist in the summer.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Gatlinburg
Address: 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
The Lake Tahoe region is renowned for a welcome escape into the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With clear blue waters and wonderfully scented pine forests, Lake Tahoe welcomes visitors of all types, from adventurers to casual vacationers.
The lake's beauty has attracted people to the area for decades and will continue to do so for years to come. Explore the surrounding Sierra Nevada snowcapped mountains or spend some time lakeside on the beach.
The towns around the lake offer diverse shopping and dining experiences for all. Whatever season you decide to visit, there’s always something exciting going on at Lake Tahoe.
This charming and picturesque place in the USA is sure to give you an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Lake Tahoe
Address: Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
A visit to San Francisco isn’t complete with a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge! The iconic 1.7-mile bridge connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County.
Until 1964, this architectural masterpiece was the longest suspension bridge in the world. At night, glowing lights shine on the landmark, and the visitors center offers an insight into the bridge's history.
The Golden Gate Bridge's illustrious color, International Orange, was originally the color of a protective sealant and was supposed to be painted. However, architects decided to keep the orangey color because it suits the surroundings and stands out from San Francisco's regularly foggy days.
Accommodation: Where to stay in San Francisco
Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 94129
Also Read: 10 Best Day Trips from San Francisco
Get up close and personal to one of the world's largest volcanic craters at Haleakala National Park. Situated on Maui and visible from everywhere on the island, the dormant volcano towers above 10,000 feet, and you can drive to the top.
The best time to go is early in the morning when the sunrise peeks above the horizon. Sunset also provides a beautiful scene of dancing colors.
The drive up is long and somewhat frightening, but it's safe – and gorgeous. There are numerous trails for hiking and horseback riding at the park with breathtaking views of the surrounding vistas.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Maui
Address: Kula, Maui, HI 96790
Heading up the Pacific Coast Highway to California’s central coast, Big Sur provides a unique experience along jagged cliffs, big waves, and endless canyons and meadows. Nestled between Carmel and San Luis Obispo County, take a tour of the cliffs, beaches, and historic lighthouses that inspired Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller.
As the longest stretch of undeveloped coast in the United States, Big Sur is an isolated paradise with hiking and other activities at the beaches and redwood forests.
The numerous state parks and protected historic sites are open to anyone wanting to explore and admire the natural California beauty.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Big Sur
Address: Big Sur, CA 93920
Head to southern New Mexico and discover limestone caves, hanging stalactites, and desert views rife with wildlife at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Explore the park’s enormous cave and hike down the natural entrance. An elevator is also available to take from the visitor center. Stand in the Big Room, where the ceiling towers above at 255 feet high.
As the seventh-largest cavern chamber in the world, the darkness's echoes will leave you in awe. Hike along trails above ground, watch as thousands of bats emerge from the cavern, or admire the night sky that lights up the southwest desert each night.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Carlsbad
Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220
The towering mountain peaks, lush valleys, and vibrant forests make Yosemite National Park one of the most beautiful places in the US. Carved by glacial movement, Yosemite Valley sits beneath granite cliffs like Half Dome and El Capitan.
A one-way loop takes you through the park and on to some of Yosemite's most famous sights. Bridalveil Falls is one of the most breathtaking attractions in Yosemite.
Stand below as water tumbles down 620 feet. Admire climbers tempting fate as they make their way up El Capitan – or try it yourself if you're an avid climber. Discover the local culture in Yosemite village, a small town with facilities, museums, and stores.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Yosemite National Park
Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
From natural sandstone arches to impossible geological formations, it's no wonder Arches National Park is one of the most popular and beautiful sights in the United States.
Situated just a few miles north of Moab, visitors will discover thousands of natural arches, balancing rocks, and towering spires. The scenic drive around the park makes all of these easily reached.
The arches are an impossible natural phenomenon that geologists are still explaining to this day. Helicopter and jeep tours take visitors on new adventures for an out-of-this-world view of the park.
Dozens of hiking trails allow visitors to get up close to its attractions or go on a desert adventure ranging from easy to challenging.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Moab
Address: Arches National Park, Moab, UT 84532
Also Read: Best Things to do and Tips for Visiting Arches National Park
Towering above prairies, grassland, and farms, Monument Rocks is a geologic attraction visible from Highway 83. Also known as the Chalk Pyramids, the sedimentary formations stand up to 70 feet tall and are seemingly out of place amongst the Kansas geography.
The soft limestone continually changes the formation shapes, creating a different view each year. Monument Rocks were formed millions of years ago when the region was a sea bed.
The erosion of the sea bed began what we see today. Fossils of shells and extinct critters are still visible in the rocks today. While many of the formations are on private property, a few are open to the public for up-close viewing.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Oakley
Address: Monument Rocks, Gove 16, Oakley, KS 67748
A trip to Maine isn't complete without a visit to Acadia National Park, a state and national treasure. Whether you're in the forest, sitting lakeside, or looking out over the ocean's horizon, Acadia's views are incredible.
The crashing waves, quaint town of Bar Harbor, and unforgettable sunsets make Acadia one of the country's most visited national parks.
The park's 47,000 acres are home to some of the most striking vistas and natural sights on the East Coast, and there's something to do year-round.
Spark your inspiration through the stunning and colorful fall foliage, or head to the park for winter skiing. Summer and fall bring the perfect weather for hiking and fishing in the area.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Acadia National Park
Address: Acadia National Park, Maine
Diverse habitats and protected wildlife make up Big Bend National Park’s 800,000 acres. From rivers to deserts to mountains, it’s impossible to fully discover everything within the park.
As of the most remote spots in the contiguous United States, it takes a lot of planning to visit, but the trip is worth it. The Chisos Mountains, the only mountain range fully contained within one national park, extend 20 miles and offer beautiful vistas and challenging hikes.
The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive allows visitors to visit the park's best parts with easy walks and pull-offs. The park's remote location also makes it one of the best places to stargaze in the US.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Big Bend National Park
Address: Big Bend National Park, TX
Home to some of the most beautiful spots in Utah (and the world), Bryce Canyon National Park is a natural attraction for all types of adventurers. Hike, camp, drive and explore this southwestern paradise.
The awe-inspiring red rocks are open for rock-climbing, hiking, and much more. The park's hoodoos, or towering rock spires, are among the park's most popular attractions.
Bryce Canyon itself features red stone formations and unforgettable views of the southwestern terrain. The nearby Grand Staircase is a massive series of plateaus and layered sedimentary rock mimicking a staircase that leaves you feeling inspired and amazed.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Bryce Canyon National Park
Address: Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Arizona’s Colorado River region is home to four state parks and endless natural sights and attractions. One of the most popular and Instagrammable spots in the area is Horseshoe Bend.
This section of the Colorado River flows in the shape of a horseshoe that provides beautiful views from the above rim. Explore the numerous trails in Buckskin Mountain, River Island, Lake Havasu, and Cattail Cove State Parks.
You'll discover rugged mountains, daring cliffsides, and gushing waters along the Colorado River. The adventures are endless amidst the gorgeous vistas Arizona's Colorado River region provides, from hiking and camping to swimming and biking.
Colorado is known for snowcapped mountain peaks and vast alpine meadows, but did you know at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains lies miles of shifting dunes? At the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, dunes tower more than 700 feet into the sky.
There are more than 5 billion cubic meters of sand among the 30 miles in the park. Visitors can climb the dunes or surf down them. At dawn and dusk, snakelike shadows wind across the shifting sands, creating a mystical feel.
Camping, driving ATVs, and hiking are popular activities on the dunes. The night sky makes the region one of the best for stargazing.
Address: 11999 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146
Designated state park and situated on the island of Kauai, Na Pali Coast is home to 6,000 acres of undeveloped shoreline, jagged cliffs, and vast valleys and canyons. Natural beauty is exhibited in the towering mountains looking over a blue sea and the pristine beaches and waterfalls among the valley.
Aerial tours allow visitors to witness untouched, typically inaccessible splendorous areas, including Manawaiopuna Falls, most noticeable from the Jurassic Park films.
It's an authentic piece of paradise, mostly unchanged by humans due to its challenging terrain. The 11-mile Kalalau Trail is only feasible by the bravest souls, but the experience is well worth the challenge.
The Berkshires offers a quintessential New England getaway for all seasons, from wine tastings and apple picking to spa resorts and water sports.
The rural region is popular for vacationers looking for spectacular fall foliage, restaurants with locally sourced foods, and quaint New England culture. The New England countryside offers a respite away from bustling cities.
The region is known for exciting outdoor activities like hiking and camping. The various history and art museums keep the area's culture alive and educate visitors on its history. The Norman Rockwell Museum and Herman Melville's Arrowhead Home are two cultural relics in the Berkshires.
Experience living in natural history steps away from Charleston on Johns Island. Estimated to be 300 to 400 years old, the sprawling, fairytale-like Angel Oak tree is one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River.
The tree has been through hurricanes and earthquakes and witnessed hundreds of years of human history, including the United States' birth.
The historical site and local treasure attract nearly 40,000 visitors every year to take in the 65-foot-tall tree, wide, spindly branches, and overpowering presence.
Angel Oak's majestic shapes and breathtaking appearance are what make it one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Johns Island
Address: 3688 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455
East coasters don’t need to travel far to experience their region’s version of the Grand Canyon. Humbly known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States – and the entire country.
The Genesee River carves through a gorge and flows through three waterfalls that reach up to 600 feet. With 66 miles of trails surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful vistas, Letchworth is a popular spot for hiking, biking, snowmobiling, skiing, horseback riding, etc.
The park's natural beauty and numerous activities available even earned its USA Today Readers' Choice Award for Best State Park in the United States in 2015.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Letchworth State Park
Address: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427
From diverse swamps to ample wildlife in a subtropical paradise, the Everglades are home to amazing wonders. The national park preserves thousands of acres of habitat for rare and endangered species.
As a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance, the Everglades is an essential environment for many animals. The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary features the largest group of cypress trees on Earth.
A boardwalk winding through the trees allows visitors to take it in. Several bike trails enable visitors to experience the Everglades first-hand. A majority of the park is only accessible by boat, whether visitors choose to rent one, take out their own, or join a guided tour.
Known as one of the seven wonders of Washington state, the Hoh Rain Forest is a tropical rainforest nestled on the Olympic Peninsula. Seattle is known for ample rainfall, but Hoh Rain receives more than 14 feet each year.
The everlasting rain, fog, and mist create this lush, moisture-rich forest and the beauty that comes with it. Designated a World Heritage Site, Hoh Rain's preserved ecosystem has remained mostly unchanged for many years.
From moss-covered trees to unique wildlife, the rainforest features diverse experiences not found in many other places in the country. Several hikes and nature trails around the forest allow visitors to experience the natural beauty up-close.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Forks
Address: 18113 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks, WA 98331
Turn the clock back to the ice age and experience endless ice vistas at Kenai Fjords National Park. Located on the Kenai Peninsula, the region features 40 glaciers flowing from a nearby icefield, creating a fantastic site of ice, water, and mountains.
Whether experienced by boat or from land, the fjords are an unforgettable sight. Millions of years of the glacial movement have created what we see today. The fjords continue to evolve with the changing climate.
The Harding Icefield may appear to be empty, but it's full of life and archaeological history. Avid hikers can attempt to traverse the Harding Icefield Trail, an 8.2-mile round trip strenuous hike that takes you to the glaciers' heart.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Seward
Address: Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, AK
Located just a few hours from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is home to spectacular east coast sunsets, gushing waterfalls, vast wildflower fields, and diverse regional wildlife.
Animals like deer, songbirds, black bears, and many more call the 200,000 acres of protected land home. Skyline Drive winds through the park and allows visitors to drive through to experience much of the splendorous attractions Shenandoah offers.
Just over 100 miles of the 500 miles of trails in the park are part of the Appalachian Trail. Many leads to waterfalls and breathtaking observation points. Others take you into the heart of the park to discover natural wonders.
Accommodation: Where to stay near Shenandoah National Park
Address: Shenandoah National Park, VA
Experience the "Niagara of the West" at Shoshone Falls. Located in Twin Falls, Idaho, the falls stand at 200 feet tall (that's taller than the real Niagara Falls!). They are about 900 feet wide, making them one of the largest natural waterfalls in the US.
In the spring, melting snow combined with high rainfall creates excellent flowing waters at Shoshone Falls. The falls sit along the Snake River, an essential part of the region's ecosystem and economy.
Much of the water from the falls help irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. Upstream of Shoshone Falls is a significant reservoir that relies on the river's waters.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Twin Falls
Address: Shoshone Falls Park, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Two-hundred miles of barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina make up the Outer Banks. The region's major tourist destination is known for scenic Atlantic Ocean beaches, including the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Hundreds of shipwrecks from years past attract treasure hunters and historians alike. The hundreds of miles of open shorelines along the Outer Banks attract vacationers looking for a quiet trip away from busy cities.
The numerous historic beach towns welcome visitors to learn more about the region's culture, rest at homey B&Bs, and shop quaint small businesses. Six landmark lighthouses tower over the land and ocean.
With so much natural scenery to soak in, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the US you’ll ever see!
Accommodation: Where to stay in Outer Banks
Address: Outer Banks, NC
More than 780,000 acres of rugged wilderness welcome those looking for an adventure in New England. One of the most popular sites is Mt. Washington, known for some of the world’s most extreme weather.
Standing at over 6,000 feet, the mountain peak’s conditions can rival those of Mount Everest, from 200-mile-per-hour winds to pop-up blizzards. But not all is extreme in the White Mountains.
The region offers a welcome escape from city life and is a popular spot for viewing fall foliage. Winding roads, a scenic railroad and cog railway, and a ski resort are just a few attractions in the region. Cascading waterfalls, gushing rivers, and towering mountain peaks all make up this beautiful area.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Lincoln
Address: Lincoln, NH 03251
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New Hampshire
Oneonta Gorge has to be mentioned among the beautiful places to visit in the US. A mossy chasm with tall, shooting waterfalls, Oneonta Gorge is often overlooked by tourists who flock to Multnomah Falls. The lack of crowds makes the gorge that much more awe-inspiring.
Hikes through the chasm allow visitors to explore the mossy rock walls and swelling waters while enjoying a relaxing experience. Located in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge region, Oneonta Gorge should not be overlooked.
The four significant waterfalls are a wondrous sight as they cascade over 100-foot cliffs into the water below. The lower part of the gorge is preserved as a natural habitat, keeping the wildlife and natural splendor alive.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Cascade Locks
Address: Cascade Locks, OR 97014
Stand atop a rocky overhang in the heart of Arkansas wilderness at Whitaker Point. The Buffalo National River flows just below the natural overlook, and vast valleys and lush scenery provide breathtaking views.
Also known as Hawksbill Crag, the lookout point is known as one of the most scenic in the state because it resembles a hawk's beak.
In addition to unforgettable views, visitors will enjoy a 2.9-mile round-trip hike to the unique observation point. Hikers will encounter tall waterfalls, diverse southeastern wildlife, and much more along the way to one of the most beautiful spots in the United States.
Address: Co Rd 5, Kingston, AR 72742