Top 15 Most Beautiful & Breathtaking Places In The US
|Most Beautiful Places In The US. Photo: Knowinsiders.com|
The United States is home to a wide variety of breathtaking landscapes, from towering mountains and rushing rivers to sandy beaches and coastal cliffs. There's a reason they call it "America the Beautiful," after all. Discovering all of the stunning locations in the United States may take a lifetime.
Whether you're searching for a quick weekend trip or a cross-country adventure, the United States' most stunning locations are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. It's simple to get in a car and drive to some stunning locations. You can go camping, hiking, or biking, or you can just get out of the car and gaze at the landscape.
Let's pause for a moment of gratitude for the breathtaking scenery that Mother Nature has bestowed upon the United States.
1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
|Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Photo: dreamstime.|
The beautiful and impressive Antelope Canyon may be seen in northern Arizona, not far from Lake Powell, to the east of Page. The stunning slot canyon is a photographer's dream, winding its way through arid landscapes with sandstone walls that seem to flow like water.
Its alluring passageways and crevices, divided into "The Crack" and "The Corkscrew," are frequently gloriously showered in bright rays of light, complementing its muted tones and rounded contours. Antelope Canyon, a tourist hotspot, is located within a Navajo Tribal Park and can thus only be visited as part of an organized trip.
Because of its unearthly beauty, Antelope has been named Arizona's most photographed location. Visit during the day, when sunlight filters through the strange sandstone and highlights the reds, pinks, and oranges of the wavy rock. Guided tours can be taken of both the upper and lower canyons. While marveling at this natural wonder, you can educate yourself on its rich history and the local culture. It is truly one of the most beautiful spots in the United States.
2. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington
|Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington. Photo: visitskagitvalley.|
The tulip has long represented an idealized version of Earth. Millions of flowering tulips and a festival dedicated to them can be seen in Washington State throughout the month of April. Skagit Valley, in the state's far northwest, hosts a yearly celebration in honor of its gorgeous spring tulips.
Go through seemingly limitless fields of color and immerse yourself in the unique culture of Skagit Valley. A celebration of the tulips is held annually in the area.
See the local culture in a variety of ways, from breathtaking helicopter excursions to art exhibitions and wine tastings. Youngsters will love celebrating with princesses and heroes. Biking through the flowering fields of tulip country is fun for the whole family. The Skagit Valley Tulip Fields are a must-see for any American family in search of scenic destinations.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival FAQ
Q: Where is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival held?
A: Driving tours are the main focus of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The festival does not take place in a single central location. Events and activities can be found all over Skagit Valley, but the fields are conveniently located in the middle of the valley between La Conner and Mount Vernon. Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde/Washington Bulb Co., Inc. cultivate the fields where the flowers are grown. Crop rotation ensures that the tulip fields look different every year. Gardens filled with tulips are also on display for tourists to RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town.
Q: What’s different this year because of COVID?
A: You have to buy tickets to visit Tulip Town and Roozengaarde
3. Hamilton Pool, Texas
|Hamilton Pool in Travis County, Texas. Photo: Getty.|
Just 23 miles west of Austin, Texas is a swimming hole paradise formed thousands of years ago when the ceiling of an underground river collapsed and was eroded away. Cool off on a hot Texas day in the natural pool featuring a waterfall, cave, and turquoise waters.
Since it was designated a preserve in 1990, Hamilton Pool has become a popular tourist destination. Hamilton Pool is extremely popular and therefore requires advance reservations.
The Travis County Commissioner's Court designated Hamilton Pool, a historic swimming hole, as a preserve in 1990. Half a mile and a half upstream from where it meets the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek drops 50 feet over a series of limestone outcroppings at the top of a very steep box canyon. Although the waterfall never stops flowing altogether, it may diminish to a trickle during dry periods.
From March until October, the pool is open daily; from November until February, it is open only on weekends and holidays. Hikers can explore more of Texas's natural beauty on the trails that surround the reservoir. If you're in the United States during the summer, you must visit Hamilton Pool.
4. Angel Oak, South Carolina
|Angel Oak, South Carolina. Photo: jetsetter|
It is estimated that the Angel Oak is between 400 and 500 years old. It is commonly referred to as "The Tree" by those in the know. It can be found in a wooded area on John's Island, South Carolina, not far from Charleston. The Angel Oak, a species of live oak, is the most towering natural feature in the state.
Angel Oaks, which stands at over 65 feet tall, has provided shade for the neighborhood for over 400 years. According to records, Abraham Waight was awarded the land on which the tree now stands in 1717 as part of a land grant. Mr. Waight owned multiple plantations and was extremely well off. Four generations of that family enjoyed using the tree four. Martha W.T. Angel and Justus Angel used the property as part of their marriage settlement. Angel Oak is the main attraction at a South Carolina park today. Today, visitors to John's Island don't have to pay anything to admire Angel oak because the tree is owned by the City of Charleston.
Angels Oak is a centuries-old tree that has withstood earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and even human interference. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the tree has many more centuries ahead of it before it is cut down, and that it will continue to be a major tourist attraction in Charleston, South Carolina.
|This low-country live oak is estimated to be 400-500 years old. Though it’s located on Johns Island, the mammoth tree—with a canopy that extends more than 2,000-square-yards—is a staple on any Charleston-area itinerary.|
5. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia
|Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia. Photo: dreamstime.|
The Blue Ridge Parkway, so named for its beautiful surroundings, stretches for a total of 755 kilometers along the backbone of the mountain range that shares its name. The picturesque route from Virginia to North Carolina winds through lush forests that are home to glistening streams and waterfalls.
You can also visit several historic European homesteads and Native American cultural centers, as well as some charming towns and villages like Boone and Roanoke. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most traveled section of the National Park System for good reason: it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
The breathtaking Appalachian mountains, including the Peaks of Otter and the renowned Roanoke Mountain, are visible from this highway.
You can even pull off the highway and hike along a Great Smoky Mountains or Shenandoah National Park trail if you so choose. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular tourist destination because it provides stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and countryside. When the leaves change to brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall, the Parkway is at its busiest with visitors.
The Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed from four locations in Haywood County:
US 276 at Wagon Gap Road
NC 215 at Mount Hardy Gap
US 23/74 at Balsam Gap
US 19 at Soco Gap
6. Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
|Grand Prismatic Spring. Photo: jetsetter.|
Grand Prismatic Spring, the third largest spring in the world, draws nearly as many visitors to Yellowstone National Park as the park's most famous feature, Old Faithful. What causes the blue, yellow, and orange stripes in the thermal pools? Color differences are caused by heat-loving bacteria that thrive in the spring's cooler margins.
The Grand Prismatic, at 370 feet in diameter, is the third largest spring in the world and is larger than a football field. The dimensions of a standard gridiron are 360 x 160 feet. The drone was lost forever after a Dutch tourist illegally and inadvertently flew it into the ecologically sensitive Grand Prismatic in 2014.
What living thing in Yellowstone has aided NASA in their search for life on other planets that initially appeared to be inhospitable? Microorganisms that thrive in Yellowstone's hot springs. Thomas Brock, a scientist, found a microbe in one of Yellowstone's boiling hot springs in 1968. Since then, we've sequenced the human genome in part because of what we learned about the microbes in Yellowstone.
|The hot spring's deep blue waters are surrounded by bright bands of orange, yellow, and green. Thermophile (heat-loving) bacteria in the gradually cooler water around the spring are responsible for the layered rainbow of colors. Also, what's with the azure core? This is because water scatters blue light more than other colors, causing blue light to be reflected back into our eyes.|
7. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
|Horseshoe Bend Arizona. Photo: jetsetter.|
Because of its popularity on social media, Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is now a popular tourist destination. The trailhead and parking area can be found about 5 miles (8 km) south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, off of US Highway 89.
Horseshoe Bend is just one of many breathtaking vistas in Arizona, but we can't take our gaze off of it. Just north of the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the American Southwest, and its name comes from the Colorado River's winding course through the area's 200-million-year-old Navajo sandstone cliffs.
The viewpoint over Horseshoe Bend is about 0.7 miles away. Horseshoe Bend is a fantastic spot to take stunning photographs of the river as you stand on the edge of the canyon. Many visitors to the Grand Canyon region now specifically seek out this location because of its legendary status. Horseshoe Bend is commonly misidentified as part of the Grand Canyon because of the lack of awareness among tourists that the Grand Canyon is surrounded by numerous smaller canyons. The area's popularity, however, is on the rise every year because it is only a few miles from the park's entrance. People are now including it as part of their Grand Canyon itinerary so they can have their picture taken while appearing to be in the canyon proper, rather than just on the Colorado River's edge.
More parking is being added, and the trails are being improved at this popular and scenic location. Closures due to construction must be respected. There is still a lot of exposed rim, so be careful and keep an eye on the kids.
8. Lake Tahoe, California
|Lake Tahoe. Photo: travelinusa.|
Lake Tahoe, the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range, straddles the state line between California and Nevada. More than two million years ago, during the last of the ice ages, this clear alpine beauty took shape.
The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe, is the visual focal point of a landscape dominated by the massive granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada. North Lake Tahoe is located in both California and Nevada, and both states offer luxurious hotels perfect for a getaway with friends, loved ones, or a little R&R. North Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains are dotted with picturesque towns, each with its own selection of upscale, casual, and vacation eateries. Lake Tahoe has 39 trillion gallons of water, hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and biking, and dozens of beaches to relax on. Music festivals, concerts, food pairings, and sporting events are just some of the well-known annual happenings in Lake Tahoe. There's a lot to see and do, so plan to spend some time there.
How To Get To Lake Tahoe
Distance between Lake Tahoe and San Francisco: about 3 hours and 15 minutes via I-80 E and US-50 E
Distance between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento: 2 hours via US-50 E
Distance between Lake Tahoe and Reno: 45 minutes via NV-431 and I-580
9. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
|White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. Photo: Getty.|
The gypsum crystal white sand dunes at White Sands National Monument stretch for miles against a blue sky. This serene environment is so unique and special that it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the United States, even if the sight of white sand stretching as far as the eye can see isn't the most exciting trip for some.
The 275 square miles of white gypsum sand dunes at White Sands National Park are the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world. White Sands National Park, located in southern New Mexico, is home to miles of gypsum dunes that sparkle so brightly that you might wonder if you've somehow ended up on another planet. White Sands has experienced a dramatic uptick in interest ever since it became the 62nd National Park in the United States.
Southern New Mexico is where you'll find White Sands National Park. El Paso, Texas, an hour and a half away, has the closest airport to White Sands. It takes about 3.5 hours to get to Albuquerque. You'll need to rent a car at the airport unless you're just starting your road trip from home.
10. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
|Dry Tortugas National Park. Photo: visitflorida.|
Beautiful, historic, and secluded, the Dry Tortugas National Park is located 70 miles off the coast of Key West. Dry Tortugas National Park, just a few miles off the coast of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, is a haven for marine life. Explore vibrant coral reefs and stop by bird feeding stations to meet some of the local tropical species.
Some of us see it as a poem of swaying palms, singing birds, and shimmering fish. Others remember it as the site of blood and sweat shed by soldiers guarding a fort honoring Thomas Jefferson. Akin to Florida's Walden, this is a great spot for introverts to sit and contemplate life's big questions. What strategies would you employ as a pilgrim from the twenty-first century to make it through a time warp?
Dry Tortugas is not accessible by road. To get there, you either take a boat or a seaplane, depending on the weather. While camping on Garden Key, near Fort Jefferson, be sure to bring a can opener in case you run out of food. You can go for the day, but you should be ready for anything. In this quiet, secluded park, the only sounds you'll hear are those of the birds overhead and the wind in the branches. Sixty thousand visitors come each year. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in contrast, sees 11 million visitors annually, causing traffic congestion.
|There’s hardly a hint of modernity in the Dry Tortugas, meaning your cellphone won’t work, which also means you won’t be able to Tweet about your experience until later.|
11. Thor's Well, Oregon
|Thor's Well, Oregon. Photo: Flickr/Bill Young|
What about you—have you ever witnessed a natural phenomenon that left you wondering if you were seeing things? That is precisely what Thor's Well does. Thor's Well, on the rocky coast of Oregon, is a massive sinkhole that is constantly consuming the water in its vicinity.
Visitors can expect a mysterious and mystical experience at the bottomless hole, which appears to drain water from the ocean. When the tide is high or there is a storm, the water in Thor's Well is at its most raging and dramatic. Stranger still, at high tides, waves actually roll under the bowl and fill it from below. It continues to fill up until violent sprays of bubbles emerge. The water eventually rolls back inside, though, and the cycle resumes. It's fascinating to observe, but the violence is over the top at times.
Photographers and intrepid explorers who venture there to get close to the wonder do so at their own risk. Visiting about an hour before high tide, when the water is at its lowest, is the safest option. Indeed, Thor's Well is one of the most stunning natural attractions in the United States.
Tips to remember before you visit Thor’s Well
-Make sure you plan your visit during low tide.
- Wear comfortable and waterproof shoes that are non-slippery.
- Wearing a raincoat is a great option, for waves do bring in torrential sprays at times.
- If you are carrying a camera, make sure you have a waterproof cover for it.
12. Acadia National Park, Maine
|Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo: dreamstime.|
Acadia National Park is a national and state treasure, and no trip to Maine would be complete without seeing it. The sights in Acadia are breathtaking no matter where you are: in the woods, by the lake, or out at sea. Acadia is one of the most popular national parks due to its breathtaking scenery, including the picturesque town of Bar Harbor and breathtaking sunsets.
Some of the most beautiful scenery and natural attractions on the East Coast can be found within the park's 47,000 acres, and visitors can enjoy the park at any time of the year. Visit the park in the winter to go skiing or to get some inspiration from the beautiful fall foliage. The area's hiking trails and fishing holes are at their best in the summer and fall.
Acadia National Park is a fantastic destination year-round, with activities ranging from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to fishing and hiking in the spring and summer. The park's headquarters, or the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, is a popular place to start for many guests.
|120 miles. That’s the total distance of mesmerizing hiking trails—ranging from easy strolls to strenuous endeavors—zigzagging through the park.|
13. Turnip Rock, Michigan
|Turnip Rock, Michigan. Photo: jetsetter.|
Turnip Rock is a small island in Lake Huron, located a short distance from the beach of Port Austin, Michigan. Paddling a kayak in the shallow seas near the geological anomaly will allow you to get a better look at it.
Turnip Rock, so called because of the turnip shape it has taken on as waves have worn away at the limestone through time, is a popular kayaking destination in the United States. Surrounded by water, the rock looms high above you. The rock sits in the upper thumb of Michigan and can only be reached by watercraft. The trip is simple and can be completed in about four hours. Paddling there is a great way to take in the scenery of Lake Michigan and the forest and animals that surrounds this natural gem.
An enjoyable day on the water can be had on this journey. Paddling is less of a workout and more of a pleasure on sunny, quiet days like those we recommend. It's easy to see why this is widely considered one of America's most scenic areas.
|For kayakers on Lake Huron, a visit to Turnip Rock near Port Austin is undeniably a highlight. The hike is an out-and-back along the Point aux Barques trail, covering a total distance of 7 miles. You may get out and explore the area around Turnip Rock and take some pictures because the water is shallow there.|
14. Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska
|Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska. Photo: shutterstock.|
Although the 12-mile journey through the Mendenhall Glacier Caves may seem daunting at first, the rewards at the conclusion are well worth the effort. The ice and the reflection from the water above give the ceilings an iridescent, luminous blue hue. You won't believe it till you see it for yourself.
As the Earth warms, the ice that has been accumulating around these caves for millennia is melting. This is the kind of journey you'll want to do before one of the most beautiful spots in the United States gets destroyed forever.
Under the Mendenhall Ice Caves' azure ceilings, which are locked in place inside an ancient glacier, visitors will enjoy a magnificent experience. Sparkling ice caves may be found along the 12-mile-long Mendenhall Glacier, but getting there requires a kayak and some glacier climbing.
Visitors can safely explore the stunning, one-of-a-kind adventure in a cave carved out by a glacier on a guided tour. The Mendenhall Glacier is viewable from the visitor center, which is located just a few miles outside of Juneau. There are enormous caves and narrow tunnels beneath the ice sheet. Unique geological formations and natural phenomena are revealed on these journeys. It's undeniably among the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States.
15. Yosemite National Park, California
|Yosemite National Park, California. Photo: attractionsofamerica|
Yosemite National Park is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the United States, with its towering mountain peaks, verdant valleys, and vivid forests. Yosemite Valley is surrounded by towering granite peaks like Half Dome and El Capitan, all of which were sculpted by glacial activity.
The best of Yosemite National Park may be seen in a loop that only goes in one direction. One of Yosemite's most stunning sights is Bridalveil Falls.
620 feet of water will be plunging down from above you. If you're a climber, you can watch in awe as brave adventurers attempt to scale El Capitan, or you can give it a go yourself. Yosemite hamlet is a little town with services, museums, and shops where you may learn about the local culture.
Activities range from climbing, biking, and hiking to seeing the park's many museums and art galleries. Check out our guide to Yosemite's best sights for more information.
Yosemite Valley is the most well-known and picturesque part of the park, boasting iconic landmarks like Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls.
Glacier Road and Tioga Road both lead out of the valley and into other parts of the park during the appropriate times of year. The breathtaking panoramas of Yosemite Valley are easily accessible via Glacier Drive. Hiking paths through beautiful alpine scenery can be found along Tioga Road, which runs east to west across the park. Tioga Road opens in the spring later than Glacier Road because of the higher elevation.
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