Most Beautiful Places In The US. Photo: Knowinsiders.
Most Beautiful Places In The US. Photo: Knowinsiders.

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.

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. Let's take a second to appreciate all the astounding landscapes Mother Nature has gifted Americans.

Here are the list of 15 most jaw-dropping places in the US:

1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

2. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington

3. Hamilton Pool, Texas

4. Angel Oak, South Carolina

5. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia

6. Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

7. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

8. Lake Tahoe, California

9. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

10. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

11. Thor's Well, Oregon

12. Acadia National Park, Maine

13. Turnip Rock, Michigan

14. Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska

15. Yosemite National Park, California

1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Photo:dreamstime.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Photo: dreamstime.

Located just to the east of Page, the attractive and awe-inspiring Antelope Canyon lies in the north of Arizona, not far from Lake Powell. Meandering magically through desolate landscapes, the spectacular slot canyon is a photographer’s dream: its sandstone walls appear to flow like water.

Made up of two separate sections known as ‘The Crack’ and ‘The Corkscrew’, its captivating corridors and chasms are often beautifully bathed in brilliant beams of light, enhancing its soft tones and shapes. A very popular place, Antelope Canyon can only be visited as part of a guided tour as it lies within a Navajo Tribal Park.

Antelope’s title as Arizona’s most photographed site is a testament to its otherworldly beauty. Go during the day when light streams through the surreal sandstone, illuminating the wavy rock’s vibrant red, pink, and orange colors. 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.

2. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington. Photo: visitskagitvalley.

Historically, the tulip was a symbol of paradise on earth. 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.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival FAQ

Q: Where is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival held?

A: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is designed as a driving tour. There is no one location that you go to for the festival. The fields are centrally located in the Valley between La Conner and Mount Vernon with events and happenings sprinkled all around Skagit Valley. The tulip fields are the crops of RoozenGaarde/Washington Bulb Co., Inc. and Tulip Town. Because of crop rotation, the tulip fields are different each year. Both RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town also have displays of tulips in gardens for visitors to view and photograph.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Hamilton Pool in Travis County, Texas. Photo: Getty.

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.

Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic swimming hole which was designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner's Court in 1990. Located 3/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall as it plunges into the head of a steep box canyon. The waterfall never completely dries up, but in dry times it does slow to a trickle.

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.

4. Angel Oak, South Carolina

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Angel Oak, South Carolina. Photo: jetsetter

The Angel Oak estimated to be more than 400-500 years old. It is simply known as The Tree in some circles. It stands in a wooded area in John’s Island just outside Charleston in South Carolina. Angel Oak is a live oak which also happens to be the state’s most imposing work of nature.

With a height of more than 65 feet, Angel Oaks has shaded the area for more than 400 years. Historical records trace the ownership of the tree and the land on which it stands to 1717 when it was given to Abraham Waight as part of a land grant. In addition, Mr. Waight was an extremely wealthy man who also owned several plantations. The tree four stayed in that family four generations. The land was also used as part of a marriage settlement between Martha W.T. Angel and Justus Angel. Today, Angel Oak serves as the focal point of a public park in South Carolina. In the modern day, Angel oak is owned by the City of Charleston and it costs nothing to marvel at the tree in John’s Island.

Over the centuries, Angels Oak has survived rough weather including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods as well as human interference. It’s therefore accurate to assume that the tree will live for a whole lot more centuries before coming down and will remain one of the top things to do in Charleston, SC.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia. Photo: dreamstime.

Famed for its incredible scenery and nature, Blue Ridge Parkway snakes for 755 kilometers along the spine of the mountain chain after which it is named. Stretching from Virginia to North Carolina, the scenic route passes through verdant forests that hide twinkling streams and waterfalls.

There are also some quaint towns and villages, such as Boone and Roanoke, for you to stop at, as well as several historic European homesteads and Native American cultural centers. The most popular part of the National Park System, Blue Ridge Parkway is also blessed with magnificent mountain vistas, with divine views wherever you go.

Driving down this highway will allow you to take in the stunning Appalachian mountains, including multiple valleys and peaks such as the Peaks of Otter and the famous Roanoke Mountain.

If you like, you can even get off the road and go down a hiking trail of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park or the Shenandoah National Park. Tourists and locals alike enjoy driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, valleys, and countryside. The Parkway is most popular in the fall when the leaves begin to turn shades of bright red, orange, and yellow.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Grand Prismatic Spring. Photo: jetsetter.

Old Faithful may be Yellowstone National Park’s most iconic attraction, but Grand Prismatic Spring—the third largest spring in the world—garners sizable crowds of its own. How do you explain the thermal pools’ vibrant bands of blue, yellow, and orange? The variation in hue is due to heat-loving bacterial microbes that live on the cooler outskirts of the spring.

The third largest spring in the world, the Grand Prismatic is bigger than a football field at 370 feet in diameter. A gridiron is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide. When a tourist from the Netherlands accidentally—and illegally—flew a drone into the ecologically fragile Grand Prismatic in 2014, the drone disappeared and has never been recovered.

What living thing in Yellowstone has helped investigators solve crimes and NASA search for extraterrestrial life on seemingly inhospitable planets? Heat-loving microbes living in the Yellowstone’s thermal pools. In 1968, researcher Thomas Brock discovered a microbe living in one of Yellowstone’s extremely hot springs. In the years since, research on Yellowstone’s microbes has led to major medical and scientific advances, including the sequencing of the entire human genome.

The hot spring has bright bands of orange, yellow, and green ring the deep blue waters in the spring. The multicolored layers get their hues from different species of thermophile (heat-loving) bacteria living in the progressively cooler water around the spring. And the deep blue center? That’s because water scatters the blue wavelengths of light more than others, reflecting blues back to our eyes.

7. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Horseshoe Bend Arizona. Photo: jetsetter.

A social media darling, Horseshoe Bend has become one of the most recognized and visited places in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The parking lot and trailhead is located off US Highway 89, approximately 5 miles (8 km) south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center.

Arizona is full of dreamy viewpoints, but we can hardly peel our eyes from Horseshoe Bend. One of the American Southwest’s most scenic sites—just north of the Grand Canyon—the spot is named for the path the Colorado River snakes through the landscape’s 200-million-year-old Navajo sandstone cliffs.

It is about a 3/4 mile walk out to the edge overlooking Horseshoe Bend. At Horseshoe Bend, as you stand on the edge of the canyon you can see the river and take incredible photos. This place has become highly memorable and many people seek it out when they are in the Grand Canyon area. Many visitors are not aware that the Grand Canyon is surrounded by many small canyons and Horseshoe Bend is often times expected to be in the Grand Canyon. However, it is just several miles from the beginning of the National Park and is growing in popularity annually. Now people are adding it to their Grand Canyon experience…because they can have their picture taken and it feels like you “IN” the Grand Canyon…making it feel like you are in the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River.

Changes are underway in this busy and beautiful place, including expanded parking and trail maintenance. Please respect construction closures. Much of the rim remains exposed, so watch your footing and keep track of children.

8. Lake Tahoe, California

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Lake Tahoe. Photo: travelinusa.

Straddling the border of California and Nevada is Lake Tahoe—the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range. The clear alpine beauty formed more than two million years ago, with the majority of its shape having taken place during the ice ages.

Lake Tahoe is a big blue centerpiece, surrounded by massive granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, with skies reflecting into the largest alpine Lake in North America. North Lake Tahoe spans two states, California and Nevada, with top rated lodging for your perfect family, romantic or relaxing vacation. Unique and beautiful communities dot the shores of North Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountainsides, each offering fine, casual and leisure dining options. Lake Tahoe offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, dozens of beaches, and 39 trillion gallons of water to enjoy. Many nationally recognized Lake Tahoe events including music festivals, concerts, food pairings and sporting events take place each season. With so much to do, you may need to stay awhile.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. Photo: Getty.

The White Sands National Monument consists of a reaching, widespread expanse of white gypsum crystal sand dunes, backdropped by a picturesque blue sky. Though the sight of white sand as far as the eye can see isn’t the most exciting trip for some, this tranquil environment is so individual and one-of-a-kind that it is easily one of the most beautiful places in the US.

White Sands National Park is the largest gypsum sand dune in the world, with sparkling white dunes rolling over 275 square miles. The sparkling white gypsum dunes of White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico stretch for miles, and almost make you question if you’re still on planet Earth. Since it recently became the 62nd National Park in the United States, there has been a huge peak in interest in White Sands.

White Sands National Park is located in southern New Mexico. The closest airport to White Sands is El Paso, Texas, which is about an hour and a half away. Albuquerque is about 3.5 hours away. Unless you are road tripping from home, you’ll need to rent a car once you land at the airport.

10. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Dry Tortugas National Park. Photo: visitflorida.

The Dry Tortugas National Park, a series of islands 70 miles from Key West, is a place of great beauty, history and solitude. 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.

For some of us, it’s a poem of waving palms, seabirds and turquoise fish. For others, it’s where soldiers who served in a fort named for Thomas Jefferson sweated and bled and died. For introspective sorts, it’s something like Florida’s Walden, a place for sitting and meditating and asking yourself questions. How would you, a 21st-century pilgrim, survive in a place where time is meaningless?

There’s no road to Dry Tortugas. You take a boat or seaplane, but only if weather permits. You can camp near Fort Jefferson on the island called Garden Key, but don’t forget the can opener because the nearest convenient store is a long way off. You can visit for the day, but again be prepared for whatever. This is a special, isolated park where the screeching birds and the breeze rustling through the treetops provide the soundtrack. About 60,000 tourists visit annually. In comparison, Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts 11 million visitors who jam the road with their vehicles.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Thor's Well, Oregon. Photo: Flickr/Bill Young

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. What makes it weird is the fact that during high tides, waves roll underneath the bowl and fill it from below. The water keeps filling until bubbles start coming up in violent sprays. But soon, water rolls back inside and the same process begins again. It’s interesting to watch this phenomenon; however, it gets too violent sometimes.

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.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo: dreamstime.

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.

Whether you’re interested in visiting Acadia National Park for fall foliage, winter skiing, spring fishing or summer hikes, it’s the perfect outdoor playground. Many people begin their exploration of the park at the headquarters or the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.

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

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Turnip Rock, Michigan. Photo: jetsetter.

Few people know about Turnip Rock—a tiny island just off Port Austin, Michigan’s shore in Lake Huron—but that’s part of what makes it so cool. Get a closer look at the geological oddity by kayaking its shallow surrounding waters.

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.

A trip to Turnip Rock in Port Austin is unmistakably one of the best activities for kayakers on Lake Huron. The trip consists of a 7 mile out-and-back trip via the Point aux Barques trail. The shallow waters surrounding Turnip Rock allow you to get out and enjoy the area as well as snap a few photos while you are there.

14. Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska. Photo: shutterstock.

The Mendenhall Glacier Caves take a while to get to, but they are incredibly rewarding and very much worth the trip through 12 miles of caverns. The overhead ceilings are tinted a glowing, luminescent blue thanks to the ice and the reflection from the water beneath. It’s something that has to be seen to be believed.

Unfortunately, due to climate change, these caves and the surrounding ice of its preceding caverns are beginning to melt. As such, it’s the kind of trip that you’ll want to make sooner rather than later, before one of the most beautiful places in the US is lost to the world.

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!

15. Yosemite National Park, California

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US
Yosemite National Park, California. Photo: attractionsofamerica

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.

You can find things to do all over the park, from hiking, biking, and climbing, to visiting museums and galleries. For more details, have a look at our list of the top attractions in Yosemite National Park.

The most famous and beautiful section of the park is Yosemite Valley, home to big-name tourist attractions, like Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls.

Outside the valley, Glacier Road and Tioga Road provide seasonal access to other areas of the park. Glacier Road allows access to stunning views over the Yosemite Valley. Tioga Road crosses the park in an east-west direction and runs through alpine scenery, where you can find lovely, and often less busy, hiking trails. Due to the altitude, Tioga Road opens later in the spring than Glacier Road.

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