There are countless places to visit in the United States, from the thick canopy-covered jungles of Hawaii to the salt-sprayed coastlines of the Atlantic.
The vastness of the US makes it a country awash in almost every type of landscape imaginable.
But with so much to explore, where do you start? That’s where this guide comes into play.
For those looking for the most striking places in the country to visit, well, you’ve landed in the right place.
I’ve enlisted the help of some of the worlds leading travel experts to help us discover the 41 most beautiful places to visit in America.
- Best Places to Visit in the United States of America (With Photos)
- Crater Lake, Oregon
- Havasu Falls, Arizona
- Grand Teton national park, Wyoming
- Samuel H. Boardman, Oregon Coast
- Sedona, Arizona
- South Beach, Miami, Florida
- Bend, Oregon
- Big Bend National Park, Texas
- 1000 Islands, New York
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Devils Tower, Wyoming
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
- Jekyll Island, Georgia
- Lake Tahoe, Nevada
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
- Top Things to do in the Grand Canyon
- Arches National Park, Utah
- Big Island, Hawaii
- North Pole, Alaska
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Jackson, Wyoming
- Olympic National Park, Washington
- Top Things to do in Olympic National Park
- Oahu, Hawaii
- St. John, United States Virgin Islands
- San Francisco, California
- The Redwoods, California
- Green Mountains, Vermont
- San Diego, California
- Leavenworth, Washington
- Smith Rock State Park, Oregon
- Big Bear, California
- Kauai, Hawaii
- New York City, New York
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
- Niagara Falls, New York
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
- Death Valley, California
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- The Sonoma Coast, California
- Key West, Florida
Best Places to Visit in the United States of America (With Photos)
Crater Lake, Oregon
There are few places in the United States more spectacular than Crater Lake in Southern Oregon. A gold prospector named John Wesley Hillman happened upon this “Deep Blue Lake” in 1853. The water is so strikingly blue. One can only imagine how long he looked out into the six-mile wide lake, overwhelmed by its beauty and magnificence.
Crater Lake reaches a depth of 1,943 feet and has been protected as a national park for well over a century, enabling visitors from all over the world to savor the picturesque views from all around the lake. Many take a ranger-narrated trolley tour or drive around the lake along 33-mile Rim Drive.
More than 30 gram-worthy pull-outs and overlooks along the lake compel visitors to snap a few more photos. Among the most beautiful overlooks are Watchman Overlook, Phantom Ship Overlook and Discovery Point, the spot where Hillman first laid eyes on Crater Lake. The latter is a short walk from the Visitor Center at Rim Village.
Book a two-hour Crater Lake boat tour to deftly sail along the perimeter of this true-blue lake. Take in up-close views of Wizard Island and Phantom Ship, a unique geological rock formation. If you have time, the five-hour cruise to Wizard Island allows for three hours to explore the volcanic cinder cone that erupted from Crater Lake nearly 7,000 years ago.
From Erin at Kidventurous
Havasu Falls, Arizona
Deep in a desert canyon in Northern Arizona lies Havasu Falls, a truly stunning destination in the USA. This turquoise blue waterfall cascades 80-feet over a red cliff wall forming a picture-perfect swimming hole.
Reaching this desert oasis, however, is no easy task. The journey involves hiking 10 miles through a hot, dusty canyon with all the camping gear you’ll need for 3 days and 4 nights. But when you dive into the pristine water below Havasu Falls, you’ll have no doubt that it was worth the effort.
Just downstream from Havasu Falls you’ll find campsites scattered along the river, all shaded by tall trees and the towering walls of Havasu Canyon. The highlight of your trip will certainly be Havasu Falls, but if you still have energy after your long hike then there are actually 4 more waterfalls to explore in Havasu Canyon – 50-foot Falls, Navajo Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls.
And if you’re up for a real adventure, you can hike another 10 miles to the confluence with the Colorado River. The bright blue water of Havasu Creek swirling with the brown water of the Colorado River makes for a surreal sight.
If you want to see Havasu Falls for yourself, you’ll need to begin planning well in advance. Camping reservations for the entire season open up on February 1st of each year, and the campground is limited to 300 people per day. It’s not uncommon for the entire year to be fully booked within just a few hours.
From the wandering wheatleys
Grand Teton national park, Wyoming
Found in Northwest Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is a classic American destination. With extraordinary wildlife, jaw-dropping views, and beautiful lakes, there is an abundance of activities for wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
We have road tripped throughout most of the United States, and we have visited countless national parks, but there is something special about the Grand Teton range that makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country.
This area has been protected since the late 19th century. In 1950, it officially became a national park, and due to this protection, Grand Teton National Park is a great place to spot wildlife.
Throughout the park, you can find a wide ray of wildlife, including bears, moose, bison, and elk. You can go in search of wildlife on your own, or you can book a guided tour. Just remember to also stay a safe distance away not only for your safety but for the animals as well.
With over two-hundred miles of hiking trails in varying lengths, elevation changes, and difficulties, there is truly a trail for everybody. To top it off, these trails boast some of the most picturesque views and caves in the United States. Some of our favorite hikes can be found here.
From winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing to summer activities like fishing and hiking, there is no wrong time to visit one of the best places to visit in the United States, Grand Teton National Park.
From Ann from While We Were Wandering
Samuel H. Boardman, Oregon Coast
There’s no arguing that the Oregon Coast is one of the most popular places on the West Coast, and possibly the entire country.
People from around the world come here to experience the roaring and raging waves, the rugged coastline, and to take that iconic Oregon Coast road trip on Highway 101. And who can blame them? It’s certainly one of the most beautiful places in the US.
While the Oregon Coast has something on offer around every corner from Cannon Beach’s famous sea stacks, to Tillamook’s cheeses, and the surf at Oswald West State Park… One of our favorite spots is Samuel H. Boardman.
Located less than 30 minutes north of the California/Oregon border, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a sight to behold and a photographer’s dream. Sea stacks litter the coastline as the heavy waves come crashing down on the craggy cliffs that are indicative of Oregon’s coast.
There’s the Natural Bridges, where arches have been slowly carved to create, well, natural bridges, and hidden beaches and coves to discover. You can uncover and explore by taking to the trails that carve a path on the rocky terrain offering viewpoints over the ledges or beaches to stroll on.
Pretty much all of the trails here are rather short, being under three miles round trip but you’ll need a car to get to everything here. You can see the highlights in a day and take two days to dive a bit deeper into the trails on offer here.
There are more cool beaches and trails just on the outskirts of the park too like the Mouth of Pistol River to the north or Harris Beach to the south depending which way you’re road tripping!
From Nina from Oregon Is For Adventure
Sedona is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful small towns across America. It’s nestled inside the Coconino National Forest and surrounded by iconic red rocks containing iron deposits. Sedona’s colorful and rocky landscapes are breathtaking, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring.
It’s no wonder that hiking is the best thing to do in Sedona. Besides hiking, stargazing is also highly acclaimed. Sedona has been listed as an International Dark Sky Community. This means that you’ll enjoy very low amounts of light pollution and extremely clear skies.
Although, there’s another type of tourism in Sedona.
Sedona has flourished as a spiritual haven and a healing retreat. It’s home to one of the best spas in America (the Enchantment Resort). Also, a Buddhist temple and many New Age practitioners.
Sedona sits at the location of an energetic vortex site, and it has thus become a hot spot for energy healers, psychics and other mystics. Whether you’re into yoga, reiki or meditation –there’s something rejuvenating for you to experience in Sedona.
South Beach, Miami, Florida
South Beach is a one-mile strip of beach on the eastern edge of South Miami Beach.
In the 1970s and 80s, South Beach was essentially a low-rent retirement community for eastern U.S. pensioners looking to live out their days in the sunshine. Nearby buildings sat abandoned with trash strewn about.
Fast-forward to the present. A steady economy, solid governance, and immigration from Latin America and some of the best places in Europe has turned South Beach into one of the world’s great playgrounds.
The place has a lot going for it. First, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Second is the fascinating Art Deco architecture. The architecture in South Beach is not recreated; it is the original, folks! The magnificent architecture you see on Ocean Drive is the same you would have seen in the 1920s. It’s been reconstructed but not recreated…and it is beautiful.
One of the best sights of South Beach is during the evenings when the clubs and restaurants heat up and glow in the Florida dusk of Ocean Drive right in front of the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Some of the best restaurants and clubs in the area congregate here on South Beach. Chill on the beach during the day, but at night, party the night away with pulsating Latin beats.
A beautiful places to visit in the United States, located in a beautiful city!
From Talek from Travels With Talek
Bend is a town in Central Oregon that’s often referred to as the outdoor adventure capital of the USA. This is due to the fact that the wilderness surrounding Bend allows visitors to engage in countless outdoor activities during any time of the year.
The town itself is quite scenic and is famous for its numerous craft breweries that serve delicious food and drinks. However, the best activities within Bend are found on the outskirts of town.
If you drive in any direction outside of Bend, you’ll find impressive forests, rivers, lakes, rock formations, and volcanoes. These geological features make the area incredibly unique and allow for a diverse range of outdoor activities.
Some popular activities near Bend include skiing, snowboarding, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking, just to name a few.
Hiking is the most easily accessible activity as there are countless trails that wind through Bend’s pristine wilderness and allow you to experience the wide expanses of nature firsthand. Tumalo Falls, Deschutes River, Sparks Lake, Green Lakes, and Misery Ridge are among some of the best hiking trails in Bend, Oregon.
Overall, Bend is one of the most unique and beautiful destinations in the United States. If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, you’ll love spending time in Bend.
Via Michael from Passport Explored
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park located in Texas and is over 1,000 miles of scenic hikes, breathtaking canyons, and staggering mountains. There are so many different trails and things to see that you could spend a whole week there and still not do everything there is.
Some of the most popular hikes include Santa Elena Canyon that sometimes involves a canoe ride depending on the water to reach the top of the canyon. Balanced Rock, a hike that involves some climbing to reach the top where a rock has miraculously balanced on top of 2 others for years. And the hot springs, your own natural hot tub that sits along the river.
As part of Big Bend National Park you can cross over into Boquillas, Mexico, a tiny 200 person town where you can enjoy authentic Mexican food at great places and buy handmade crafts. Or step right outside of Big Bend to the funkiest town in Texas, Terlingua.
Once a thriving mining town, Terlingua quickly turned into a ghost town as mining became unprofitable leaving abandoned buildings everywhere.
Now it’s gotten a little resurgence with people who want to live more off-grid and has become quite strange with things like the abandoned ship in the desert that used to be a party spot!
From Jessica from MyCurlyAdventures
1000 Islands, New York
The 1000 Islands is a destination that even many New Yorkers don’t know about, which is a shame because it has so much to offer! Straddling New York State and Canada, you’ll find 1,864 islands, which you can explore via a cruise along Alexandria Bay.
On one of the more famous islands, Heart Island, you can tour the stunning Boldt Castle — which holds a tragic story. Hotel magnate George C. Boldt had it lovingly built for his wife, Louise, who sadly died before it was completed. He never returned to the island.
While in the 1000 Islands make sure to also have a waterfront lunch at Bella’s Restaurant, view over 300 recreational boats at the Antique Boat Museum, and take a sunset boat ride with Sail Ontario.
From Jessica from Jessica on a Journey
Glacier National Park, Montana
I might have a personal bias for Glacier National Park, considering I grew up about 30 minutes away from there. My summers as a child included picnics on the shores of Lake McDonald, hiking the Avalanche Trail, and getting a little car sick as we snaked our way up Going-to-the-Sun Road. That’s why when I was married last summer, it seemed fitting that Glacier would be the venue.
I’m not the only one who seems to think so. In the last few years, tourism has exploded. We now get close to three million visitors a year—overwhelming for an area with around 80,000 people. But how could you not fall in love with Glacier?
Between the picturesque hikes, the friendly marmots and squirrels, and the ever-lurking thrill of happening upon a grizzly bear, the “Park” is always an adventure.
All of this happens with a background of ancient mountains and spots of snowy glaciers. Whether you choose to simply drive through or you plan on backpacking in the backcountry, no matter how many times I visit, I always find myself experiencing a new appreciation for the area and a new type of wonder: this is my home and like the glaciers, it has shaped me into who I am today.
Via Alex from The Wayfaring Voyager
Devils Tower, Wyoming
Devils Tower rises 1267ft (386m) above the Belle Fourche River and is actually part of the Black Hills in northern Wyoming. It is quite fascinating to visit.
The Tower is an igneous, solitary, stump-shaped granite formation, which looks like a skyscraper. The monument’s boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres, and interestingly enough, it was declared America’s very first national monument on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.
You might recognize this impressive structure protruding out of the prairie lands even if you haven’t been there before; it was famously featured in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
This gigantic natural rock formation is renowned all over the world for its adventure-based offerings. Camping options with picnic shelter and tables include 50 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also towering height, and parallel cracks of various difficulty levels make it an exhilarating experience for rock climbers and hikers.
Some specialists believe that Devils Tower is the inner solidified molten igneous monolith of an extinct volcano whose outer sedimentary layer was eroded naturally. Other theories are that Devils Tower is is an eroded remnant of an igneous rock which intrudes through sedimentary rock beds.
Either way, erosion has played a part in exposing Devils Tower that has since become an important historical and spiritual landmark.
The national park is covered with pine forests, woodlands, and grasslands. In addition, the area around Devils Tower National Monument is home to different wildlife species like white-tailed deer, prairie dogs, and bald eagles.
Several Native American Tribes have ties to Devils Tower, both as a sacred site and a subject of legends. They each have different names for the rock, including Tree Rock (Kiowa), Bear’s Lodge (Cheyenne, Lakota), and Bear’s Tipi (Arapaho, Cheyenne).
Check Out Ivan’s Complete USA Travel Guide
One of the most underestimated places to visit in the US, but yet one of the most beautiful ones is definitely Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The largest town of the Dairy State is still off-radar for most travelers; however, there are plenty of things to do in this bustling town.
I always mention the great museum scene in Milwaukee, WI, as one of the main reasons to visit. The most famous one is, without any doubt, the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The building itself makes a jaw-dropping place to visit. Designed by the Spanish star-architect Santiago Calatrava, it quickly became the unofficial symbol of Milwaukee.
Another museum you can’t miss, whether you’re a biker or not, is the Harley Davidson Museum. The museum shop is a great place to buy unique souvenirs.
Other cool things to do in Milwaukee are bar-hopping in the Third Ward district and shop on the market where you can purchase local produce from Wisconsin. All this and its scenic location on Lake Michigan make Wisconsin one of the most beautiful places in the US.
If you are wondering where to stay in Milwaukee, make sure to pick a hotel in the city center in order to make the most of your time.
From Paulina on the Road
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
To this day, Mount Rainier National Park remains one of my favorite national parks in the U.S. and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. This 369-square-mile national park is home to Mount Rainier, the tallest volcano in the contiguous United States.
At 14,410 feet, this active volcano is covered in snow year-round and can be seen from plenty of places in the park. On clear days, it can actually be seen from nearby Seattle, Washington, which is just over 60 miles from the behemoth volcano.
Mount Rainier National Park is a truly unique place in the U.S. because snow blankets the ground in many parts of the park year-round, providing visitors with a warm taste of winter into July. Its views will take your breath away, and its diversity makes it a favorite of everyone from hardcore mountain climbers to the average waterfall chasers.
Due to its glacial waters and constant snowfall, the park is home to more than 150 waterfalls, many of which are viewable from the roads.
It’s also home to reflecting lakes, 1,000-year-old trees that tower over humanity, lookout points that rival any national park in the world, fields flowing with wildflowers in late summer, and a place called Paradise, which gets about 643 inches of snowfall each year.
What makes Mount Rainier National Park even more beautiful is that it gets far fewer visitors than many other national parks in America. That means you can slow down and take it all in without worrying if someone will promptly block your pristine view. Hands down, Mount Rainer is one of the top places to visit in the United States.
Via Jarrod from Ramble Around the World.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Tucked away on the coast of Georgia is Jekyll Island. Once a winter playground for New England’s elite, the island is now a state park and largely undeveloped.
It is one of the few places on the coast where there are miles of pristine waterfront and beach with no hotels or homes crowding the coastline. Spend the day cruising by bike on the 20 miles of dedicated bicycle paths underneath the majestic live oak canopy.
History buffs should definitely visit the National Historic District to see the storied Jekyll Island Club Resort and vacation homes of some of America’s most famous families. Don’t miss the hauntingly beautiful Boneyard Beach on Jekyll’s north end.
Hundreds of sun-bleached driftwood trees lie on the sand creating an eerie beach scene that keeps people visiting year-round.
If you’re traveling with children, then you have to stop by the Sea Turtle Center to meet some recuperating and adorable sea turtles.
Via Emily from Em’s on the Road.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Clear aquamarine water that sparkles in the sun, soaring jagged snow-capped mountain peaks, and lots of natural forests make Lake Tahoe one of the most beautiful places in the USA.
Because the air is so clear, both the sky and the lake are incredibly blue. With such natural beauty, it’s not surprising that the most popular things to do in Lake Tahoe involve being outdoors.
The lake sits at an altitude of 6,225 ft and is the biggest alpine lake in North America and has 72 miles of shoreline, with sandy beaches and rocky coves that adds to its natural beauty.
When the weather is warmer, popular activities include hiking, mountain biking and lots of fun on the water, such as canoeing, standup paddleboarding and water skiing. As Lake Tahoe hosted the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, the skiing and snowboarding at Lake Tahoe are fantastic, and the region is a winter wonderland of fun. Other activities in Lake Tahoe in winter are snowshoeing, dog sledding, and ice skating during the colder months.
Lake Tahoe sits across two US states – part of Lake Tahoe is in Nevada, and part of it is in California. Both California and Nevada sides are equally stunning. The closest city is Reno, which is a fun place for some casino action, and San Francisco is only 153 miles away.
Via Christina from Travel2Next.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is, for sure, one of the most spectacular gorges in the world. It’s the Most Beautiful Place in America. Located in the state of Arizona, it cuts across the Grand Canyon National Park. It is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet / 1,857 meters).
Its vastness is stunning. Due to its geology and history, Grand Canyon is on UNESCO World Heritage List.
The views are breathtaking and spectacular. When you stay on the rim and looking down, your knees are shaking.
Top Things to do in the Grand Canyon
Go For A Hike
You have several options. You can take easy, but spectacular Rim Trail. Or you can go down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Rim Trail is one of the most popular in the Grand Canyon and one of the best ways to see the South Rim’s top-trendy attractions and viewpoints.
The good idea is to start the walk from Mather Point. Total distance of Rim Trail is 12.8 miles (20.6 km) one-way, but you can choose a short section or a few sections of the trail to discover the beauty of the Grand Canyon.
Take a Shuttle Bus
There is Free Shuttle Bus Service in Grand Canyon. Shuttles arrive every 10 to 15 minutes on most routes and stop at concession facilities, visitors centers, parking areas, and scenic overlooks.
You can hop on hop off at any of the shuttle stops and use the shuttle bus service as many times as you need. So it’s the best idea to visit Grand Canyon during peak season.
Enjoy a Sunset
The sunset over the Grand Canyon is a fantastic spectacle, so why not admire it. Choose one of many viewpoints. In our opinion, the best vista for a sunset on South Rim are Navajo Point, Lipan Point, and Mather Point.
See the Canyon from the Sky
Finally, the views from the helicopter are thrilling and breathtaking, so it’s a great idea to take a helicopter tour over Grand Canyon.
Flights are departing from Tusayan, and last 45 minutes. It will be an experience that will forever remain in your memory
Via The Van Escape
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States. There are several key sections in the park that have dozens of huge sandstone fins. They are dramatic and beautiful; however, it is, of course, the arches themselves that are the main attractions.
The most famous arch is the spectacular Delicate Arch. A perfect free-standing arch, it is reached via a 3-mile round trip hike, that ends at an amphitheater on the edge of a canyon cliff, with the arch perched atop. At sunset, it glows bright orange. Stunning. Other highlights include the Windows Section, a long finger of sandstone fins ending in the North and South Windows and Double Arch, which is, as the name implies, not one, but two arches formed together.
Don’t miss the Fiery Furnace, which glows bright orange in the sunlight. Guided, ranger-led hikes, or self-guided hikes with a permit, take you into a labyrinth of narrow corridors between towering cliffs, scrambling over rocks and squeezing through tiny spaces. Highlights include Surprise Arch and the well-named Skull Arch.
My favorite section of all, however, is Devil’s Garden, at the end of the road. The Devil’s Garden Trail is an epic hike past eight arches, along the ridges of sandstone fins, around the edges of cliffs, through sandy washes and more. Some of the most beautiful features on the hike are Double O Arch, at the end of the Devil’s Garden trail, Double Arch (an easy walk from a parking area), and Landscape Arch, the longest natural arch in North America. Arches is famed across the country and one of the top 10 places to visit in the United States of America.
Via James Ian at Travel Collecting.
Big Island, Hawaii
Hawaii is a popular destination for those looking to visit paradise. The Big Island is the largest in Hawaii and is one of the most beautiful places in the USA. It is the most volcanically active of all of the islands and home to the Kilauea volcano, which is one of the most visited tourist sights on the Big Island.
The beaches on the Big Island are beautiful and are unique compared to the other islands because of the lava rock that forms along the coast. The tiny fragments of volcanic lava can create both black and green sand that is located throughout the island.
The two most visited areas of the Big Island are Kona and Hilo, which are located across the island from each other and could not be more different. Kona is more commercialized and has a resort destination feel to accompany the beautiful beaches. Hilo is home to a rain forest with beautiful waterfalls, but its beach scene doesn’t compare to that of Kona. While Hilo has a more traditional Hawaiian feel than Kona, it also receives more rain, which isn’t as desirable for those looking for a sunny, beach paradise destination.
In addition to visiting the Kilauea volcano, popular tourist activities on the Big Island include participating in tours that take you swimming with dolphins and manta rays, going to a luau, watching the Ironman world championship in October and visiting Ai’opio Beach to hang out with the sea turtles.
Coffee aficionados can also experience the highly-acclaimed coffee beans that are grown in Kona, which are the result of weather and soil conditions that create the perfect growing conditions. Kona coffee shops, serving local coffee beans, are located throughout the Big Island for visitors to enjoy.
Via Andrea at One Savvy Wanderer.
North Pole, Alaska
One of the most beautiful places in the US is without a doubt North Pole, Alaska. The landscape, the people, and the plethora of unique activities in this piece of the Last Frontier makes North Pole a great, but often overlooked US destination.
Located only 15 minutes from Fairbanks International Airport, North Pole where Santa and Mrs. Claus are located. Explore the magnificence of Santaland and the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.
Next, explore the history of Fairbanks at Pioneer Park, and take in all nature has to give as waterfowls travel through Creamer’s Field Refuge on their migratory route. Then soak in at Chena Hot Springs. These are just a few unique things to see and do in Alaska!
And if that’s not enough for you, hop on a train from Fairbanks straight to Denali National Park. A park that is larger than the state of New Jersey and boasts of over 35 species of mammals including lynx, marmots, marmots, and snowshoe hares.
Contributed by Louisa Moje of La Passion Voutee
Acadia National Park, Maine
Though the USA is spoiled for beautiful places, Acadia National Park has to be a seriously strong contender. It’s one of the most popular National Parks, and best places to visit in the United States of America and for a good reason!
This natural area in Maine is known as The Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast and comprises nearly 50,000 acres of stunning ocean coastline, woodland, lakes, and ponds. For nature lovers, it really is a dream. Besides the physical beauty, you’ll also be able to see an impressive variety of wildlife, including bears, deer, beavers, moose, eagles, and whales.
The Acadia hiking trails are really the best way to take in the park, though you’ll also find mountain bike tracks or running options. T
These hiking routes take you through some of the most scenic parts of the Acadia and should be part of every trip. They run for more than 150 miles, so whether you’re looking for a gentle afternoon stroll or an intense day scrambling up mountains, you’ll find routes for every ability.
To top things off, the park has unique characteristics that can lure you in at any time of year. Visit in the winter to see desolate frozen landscapes, spring to see wildflowers in bloom, summer to enjoy the most pleasant weather, and autumn to witness incredible fall colors fire up the landscape!
By Josh and Sarah at Veggie Vagabonds
Situated in the Jackson Hole valley, Jackson, Wyoming, is one of the most beautiful places in the USA. What makes it so attractive is the spectacular natural scenery and a wide range of activities for tourists.
The biggest attraction in Jackson is the Yellowstone National Park on which it borders and is one of the first national parks to open in America. It’s a truly unique place because of the world-famous old faithful geyser, plus hot springs and abundant wildlife such as bears, bison, and elk.
Another great place to visit is the numerous mountain resorts surrounding Jackson. Here you can ski, snowboard or relax. There are also dozens of luxury hotels, bars, museums, and restaurants to keep you entertained. Plus annual music and arts and culture festivals.
What’s also interesting about Jackson is that it’s officially a desert. You might find this hard to believe, but although it’s not as dry as the Kalahari desert, the fact that it receives less than 10 inches of rain annually makes it as dry as an African National Park.
All in all, Jackson is a must-visit slice of paradise, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the USA’s top tourist destinations.
Contributed by Lydia from Africa Wanderlust
Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park, nestled in the northwest corner of Washington State, is a unique national park in that there are many distinct eco-systems and terrains. It’s so diverse that it’s like visiting multiple national parks in one.
Several things make Olympic National Park, one of the most beautiful places in the United States-the beautiful temperate rainforests, the cauldron-like hot springs, the miles of pristine Pacific beaches, and less than 40 miles from the Pacific shoreline the wild and rugged Olympic Mountain Range.
Top Things to do in Olympic National Park
Of the four temperate rainforests in Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest is the most beautiful.
It’s vibrant, green, and literally dripping with moss. The Hoh is an excellent place for easy to moderate hiking
Two well-known hot springs are Sol Duc and the Olympic hot springs.
Both are close to the town of Port Angeles.
The Pacific Beaches make for a great day trip from Port Angeles and are great for all skill levels and ages.
Some of the beaches are easily accessible, some require a short, easy hike, and some are more difficult to access.
The beaches are great for hiking, but also great for swimming, exploring the sea stacks, tide pools, and waterfalls found along the coastline.
Olympic Mountain Range
Last, but certainly not least, the majestic Olympic Mountain range forms the backdrop for much of the Park.
The mountain range, although not particularly high, is stunning; it juts up, seemingly out of the Pacific Ocean. Mount Olympus, standing at almost 8,000 feet, forms a beautiful setting for any hike.
By Catherine from Traveling with the Littles
When I think of all the beautiful places I’ve visited so far in the USA, Oahu always tops the list. I’ve been there twice, although I live on the other side of the world – that’s a good sign!
When you think of Oahu, or Hawaii in general, I’m sure you’re thinking of beautiful beaches. At least, that’s what I did before going there!
However, Oahu turned out to have a lot more to offer than just beaches – what about incredible hikes, delicious food, a pineapple plantation, and amazing snorkeling opportunities? There’s something here for everyone, and I guess that’s why I keep going back to Oahu. Even though I’ve been there for weeks, there’s still always something new to explore on this gorgeous island!
When I’m in Oahu, I love starting my day with an impressive hike and ending the day at the beach with a scoop (or several scoops…) of shave ice – it’s no wonder they call this paradise!
By Amanda: Check out Her Full Oahu Itinerary
St. John, United States Virgin Islands
When you picture the perfect Caribbean beach with soft white sand, crystal clear blue water, and waves gently lapping at the shore, the beaches on the north coast of St. John in the U. S. Virgin Islands are precisely what you are imagining. It doesn’t get more picture-perfect, and with two-thirds of the island designated a National Park, there’s more than beaches to explore.
The best beaches begin just outside of Cruz Bay, the main port on the island, and dot along the shore for several miles. Each is unique in its own way, with some offering more amenities like kayak rentals or beach bars and others with a bit more seclusion or incredible snorkeling.
They are all gorgeous, so you can’t go wrong no matter which you choose. For that postcard perfect beach, we recommend Trunk Bay. But if you’re looking for the best snorkeling, check out Leinster Bay near Waterlemon Cay.
The national park also offers plenty of trail options for hikes to secluded beaches, plantation ruins, and even waterfalls. The Reef Bay Trail is one of the most popular hikes on the island, and truly a can’t miss for anyone looking for an active day of exploring.
It begins with the most incredible view of the island and descends through a tropical forest, past a waterfall, petroglyphs, and ruins of an old sugar mill before ending at the ocean. Just be aware that as you descend down to the ocean, you will then have to climb back up the out and back trail. It’s hard work going back up, so bring plenty of water.
With no passport requirements for Americans, St. John is the perfect place to spend a week or two in paradise.
By Kristin at Snorkel & Hike.
San Francisco, California
This truly is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the USA. On a recent stopover, we gave our kids the opportunity to experience this place. There are so many activities to choose from, most notably a day trip to Alcatraz, the Rock. Alcatraz was once a federal prison housing many notorious criminals, it closed in 1963. Today you get to wander through the prison at your own pace listening to stories from former inmates and officers on your cell house audio tour.
Set in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, it’s only accessible by boat and it is a must-see. The views from Alcatraz overlooking the city and the Golden Gate bridge are pretty spectacular too. Make sure you book in advance (at least 2-3 days) to avoid disappointment.
Another spots that make this city so special are Fishermans Wharf, we love walking around here. There are some great restaurants here too. This is where a lot of the city sightseeing tours start such as the City Sightseeing hop-on/off bus and Dylan’s Famous Tour. It’s also where the ferries depart for either the Alcatraz tours or the Bay cruises.
Finally, one thing that sets this city apart is its cable car system. This is the last manually operated system in the world. It was a real highlight for the whole family and a great way to explore parts of the city.
Make sure to check this city out you won’t be disappointed and maybe, just like the song says, you’ll be singing ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’.
From Scott by 4 Degrees of Destination
The Redwoods, California
The Redwoods National and State Forest are one of the most beautiful places in California, and arguably the entire country. The forest’s power lies in the towering colossal Redwood trees that line the California coastline.
The Redwoods are so massive that it is both a National Forest and a state park. The Redwoods encompass the lands of more than twelve Native American groups, notably the Yurok, Wiyot, and multiple Athabascan groups.
There are Native American stories that describe the Redwoods as being otherworldly, for lack of better words. And standing under the trees, you can feel their power rumbling in your chest. Combined with the winding roads of the Pacific Coast, the Redwoods are a place to truly humble yourself in nature. You can hike for weeks and still never backtrack on the same path.
Recently, they have also added tree obstacle courses and cultural centers focusing on the Native community of the area. But hands down, you can’t beat the smell of wet moss and earthy wood as you walk through the trees.
From Kay at The Awkward Traveler.
Green Mountains, Vermont
The Green Mountains of Vermont are truly one of the most beautiful places in the USA. Stretching across the state of Vermont from north to south, the mountain range runs 250 miles from the border of Massachusetts to Quebec, Canada.
The presence of the mountains plays a major role in Vermont’s identity. In fact, VT is known as the Green Mountain State.
There are so many gorgeous areas in Vermont where the Green Mountains provide a stunning backdrop or are the main event.
Stowe, VT, which is right in the heart of the mountains, is a top destination in the state. Home to Vermont’s tallest peak, Mount Mansfield, Stowe, and regions nearby are a popular spot for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more. Winter sports are top-notch in Stowe.
But the Green Mountains (in Stowe and beyond) also present opportunities in other seasons of the year. Vermont offers tremendous hiking, including portions of the Appalachian Trail, known in Vermont as The Long Trail. Outdoor activities abound.
But as for beauty, Vermont really has got it in spades. We’re famous of course, for the vibrant fall foliage. It’s better than almost anywhere else on earth. In summer, the hills turn emerald green. Spring brings new life to this rich, verdant state. And in winter? The Green Mountains of Vermont are a postcard-worthy snowscape.
From Amy Hartle from New England With Love
San Diego, California
When it comes to the most beautiful places in the USA, San Diego is solidly on the list. This southern California gem is known for year-round perfect weather, stunning natural beauty, and a laid-back, cool personality. With over 70 miles of coastline and proximity to nearby mountains, you can surf and snowboard (even grab authentic Mexican food!) all in the same day.
Want to soak up the sun? You’re in the right place. With an average temperature of 70 degrees and plenty of sunshine to go with it, San Diego is a great place to be outdoors. Start by visiting Torrey Pines, a gorgeous clifftop reserve that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. A great place for hiking, you’ll be surrounded by sandstone cliffs and ravines, see America’s rarest pine tree, and revel in the ocean views.
You can’t visit San Diego without enjoying the sparkling blue waters! There’s no shortage of ways to do it: surfing, sailing, ocean-view dining, coastal trails, sunset-watching and more. A few places you’ll want to visit are Mission Bay, La Jolla Cove, and the Sunset Cliffs. All are centrally-located, have gorgeous beaches, and feature tons of shops and restaurants to explore.
Another interesting place to check out is Balboa Park. The 1,200-acre urban park is home to museums, gardens, theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Spanish-style architecture combined with lush gardens and tropical plants makes for a unique and beautiful environment. You can easily spend several days here (and never want to leave!) because there’s so much to see and do.
When you’re ready for a change of pace visit one of the craft breweries the city is known for, or head east to explore the mountains and desert. San Diego has been named one of America’s most geographically interesting cities, so check it out for yourself! I know you won’t be disappointed.
By Kelli Hogan. Check out Her Local Guide to San Diego.
Drive a couple of hours east from Seattle, WA, and you’ll find yourself in the Bavarian-like town of Leavenworth. Originally a logging town, Leavenworth was transformed in the 1960s with the addition of a charming town square and Bavarian-style buildings that house restaurants, shops, and hotels. Today, the town is a popular year-round destination due to the many festivals and events it hosts, but that is not the only reason people love Leavenworth.
Sitting in a scenic valley, surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is a perfect place to take in all the natural beauty the Pacific Northwest is known for. Along with the majestic mountains, this area is also full of rivers, lakes, and forests, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
In spring through fall, there are festivals like Mai Fest and Oktoberfest as well as an abundance of outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, fishing, and camping. The winter brings thousands of visitors to the beautiful Christmas lights and snow-based sports in a gorgeous winter-wonderland setting.
Whatever time of year you visit, you will be awed by the beautiful scenery and a fabulous selection of food, shopping, and activities.
By Sarah & Nathan From Discover the Pacific Northwest
Smith Rock State Park, Oregon
Whether you are visiting Smith Rock State Park for the first time or you are a Smith Rock lover, the spire-like volcanic rocks will always awe you upon arriving.
Especially during sunrise or sunset, Smith Rock is illuminated in a bright orange glow, making it a top spot in Central Oregon photographers.
The setting of the mighty rocks, surrounded by the Deschutes River, makes it among the most scenic and beautiful places in the USA. With more than 650 acres and 550-foot high gigantic pillars of volcanic rock faces, Smith Rock State Park is the place to be if you are an adventure seeker and nature lover.
Rock climbers from all over the world meet here as well as those who just want to try it out. There are more than a thousand bolted routes with climbing options for anyone from beginners to professionals.
Even if you are not a climber, you will find plenty to explore with miles of scenic hiking and mountain bike trails winding along the river and rock spire. Wandering about is the perfect way to explore the picturesque landscape along the Deschutes. Hiking up Misery Ridge Trail will offer you excellent panoramic views with a different perspective of the famous, monumental Monkey Face spire, with rock climbers hanging off its nose.
If you are looking for a place to stay close to Smith Rock State Park, you can try to get a spot at the walk-in BIVY campground or just a 30 minutes drive away you will find lots of options in Bend, Oregon, a one of a kind outdoors city, well worth checking out.
By Rand From Bend Explored.
Big Bear, California
Big Bear, California is a must see in the United States. Sure, California is known for its long coastal beaches and cliff sides, but California also has some beautiful mountains with forests full of trees and wildlife. Big Bear is located in Southern California, just hours from Los Angeles.
It’s home to one of the most famous ski resorts in Southern California and is also a great summer destination that offers ample hiking, a beautiful lake full of water adventures, and beautiful forest views.
From amazing hikes up Castle Rock Cliffs to enjoying the day on the water in Big Bear Lake…shredding down the snow-filled ski mountains in the winter to camping in the national forest, there is always something to do all year long, and each season is more beautiful than the last.
The views from the mountain tops are some of the best in California and some views you don’t quite expect to see in a famous “beach state” like California.
There are many beautiful places in the world but aren’t many where you can visit the ocean and go snow skiing in the same day, but Big Bear, California, offers just that! Enjoy your days hiking in the wilderness, climbing boulders, looking out over valleys, and hitting the slopes in beautiful Big Bear, California.
From Sara from Our Kind of Crazy
It’s hard to argue that Kauai, the Garden Isle, is one of the most beautiful places on our planet. It is an island of rain forests, canyons, and a wild beauty that appears untouched by man. In fact, the majority of the island is only accessible by land or sea, with just a handful of towns scattered along the island’s eastern coastline.
There is a reason that dozens of movies have been filmed on Hawaii’s northernmost island, taking advantage of the untouched, lush jungle and the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” – Waimea Canyon.
Kauai is more laid-back than the better-known Hawaiian islands, and you won’t find much by way of nightlife or cityscapes. But if you are looking for outdoor adventure, incredible hiking, and stunning beaches that have not been overdeveloped, – Kauai is the island for you.
Kauai is also incredibly family friendly, making it a perfect destination for a low-key getaway with kids. Head to the Poipu area on the southern tip of the island for a beach town vibe with lots of cute shops and restaurants, or head to the ritzier Princeville area at the north of the island for an upscale resort experience. Or do both–you can drive the whole distance in a little over an hour.
With its wild backdrop and unspoiled beauty, Kauai is unlike anywhere else in the USA. If you love getting out into nature and exploring beaches, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better setting than Kauai.
From Dani Ward at Diapers in Paradise
New York City, New York
New York City is a place filled with man-made beauty. Instead of rolling hills, it has skyscrapers as tall as the eye can see. Where there was once swamplands, today that land is covered by communities with unique cultures from around the world.
Try taking a walk along the High Line, a raised park on what was once an elevated subway track. It stretches from the Meatpacking District all the way up to the new Hudson Yards development. Along its stretch, you have the opportunity to see many different neighborhoods among the city, with a view of the Hudson River and parts of New Jersey on your other side. For that matter, if you walk anywhere in New York City, you’re bound to discover something different and new from one neighborhood to the next. Each is historic and fascinating in its own way.
No matter where you turn, New York City is filled with some of the best art and artists in the world. Art museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Whitney Museum house some of the best ancient and modern art ever created. Broadway theatre is a magnificent experience, with some of the best actors in the world onstage perfecting their craft every night.
From the top of Manhattan to the bottom, up into the Bronx and Queens, or down into Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York City is covered in beautiful architecture, delicious foods, and incredible people.
From The Purposely Lost
Philadelphia is not just the birthplace of America, but it’s a beautiful place to visit. The surrounding countryside is gorgeous, but the urban landscape is just as amazing and beautiful. There’s a lot of reasons behind this, and you’ll find out for yourself if you have the joy of visiting Philly.
Of course, the history of Philadelphia has left a well-preserved historic center. In Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood life, some of the most beautiful streets in America. The cobblestone streets and 18th-century buildings are breathtaking – it feels like you’re walking back in time. One of the highlights is Elfreth’s Alley, the beautiful Philadelphia street that has been occupied since 1702. You feel like a colonist when you explore this incredibly-preserved relic of history.
One of the most beautiful parts of Philadelphia is its waterfronts, yes, plural – Philadelphia sits between two rivers. On the banks of the Delaware River, you not only have a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge, but you’ve got a vibrant and bustling urban playground. Called Penn’s Landing waterfront, you can catch a concert, enjoy a pop-up beer garden and visit world-class restaurants and nightlife.
On the opposite side of the city, you have the Schuylkill River and its stunning trail that runs up and down the city. The iconic Boathouse Row is part of the trail network, and it finishes at Schuylkill Banks – a boardwalk over the river that offers a beautiful view of the cityscape. It’s extremely popular with runners or couples who want a romantic walk.
In between the two rivers, you have a beautiful city and the most murals in any city in America. From history to street art to nature and parks – Philly has something beautiful for everyone.
By Derek and Mike at Robe Trotting
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the United States for a good reason. Stretching close to 3,500 square miles of recreational wilderness area, it is a park that has many different natural features.
Due to its volcanically-active location, the park has some of the coolest geological features in the world. Hot springs, gushing geysers, lush forest, dramatic cliffs, visitors are surely not going to run out of things to do in Yellowstone National Park.
The two best places in Yellowstone National Park are definitely the Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring. Old Faithful Geyser, a geyser that has earned its name by gushing every 90 minutes or so, can erupt up to 32 to 56 meters.
But don’t forget to get there early before its eruption time because it can get very crowded and you want the best spot to watch this natural beauty!
After visiting the Old Faithful Geyser, check out Grand Prismatic Spring and its natural vibrant colors. It is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third-largest in the entire world. Due to their different temperatures in the spring, different organisms live in different parts.
As a result, each organism gives off its individual color and the Grand Prismatic Spring ends up looking like a rainbow on the ground!
By Sean at Living Out Lau.
Niagara Falls, New York
As the largest waterfalls on the North American continent, Niagara Falls is a very special place. They are beautiful and a perfect destination to visit year-round. To experience them fully, bring your passport because you want to see them from both sides, the American and the Canadian. Make sure you have the whole day reserved for the trip. There is so much you can do and see; you’ll soon plan a return trip.
The first thing you want to do is to walk around and enjoy the views. Make a stop; just watch and observe. Take a deep breath to inhale the waterfall’s energy. The next best thing to do is to take a boat ride down to the Falls. This is a fun activity. The view of the Falls from the river level is astonishing. You can also see them from high if you walk to the observation bridge on the American side or the observation deck of the Skylon Tower on the Canadian side. Don’t forget to stop by the visitors’ center to learn about the history and power generating of these amazing waterfalls.
If you come in winter, the boat rides are closed, but you’ll be rewarded with winter wonderland views. Dress warmly in several layers and a wind-breaking jacket. The Falls freeze into a fantastic cascade of icicles with a colorful rainbow shining through the frozen water droplets ever-present in the air.
By Slavka from On2Continents.com
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most uniquely beautiful places to visit in the United States. Named for the miles of stunning mineral stained cliffs, sea caves, and rock formations that run along the southern shore of Lake Superior in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, Pictured Rocks is, in essence, a National Park, managed by the National Park Service, with many of the same services. Despite its stunning scenery, it is not widely known even among American travelers.
Over the years, the formations have picked up nicknames based upon their appearances, such as Chapel Rock, Miner’s Castle, Battleship Row, and Indian Head. One of the coolest things to do is take a boat tour to see all of the colorful cliffs from the water, which is where they are seen best. Other fun activities on Lake Superior include sea kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and glass-bottom boat tours to see the shipwrecks that have fallen prey to the tumultuous waters.
There are plenty of things to do on land at Pictured Rocks as well. The park has over 100 miles of hiking trails that cross wetlands, different types of forest, and even gigantic sand dunes. These trails include their own attractions, including waterfalls, historic ruins, scenic overlooks, beaches, and even a lighthouse that can be toured. When a slower pace is desired, the visitors center has exhibits on the geology and history of the area. For complete relaxation, sunning on the beach is the prescription.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore only receives about 800,000 visitors a year, and most of them come during the summer months and on weekends. If you travel off-season, or during the week, you can experience this gorgeous area without a crowd.
By Roxanna Keyes at Gypsy With a Day Job
Death Valley, California
One of the most underrated beautiful places in the USA is Death Valley. Death Valley is a gorgeous national park in California and is full of incredible scenery, desert landforms, epic sunsets, and otherworldly hikes.
Most visitors expect a barren desert when they visit Death Valley. Yet there is so much beauty to be discovered in the largest national park outside of Alaska. There are dozens of amazing Instagram spots in Death Valley, so make sure you pack your camera! You can hike in a slot canyon such as Mosaic canyon or climb sand dunes and pretend you are in the Sahara!
Alternatively, drive past rainbow-colored mountains on your way to the lowest point in North America.
Bad Water Basin is 86 m below sea level and is also one of the hottest places on the planet! If that sounds too hot, head to the mountains. The view from Zabriskie Point is truly breath-taking – see if you can arrive there for sunset to watch the most mesmerizing skies. You can go even higher to the ominously named Dante’s Viewpoint.
From here, you can see the beauty of Death Valley from above. And take in the beauty of one of the most top places to visit in the United States.
There are so many beautiful things to see in Death Valley. See if you can stay a night rather than just drive through to truly appreciate one of America’s most beautiful places.
By Anna at My Travel Scrapbook.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
In the heart of Colorado, you’ll find the most beautiful mountain range in the United States. Situated just two hours from Denver, Colorado, is Rocky Mountain National Park. Packed with stunning wildlife, iconic mountain peaks, and sweeping views, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the USA. When it comes to visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, there are a few important things to know.
First, it’s $25 to enter the park (or free if you have an America the Beautiful Parks Pass). There at two entrances, east and west. The East Entrance, located just outside of Estes Park, is the most popular, but don’t worry you can take a scenic drive directly through the park to see it all.
There’s plenty of things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. Home to some of the best hikes in the United States, you’ve got to step out of your vehicle and check out the trails. More adventurous travelers will enjoy the world-class backpacking and mountaineering opportunities in the park. You can also camp, enjoy the abundant wildlife, rock climb, and check out the various picture-perfect viewpoints throughout the park.
Keep in mind that both backpacking and camping require permits and advanced reservations. You can book directly through the national park website. The best times to visit Rocky Mountain National Park are between mid-June through mid-September. The main road through the park, the super-scenic Trail Ridge Road, is not maintained in the winter, meaning it will be closed if it’s snowy, cutting off the east and west end of the park.
So be sure to visit when the road is open for a more accessible visit. In July, the wildflowers are blooming, which is quite stunning. September brings beautiful fall foliage as well as the elk rut, where you can hear male elks bugling in the distance.
Plan on spending at least two days exploring the park, more if you plan on doing any camping, backpacking or mountain climbing adventures. Rocky Mountain National Park is truly a beautiful gem and should not be missed.
By Meg Atteberry of Fox in the Forest
The Sonoma Coast, California
Over fifty miles of the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, in Northern California, (more often referred to as Highway 1 by Californians) stretch and wind through the Sonoma Coast-from Bodega Bay all the way up to the relatively remote town of Gualala (about an hour and a half’s drive from Bodega Bay).
From Bodega Bay to the Jenner Headlands is a particularly gorgeous stretch, that offer visitors an abundance of state parks and beaches, as well as nature preserves, to stop at and take a hike or just enjoy spectacular views. Two of the most easily accessible (if you are coming from SF or Sonoma County) points along the Highway 1, that are also among the most scenic are Bodega Head and the Kortum Trail at Shell Beach.
Bodega Head is an area on the cliffs behind the town of Bodega Bay. Slip off the Highway 1, drive a few miles around the Bay, and then head up the hill just after Spud Point Arena (beloved local chowder and crab shack) until you reach the parking lot at Bodega Head (one of the many areas encompassed within the Sonoma Coast State Park area). Take the trails and work your way around the entire cliff area, enjoying panoramic views of the cliffs and beaches, the marina and the town of Bodega Bay. Spectacular views and sunn days can be enjoyed here all year long-but so can foggy, windy and chilly days, so be sure to pack appropriately.
Heading up about ten minutes further North, you’ll find Shell Beach and the Kortum Trail trailhead. The Kortum trail runs along the cliffs and ocean, from Shell Beach and all the way back around-including a couple of miles in the headlands.
In total, this trail is only a few miles, but it is one of the best places along the Sonoma Coast to get out and take a walk-while enjoying simply stunning views the entire way and without having to work too hard. If you want to hike a few milesfurther, you can head across the highway (on foot from the parking lot at Shell Beach) to the Pomo Canyon trail (a 6.5 mile loop trail that passes through mostly headlands and tree covered areas).
Or, if you are looking for a much longer and more intense day hike, you can keep driving North until you reach the Jenner Headlands Preserve. And while there go explore all the things to do in Santa Rosa.
Brooke Herron of A Different Kind of Travel
Key West, Florida
Key West is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the entire United States. In this enormous country, you’d think there would be other sites similar to Key West, but there truly isn’t. The stunning blue water, adventure on Duval Street, and cultural history are what makes this such a fantastic place.
The natural beauty in Key West is what hits you first as you enter the city. If you are driving in, you’ll drive over 7 mile bridge, one of the longest bridges on earth, all-over crystal blue water. Key West is full of tropical palm trees and has a very Caribbean attitude and vibe. You’ll enjoy this natural beauty each and every day you have on the island of Key West.
On Duval Street, there is absolutely no shortage of fun and adventure for your stay. If you’d like to enjoy a few beers or glasses of wine, this is the place to do it. Duval Street is moving and grooving all hours of the night it seems and is full of street performers, live music, art shops, and of course bars and restaurants. Spend at least one night checking out Duval Street; you won’t regret it.
Key West is also home to many cultural and historical attractions. Fort Zachary Taylor is a beautiful site and was home to many historical battles from the Revolutionary War to the American Civil War. On top of that, Key West was home to the very first-ever international flight, which went from Key West to Havana, Cuba, just 90 miles to the South.
Whatever floats your boat, you are sure to have a wonderful time in Key West. Buckle your seat belt and be ready for an awesome adventure!
From ruhls of the road
And there you go! 41 Awesome places to Visit in the United States! Which place are you going to add to your bucket list first?