The 20 Most Beautiful Places in the US

Most beautiful places in the United States

Strapping in for some serious sightseeing? The United States presents an enormous canvas of exquisite landscapes, vibrant cities, and historical landmarks. Here, we'll guide you through 20 of the most beautiful destinations you simply must add to your travels.

Related: USA Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Girl standing at the edge of the Grand CanyonUnsplash

Grand Canyon, Arizona

One could gaze at the Grand Canyon's vastness for hours, and still not grasp its full magnitude. Carved out over millennia by the Colorado River, it's more than a mile deep, about 10 miles across, and boasts a 277-mile length. The various red, orange, and yellow hues teasing the canyon walls, coupled with the sheer size, make this natural wonder something you quite literally can’t forget. Whether you’re on a daring hike, a picturesque helicopter tour, or simply viewing from a designated lookout, the experience is unforgettable.

Yosemite National ParkUnsplash

Yosemite National Park, California

Offering more than pure scenic beauty (which it has in spades), Yosemite National Park offers a deep, visceral connection with nature. Majestic waterfalls tumble over cliffs, ancient sequoias reach for the skies, and striking granite monoliths like El Capitan and Half Dome dominate the landscape. But, don’t limit your gaze to the skyward giants. Down in the verdant valleys and picturesque meadows, you can reconnect with the earth, with gentle hikes and tranquil picnic spots aplenty.

Tree-lined street in Savannah, GeorgiaUnsplash

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah will sweep you up into its warm, southern embrace the moment you arrive. Cobblestone streets echo with the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages, Spanish moss drapes lazily from ancient trees, and historic squares offer peaceful respite among verdant settings. Architecturally charming, historic homes and buildings carry the weight of bygone eras. If you're yearning for a blend of city buzz and laid-back charm, a stroll through the historic district or a leisurely wander in Forsyth Park should do the trick.

Glacier National Park, MontanaUnsplash

Glacier National Park, Montana

Amid Montana's untouched wilderness lies Glacier National Park, often referred to as the "Crown of the Continent." Its stunning alpine beauty, characterized by pristine forests, meandering valleys, soaring mountains, and vibrant, lake-speckled landscapes, feels untouched by time. The park bundles up 700 miles of trails, historic lodges, 100+ pristine lakes, and thrilling wildlife sightings. It's a sight to behold whether you're hiking or simply enjoying a scenic drive down the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

New York cityscapeUnsplash

New York City, New York

Tall skyscrapers, vibrant city life, and a plethora of cultures blend together to create a vibe that is distinctly NYC. However, the city isn't all concrete. The expansive Central Park acts as the city's breathing lungs. And then there’s the High Line, a green oasis amid the urban sprawl, and Brooklyn, with its brownstone-lined streets, that add a calm, neighborhood charm to the city's hustle and bustle. From the iconic skyline to the more organic, tree-laden pockets of tranquility, this city offers a beautiful duality.

Related: The 36 Best Things To Do in New York City

Bryce Canyon, UtahUnsplash

Bryce Canyon, Utah

If you enjoy Mother Nature's more dramatic displays, Bryce Canyon National Park's landscape will leave you captivated. But don't let the name fool you — this isn't a single canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters and intricate formations known as hoodoos. These spire-like structures, carved by the elements over eons, encapsulate a surreal beauty that deepens at sunrise and sunset. As soft rays illuminate the rocks, they blaze in a stunning palette of oranges, reds, and yellows — a truly otherworldly sight.

The Florida Keys, Florida

The Florida Keys are a charmed string of tropical islands with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic on the other. This pocket-sized paradise comes with crystal-clear waters that shift from the palest aquamarine to the deepest sapphire, abundant marine life, and islands that range from lively to serene. Whether you're snorkeling around vibrant coral reefs, lazing on sun-kissed beaches, or catching sunset views at Mallory Square, there's a novel experience waiting at every bend.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

There are few places in the world where you can safely watch the primal process of creation and destruction, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park exists in this rare breed. With Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world's most active volcanoes, it's here where creation is ongoing. Landscapes morph before your eyes — from lush rainforests and lava deserts to volcanic craters and city-sized calderas.

Related: The Best Time To Visit Hawaii

Aerial view of Niagara FallsUnsplash

Niagara Falls, New York

There's a reason why Niagara Falls has been a beloved destination for generations. Combining three waterfalls — American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls — creates the highest flow rate of any waterfall on Earth. Whether you choose to view the falls from an outlook, experience them up close on a Maid of the Mist boat tour, or walk the network of cave paths behind, you can't but be impressed. It's here where one can truly appreciate nature's power and beauty.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Step into the embrace of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and it's like entering a storybook that's come vividly to life. Envision endless hiking trails winding through lush forests, leading you to breathtaking vistas where the air tastes crisp, and the horizon seems boundless. In the fall, it's a riot of color with leaves turning fiery hues, while winter transforms it into a snowy playground perfect for skiing or cozying up by a fire.

Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUnsplash

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Step into Antelope Canyon, Arizona's hidden gem, where light and shadow play in the most magical ways across the undulating sandstone walls. Carved by water over millions of years, this slot canyon boasts otherworldly scenery that seems to dance with colors — vibrant oranges, deep purples, and glowing golds — as the sunlight peeks in. It's a photographer’s paradise, a place where each shot is more stunning than the last.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Picture yourself waking up at the crack of dawn to catch the first rays of sunlight in the United States from Cadillac Mountain — sounds majestic, doesn’t it? That’s just a slice of the adventure waiting for you at Acadia National Park. With its rugged coastline, forested trails, and serene lakes, Acadia is where you get to swap city sounds for the soothing whispers of nature. Whether you're biking along the carriage roads or picnicking beside Jordan Pond, the park's beauty is endlessly unfolding.

The Great Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National ParkUnsplash

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Welcome to Yellowstone, the first national park in the world and home to a wonderland of geysers, hot springs, and untamed wildlife. Here, each day is a new adventure, whether you’re watching Old Faithful erupt into the sky, gazing at the Great Prismatic Spring, or hiking through canyons carved by the Yellowstone River. It's an awe-inspiring display of nature's raw beauty in all its diversity.

Golden Gate Bridge, San FranciscoUnsplash

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a postcard come alive. Iconic landmarks like the crimson Golden Gate Bridge, the clang of cable cars under steep rows of pastel Victorian houses, and Alcatraz Island looming in the bay — these are the sights and sounds that make the city so special. And you can't miss a stroll in Golden Gate Park — it's a serene escape within the city limits with waterfalls, museums, and gardens to explore.

Great Smoky Mountains at sunsetUnsplash

The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee

Here's why they call it ‘Great’ — echoing laughter in ancient forests, mist-veiled mountain peaks, and wildflowers that bloom in an explosion of colors. A trip to the Great Smoky Mountains means immersing yourself in a timeless spectacle of nature's grandeur. This is where you trade emails and deadlines for hiking trails and waterfall picnics.

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Picture this: crystal-clear waters so deep and blue that they rival the sky above, all surrounded by majestic mountains that change their wardrobe with the seasons — from emerald green to purest white. Welcome to Lake Tahoe, a year-round haven for nature lovers, adventurers, and anyone looking to take a deep breath of fresh air and let out a contented sigh.

Monument Valley at sunsetUnsplash

Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona

Ever wanted to step right into a classic Western movie? Well, welcome to Monument Valley — a landscape so strikingly beautiful it has been the backdrop for countless films. With its towering sandstone buttes catching the fiery hues of sunrise and sunset, it's the kind of place where even the rocks tell stories. Whether you're winding through the dusty roads on a guided tour or simply soaking in the timeless beauty, it's a place that makes you feel like you've journeyed back in time.

Maroon Bells, Colorado

Imagine towering peaks dusted with snow, casting their reflection over crystal-clear alpine lakes. It's not just a sight to behold; it feels like stepping into a living postcard. This little slice of paradise offers a playground for all sorts of adventurers. Whether you're into gentle hikes around Maroon Lake, capturing that perfect sunrise photograph, or challenging yourself with the craggy trails up to the peaks, there’s something here for everyone.

Alaska’s Kenai Fjords

Reachable by boat from Seward, these glaciated landscapes host an impressive array of wildlife. Imagine navigating through icy waters dotted with icebergs, spotting whales breaching the surface, and hearing the thunderous roar of glaciers calving. It's not just a visit; it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the untamed part of the world. Hiking in the vast, unspoiled wilderness gives you a sense of freedom and awe, unlike anywhere else.

Sunset at Joshua Tree National ParkUnsplash

Joshua Tree National Park, California

There's something about Joshua Tree National Park that makes it feel like visiting another planet. With its Dr. Seussian Joshua trees and rugged rock formations, it’s a place that both quiets the mind and excites the imagination. Think of it as nature’s own sculpture garden, carved under crystal-clear skies that turn into a stargazer's paradise once the sun dips. The park is not just a haven for photographers but also a retreat for climbers, hikers, and dreamers alike. It’s where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, each offering distinct vibes and vistas.

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