America abounds with incredible natural wonders. Each state offers something uniquely spectacular that is sure to delight visitors. You may have heard of several of these spots, while others are lesser-known gems. Read on to discover the most enchanting spots across our magnificent country.
Alabama: Noccalula Falls
The 90-foot Noccalula Falls are truly enchanting. Noccalula Falls Park is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. 1500 Noccalula Rd., Gadsden.
Alaska: Kodiak Island
Located on the south coast of Alaska, Kodiak Island is the second-largest island in the United States. Lush forests cover much of the island, and the quiet bays provide refuge for wildlife.
Arizona: Monument Valley
The sandstone buttes of Monument Valley are so picturesque that they’re featured in many Western movies. Located at the Arizona-Utah border, near the four-corners area.
Arkansas: Southern Overlook on Mount Magazine
Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas, with an elevation of 2,700 feet. The view from the Southern overlook is enchanting.
California: McWay Falls, Big Sur
McWay Falls is a “tidefall,” which means that it meets the ocean during high tide. It’s one of only two in the region. The best view is from above.
Colorado: Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake is located in Ouray, in the San Juan National Forest. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but well worth it.
This charming little village is just what you expect New England to look like. Find quaint shops, white clapboard cottages and a lighthouse.
Delaware: Delaware Bay
The 782-square mile bay is fed by multiple rivers. It’s marshes and salt flats are home to many species of birds, as well as horseshoe crabs and oysters.
Florida: Ocala National Forest
Just north of Orlando, the Ocala National Forest includes more than 600 lakes, rivers and natural springs. Hike, camp, fish and swim.
Georgia: Cumberland Island
Take the ferry to Cumberland Island to visit wild horses, turtles and birds. It’s a car-free zone, so you’ll enjoy a quiet, peaceful afternoon.
Hawaii: Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai
It’s often called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and for good reason. You’ll see craggy mountain peaks, lush greenery and stunning waterfalls.
Idaho: Shoshone Falls
Shoshone Falls, known as "The Niagara of the West", is one of the true great waterfalls of the North American continent. The falls of the Snake River plunge 212 feet over a horseshoe shaped formation over 900 feet in width. The beauty is captivating from the moment you see it.
Illinois: Anderson Japanese Gardens
An absolute gem in the middle of Rockford is Anderson Japanese Gardens, an authentic 12-acre Japanese Garden filled with scents of flowers and pines. The gardens are in a "pond strolling" garden with several waterfalls and ponds, streams, rock formations and winding paths. It is the perfect place to unwind and clear your mind.
Indiana: Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park is the largest of 24 state parks in Indiana, and occupies 15,776 acres. The park is known for its scenic views of the hills of southern Indiana and is stunning year-round.
Iowa: Maquoketa Caves State Park
Located in Jackson County, The Maquoketa Caves State Park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. The park itself covers 370 acres nestled among hardwood trees and high bluffs. With approximately thirteen caves, a great experience awaits you at this interesting and unique state park.
Kansas: Cowley Lake Waterfall
Cowley Lake spills over a ledge at 20 feet and into a wood-shaded stream below. The falls are refreshingly beautiful and can be found at the west end of the 84-acre Cowley Lake in Dexter.
Kentucky: Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Kayak into the Lost River Cave for an enchanting experience.
Louisiana: Oak Alley Plantation
Stunning beauty can be found at Oak Alley Plantation along the banks of the Mississippi in the community of Vacherie. Oak Alley is a historic plantation named for its distinguishing visual feature, an alley path, created by a double row of southern live oak trees about 800 feet long.
Maine: Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain is located on Mount Desert Island, within Acadia National Park. At 1,530 ft., it is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. From October 7 through March 6 of each year, it is the first place to view a sunrise in the United States.
Maryland: Ladew Topiary Gardens
Ladew Topiary Gardens was named one of the "Top 5 Gardens
in North America" and is world-renowned for its topiary and flower gardens. The exquisite grounds contain 15 garden rooms, each devoted to a single color, plant or theme, arranged around two cross axes with vistas.
Massachusetts: Bash Bish Falls
As the highest waterfall in the state, Bash Bish Falls are made up of a series of cascades, nearly 200 feet, with the final cascade being split into twin falls then dropping in an 80-foot "V" over boulders to a serene pool below. The falls are captivating and are located in the Taconic Mountains of southwestern Massachusetts.
Michigan: Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a beautiful seven mile scenic drive that takes you through deep forests, over sand dunes and provides you with a number of scenic outlooks. It is located within Sleeping Bear National Park and available stops allow you the viewing pleasure of the awe-inspiring lakes in the area.
Minnesota: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, this stunning state park offers spectacular views, several waterfalls, unique sea caves, and a historic lighthouse. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, camping and fishing.
Mississippi: Tishomingo State Park
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, this park is home to Bear Creek Canyon along with generous outcroppings of limestone and sandstone, making for some rugged rock formations. The famous Natchez Trace Parkway runs directly through the park.
Missouri: Onondaga Cave State Park
Descend into a world of wonder and explore Onondaga Cave. The stalactite and stalagmite formations are simply stunning. If you prefer to stay on the surface, enjoy the Vilander Bluff Natural Area and bucolic Meramec River.
Montana: Glacier National Park
The gorgeous Glacier National Park spans over one million acres and encompasses portions of two mountain ranges, both subranges of the Rocky Mountains. Some of the park's most spectacular sights include Grinnell Glacier, Hidden Lake, and Bearhat Mountain.
Nebraska: Chimney Rock
An iconic landmark on the Oregon Trail, this strangely-shaped rock seems almost supernatural. You'll find it near Bayard, off U.S. Route 26. A National Historic Site, the visitor center provides some interesting exhibits on westward migration.
Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park
Flickr/James Marvin Phelps
Located in the Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. You'll find stunning rock formations and 3000-year-old Native American petroglyphs.
New Hampshire: Lake Winnipesaukee
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire and it contains over 250 natural islands. A popular vacation destination, Winnipesaukee is a gorgeous glacial lake offering a wide variety of recreational opportunities and magnificent mountain views.
New Jersey: Cape May
The southernmost tip of the state, Cape May beaches are breathtaking and the entire town is loaded with charm. You'll find some interesting attractions in the area including an abandoned bunker on the beach and a wrecked ship jutting out above the water.
New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
This park features over 119 caves, the most popular of which is Carlsbad Cavern. Carlsbad Cavern is one of the largest caves in the world, offering a variety of "rooms" including the Balloon Ballroom, Halloween Hall, Green Lake Room, and Hall of Giants (pictured).
New York: Niagara Falls
Flickr/James Marvin Phelps
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the Ontario/New York border. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie entirely within the state of New York. Much of Horseshoe Falls lie in Canada. Striking all seasons, the falls are even more enchanting when illuminated at night.
North Carolina: Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock State Park is located in the Sauratown Mountain Range and is home to five waterfalls including the lovely Lower Cascade Falls, pictured.
North Dakota: International Peace Garden
What could be more enchanting than gorgeous gardens dedicated to the promise of peace? The gardens lie on the North Dakota/Manitoba border and feature a cairn inscribed with the following pledge between the United States and Canada: "TO GOD IN HIS GLORY,
we two nations
dedicate this garden
and pledge ourselves
that as long as men
shall live, we will
not take up arms
against one another."
Ohio: Hocking Hills State Park
Flickr/Tabitha Kaylee Hawk
There is just so much to explore at this incredible state park in Logan. Enjoy the lakes, falls, caves and abundance of recreational activities while taking in some spectacular views.
Oklahoma: Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Jonathan C. Wheeler/Flickr
Nestled in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains sits Chickasaw National Recreation Area, a park that consists of almost 10,000 acres. Streams, lakes, mineral and freshwater springs make this spot a delightful getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. The water of Travertine Creek maintains an average temperature of 65 degrees year round, and is a favorite swimming hole in the hot, summer months.
Oregon: Crater Lake
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country, and it's absolutely stunning.
Pennsylvania: Rickett Glen State Park
Flickr/ Nicholas A. Tonelli
Rickett Glen is a beautiful gem of a state park in Pennsylvania. At over 13,000 acres, this beautiful forest has 24 gorgeous waterfalls and wonderful hiking opportunities.
Rhode Island: Block island
Flickr/ Heather Katsoulis
Block Island is absolutely picturesque. Home to a huge variety of wildlife and song birds, the scenic island was named one of "The Last Great Places" by The Nature Conservatory.
South Carolina: Caesar's Head State Park
This beautiful state park in Greenville County, South Carolina, boasts incredible panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The photograph above shows a gorgeous view of Table Rock.
South Dakota: Badlands National Park
Mount Rushmore is pretty amazing, but our choice for the most enchanting place in South Dakota is the otherworldly Badlands National Park.
Tennessee: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park, and for good reason. The beautiful mountain range is full of lush forests, wild flowers, stunning wildlife, and incredible views.
Texas: Santa Elena Canyon & Big Bend State Park
Big Bend State Park is a phonomenal desert paradise in west Texas. One astounding feature is the otherworldly Santa Elena Canyon, photographed above.
Utah: Zion National Park
The Watchman towers over Zion National Park -- the most popular of Utah’s five national parks. Located in the Southern portion of the state, Zion offers plenty of hiking, bouldering, and wildlife-watching.
Vermont: Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a large, stunningly gorgeous lake with lovely reflective water and a number of beautiful islands.
Virginia: Shenandoah National Park
Virginia is home to the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, a wildlife area including part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. The park features amazing peaks, waterfalls, and the popular Skyline Drive scenic route.
Washington: Cape Flattery
Cape Flattery is an incredible feature of the northernmost Washington coast, in Clallam County. The rock features, greenery, and ocean views are absolutely magical.
West Virginia: Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park is full of cascading waterfalls and colorful foliage. The forest is especially enchanting in Autumn.
Wisconsin: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore - Ice Caves
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin is home to some absolutely magical ice caves, natural structures adorned in crystalline icicles.
Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park
How could we resist? Yellowstone National park is out-of-this-world beautiful.
Are you already planning your next vacation? We certainly are. Visit any of these spectacular spots, we doubt you’ll be disappointed.