America is filled with absolutely mind-numbing beauty. You don’t need to travel the world to get an eyeful of some truly spectacular sights. Check out these incredible spots across the country and prepare to feel your heart swell up with pride and wonder.
Alabama: Cathedral Caverns, Woodville
These incredible caves are host to countless glittering stalagmites and stalactites. In fact, the cavern's biggest stalagmites, "Goliath," is one of the largest on earth. It's over 45 feet tall and 243 feet around!
Alaska: Mount Katmai, Katmai National Park
This magnificent peak is actually stratovolcano, built of countless layers of ash and lava. The jewel of Mount Katmai lies at its caldera, where a mesmerizing crater lake formed after the collapse of the summit during a 1912 eruption.
Arizona: Antelope Canyon
This enchanting spot is located in Navajo Nation land. It is a colorful slot canyon that is the result of thousands of years of erosion.
Arkansas: Arkansas Grand Canyon
Hiking trails and overlooks in this canyon provide views of the Big Creek Valley for miles around. It is also a great place to take your motorcycle out for a joyride.
California: Catalina Island
This California hideaway feels like a Mediterranean isle. A helicopter ride may be the best way to take in the natural beauty of the area.
Colorado: Garden of the Gods
Located near Colorado Springs, these magnificent rock formations have known human habitation since at least 1330 B.C. These pink and scarlet cliffs rise out of the ground like fins, and are especially stunning around sunset and sunrise.
Connecticut: Deer Lake Reservoir
This pond is a haven for wildlife and nature-lovers. The 6-acre area is tranquil and a wonderful place to stroll, picnic, or just listen to the sounds of the wild.
Delaware: Nemours Mansion and Gardens
This magnificent estate is an almost perfect rendering of a classic Louis XVI French château. Built in 1907 by Alfred Dupont as a gift for his new bride, this 3,000-acre mansion features lush gardens, beautiful fountains, and stunning architecture. The estate's botanical gardens are some of the most beautiful in the region.
Florida: Fort Jefferson
This giant island fortress is the nation's largest masonry structure, but it is actually an unfinished project. Its construction involved the hand-placement of over 16 million bricks between the years of 1824 and 1825. The naval station was meant to help deter piracy, but eventually served as a prison during the Civil War. Today, visitors are welcome to tour the fort.
Georgia: Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island
This beach on Jekyll Island is covered in beautiful driftwood. The bleached and bent forms of uprooted trees and broken branches are incredibly striking, which explains why this is one of the most photographed spots in Georgia.
Hawaii: Waimea Canyon, Kauai
This beautiful spot is sometimes called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The fiery red stone ridges are blanketed with lush greenery, and the sounds of tropical birds can be heard throughout the area.
Idaho: Camas Prarie
This prairie is notable for its perennial blooms of camas, a type of purple flower. Similar area of flowering camas exist in Montana, Oregon and Washington, but the camas prairie in Idaho is particularly spectacular.
Illinois: Cahokia Mounds
Across from the Mississippi River near Collinsville, there are the remains of the ancient society of Cahokia. These massive earthen mounds were constructed by Native Americans between 650 and 1400 B.C. The 109 mounds contain the remnants of a sophisticated Mississippian culture that flourished long before the invasion of European peoples.
Indiana: Fall Creek Boardwalk, Fort Harrison State Park
This serene walking route can be found in Lawrence. The boardwalk meanders through the beautiful foliage of Fort Harrison State Park and offers multiple vantage points from which to view the lower portions of the park.
Iowa: Iowa River Valley
This region in Iowa is notable for its sweeping wooded vista and robust local agriculture. The rural valley offers many stunning places to camp and multiple top-notch horse trails.
Kansas: Monument Rocks, Gove County
This series of giant chalk formations is on the National Natural Landmark registry. They reach heights of up to 70 feet, and scientists believe the Monument Rocks formations were formed 80 million years ago.
Kentucky: Cumberland Sand Cave, Cumberland Gap National Park
This cave is a dramatic natural formation that has signs of human habitation dating back thousands of years. The cave also features a 2,400-foot high overlook where visitors can gaze out over Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Louisiana: The French Quarter, New Orleans
This urban area is a stunning blend of architectural style, cultural influences, and musical styles. It's one of the most colorful and storied neighborhoods in the country.
Maine: Otter Cliffs, Mount Desert Island
These rugged cliffs stand 110 feet high and are situated on one of the tallest headlands north of Rio de Janeiro. Standing atop the cliffs provides an awe-inspiring view of the ocean.
Maryland: Swallow Falls State Park
This is one of the best places to view fall foliage in the state. The park features numerous waterfalls and brooks, as well as plenty of woodland hiking trails that will lead you through stunning scenery.
Massachusetts: Aquinnah Cliffs
These gorgeous cliffs are streaked with brightly colored clay and topped with lush grass. It's an incredible spot to spend a day at the beach.
Michigan: Turnip Rock
Located at the extreme end of Pointe Aux Barques, this bizarre rock formation creates a sort of floating island just off the shore of Lake Huron. The base of the rock has been eroded away over the course of thousands of years, and the area is now an extremely scenic spot for kayaking or swimming.
Minnesota: Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway
This highway connects Grand Marais to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It showcases some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the state, and is considered one of the most romantic drives in the country. There are plenty of lovely B&Bs and outdoor recreation areas along the way.
Mississippi: Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge
This wildlife sanctuary offers 48,219 acres of unspoiled wilderness in Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Winston counties. Home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, this park receives over 150,000 visitors annually and offers plenty of hiking, fishing and educational opportunities.
Missouri: Forest Park Art Hill & Grand Basin
Forest Park Art Hill & Grand Basin played host to the 1904 World's Fair. Today, this 1,371-acre park offers four different museums, a spectacular zoo, and a number of golf courses.
Montana: Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park
This enchanting lake is a startling, opaque blue. Set against the bright greenery and dark mountains, the effect can be truly magical. The lake's unique color is caused by "rock flour" that seeps into the water from the Siyah Glacier.
Nebraska: Toadstool Geologic Park
These bizarre rock formations were formed over 30 million years ago by volcanic activity. Layers of volcanic ash were deposited and subsequently eroded away. Over time, layers of sandstone and clay were also revealed. The formations continue to erode and change, which means that future visitors will see an entirely different landscape.
Nevada: Lake Tahoe
This is the second-deepest lake in the nation, and certainly one of the most beautiful. The lake was created over 2 million years ago, and its waters are still incredibly clear and pure. The Lake Tahoe area is a popular tourist destination and offers all manner of boating, swimming, and skiing opportunities.
New Hampshire: Franconia Notch State Park
Located in the White Mountains, this state park offers plenty of beautiful and recreational opportunities. The hike up to Lonely Lake is especially scenic and worthwhile.
New Jersey: Musconetcong River Valley, Washington
This picturesque valley has seen very scant industrial development over the years, and so remains an incredibly lovely rural area. There have been numerous archaeological digs in the valley that suggest human habitation up to 12,000 years ago.
North Carolina: Chimney Rock
This 315-foot tower of granite is a popular destination for hikers and photographers. The views from the public overlook are some of the best in the state.
North Dakota: North Dakota Badlands
Located primarily in the Theodore Roosevelt State Park, this stunning area features hoodoo rock formations, red stone canyons, and an abundance of endangered wildlife.
New Mexico: Plaza Blanca near Abiquiú
Georgia O'Keefe found these striking cliffs to be deeply inspiring. The best time to check them out is during a sunny, clear day when the blue of the sky will provide the best contrast with the white stone.
New York: Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is actually a series of separate waterfalls. Their combined force makes this waterfall complex the most powerful on earth.
Ohio: Lake Erie
Lorain Harbor is a particularly beautiful spot from which to enjoy a stunning sunset over Lake Erie.
Oklahoma: Myriad Botanic Gardens
Located in Oklahoma City, this spot is a very literal urban jungle. The rare plants and blooms housed in the glittering glass greenhouses are available for public viewing. Myriad also hosts many interesting community events.
Oregon: Thor's Well
This beautiful coastal phenomenon is one of the most striking natural formations in Oregon. This seemingly bottomless rocky well appears to drain the sea around it, with water swirling and thundering into a hole that never seems to fill.
Pennsylvania: Cherry Springs State Park
This area has some of the lowest levels of light pollution in the country. It is an amazing spot to do some stargazing.
Rhode Island: Newport Mansions
These Gilded Age estates are some of the most sumptuously decorated and lavishly constructed homes in the nation.
South Carolina: Botany Bay State Preserve
This place is heaven for photographers and nature lovers alike. The preserve has 21 registered historic sites across its 4,500 acres of pristine land.
South Dakota: Mammoth Site
This incredible exhibit is filled with the preserved remains of mammoths. These massive animals died over 26,000 years ago.
Tennessee: Tellico Plains
This gorgeous area is loaded with stunning waterfalls, scenic drives, and lots of history. Tellico Plains is an ideal place to take in some fall foliage.
Texas: Caprock Canyons
These glorious crimson cliffs are beautiful in every season. In the spring, lush vegetation provides a lovely contrast to the bright red rocks.
Utah: Bonneville Salt Flats
These otherworldly salt flats extend for miles in all directions, and public is welcome to drive here.
Vermont: Champlain Islands
These islands offer all manner of outdoor activities, beautiful vegetation, and gorgeous views. Miniature castles and fascinating birdhouses are just some of the unique features of these stunning isles.
Virginia: Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains shimmer with a blue haze. This phenomenon is actually caused by isoprene released into the atmosphere by the native trees.
Washington: Prusik Pass
Washington has plenty of beautiful natural landscapes, but this spot is a cut above the rest. Located in the Enchantments, this pass offers mountain views, a scenic river and gorgeous vegetation.
West Virginia: Cass Scenic Railroad
This rail journey is eleven miles long and offers some of the best views of West Virginia countryside in the state.
Wisconsin: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves
The Apostle Islands offer all sorts of incredibly varied environments. The islands may be most well known for their beautiful woodlands and stunning lighthouses, but the glittering ice caves that form during the winter are an unforgettable sight.
Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park
One of the most impressive natural structures in the Rockies and in the entire United States, the Tetons loom 7,000 feet above the valley floor. It's a sight that must be experienced at least once.