The United States of America is full of some of the most beautiful places in the world. The vast country has a very wide variety of unique terrain and native animals. The West Coast boasts the golden California shoreline up to the mountaintops of Washington. The South has its own beauty, from tropic-like spots in Florida to the flower fields of Texas. The Midwest and East Coast are both breathtaking as the leaves change colors in the fall.
All of these places are enjoyable to look at in photos, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the sites in person? Get your bucket list ready and check out 35 of the most beautiful places in the United States that you simply need to visit.
35. Badlands National Park
Where: South Dakota
Why We Love It: South Dakota is sometimes seen as a forgotten state when it comes to desired destinations. While people know the state has landmarks like Mount Rushmore, many people forget that it’s home to some of the most beautiful parks in America like the Badlands National Park.
No, it’s not just a favorite because of the word “Badlands.” It’s also a favorite because of its amazing rock formations, steep canyons, and dramatic landscapes. Of course, you’ll also be able to see a few prairie dogs, Bighorn sheep, and Bison while visiting.
Why We Love It: Located in the American Southwest is a fabulous landmark known as Antelope Canyon. Many people don’t know about this place. It makes the top of our list because of its unique and fascinating formations. It’s known as a slot canyon that is often called “corkscrew canyon.”
This place offers several tours and is sacred ground to the Navajo nation, which means people can only access it by permit. Nevertheless, that’s another reason to get excited. These tours are known to be among the best in the United States.
Why We Love It: If you enjoy hiking or would like to do something you’ve never done before, you need to head over to this hiking trail in Utah because it’s known as being the most beautiful hiking path in America. Officially called Angel’s Landing, it’s only about 2.4 miles so you don’t need to worry about spending days out there though you probably will anyway.
Zion National Park is home to this hiking trail, with so many other beautiful sights to see before, during, and after the hike. The only struggle might be the steep stairs you need to climb, but don’t worry because they’re worth it.
Why We Love It: Louisiana is home to many historic homes with a few even dating back to the late 1700s. However, none of them pass Oak Alley Plantation on the most beautiful homes in the United States list. It’s truly a home that can take you back in time with a tour that gives you a grand history lesson.
This plantation is well-known for its grand porch, pillars, and gorgeous oak trees. The home has some of the most striking antique decor throughout the estate. Make sure you take the whole day to view this grand estate because you’ll need it.
Why We Love It: There are so many amazing beaches in Hawaii that it’s hard to know which ones to visit. We were able to find it for you. A cove amid rock formations, including a large natural arch, secludes Honopu Beau in Hawaii.
This is just one reason it makes this list. Can you imagine going there to see the sights, hear the ocean, and not have to listen to hundreds of people? Well, you can here. Because it is relatively hidden, it’s possible to go there and not see dozens or hundreds of people, a rarity for Hawaii.
Why We Love It: Yes, we’re aware you might be wondering why a swamp would make the list. Well, here’s your answer – there is a fantastic drive and walk to this swamp that holds some of the most beautiful arrays of trees. However, you need to pay attention to the mile markers because that’s the only way to find them.
Once you hit mile marker 122, you’ll want to park your vehicle and take a stroll on the boardwalk for about a half-mile. At that moment, you will be able to see the most beautiful swamp in the United States. If you don’t believe us, simply add it to your bucket list and go.
Why We Love It: One of the most beautiful features of Oneonta Gorge is all the green you can find in nature. Not only does it have a beautiful river, but you can also listen to the river flowing down from the waterfall. Of course, you also need to follow a path that spans nearly 3 miles in total.
Other than the gorgeous scenes you’ll find on the trail, you’ll also enjoy how easy it is. Experienced and amateur hikers alike can enjoy the hiking path in Oregon.
Why We Love It: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is probably one of the most famous historical buildings on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In fact, looking into the water and seeing the reflection is one reason this location is so popular.
Take time to honor one of the founding fathers and the third President of the United States of America. The Roman Pantheon inspired the memorial, as did one of Thomas Jefferson’s own designs at the University of Virginia.
Why We Love It: If you love flowers, especially tulips, you’ll need to go to Skagit Valley in Washington because it’s home to some of the most beautiful tulip fields. Yes, there are whole fields of tulips right in the United States. You can discover the beauty of these fields within an hour of Seattle in Washington.
The areas sometimes have several different colored tulips because people know that they are a tourist attraction. However, the city did not set up this location as an attraction for tourists. So, please don’t walk between the flowers.
Why We Love It: You had probably heard of Death Valley before and thought this is a place you’d never want to go. However, this is one of the first places you want to travel to because of its one-of-a-kind landscapes.
Death Valley is one of America’s hottest and driest places. Even if you are not one for hot and dry, the trip will be worth it. While you’re here, make sure you head to Zabriskie Point to watch the sunset. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you just can’t miss.
Why We Love It: The state of Vermont is home to many unique bridges. Some of them are historic and on the must-see list. However, the one that makes the list for the most beautiful bridge in America is the Arlington Green Covered Bridge.
Amazingly, this bridge beats out over 100 other bridges because it’s known as one of the state’s oldest bridges. However, it’s also one that is well preserved and known to attract people from all over the world because of its beauty.
Why We Love It: Oregon clearly has many beautiful places. Located in Multnomah Creek in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. Not only is it the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, but it is also a two-step waterfall, which makes it even more gorgeous.
Do you want to know another great feature of this trip? In order to get to Multnomah Falls, you’ll need to travel down the Historic Columbia River Highway. It will give you even more sights to take in and remember.
Why We Love It: Mountains, flowers, and a train – you won’t know where to look when it comes to the beautiful White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad located in Alaska. Established in the late 19th century, this railroad climbs about 3,000 feet. The beautiful railroad also gives rides a cliff-hanging and panoramic view during their 20-mile ride around the mountains in the area. Even though you might want to close your eyes at times – don’t! It’s essential to take in all the gorgeous scenery.
Why We Love It: Alaska is one of the states people want to visit because of its unique features. If you ever make your way to the state, you will need to stop by and see the Mendenhall Glacier Caves because there is literally nothing else like it in the world.
Unfortunately, it’s a hard place to get to because, in typical Alaska fashion, you need to get through 12 miles of partially frozen caverns before you reach the caves. Fortunately, this is 100% possible and 1000% worth the trip.
Why We Love It: Located in Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the most gorgeous springs in the United States. In fact, it’s not only the largest hot spring in the United States but the third-largest in the world.
One of the reasons it’s so beautiful is precisely where it got its name from — unique colors that fade from bright orange to blue. Don’t let this item miss your bucket list as it’s definitely more gorgeous in person.
Why We Love It: Cades Cove in Tennessee is a popular tourist destination, but it’s still beautiful. Of course, it becomes even more gorgeous if you go during the tourist offseason simply because it’s quieter and you can take more time to truly enjoy the scenery.
Cades Cove is a must if you love history or simply want to take a step back in time. It can make you feel like you need to put on your prairie clothes and hitch up the horse and buggy. And there is nothing wrong with turning off your phone in the process.
Why We Love It: South Carolina is known to have several beautiful landscapes and features, which is why it makes this list more than once. Therefore, when you start to make your list and reach this state, make sure you take a few days so you can see all the sites.
There are many attractive features in the famous town of Charleston. Not only will you get some of the country’s richest history, but you can also see cobblestone-lined streets and pastel-colored Antebellum houses.
Why We Love It: Not only is Lake Tahoe a gorgeous place in the United States, but you can also visit two separate states when you go see it – all in one day. Why? Because the stunning lake is on the border between California and Nevada.
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s a large freshwater lake with several beautiful beaches and ski resorts to check out. You can also stop and check out the 1929 Nordic-style mansion Vikingsholm and see 70 feet into the water.
Why We Love It: You can see through the picture how Arizona and Utah’s “The Wave” gets its name. One of the reasons this area is so beautiful is because of the unique waves that are a part of this sandstone formation.
You’ll find the waves in the remote Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. It’s a tourist location where you want to get your spot early because only 20 people are allowed in the area per day. You do have to hike to see the Jurassic-type sandstone but don’t worry because the view is totally worth it.
Why We Love It: This place isn’t just on the list because of its name. Thor’s Well in Oregon is on the list because it is literally one of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States. However, you’ll see it at its best when it reaches high tide.
Many people state that it looks like a bottomless drain for the small city of Yachats, which is located right by Cape Perpetua. Another spectacular feature of Thor’s Well is that it’s a natural well that swallows the seawater surrounding it.
Why We Love It: You know what they say about Texas, right? Everything is bigger there. Whether you’re talking about hair, personality, or flower fields, Texas has the ‘big’ version of them all. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Yes, the United States has several flower fields and meadows known to be some of the most beautiful places to visit.
Texas Hill Country is one of these places. You can find these colorful wildflowers West of Austin and North of San Antonio along the countryside. One of the best times to go is around April because the area explodes with all those beautiful Texas Bluebonnets.
Why We Love It: One factor to keep in mind when it comes to this list is that pictures don’t always show a place’s whole natural beauty. New Mexico is home to Carlsbad Cavern, which makes this list because it’s known as America’s most beautiful cavern.
Many people state that Carlsbad Cavern is more like the “Grand Canyon with a rooftop.” This cavern has over 100 limestone caves. These beautifully hidden caves are underneath the surface of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Why We Love It: This following location is like a picture-perfect painting that you would purchase to hang up in your home for everyone to see. That goes double if you like Western films or older buildings.
Grand Teton, Wyoming, is home to one of America’s most beautiful mountains. Looking at the mountain from a distance, you can see a bunch of snow no matter how warm it is down below. Of course, you also need to stop at the park. The name reflects the mountains’ beauty.
Why We Love It: Watkins Glen in New York is home to one of the most unique waterfalls in the world. In fact, it’s not only home to one waterfall, but 19 of them. Of course, this is what makes the area one of the most beautiful places in America.
Watkins Glen, a city along Watkins Glen State Park, is in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Its location is just south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County. You can stay in the lower part of the area, which is the village. Then, you can head to the upper part to see all the woodland beauty.
Why We Love It: If you want to see the most beautiful river in America, then you need to head over to the Colorado River in Arizona. This river starts in the Rocky Mountains and goes all the way to Mexico. Of course, many people feel that Horseshoe Bend gives you the best view.
However, you can go through seven different states and view other parts of the river because it spans about 1,450 miles long. Many people also feel that this river has many beautiful secret spots, so make sure that you take your time.
Why We Love It: Many towns around the United States hold some of the most fascinating landscapes and landmarks. Harbor Town in South Carolina is one of these small areas. One of the reasons many people place this city on their bucket list is because of the red and white lighthouse.
However, that’s far from the only reason. People also need to travel to Harbor Town because of its green golf course and seaside views. Imagine listening to the sea while you are reading a book or sitting on a yacht enjoying your favorite drink.
Why We Love It: Just looking at a picture of the Florida Keys can make you realize how beautiful the location is, which makes it more evident that you need to make a trip there at some point. Even though Florida is home to thousands of miles of coastline, the Florida Keys take the cake.
They’re located at the tip of Florida, which makes it even more gorgeous. In fact, they stretch about 120 miles off the southern end of the state and have many tourist locations for you to visit – so make sure you take about a week to make this trip.
Why We Love It: One factor about historical neighborhoods is that they create a unique beauty because of their architectural designs. This is exactly the case for New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter.
Not only will you find gorgeous green courtyards, but you will also run into some of the most amazing cast-iron balconies. It’s definitely a place for you to tour, and the best part, you can visit it any time of year and always see the beauty.
Why We Love It: Traveling to Michigan means you don’t need to go to any other state to see one of America’s most beautiful islands. It’s one of the most perfect spots for a getaway because no cars are allowed on this tiny island. Yes, it is full of tourists, especially in the summer.
However, the population of this island is under 500, at least according to the 2010 census. However, in the summer months, it’s well-known to hold thousands of people at once. Most travelers vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to sight-see things like Tahquamenon Falls, and then stay on the island for a couple of days as well.
Why We Love It: There are many special highways in the United States, but none of them has the gorgeous scenic stretch of road of Blue Ridge Parkway. Located in Virginia and North Carolina, this beautiful national parkway goes through the Appalachian Mountains.
It consists of about 469 miles and links the Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Even though you might not think of a highway as an area of beauty, this is still one that needs to make it on your destination list.
Why We Love It: When people think of Montana, they usually think of cowboys, horses, and beautiful landscapes. One of the biggest reasons for this is the Glacier National Park, which makes the list of rugged landscapes like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.
But one of the best features of Glacier National Park is that you can get all the iconic scenery with fewer people than you’ll meet at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Come check out one of America’s most beautiful landscapes by spending a few days here.
Why We Love It: Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in America, and one reason for this is because it is home to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. While you might feel the sand dunes are tiny compared to the mountains, they are anything but small.
In fact, the Great Sand Dunes are the most giant sand dunes in the United States. Of course, you’ll be able to check out all the beautiful scenes in the National Park while you’re here, so remember to take your time.
Why We Love It: Texas is home to many beautiful scenes, especially the Hamilton Pool, which is also known to show different colors within the waters if you look closely and during certain times of the day. However, this isn’t even the most fascinating part of the pool.
What’s really interesting is the history of how the Hamilton Pool came to be. The story goes that it developed after an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago. If you want to see this historical landmark yourself, simply head 30 miles west of Austin.
Why We Love It: South Carolina is not the only state where you can find a beautiful lighthouse. You can also travel north and head to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina. One reason this building makes the list is that it’s the tallest brick lighthouse in the world.
That’s right. We’re not just talking about the United States now – we’re talking about the world. This makes it a must-see on this list! Another reason is its unique black and white spiral feature. You definitely can’t skip this place.
Why We Love It: If you love history, you’ll want to make sure you mark Harpers Ferry in West Virginia down on your destination list – and then book your tickets to go. This city is known as the most beautiful historic town in the United States.
In fact, this town has shown its beauty for centuries. Back in the late 1700s, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson visited the city and stated that “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature” was where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet.