The land of the free and the home of the brave is full of breathtaking scenery everyone should experience for themselves. From painted deserts to snow-capped mountain peaks, this nation's diverse landscape makes for some pretty stunning photo ops. From sea to shining sea, here are 10 views in America that you can’t miss.
Mount Katahdin, Maine
Located in Baxter State Park in northern Maine, Mount Katahdin stands at 5,269 feet high making it the tallest mountain in the state. Locals and tourists alike enjoy hiking the mountain trails, but you don’t have to head to the top to get the good views — the mountain is beautiful from below too. If you get there at the right time of year and right time of day, the morning fog lifts off the water and rises into the fall foliage of the trees.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Who knew petrified wood could be so beautiful? While you might think the Grand Canyon is the only stunning place in Arizona, this spot will prove you wrong. Petrified Forest National Park is a unique preserve where you can enjoy a number of breathtaking views. Shown here at sunset, the park is full of colorful badlands and is a great place to go backpacking or simply enjoy a day hike.
Hamilton Pool, Texas
Next time you find yourself near Austin, Texas, stop by Hamilton Pool Preserve. The preserve is a historic swimming hole that connects the Pedernales River to Hamilton Creek. There, the water flows over a limestone cliff into a 50-foot waterfall. It’s a beautiful view and the waterfall never completely dries up, producing a trickle even during dry spells. You’ll need a reservation to enter the preserve if you visit from May through September.
Nā Pali, Hawaii
Nā Pali Coast State Park on Kaua'i is home to one of the most vibrant blue-and-green views you’ll ever experience. Recognizable as a backdrop to Jurassic Park, this coastline is one of the most breathtaking in the nation. The best way to see the park is from a bird’s-eye view. Take a plane or helicopter tour of the park to see the mountains, valleys, and ocean from the air.
Wormsloe State Historic Site, Savannah Georgia
Wormsloe State Historic Site features a beautiful road lined with oak trees and Spanish moss. It’s a magical feeling to drive underneath the greenery. The road leads to Wormsloe, a colonial estate from the 1700s. After you enjoy the road, you can tour the remains of the estate and learn about colonial life.
Blue Lakes, Colorado
Near Telluride, Colorado in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness, you can find three beautiful hidden lakes with some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen. There’s just one caveat — to reach these amazing views, you have to hike a strenuous 7.9-mile trail. When you reach the three lakes in the glacial basin, though, the walk will be entirely worth it. Walk this trail anytime from June to November and camp by the lake if you wish.
Buffalo River, Arkansas
Buffalo River in Arkansas is a beautiful bluff-lined river where you can enjoy canoeing, fishing, kayaking, zip lining, and more. The river was designated as America’s first national river in 1972 to preserve its natural beauty and prevent commercial development. The best views can be found on the upper Buffalo — towering bluffs covered in greenery — and reflected in the clear water below.
Jordan Pond, Maine
The Jordan Pond Path Trail in Acadia National Forest, Maine provides a beautiful and calming view of mountains and water. The hiking trail to reach this scenery is a 3.4-mile loop that’s best to take between April and October (the trail is dog-friendly and great for kids as well). Jordan Pond can make a fun family adventure next time you’re craving some scenery in the great outdoors.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is one of the more well-known and easily recognizable views in the States, and for good reason. Crater Lake was formed by a collapsed volcano and is now the deepest lake in the nation. Soak up the views by driving or biking Rim Drive, the road surrounding the water. You can also hike and camp in the national park.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is a unique park because it combines two desert ecosystems. Plants, animals, and fascinating views are all part of the deal at Joshua Tree. For the best views possible, catch the sunset at the park and watch the sky transform from stunning shades of pink and orange to a clear, dark blue canopy sprinkled with stars.