America has a lot of beautiful landmarks to offer. Feel like planning a road trip to somewhere you haven’t been before? Don’t miss out on the natural beauty this country has to offer. Take a look at this list for some travel inspiration to places both well- and lesser-known.
The Grand Canyon
Formed over a span of five million years at least, the Colorado River gradually cut away into billions of years of Earth and its geological history. One of the top travel destinations in the country year-round – Not only is it astoundingly beautiful, but it is also dramatic, and more than anything else leaves many people hypnotically fascinated. Something that makes your experience here even better is that you can enjoy it from the top or the bottom. You can hire a donkey to help you get down to the bottom, and then float along the Colorado River.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is the flagship park of the American National Park Service and is a favorite to millions of visitors each year. Located in the west of the United States, mostly in the northwest corner of Wyoming, it extends into Montana and Idaho. It is widely held to be the first national park in the world and was the first national park to be formed in the U.S. This park is well-known for its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful, one of its most popular geysers, as well as its wildlife
The park is a great destination for all members of the family. For the more active visitor, the park has many miles of trails. These trails range from day hikes to backcountry adventures. Visitors can even view the park from the comfort of their vehicle by driving on the grand loop road. They can also stop at one of the many roadside picnic areas and take a rest, or just take in the views. All of the main attractions are located on grand loop road. Alternatively, if you love Yellowstone but hate the overcrowdedness of all of the visitors, why not discover Montana? With some of the most breath-taking views and tons of outdoor activities, you can be sure to find a much quieter outdoor getaway.
The Grand Teton National Park
Just a few miles away from the beautiful Yellowstone National Park, you will find the Grand Teton National Park. This park encompasses the majority of the Teton Mountain Range and gets its name from the highest point, Grand Teton. As the mostly undisturbed ecosystem features hundreds of plants and animals that have been living in the area long before humans and are difficult to find elsewhere, this park is a fascinating place for nature lovers. If you are a trout fisherman, you are in for a treat. This is the only place you can fish for the Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic highway. Originally built to connect the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park it has been the most visited unit of the national park service almost every single year since the end of WWII. A short drive on the highway will give you stunning views over the Appalachian Mountains, particularly among the Blue Ridge chain, and makes for a stunning trip, even if you do not want to get off and hike the trails in the parks at either end of it. For a truly unforgettable experience, go visit in the fall to see the mountains covered in an assortment of oranges and yellows.
Acadia National Park
The land of this park is spread out over several islands right off the coast of Maine, so there is plenty to explore. Filled with pine forests, breath-taking ocean views, and what is the closest thing to a creek on the East Coast are just a few things that make the Acadia National Park such a beautiful spot. This park boasts about two million visitors a year and it is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River.
Hamilton Pool, Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is a metropolis of swimming holes. The most beautiful of all of these is undeniably Hamilton Pool. Created when the dome of an underground river collapsed into the water below, this breathtaking natural pool is about a quarter-mile hike through the forest. Excitingly you can still see the overhang left by the dome, which now has a waterfall running over it. The water is crystal clear and refreshingly cold. The different colors of the surrounding trees, the soft moss, and the rocks all come together with the glistening, clean water to give the place a rather mystical quality.
North Carolina’s Outer Banks
There are few places better to enjoy the windswept, pastel beauty of the US eastern seaboard. Forming a string of mostly barrier islands that border most of North Carolina, the Outer Banks separate the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. Their outlandish open-sea beaches, state parks, and shipwreck diving sites make the area quite a popular holiday destination. Two notable historical events have happened on the Outer Banks. The more well-known of the two was the Wright brothers’ first successful flight in the year 1903. The lesser-known of the two was the birth of Virginia Dare. Virginia was the first child of English descent born on the American continent. She was born in 1587 at Roanoke Colony, the first English colony, on the continent. This colony is also shrouded by mystery. Most people do not remember this colony, because it disappeared very suddenly in 1590.
The South Dakota Badlands
South Dakota is often considered to be a flyover state. This is quite unfair. The Badlands alone makes the state quite worth a visit. The Badlands National Park has two very different-looking parts. One is a vast mixed-grass prairie, while the other is a collection of rock formations. Here you will find how different levels of erosion have carved out, pointed spires and shallow canyons revealing differently colored stripes of sandstone. This area is also especially rich in fossil finds. Fossils of all sorts of prehistoric animals have been found here, sharing the story of very rich life history with a different climate than exists there now.
Did you know about all the places on this list? If not, go check them out and get ready to visit them soon.