Most beautiful places to visit in USA

20 Mesmerizing Spots To Explore In The USA

22 mins read

One of the most beautifully diverse countries in the world, the sprawling – and extraordinary – United States of America is where everything is bigger and better, from its towering skyscrapers and endless roads to its jaw-dropping national parks and food portions!

It’s a place that’s not easy to sum up its most picturesque places as such a list could quickly go into the hundreds, but I’ve given it a go! From my traveling around the country, here are my all-time favorite spots…

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1. Big Sur

This should be one of the first places on your list to explore! This rugged mountainous terrain stretches for 90 miles along the coast of central California from Carmel in the north to San Simeon in the South.

The southern border of Big Sur, the Santa Lucia Range, majestically towers above the Pacific coast. Its summit, Cone Peak (5,155 ft), is the highest coastal peak of the continental United States.

You’ll find high cliffs rising above the ocean coast, mountains covered with emerald grass and dense forest, mighty rocks, and extraordinary houses that, in my opinion, combine to create a genuinely remarkable offbeat Californian landscape! 

2. Yosemite, California

Yosemite National Park on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This famous spot is just spellbinding! Yosemite is one of the USA’s oldest and most attractive national parks. Located on the western slopes of Sierra Nevada, it is blessed with genuinely fabulous landscapes.

I just love the scenery here, and I’ve been all over the world, but I’ll never forget Yosemite! Majestic granite cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, lakes with crystal clear water, and forests housing giant sequoias are the main highlights of this place.

Due to the impressive elevation difference (2,000 to 13,123 feet above sea level), the park boasts divergent vegetation types, from the alpine zone high in the mountains to shrubbery wastelands on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada.

About 3.7 million tourists flock to Yosemite annually to check out the giant sequoias in the Mariposa Grove, mesmerizing Yosemite Falls, and the sublime El Capitan granite massif.

Approximately 1250 miles of hiking trails and paved roads will help you explore every nook and cranny of this wondrous park, and I highly recommend spending as much time here as possible! 

3. Grand CanyonGrand Canyon - most beautiful places to visit in the USA

Thanks to bizarre shapes carved by the Colorado River in red-orange rocks, this phenomenal nature’s wonder is enthralling even for the most worldly travelers, and I just fell in love with the place!

The Grand Canyon is the irresistible catnip of the eponymous national park in northern Arizona. The most breathtaking sights lie in wait for you in the South Rim.

This part of the canyon features observation platforms and numerous hiking trails. Here, you can spend hours exploring awe-inspiring gorges and crevices or rafting along the rough waters of the Colorado River.

I love the wildlife-spotting opportunities here, too. Thanks to landscape change at different heights, the canyon is bristling with diverse species of mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds, so I would highly recommend bringing your binoculars and your camera too!

4. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon is a magical and mysterious place created by the fanciful fantasy of nature, and wow, what a place this is! These impressive rocky crevices got their name due to the riot of red hues similar to the fur of noble antelopes.

There are two Antelope canyons – the Upper and Lower ones and I would highly recommend both if you can. Both gigantic gaps in the sandy rocks resulted from wind and rain erosion.

Heavy rains flood the canyons once every few years, carrying grains of sand and carving magical patterns in the mighty rocks. The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is from March to April and at the end of autumn.

During these months, the sun’s rays penetrate the very bottom of the canyon, surprisingly illuminating it from the inside.

5. Kenai Fjords, AlaskaKenai Fjords, Alaska

This place is extraordinary! The Kenai Fjords stretch along the south coast of central Alaska, and I’d recommend it as a stunning, unspoilt beauty spot!

It received the status of a national park in 1980 for protecting the Arctic nature from the negative impact of human activity. Over half of the park’s total area of 1,250 square miles is covered with snow and ice. Glaciers, frozen mountain gorges, ice-bound seabays, and icebergs create a dramatic Nordic landscape.

I suggest keeping an eye out for the indigenous inhabitants of this area—polar bears, seals, walruses, and even whales! In my opinion, the best way to enjoy all this beauty is to set off on an ice cruise departing from the town of Seward.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone

Wow, Yellowstone, I love you! The enchanting beauty of nature, fantastic geology features, and the best spots to observe North America’s wild animals are just a few reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park.

This place spans several states (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana) and is divided into five main hubs; the park covers a vast area of almost 3,500 square miles.

Among Yellowstone’s significant highlights are impressive geysers, waterfalls, rocky mountains, gurgling mud cauldrons, and lakes nestling in the vent of Caldera’s supervolcano.

Several thousand plants, animals, and birds represent the local flora and fauna, so I suggest keeping an eye out for these, too. Thanks to about 1,000 miles of hiking trails, you can experience all this splendor.

7. Montana’s Glacier National Park

River in Montana

Glacier National Park is located off the Canadian border at the northern tip of the Rockies. It covers an area of approximately 1,580 square miles.

Its sublime mountain ranges, countless lakes, massive glaciers born thousands of years ago, and velvet-green meadows left me speechless when I visited. It’s a divine spot, in my opinion!

Thanks to the Alpine-esque terrain, the park is often called Little Switzerland. These picture-postcard landscapes were formed mainly due to the movements of massive glaciers.

Unfortunately, just over thirty of them are left today, about a fifth of what we had in the mid-19th century.

8. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in northeastern Utah. This is not a canyon but a giant arena of the sharpest rocky peaks of all shades of orange.

Due to its remoteness, Bryce is less famous than its neighbors, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. Nevertheless, tourists often visit the three parks on the same trip. The height of Bryce Canyon varies from 7,870 to 8,860 feet.

The best time to enjoy the views is sunrise or sunset, when the light dramatically enhances the colors and turns the canyon into a Martian landscape.

The trip to Bryce Canyon is incomplete without visiting astronomy, night-sky programs, and walks under the full moon. In general, there is something to do here year-round. In the warmer months, you can go hiking or snowshoeing, and skiing is a sought-after pastime in winter.

9. Lake TahoeLake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a true gem! The second deepest lake in the United States, it is situated on the border of California and Nevada, south of Sierra Nevada, and it’s popular for a reason!

It’s a true paradise for beachgoers, rowers, divers, and hikers, and I suggest getting involved in as many activities as you can! The lake is an absolute natural treasure, extending 21 miles long and 12 miles wide.

In summer, people come here to dip in the clear, slightly bluish water, sunbathe on numerous beaches, and wander along the shady trails. In winter, the Tahoe surroundings turn into a popular ski resort. Many (including me) love visiting for random weekends and vacations too.

10. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands

An impressive creation of Mother Nature, a snow-white desert White Sands dwells in the South of New Mexico. Due to the content of gypsum crystals, the sand here is white as snow.

I absolutely loved how the snowdrift-like dunes contrasted with the blue sky and the dark strip of San Andres and Sacramento mountains looming on the horizon. This place was just so Instagram-worthy!

Even though the White Sands National Monument is located in the desert, it is never sweltering. This is because the white sand reflects the sun’s rays and absorbs moisture.

Every year, in the third week of September, the reserve holds the White Sands Balloon Invitational Aeronautics Festival. During this two-day holiday, guests can fly up to the sky in balloons, observe balloonists’ work, and admire dozens of colorful Montgolfiers. I highly suggest doing this if you can!

11. Savannah, GeorgiaSavannah in Georgia

I think Savannah is such a gem! The oldest city in Georgia, stunning Savannah, was founded in 1733. During the Civil War, Savannah was a strategically important port and large industrial center.

When Sherman’s troops approached the city in 1864, the mayor allowed them to occupy Savannah in exchange for a guarantee of inviolability.

As a result, Savannah has become one of the few large southern cities whose historical charm and old architecture have remained untouched. The Savannah River bounds the historical part of the city, measuring approximately 1.0 x 1.0 mile on one side and the beautiful Forsyth Park on the other.

The city’s northwestern corner houses the city market. Today, it is a multifunctional space with restaurants, shops, and urban artists.

Right next door, west of the market, is the historic Ellis Square, so I suggest heading here to see its famous interactive fountain! 

12. Napa Valley

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is one of my favorite spots in the world! The central wine-growing region of the United States, the picturesque and fertile Napa Valley stretches across the vastness of Northern California, and I thought it was seriously dreamy!

There are 14,000 hectares of vineyards, several dozen large and four hundred small wineries, and many gorgeous Napa hotels. California’s fragrant and full-bodied wines are famous not only in the US but also far beyond its borders.

The architecture of wineries and their products are the main tourist attractions in Napa. The local wineries range from giant medieval castles to small charming chalets.

Among other exciting things, I highly recommend checking out the gourmet restaurants and spas here!

13. Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid New York State

Lake Placid Lodge NY State

I personally think this is an underrated gem! Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York. The population is under 3,000, but tourists love it because of its skiing, golfing, mountain biking, gondola rides, and hiking opportunities.

I loved that there are also many great hotels and guest houses on offer, so you can have a beautiful vacation in both summer and winter.

Its main claim to fame, however, is that it is frequently chosen as the site for the International Winter Olympics and other competitions. The Universiade event will be held here in 2023.

A chamber orchestra gives regular concerts during the summer months, and the town has also hosted snow weight-pulling events, ironman triathlons, ice dance competitions, and winter carnivals.

14. Pacific Coast Highway

View of Pacific Coast Highway, at Garrapata State Park, California.

The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as State Route 1, runs along the coast of California for 656 miles. It offers breathtaking ocean views, idyllic towns, and much more.

It runs north-south through Orange County, Big Sur, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Monterey.

If you want to get out of the car and visit a particular town, you can do so, but if you’re going to see as much beautiful scenery as possible without getting out of your vehicle, this is the place to be.

15. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree Park Road

The beguiling Joshua Tree National Park is an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, the famous desert resort. The 1250-square-mile park has an otherworldly and almost unsettling beauty, filled with incredible rock formations and grotesquely gnarled plants—not trees but a type of yucca.

We drove to the park’s highest point – an eerily silent vista overlooking Coachella Valley and Salton Sea and stayed until sunset.

As dusk arrived, the desert floor became bathed in red light, and the spiky trees turned into ghost-like black silhouettes. It’s a scene I’ll never forget!

16. Telluride, Colorado

Telluride Colorado

This is a charming gem of a place! Situated in a box canyon, this town is mainly known for its skiing opportunities. Still, it is also a gorgeous little town with a historic district rightfully listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has an old-fashioned feel and a lot of scenery to enjoy, and the best part is that you can visit it any time of the year and enjoy its beauty.

You can hike, climb mountains, and enjoy waterfalls, high alpine lakes, and beautiful wildflowers. Even if you’re not a skier, in my opinion, you’ll be able to find something to enjoy here every time.

17. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge - great places to visit in the USA

In my opinion, visiting the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is something everyone should have on their bucket list! It is one mile wide and connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

It is also the tallest and longest suspension bridge in the world, with a total height of 746 feet and a main span of 4,200 feet.

The bridge has six vehicle traffic lanes but is popular with walkers and bicyclists. Roughly 110,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, and the touch-up painting task is continuous to be always aesthetically pleasing.

18. USA Capitol Building, Washington, DC

Washington DC State Capitol Building,

The US Capitol Building is where the House of Representatives and the Senate conduct business. It is located on the Eastern end of the National Mall.

The domed building covers roughly 275 acres, and the lawn consists of walkways, sculptures, and beautiful gardens.

I love that the inside of the building is equally exquisite. I think I even have a dome that is worth the visit alone! Regular tours allow visitors to view certain areas of the building, and it is a great place to visit when you’re in the Washington, DC, area.

19. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park Utah

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern part of Utah, near Springdale. It covers nearly 230 square miles and includes a 15-mile-long canyon up to 2,640 feet deep.

It is also home to more than 280 species of birds, 75 mammals, and 32 reptiles, so if you love seeing animals in their natural habitat, this is the place to be.

The park has such extraordinary views that it has been featured in numerous movies, including Arizona Bound, Ramrod, and 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A scenic drive and tour buses also help you see everything.

20. Monument Valley

Monument Valley Utah

Located on the Arizona-Utah state line, this valley covers five square miles and looks like the Old West, which is part of its massive charm. I love Monument Valley for its panoramic views and its extraordinary reddish-brown hills and rocks! 

You can visit it all year long and enjoy its beauty. I would recommend visiting the Elephant Butte, Three Sisters, Artist’s Point, and Spearhead Mesa, all of which are fabulously unique structures!

I would recommend taking your camera and also taking in the incredible scenery!


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