We’re all familiar with the country’s bigger destinations, like New York’s Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip, but the good ol’ US of A has plenty more to offer when it comes to sightseeing.
Though traveling abroad is always fun, sometimes we overlook the destinations in our own backyard. And America has a ton of these natural beauties.
From the majestic mountains dotting the heart of the country to the gorgeous red-rock formations in the Southwest, there’s something for every nature lover in this beautiful, diverse land.
Check out some of the best sights below.
1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Part of the Lake Powell Navajo National Park, this stunning rock formation was created from water erosion over millions of years.
There are two parts: the easily-accessible upper canyon, aka "The Crack," and the lower canyon, aka "The Corkscrew." The latter is only accessible via multiple sets of stairs.
2. Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
On the border of California and Nevada, this beautiful lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range attracts approximately 3 million visitors a year. It's not hard to see why.
3. Onetona Gorge, Oregon
You'll have to work to catch a glimpse of this beautiful waterfall because there's no official trail.
In the summer, you might be able to get a peek without getting wet, but chances are, you're going to have to wade through a creek to get a good look. Worth it? Definitely.
4. Hamilton Pool, Texas
This beautiful swimming hole was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed several thousand years ago. A 45-foot waterfall feeds the pool, which is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm year-round.
It's in a nature preserve, so there are pretty specific rules (i.e. no pets). Learn more here.
5. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Located just five miles from the entrance of Grand Canyon National Park, this gorgeous vista -- a natural bend in the Colorado River -- is well worth the side trip. The magnitude of the view can be a little daunting, so if you're afraid of heights, take caution.
6. Glacier National Park, Montana
7. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
8. Big Sur, California
Your best bet? Put aside a day for a long, slow drive, and spend the rest of your time exploring the surrounding forests, beaches and hiking trails.
9. Havasu Falls, Arizona
Note that you have to make a reservation first, so this isn't a spontaneous trip, but it's definitely worth the trouble.
10. Ha'iku Stairs, Hawaii
11. Crater Lake, Oregon
12. Painted Desert, Arizona
13. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
14. Zion National Park, Utah
Remember to bring sunscreen! Here, the sun shines strong 300 days per year, which sounds like a solid departure from all this snow currently covering the East Coast.