Seven Wonders of The US
Very often, the most stunning scenery and natural beauty are right there on our doorstep, and we grow so used to seeing it that we fail to appreciate just how special it is. But natural beauty and the great outdoors is what drives thousands of holiday-makers to make trips each year.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at seven of the most stunning natural spaces around the US and why you don’t need your passport to discover some homegrown beauty that’s worth turning your holiday into a road trip across the state.
Perhaps the most obvious place to begin our virtual tour but if you can’t start with the Grand Canyon where can you start? After millions of years of wear from the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold and what’s truly amazing about it is how accessible it is from various points.
Hire a donkey and a guide and make your way down to the bed and you’ll be able to appreciate the lazy river, take a swim and marvel at the captivating rock formations. If you prefer to stay topside then sites such as the aforementioned Horseshoe Bend, where the river curves around a part of the rocks in a horseshoe is a breathtaking place to spend some time. In some ways the Grand Canyon is almost too much to take it in, such is its enormity and drama, but it’s a great place to visit and never fails to impress.
Acadia National Park
If you prefer your nature a little less dramatic but equally as spectacular, then check out Acadia National Park off the coast of Maine with the Mississippi River running right through it.
This beautiful and tranquil spot boasts seven peaks above 1,000 feet and 158 miles of camping trails.
More than three million people visit each year so parking can be difficult. Head over to the website to find the best times to go and get the latest on parking and traffic information.
South Dakota Badlands
This might not seem the most appealing name for a park, but the Badlands are extraordinary in their uniqueness and well worth a visit.
An absolute hotbed for fossils dating back millions of years from animals such as the saber-toothed tiger; the park is also rich in geographical features such as the stripy mountainous range caused by years of erosion. There are plenty of tried and tested trails to hike and the opportunity to spend the night under canvas at various locations around the park.
Texas has much to boast about in terms of natural beauty, but if you’re looking for one of its most precious jewels then step into Hamilton Pool. This stunning oasis features a vast cave overlooking a lagoon with clear blue water and a sandy beach. The natural formation of the cave gives the water a naturally shady area to cool off while the more exposed beach provides the perfect spot for some sunbathing.
See also: Ireland Road Trip Ideas for Summer
Visitors take note, to preserve the natural beauty of the area the pool is only accessible during morning and afternoon session times. You’ll need to pay $11 online as a reservation fee and pay a further $15 in cash for parking your car on the site. Be aware that you’ll need to spend some money as the parking office can’t take credit cards.
Expensive? Yes, a little but equally breathtaking and well worth the money for bathing in this unique water and surrounding area.
Haleakala National Park
This unique site in Hawaii on the island of Maui is a place of exceptional beauty. You simply won’t find another place like it on earth.
With volcanic landscapes including black sand and subtropical rainforest, this special place is sacred to the people of Hawaii and home to many rare and protected species of animals.
There are many hiking trails on offer, and a guide is available to hire if you want to learn more about some of the sites and animals. It’s a visit not to be missed but make sure you check when best to arrive and park online before you arrive.
Head to Wyoming for another area of outstanding natural beauty. Rich in wildlife, unsullied lakes and pristine alpine ranges, this area is well worth spending several days exploring, so why not strap on a tent and wake up ready for another day’s adventures.
You might even find a bear or two on your travels, so use the park’s pages on tips to stay safe in bear country.
Considered one of the seven wonders of Washington State and you’ll soon see why. The landscape is as variable as the seasons and has a little bit of everything from rugged prairie to rolling hills neat enough to make you think that landscaping companies have been involved in their creation and beautiful creeks and lakes.
This is a trendy place to photograph, and you’ll find lots of offers to Shoot the Palouse on guided photography walks. Popular with hikers and photographers the scenery is so vast, you’ll never feel overcrowded.
Yes, you could do an extensive tour around Europe or visit Asia with its fantastic food and cultural artifacts but if you’re looking for something a little bit different, a little more active and something to restore your soul, then you can’t beat a hike or a swim at these stunning beauty spots.
Whatever part of the US you start at, you’ll find somewhere within a day, or two of driving that will make you wonder why you didn’t make the trip sooner. Take a little longer and travel a little further to turn a weekend into a week-long camping and hiking experience at various places. You’ll come home richer in the pocket for not spending your money on expensive airfare and more abundant in experience for seeing some of the most beautiful places in your country, if not on earth.
Get planning, get excited, and create an itinerary that showcases the US’ most breathtaking areas of natural beauty. Load up your car and off you go, on an adventure of a lifetime.