The U.S. is lucky to be home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world. Whether you're jonesing for a weekend getaway in the woods or a vacation spent in the sand, Mother Nature's spoils are never further than a road trip away. Here 15 of the most beautiful spots to visit.
Cathedral Caverns State Park
From its mammoth cave entrances to its breathtaking mineral formations, Cathedral Caverns State Park offers the kind of day-trip wonder that's bound to impress explorers of all experience levels.
Denali National Park
Alaska may represent the last of the untamed U.S. wilderness. With it's roaring waters and abundance of wildlife, Denali National Park has all the makings for a memorable excursion.
The concept of expanse offers a unique kind of beauty found nowhere else but the southwestern U.S. With its vivid reds, its star-filled skies, and its two-lane highways featured in countless family vacation films, Monument Valley offers the beauty of scale and awe for miles in all directions.
Small town charm dances with fickle Atlantic waters in beautiful Portland, Maine. With its trademark architecture and lobster to boot, this East Coast retreat is idyllic for the weekend traveler.
California State Route 1
California offers perhaps the widest range of terrain in the U.S. from deserts, to beaches, to mountains, to forests, and all you can imagine in between. Rent a convertible and drive along State Route 1, taking in all of its breathtaking sites along the coast. The full drive starts in Mendocino and ends in Orange County, but be sure to stop and smell the roses along the way.
Upstate New York
With the loud bustle of New York City receiving most of the attention for the state, Upstate New York offers the type of tranquil beauty that just may be the ticket for city-dwellers needing to unwind.
Between its college town "Keep Eugene weird" attitude and its surrounding natural beauty, there's much to love about this gem of the Pacific Northwest.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park offers a view of the Northeastern U.S. unparalleled by none. Its "low-feeling" skies and crisp Atlantic air make for a surreal sensory experience.
Life in the Keys is just a bit more laid back. Mixed with rum and served over ice, this tropical paradise seeks to take all your troubles away (and in style, no less).
High altitudes and challenging hikes seek to reward the Granite Mountain explorer with breathtaking views worth the work.
Redwood National Park
The Redwood National Park is nothing short of majestic. Standing tall and proud in the hills of Northern California, the Redwoods inspire travelers of all sizes to lose themselves in their surroundings.
Luxurious, almost lost in time, Coronado, California offers visitors a chance to step back into a space built for relaxation. Get pampered and have dinner at the Hotel Del Coronado, and leave your troubles behind.
Michigan's northwestern shoreline is a Midwestern gem known for its views, hills, and crystal clear waters. Challenge yourself to a dune climb, catch a ferry to Mackinac Island, or kayak along one of the several rivers emptying into Lake Michigan—the opportunities are endless.
Garden of the Gods, Illinois
Though Chicago may attract most of Illinois' attention, the rest of the state is brimming with natural beauty. Garden of the Gods offers unique rock formations, hiking, and forest expanse for miles.
Door County, Wisconsin
With its collection of scenic small towns, Wisconsin's Door County peninsula is the go-to spot for Midwestern summer getaways. Kayaking in Summer, cherry festivals in Autumn, skiing in Winter, and biking in Spring make Door County an all-season destination.