Our planet is full of amazing natural wonders for people to see in every corner of the world, but those who live in the United States are lucky enough to have a lot of those wonders in their own backyards (or at least their own states).
The U.S. has so many amazing national parks and naturally occurring sights that it could be hard to decide which ones you want to see, but we’ve got you covered.
Thor’s Well — Oregon
With a name like “Thor’s Well,” it’s got to be an impressive thing to see, right? You couldn’t name it after The Avengers and then risk underwhelming people with its presence. Also known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific, Thor didn’t disappoint with this one.
Nā Pali Coast — Hawaii
You’re expecting to see beautiful scenery if you’re going to Hawaii, but Kauai’s Nā Pali coast is a particularly impressive section of the islands that’s worth at least taking a boat ride past to have a look.
White Sands National Monument — New Mexico
If you’re planning your great American road trip and feel like skipping over New Mexico, think again, and consider checking out White Sands National Monument. The park in the northern Chihuahuan Desert is known for the rare white-sand dunes and dramatic landscapes.
The Florida Reef — Florida
The Florida Reef (also referred to as the Great Florida Reef or the Florida Keys Reef Tract) is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. The Florida Reef is the third largest reef system in the world, behind the Great Barrier Reef and Believe Barrier Reef, and it’s only a few miles seaward of the Florida Keys!
The Wave — Arizona
Due to the fragile nature of this sandstone rock formation in Arizona, if you’re planning on visiting The Wave, you’ll need to plan ahead. A daily lottery system is used to distribute 10 next-day permits, or you can use the online system four months ahead of the trip, but it’ll be worth it to see this amazing location.
Acadia National Park — Maine
Acadia National Park in Maine is just a stone’s throw away from Bar Harbor (depending on how far you can throw), so if you’re visiting one, you might as well visit the other. Acadia includes ocean coastline, lakes, wetlands, mountains, and all the wildlife you’ll need for your Northeast U.S. adventure.
Assateague Island — Maryland
You’re telling me Maryland has an island full of wild horses that they’ve been hiding away for all this time? Assateague Island (which lies primarily in Maryland but also partly in Virginia) is known for the horses that roam freely on the island, but it also plays host to 320 bird species.
Glacier National Park — Montana
You know that Montana has some pretty wonderful scenery, but until you experience something like Glacier National Park in person, you won’t be able to fully understand the amazing landscapes the U.S. is home to.
Ricketts Glen State Park — Pennsylvania
Ricketts Glen in general is worth a trip if you’re in Pennsylvania, but especially if you’re looking to be impressed by a waterfall (and honestly, who isn’t?). The park has more than 20 significant waterfalls, including Harrison Wright falls, which is nearly 30 feet tall.
Skyline Drive — Virginia
If you’re looking for the perfect place to take a nice scenic Sunday drive with the family, Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is exactly what you’re looking for—especially if you’re looking for amazing fall foliage.
Monument Rocks — Kansas
Also referred to as the Chalk Pyramids, Monument Rocks are a series of chalk formations in Kansas that are estimated to have formed around 80 million years ago. The Monument Rocks combined with Kansas’ Castle Rock are jointly named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.
Hall Of Mosses — Washington
You’ve either stepped into a fairy-tale forest or the Hall of Mosses Trail in Olympic National Park. The lush, nearly mile-long trail is great for anyone feeling like they need a true escape from civilization and to be transported into another world.
Grand Prismatic Spring — Wyoming
If we’re talking about amazing natural wonders, especially in the United States, Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring has to be included. The colorful hot spring is the third largest hot spring in the world, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination for anyone passing through Wyoming.
The Northern Lights — Alaska
Seeing the Northern Lights would be considered a bucket list experience for many people, and rightfully so. Alaska is one of the many places that you’d be able to see the aurora borealis, just keep heading North and you’ll find a spot eventually!
Valley Of Fire State Park — Nevada
You don’t even need to get out of your car if you don’t want to, but if you’re in Nevada, you don’t want to miss out on taking a drive through at least part of the 46,000 acres of bright sandstone that make up the Valley of Fire State Park.
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park — Colorado
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado has some of the steepest cliffs and rock spires you can find in North America. There are countless hiking trails for beginners and experienced hikers alike, plus great fishing and kayaking spots.
Niagara Falls — New York
It’s one of the seven wonders of the world, so who are you to say that you don’t want to be dazzled by the amazing structure that is Niagara Falls? Whether you view it from the New York side or make your way across the border, it’s hard not to marvel at it.
Garden Of The Gods — Colorado
Colorado’s Garden of the Gods park is impressive enough in its own right and definitely worth a visit. While visiting the Garden, though, you’ll want to make sure you go to see the famous balancing rock that—you guessed it—is a very large rock that mysteriously balances on its own.
Sequoia National Park — California
No matter how tall you are, you’re going to feel small standing among the groves of California’s Sequoia National Park. The park is where General Sherman calls home—the largest known living single-stem tree on Earth, standing at 275 feet tall—as do countless other sequoia trees, which are all ready to impress you with their height.
Tallulah Gorge — Georgia
The 2,600-acre Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia is a beautiful place in nature, but if you’re really looking for some excitement, then you have to check out the 1000-foot deep Tallulah Gorge that runs through the center of it all.