America is a beautiful country, where some states outshine their variety of natural landforms and wonders to make the top ten. While the lucky residents enjoy this natural extravaganza every day or via a short trip out-of-city, these states are spread throughout the country for easy access for tourists to a scenically-charged getaway of a lifetime.
Hawaii is a worldwide destination for beach lovers. The renowned archipelago may give a tropical vibe but is a spectacularly diverse environment. It is the national destination without a passport required, spreading over seven large Hawaiian Islands and 130 smaller, uninhabited islets. The latter are home to the most pristine and unspoiled landforms, rugged wilderness, and volcanoes. There is an astounding age gap between the forested, indented Kauai, which is 6 million years older than the broad and dark Big Island, still growing by the glowing volcanic vent that created it.
Mid-set Oahu is a heart-stopping paradise of beaches, overhanging cliffs, jungles, and rainbows, while Maui is the chief vacation spot on tropically-inspired postcards. The less-visited Molokai is a pristine world of dramatic scapes with some of the steepest cliffs on Earth plunging into the deepest blue. Lanai adds diversity with a vibrant mix of Caribbean and Ireland vibes while cruising between the islands is a must-experience. The contrasting islands together make the state rocket out of the world in the natural department.
Alaska is an awe-inspiring state that leaves one breathless with diverse scenery from any angle, whether flying in from the air, traveling between the rugged islands, exploring the wilderness towered by peaks, or descending to the docks from one of the atmospheric towns. The natural paradise features Kenai Fjords and the glaciers of the inside passageway, Denali surrounded by a range of snow-capped peaks, and the juxtaposing sprawling tundra of the interior state. There are also eight massive national parks with the Gates of the Arctic, the largest of the nation’s big 63.
The state is the nation’s vantage point for the Northern Lights, with shorter days, more darkness, and proximity to the North Pole. Other than scenic helicopter rides, waterways are the only way of accessing remote destinations whose rugged wilderness brims with wildlife. There are bears, sea lions near the shores, and whales in the cumulous blue-grey waters. One can also take a train ride to relax in warm comfort while absorbing the natural beauty of the vast state for hours. Alaska’s charming beach towns are heavenly during summer, with clear days offering layers of scenery in plain view to spend quality time in tranquility or with a close group.
The Sunshine State boasts an alluring mix of naturally-gorgeous and pristine beaches and balmy weather. The real tropical paradise with a Latin vibe and palm trees is the “hedonist heaven” for beach-goers, while the diverse landscape with mysterious natural wonders draws naturalists and scenery-seekers. The long shoreline, embraced by soft sand beaches and cliffs, is easily accessible for beauty and relaxation from out of state. The jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets gather beach parties from around the world, and tourists flee in, just for a dinner with views. The Gulf Shore comes with pure, white-sanded beaches, while the Crystal River Springs offer to swim with the manatees.
There is also snorkeling around the Keys’ spectacular reefs and the must-visit isolated Dry Tortugas National Park. The sweet, flat peninsula at the southernmost point of the continental United States is home to wander-worthy wetlands and the country’s largest subtropical wilderness. The immense Everglades National Park is an astounding natural galore of a slow-moving grass river that encompasses a rich, unique, and fragile ecosystem. Its Florida panther is found nowhere else in the world; while spotting alligators and crocodiles takes a mere look at some of the swamps. The park is beloved by nature photographers, including Clyde Butcher, who wakes up and captures the quiet charm of the Everglades.
The naturally-beautiful state in the heart of the American Southwest is most-known for the Grand Canyon. It sits quaintly within the 1,904 square-mile national park, drawing year-round fleets of curious tourists, sight-seekers, and explorers from around the globe. The grand spectacle comes surrounded by more natural gems, including layered red rock formations, turquoise waterfalls, and meandering streams. One must check out the majestically-smooth Antelope Canyon, the ancient Petrified Forest with “plant fossils,” visit Sedona for the red rocks, and the Sonoran desert to see the giant saguaros.
There are over 325 days of sunshine a year to explore the kaleidoscope of colors in the painted deserts and the parks with rock formations where shadows play with light to change the scenery from one minute to the next. The historical state with remnants of Native American cultures that enjoyed the views of the same landscape comes packed with spiritual energy for memorable experiences today. The Old West quirky towns of Jerome, Bisbee, and Tombstone offer unmatched atmosphere enriched by the state’s natural draw, while the historic Route 66 is a must-drive on the way to Flagstaff for the best stargazing.
The state plagued by traffic and blamed for climate change is also home to expansive grasslands, steep mountains, punishing deserts, and bounding waters with islands. Its advantageous location boasts the most beautiful beaches and endless water vistas with nation-renowned sunset viewings. The Golden State clearly puts up a fierce fight to preserve itself, seen in thriving natural beauty that outshines most others and every kind of scenery encompassed via a mere drive along the PCH Highway or the Big Sur.
The natural beaches surrounded by towering cliffs please all senses, ease the eyes and calm the soul, while the moon-like desert-scapes of the Mojave call for a hike on Mars. The renowned wine country stretches with countless unbelievable vineyards from the Napa Valley in the north to Temecula in the south, and along the Central Coast, up to San Francisco. The Golden City is renowned for its aesthetic appeal, with cliff-side views in descending fog. The Yosemite National Park in the state also welcomes tens of thousands of globe-trotters a year, the atmospheric Redwood National Park, and the otherworldly Death Valley National Park.
The Centennial State is known for its astounding verticality, with 58 peaks extending skywards for more than 14,000 feet and many lower mountain tops. The comparatively remote state relentlessly attracts avid hikers and climbers to conquer heights for sights. The abundance of mountain lakes innate to the rugged landscapes are some of the cleanest and most vibrant, from clear blue to turquoise. Colorado’s un-crowded beachfronts offer cooling waters after summertime trek and relaxation within a cliff-towered “cove.”
The scenic drive from Denver to Telluride is worth the rewards to journey up the peaks for an overdose of scenery. Colorado’s lowlands also pack big guns with wonders and experiences of endless natural beauty to explore on a getaway. At lower altitudes, one will find the mysterious Caves of the Winds, the Pagosa Springs deepest hot spring in the world, and the stunning red-rock formations at the Garden of the Gods.
Utah truly inspires with natural beauty through peculiar scenery. The ruggedly-beautiful, diverse landscapes are a magnet for sight-seekers, photographers, and avid hikers for endless outdoor adventures. The Wasatch Mountain Range is a world-renowned destination for winter sports, featuring top-rated ski resorts. It also boasts “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” according to the hundreds of thousands who have experienced it over the years times again.
The state is a spectacular treasure cove for geologists, with granite monoliths strewn throughout the “Mighty Five” national parks that transport one into an alien world. The Arches and Canyonlands feature magnificent rock formations, with the famous Zion soaring red-rock cliffs and ethereal sunset hoodoos at Bryce. The land of fascinating dinosaur fossils has historically inspired the ancient rock art of its past inhabitants. The charming mountain towns were purposefully established amongst the natural beauty, with the scenery witnessed in the past now overflowing from the countless landscape paintings in the art galleries.
The Midwestern state is made-up of the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Michigan is considered the most beautiful state east of the Mississippi River, with 3,288 miles of pure coastal natural beauty to pursue. The northern portion features some of the nation’s densest, most-unspoiled forests. The grand and gorgeous Lake Michigan is bounded by white, sandy beaches, while Lake Huron is known for the dramatically-craggy coastline. The Great Lakes State stays true to its name with over 11,000 inland lakes between the two giants, for endless water fun and relaxation along the banks and different scenery.
The Great Lakes are bounded by charismatic small towns, including Traverse City and Ann Arbor, with easy access to the idyllic islands and outdoor adventures to the other side. Holland and Frankenmuth mix culture into nature, offering a taste of Europe. The astounding Mackinac Island, free-of-cars, features a pristine environment, wilderness, and a sprinkling of Victorian homes. Many visit the state to see the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore via a paddle-boat ride along the multi-colored sandstone cliffs. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features Caribbean-blue waters bounding unspoiled beaches with sandy cliffs and lush mix of forests around.
Lucky residents of the Northeast state vouch that they live in the most scenic and diverse place with countless acres of dense wilderness and rugged seashore. Maine is bounded by one of the best coastlines in America, with breathtaking water vistas, many jagged islands in plain view, and thousands more offshore. There are over 3,000 miles of pebbly beaches for scenic relaxation, boating, and summertime water pursuits and sunbathing. The gorgeous Acadia National Park is strewn with mileages of trails for hikes in the freshest air and Mount Katahdin at the tip of the Appalachian Trail.
The Acadia is set scenically next to the picturesque town of Bar Harbor, with perfect views from every angle. The state’s residents enjoy easy access to the highest mountains of the northeast and countless inland lakes. There are endless woodlands for hiking while conquering peaks often rewards one with views of the Atlantic from the summit. The rocky coastline and pebbled beaches are scenically-strewn with houses for views from the doorstep. The anchored boats are ready to take one into the blue for tranquility or explore the islands.
Oregon is the destination state for real outdoors people. The sheer amplitude of lush green forests beguiles hikers, backpackers, and campers to engage in their favorite pastimes within the immensely-atmospheric scenery. Miles of rugged shoreline call out to venturous romantics, photo-shoot aficionados, and artists with an easel for the gorgeous scenery all-around. The Crater Lake defines natural splendor, peaking its breathtaking, crystal-clear, blue waters from an ancient volcanic crater surrounded by rocky cliffs. The year-round snow-capped peaks of the spectacular Mount Hood, its glaciers, alpine lakes, and wildflower trails around are a sight to behold.
The Smith Rock State Park comes with jaw-dropping rock formations, while the Toketee Falls is the romanticized destination right from a storybook. Some compare Oregon’s land of contrasts to the landscapes of The Lord of the Rings, while the many enchanting cities, like the creative Portland, feature serene gardens in between all of the cool attractions. The quaint and historic Jacksonville is a charming old-world town with down-to-Erath brick-and-wood buildings that hint at getting out into the bounding outdoors.
These top ten naturally-beautiful states are great any time of the year, including the imminent fall time when nature greets us with fired-up foliage. Winter is the period of enchantingly-frozen waterfalls and snowy mountainous vistas via skiing. The warmer months beguile hikers, while the slopes turn into blooming alpine meadows, followed by beach galore destination towns during summer.