These Beautiful Places in America Deserve a Spot on Your Bucket List (2022)

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Listen, they don't call it "America the Beautiful" for nothing. The United States is one special place, filled with just about every kind of destination you can imagine. Quaint historic towns? Check. Stunning hiking trails? Check. Bustling blue harbors? Check. And the best part is you don't have to travel crazy far to experience them all—from the most colorful trees you've ever laid eyes on to bridges straight out of a postcard and so much more.

If you're really lucky, maybe one of the incredible destinations on our list is close enough for a weekend trip. Or, for a longer adventure, hit the road and take in as many as you can over miles and miles on a road trip. And while you're at it, why not go camping for an up-close-and-personal view of the best nature this country has to offer? The national parks in America are absolute gems and a must-visit for any fan of the outdoors, complete with endless greenery, impressive waterfalls, and the most picturesque places to take in a sunset.

These gorgeous locales—from popular tourist attractions to remote hideaways and even a magical snowy city—will make you want to pack your bags and hit the road ASAP. Word of advice: Don't forget to bring your camera!

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America's Most Beautiful Forest

Where: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California

Why We Love It: This forest is home to the world's largest tree, the giant sequoia. The national park has the greatest concentration of giant sequoias groves in the world. You're even able to camp among the towering trees on campgrounds or in cabins.

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America's Most Beautiful Cliffs

Where: Big Sur, California

Why We Love It: Lying between Los Angeles and San Francisco are the famous Big Sur Cliffs, which are part of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The cliffs rise to over 5,000 feet at their highest points. Many people visit the area for camping or surfing.

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America's Most Beautiful Fall Foliage

Where: Killington, Vermont

Why We Love It: While anywhere in New England offers incredible views of the leaves changing in autumn, Vermont is a popular destination. The state has tons of hills, mountains, and lakes that look beautiful covered in the red, orange, and gold hues. Killington is a great central location for scenic drives throughout the state.

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America's Most Beautiful Tree Grove

Where: Gunnison, Colorado

Why We Love It: While you can find gorgeous fall foliage many places, Gunnison known for its golden trees. It's home to the largest Aspen tree grove in North America, a species known for their gorgeous bright yellow hue.

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America's Most Beautiful Sunflower Field

Where: Middleton, Wisconsin

Why We Love It: Who doesn't dream of running through a field of sunflowers without a care in the world? The Pope Farm Conservancy has Sunflower Days in the summer so that guests can come and experience their stunning sunflower field during their peak bloom.

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America's Most Beautiful Ampitheatre

Where: Morrison, Colorado

Why We Love It: Red Rocks Ampitheatre is just outside of Denver and has hosted performances all the way back to 1906. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, and even The Blues Brothers have played the famous venue. The open-air theater sits at over 6,000 feet above sea level.

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America's Most Beautiful Fjords

Where: Seward, Alaska

Why We Love It: If you're unfamiliar with the term "fjord," it's a steep inlet created by glaciers, and Alaska features some of the most breathtaking examples. Kenai Fjords National Park is where you'll find nature's iciest creations. You'll want to plan your trip as soon as possible though: The park's website notes that climate change is causing the glaciers to shrink.

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America's Most Beautiful Hills

Where: The Palouse

Why We Love It:
Located in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, the Palouse is a lush area that features rolling hills. According to The Seven Wonders of Washington State website, "The hills were formed over tens of thousands of years from wind blown dust and silt, called 'loess.'"

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America's Most Beautiful Tree

Where: Johns Island, South Carolina

Why We Love It:

The Angel Oak Tree—which is located near Charleston, South Carolina—is estimated to be 400 to 500 years old! The impressive plant has a height of 65 feet and has a circumference of 28 feet, according to Atlas Obscura.

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America's Most Beautiful Rock

Where: Port Austin, Michigan

Why We Love It:
Turnip Rock is a popular tourist attraction, though it's actually on private property. The only way to get to the formation is by water, but you can plan a kayaking excursion to see it on the Port Austin Kayak website.

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America's Most Beautiful Waters

Where: Key West, Florida

Why We Love It: Dry Tortugas National Park is home to crystal clear waters filled with an abundance of sea creatures, according to the park's website. The only way to access the remote area is by boat or seaplane, so the island makes for a great getaway from all the hustle and bustle.

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America's Most Beautiful Greenery

Where: Oneonta Gorge, Oregon

Why We Love It: Bountiful plants of any kind are always alluring, but the mix of aquatic and woodland growth is doubly enchanting. The 2.7 mile trail around the gorge is a great place to visit for both beginner and expert hikers alike, according to Oregon.com. We also recommend adding a visit to the nearby Triple Falls.

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America's Most Beautiful Badlands

Where: Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Why We Love It:
The word "badlands" is probably not the first thing you think of when you're imagining a beautiful place, but this spot is gorgeous. Not only are the rock formations incredible, but they also possess "one of the world’s richest fossil beds," according to the US National Park Service website.

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America's Most Beautiful Glaciers

Where: Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska

Why We Love It: Although it's not exactly easy to get to the 12-mile stretch of partially frozen caverns, the breathtaking sight of these caves makes it so worth it. If you're thinking of visiting, you should act fast: Climate change is causing the ice to melt, according to Atlas Obscura.

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America's Most Beautiful Canyon

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America's Most Beautiful Well

Where: Thor's Well, Oregon

Why We Love It: Located in the teeny tiny town of Yachats, right by Cape Perpetua, this natural well appears to be a bottomless drain for the surrounding sea. The Atlas Obscura website notes the hole is "most spectacular at high tide."

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America’s Most Beautiful Hiking Trail

Where: Angel’s Landing, Utah

Why We Love It: Both beautiful and thrilling, this hike in Zion National Park provides amazing views. The 2.4 mile trail may not be long, but its steep stairs make it a feat. Trust us, though: Those incredible vistas are well worth the climb.

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America’s Most Beautiful Harbor

Where: Harbor Town, South Carolina

Why We Love It: As one of the most charming beach towns in the country, lush green golf course, iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse, and an abundance of restaurants, it’s one of the best spots to sit, relax, and watch the boats go by.

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America’s Most Beautiful Historic Home

Where: Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana

Why We Love It: Before you even get to the historic home, you’ll be greeted by a long stretch of 300-year-old oak trees, which frame the Greek Revival manor. You can spend a whole day touring the gorgeous estate, which includes grand porches, elaborate decor, and so many more beautiful elements.

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America's Most Beautiful National Park

Where: Glacier National Park, Montana

Why We Love It: Views like this are what make this rugged corner of wilderness one of America's most scenic places (plus it's less crowded than Yosemite and the Grand Canyon!).

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America's Most Beautiful Night Sky

Where: Fairbanks, Alaska

Why We Love It: If you're lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in person, the stunning scene will make you feel like you're on another planet. The bright green, blue, and purple hues will make your trip a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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America's Most Beautiful Beach

Where: Honopu Beach, Hawaii

Why We Love It: While there are too many beautiful beaches in Hawaii to pick just one, the remoteness of this stretch of sand on Kauai's Na Pali Coast make it one of our favorites.

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America's Most Beautiful City

Where: Charleston, South Carolina

Why We Love It: With cobblestone-lined streets and Antebellum houses in more shades of pastel than you can count, this small city practically defines Southern charm.

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America's Most Beautiful Desert

Where: Death Valley National Park, California

Why We Love It: Located on the eastern border of California, Death Valley is America's lowest, hottest, and driest point. But that doesn't make watching the sunset from Zabriskie Point any less beautiful.

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America's Most Beautiful Island

Where: Mackinac Island, Michigan

Why We Love It: No cars are allowed on this small island on the strait between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, making it an idyllic summer getaway.

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America's Most Beautiful Landmark

Where: Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

Why We Love It: Dedicated to the third President of the United States, this neoclassical building was inspired by the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia.

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America's Most Beautiful Mountain

Where: Grand Teton, Wyoming

Why We Love It: This mountain is so beautiful that it had an entire national park named after it.

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America's Most Beautiful Waterfall

Where: Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Why We Love It: Located in the Columbia River Gorge, this two-step waterfall is the tallest in Oregon.

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America's Most Beautiful Lighthouse

Where: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina

Why We Love It: While this Outer Banks landmark is the world's tallest brick lighthouse, its graphic black and white spiral is what landed it on this list of beautiful places.

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America's Most Beautiful Snowy Town

Where: Park City, Utah

Why We Love It:

If you're in the mood to trade the sun for some snow, this is the place to do it. Especially at night, Park City has the most romantic glow to it. During the holiday season, streets are lined with endless Christmas lights, and there are plenty of cozy cabins and resorts to choose from.

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