The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State from The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State
The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State
The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That makes creating a bucket list is a daunting task. Many tropical, cold and architectural paradises deserve to be on it.
Every state has its own grandeur and one specific place to which local residents refer visitors. It could be a spectacular lake in one state, and caverns and canyons in another. Stunning sights are both natural and manmade.
All of them offer an awe-inspiring experience just by looking at them.
Alabama - Lake Guntersville
This is one of the best destinations for kayaking fishing. There are more than 900 miles of shoreline and several park and recreation facilities. The Appalachian foothills make the scenery absolutely stunning. This spot may just be the ideal combination of flat water paddling, nature watching and fishing.
Arizona – Horseshoe Bend
The trailhead to this easy hike is located just outside of Page. It overlooks one of the most spectacular views on the Colorado River, 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam, and 7 miles north of mile zero of the Grand Canyon.
Arkansas - Whitaker Point
This is one of the most underrated spots in the state. The gorgeous trail is about 3 miles long round trip. It crosses over streams to take you to a crag, which is a rock formation that overhangs from the bluff's. Several waterfalls are located around the path. The moderate trail is accessible year-round.
Colorado - Maroon Bells, Elk Mountains
Delaware - New Castle Historic District
The area was founded by Dutch settlers in the 1650s. The community was finally recognized in 1967 for its historical significance and was designated as a National Landmark. The most popular attractions include the Old New Castle Courthouse, the Delaware Historical Society’s Read House and Gardens, and the three museums.
Florida - Morikami Gardens
The Japanese Garden’s mission is to educate and inspire through Japanese cultural experiences. It is probably not difficult to achieve this goal considering how gorgeous the several different gardens are. The exhibits are constantly changing; no two visits are ever the same.
Georgia - Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah
Walking along the avenue is an awe-inspiring experience that will please your senses and energize your for weeks. The live oaks and Spanish moss, typical of Savannah streets, will eventually take you to the tabby ruins of Wormsloe, the colonial estate of Noble Jones and the oldest standing structure in the city. It is a must-see.
Hawaii – Tunnels Beach
This gorgeous beach, surrounded by stunning palms and Ironwood trees, is heaven for snorkelers, scuba divers and surfing. The crescent shaped bay and the golden sand beach is hidden by a lavish jungle and green mountains.
Idaho – The Palouse
The region shares a border with Washington State. The Palouse is a serene and pastoral natural wonder. It is characterized by gentle rolling hills covered with wheat fields. The hills were formed over tens of thousands of years from wind-blown dust and silt, called “loess.” Seen from the summit of 3,612-foot high Steptoe Butte, they look like giant sand dunes.
Illinois - Starved Rock State Park
The best hikes in Illinois are in Starved Rock State Park. It is composed of 13 miles of well-marked hiking trails. You can pick your trail based on your skill level. Pass waterfalls, canyons, incredible wildlife and tons of wildflowers and plants. Bonus: Guided hikes are offered year-round.
Indiana - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
This is a perfect trip to take this summer. Located on the southern tip of the lake, you’ll get an incredible view of the Chicago skyline from the peaceful shores. Miles of beaches, sand dunes, bog, wetlands, woodland forests, an 1830's French Canadian homestead, and a working 1900 era farm combine to make the national lakeshore a unique setting.
Iowa – Okoboji
This is one of the most beautiful lake towns in the U.S. The biggest attractions of the Okoboji area are the glacier-carved lakes. The gorgeous chain of lakes ranges from the Minnesota border southwest several miles and covers approximately 15,000 acres. In addition to enjoying all kinds of water sports, you can go hiking, fishing, sailing and even hunting.
Kansas - Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The preserve protects some remaining 10,894 acres of an ecosystem once covering over 400,000 square miles. It includes, in addition to the prairie lands, an 1881 historic ranch house, limestone barn and outbuildings, and one-room schoolhouse. The preserve offers many opportunities to experience the rich natural and cultural heritage that exists in the Flint Hills.
Kentucky - Daniel Boone National Forest
People go there to hike, camp, picnic, rock climb, boat, hunt, fish, ride, target shoot and simply relax. A popular attraction is the Cave Run Lake, nestled in northeast Kentucky. It is an 8,270-acre lake that provides flood protection and clean water supply to area communities.
Louisiana - Atchafalaya Basin
This is the largest river swamp in the U.S. That’s why it’s often referred to as “America’s wetland.” It is even larger than the Everglades in Florida. It contains almost one million acres of the country’s most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous, and backwater lakes. The basin stretches 140 miles southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
Maine - Kennebunkport
A lot of people go there in the summer, but the fall is even more beautiful, some may argue. The town has a classic New England fare anywhere you turn with its antique shops, small quite restaurants overlooking the beach and fishing ports. The town has three miles of pristine coastline and secluded beaches.
Maryland - Assateague Island
This is an island ruled by animals. Wild ponies travel the beaches of this 37-mile uninhabited island, near Chincoteague. One legend says the ponies survived a shipwreck. The "wild" horses are actually feral animals, meaning that they are descendants of domestic animals that have reverted to a wild state, according to NPS.
Massachusetts - The Berkshires
Go in the fall for the awesome festivals, notable art, and thriving culture. The hues of colors make for a spectacular scenic backdrop. Make sure you find time to hike Mount Greylock, the highest natural point in Massachusetts at 3,489 feet.
Michigan - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The best way to see the well-known Lake Superior, inland streams that are amazing for paddling, waterfalls and other lakes, is with a kayak. You won’t get closer to the natural beauty any other way. This usually popular spot is practically empty in the winter, which makes it ideal for snow camping. National Lakeshore runs for about 40 miles along Lake Superior.
Minnesota - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is part of the Superior National Forest. Over 1 million acres in size, it has over 1,200 miles of canoe routes. Because this area was set to preserve its primitive character, it allows visitors to canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of the French Voyageurs of 200 years ago, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Mississippi - Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Visitors can enjoy not only a picturesque drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.
Missouri – Lake of the Ozarks
The fall may be the best time to visit if what you want to see is nature at its best – hillsides covered in bright intense colors. In the Ozarks you will see green even year round because there are thousands of pine trees sprinkled in with the hardwoods.
Montana - Swiftcurrent Lake
Swiftcurrent Lake is known for its majestic pink sunsets. The Nature Trail loop hike is a wonderful way to experience nature there. It’s the preferred option for families exploring the Glacier National Park because it’s completely flat.
Nebraska - Chimney Rock National Historic Site
Chimney Rock is perhaps the most famous and recognizable landmark in the state. It’s situated about 4 miles south of Bayard. It is a natural geologic formation that rises 325 feet. The impressive formation is composed of layers of volcanic ash and brule clay dating back millions of years.
Nevada – Lake Tahoe
There are so many reasons to visit Lake Tahoe, but perhaps the most simple is the chance to witness its sheer, unspoiled beauty. The largest alpine lake in North America is admired for many incredible features, but especially the surrounding mountain panoramas and its stunningly crystal clear waters, which are said to be 99.9 percent pure.
New Hampshire – Portsmouth
It’s almost impossible to pick just one place. Portsmouth prides itself on being one of the nation’s oldest cities – it’s existed since 1623. The history, the harbor and the food are just a few reasons why people love it. The city is near the mouth of the Piscataqua River, between New Hampshire and Maine.
New Jersey – Atlantic City’s Boardwalk
What people associate most with this city in the Garden State, other than gambling, is its bardwalk. And it’s by far one of the best boardwalks in the entire country. It has been an American icon since 1870s.
New Mexico - White Sands National Monument
New York - Adirondack Mountains
The state park is known for skiing and snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain and whitewater rafting in the fall, but the warmer months offer an adventurous experience like none other. The entire mountain range in the northeast of Upstate New York is filled with iconic scenic roads where you can bike along wine trails. They will also take you to lavish forests, bike festivals, paddling contests, and golf courses.
North Carolina - The Blue Ridge Parkway
The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides one of the world’s most diverse displays on flora and fauna. There is no shortage of natural beauty here. Palatial parks, cozy campsites, and other roadside entertainment provide plenty of excuses for picturesque stops along the way.
North Dakota - Theodore Roosevelt National Park
This is one of the most underrated national parks in the U.S. Visit for a chance to see a combination of flamboyant badlands terrain, riparian habitat along the Little Missouri River, and wildlife both native and not (wild horses and longhorn cattle).
Ohio – Corkscrew Falls in Hocking Hills
The beautiful waterfall was not accessible until a few years ago because it happened to be in a private land. Thankfully that changed and people can now enjoy its beauty, but you have to get a permit. It is now part of the 607-Acre Boch Hollow Nature Preserve.
Oklahoma - Talimena National Scenic Byway
Views of the golden valleys don’t get much better than from the majestic byway. There are more than 50 miles of stunning panoramas. Turn your trip into an adventure by stopping at the several historic towns along the way.
Oregon – Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge
Pennsylvania – Pocono Mountains
Visit any time of the year and adventure is guaranteed. You can stay at nice resort or small B&Bs, one thing that won’t change is how much fun you’re going to have. Pocono Mountains are aknown all over the country for its natural scenic beauty, spectacular lakes, and quaint, historic towns.
Rhode Island - Roger Williams Park
Ask any locals and they will tell you that Roger Williams Park is one of their most favorite playgrounds for recreational activity. The entire park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 435 acres include more than 100 acres of ponds.
South Carolina – Rainbow Row in Charleston
This is certainly the most famous street in the city and perhaps among the most well-known in the entire country. Drive down, or better yet, just walk along this street to see its unique coloring and style of the buildings.
South Dakota - Badlands National Park
The best time to go is in October for the most outstanding panoramas of mixed grass lowland and the splendor of the eroded waterbeds. From the park’s herds of bison roaming grasslands to its rugged but severe badlands, the 244,000-acre park is a living representation of classic Old West history and culture.
Tennessee – Nashville
Those of you who want to have an enjoyable weekend on a modest budget in the summer should consider Nashville. There is plenty of free music, and the city hosts many cultural attractions that will entertain you.
Texas – Hill Country
Utah - The Red Cliffs Conservation Area
You’re going to need to take your time if you want to truly enjoy the panoramic views – so many of them. If you are a little more adventurous you can try rock climbing at Chuckwalla – it’s fantastic. Go in the winter when days can be magic, sunny and warm.
Vermont - Lake Willoughby in Westmore
Lovers of the great outdoors adore this charming lake situated just between Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor. It is reminiscent of fjords in New Zealand or Norway. The thousand-foot cliffs that drop down to the lake will amaze you.
Washington – Skagit Valley
This is the perfect spring road trip if you live in Seattle or even Vancouver. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is among the best season events in the Pacific Northwest, held in April. There are endless fields of millions tulips bursting into bloom.
West Virginia - New River Gorge Bridge
Wisconsin – Apostle Islands
Wyoming – Grand Prismatic Spring
Behold the Grand Prismatic Spring—the largest hot spring in the country and third largest in the world, measuring 250 by 300 feet wide and 160 feet deep. The color of the water is due to pigmented bacteria and microbial mats that grow along the edges of the water.
Washington D.C. – Jefferson Memorial in the spring
This is not a state but the cherry blossoms and sunset over the Jefferson Memorial is worth a spot on the list of most gorgeous places in the world.