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

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The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State
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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
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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.

Alaska – Kenai Fjords
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Alaska – Kenai Fjords

The icebergs and glaciers there are majestic year-round. Spring is the time to visit if you want to witness gray whales coming back to Alaska. Spring is the time to see how black bears live in their natural environment.

Arizona – Horseshoe Bend
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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
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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.

California – Big Sur
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California – Big Sur

It should be on every American’s bucket list. A weekend getaway destination, the rocky stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon is a stunning place to visit. Make it a part of a once in a lifetime road trip if you have an extra day.

Colorado - Maroon Bells, Elk Mountains
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Colorado - Maroon Bells, Elk Mountains

The iconic image of The Maroon Bells in Colorado is more than just a scenic overlook. It is one of the most photographed peaks in the country. The setting sun transforms the aspen trees and Maroon Bells into an absolutely magical place. But it the hike can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

Connecticut – Madison
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Connecticut – Madison

This is a dream town, not just because of its New England charm. Many artists have been drawn to this gorgeous small town over the last few years. Madison has a laid-back beach town kind of vibe and you feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem once you visit.

Delaware - New Castle Historic District
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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New Mexico - White Sands National Monument

It is composed of white, wave-like dunes that make up 275 square miles of desert. It is the largest gypsum dune field. (Did you know that this is also the most haunted spot in the state?) Go backcountry camping, biking, hiking, sledding and participate in a ranger program. 

New York - Adirondack Mountains
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Oregon – Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Drive along Columbia River Highway and you'll see the incredible Multnomah Falls, the tallest along the way. You have to see the magnificent 611-foot-tall attraction at least once in your life. It is just about half an hour away from Portland. It does not dry up in the summer.

Pennsylvania – Pocono Mountains
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Texas – Hill Country

See what nature’s spring splendor looks like. The Bluebonnet Trail, one of the best places in the world to see spring flowers, is designed as a Drive-Yourself tour. Scenic drives around Horseshoe Bay, Granite Shoals, Kingsland, Inks Lake and Buchanan Dam are a photographer’s dream.

Utah - The Red Cliffs Conservation Area
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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
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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.

Virginia - Shenandoah National Park
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Virginia - Shenandoah National Park

The more than 500 miles of trails will keep you entertained. Even if the roads are closed, Shenandoah National Park is always open. Visitors can enter on foot for backcountry camping or expansive hiking trails.

Washington – Skagit Valley
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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
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West Virginia - New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge, which is 876 feet tall, has been the most popular and insane BASE jumping spot in the country every year in October since 1980. There is only one day in the year when you’re allowed to leap off the bridge. Rappelling, skydiving, and more adventures abound.

Wisconsin – Apostle Islands
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Wisconsin – Apostle Islands

This is an underrated adventure destination in North America. Go in the winter to see amazing ice caves. The lake surface is usually a frozen white expanse, which is a stunning view in itself. A dreamland of needlelike ice columns forms inside and they change every day.

Wyoming – Grand Prismatic Spring
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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
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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.