In the past year, many of us have been forced to slow down our travel, trading in our tickets abroad for gas in our tanks. Road trips have been the saving grace for travel in the past year, especially when it leads us to stunning natural sites throughout the country. As more opportunities for travel open up, seeing these natural wonders of the U.S. should be high on your list of places to explore.
Note: Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, please see official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon is known for its smooth, vibrantly colored sandstone formations, photographed constantly by visitors near and far. You can snap some photos yourself at this popular natural wonder of the U.S. and watch the sun reflect on the stone, filling the canyon with a waterfall of bright natural light.
Natural Bridge State Park, Massachusetts
Most people travel to the coast of Massachusetts to soak in the sun at the beach, but don’t forget about the western side in the Berkshire Mountains. Lined with quaint towns to explore like Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lee and Lenox – and filled with luxury accommodations, cute eateries and cutting-edge cultural institutions – it’s definitely worthy of a trip.
Make a stop in the town of North Adams, home to the Natural Bridge State Park. The natural bridge is smooth, made completely of marble and is the only one of its kind in North America.
Mount St. Helens, Washington
Mount St. Helens is a stratovolcano along the Pacific coast in Washington. The volcano is made mostly of lava, volcanic ash and minerals. The volcano famously erupted in May 1980, killing 57 people and destroying hundreds of homes.
Thunder Hole, Maine
If you visit Bar Harbor, Maine, you have to check out Acadia National Park. The views are absolutely stunning with cliffside landscapes located along the splashing shore. Hike through the park pathways to discover deep red stone off of the Atlantic. The park alone is noteworthy, but while there you can visit the popular Thunder Hole, a break between two towering rock formations that catches the strong ocean waves, sending crashing water and mist into the air.
Niagara Falls, New York
New York is full of stunning waterfalls, but of course the most well known is Niagara Falls. Not only can you see this natural wonder of the U.S. (and Canada) from an observation deck, but there are multiple ways to get up close and personal like the Cave of the Winds experience that goes into the Niagara Gorge.
Another New York waterfall worth mentioning is Kaaterskill Falls, a two-tiered waterfall in the Catskills. You’ll feel like you’re in Bali. And about an hour and a half downstate in Dover Plains, you don’t want to miss the Dover Stone Church; the natural rock formations created a church-type peak in a beautiful cave entrance with a waterfall housed inside.
Rainbow Hot Springs, Colorado
Of course, when you’re talking about natural wonders in the U.S., Colorado must come into the equation. Not only does the state have gorgeous mountains and landscapes, but it has plentiful hot springs, as well. Rainbow Hot Springs is a bit of a hike into the forest – nearly 5 miles – but the views and relaxing in the steamy hot mineral water is completely worth it.
Old Faithful, Wyoming
Old Faithful, the well-known geyser in Yellowstone National Park, is definitely worth the trip. Nature can be unpredictable at times, but not Old Faithful. According to Yellowstone.net, “Old Faithful erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for 1 1/2 to 5 minutes. Its maximum height ranges from 90 to 184 feet.” People come from all over to visit the famous park and see the geyser erupt in person.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
For nature buffs and hiking enthusiasts, the Grand Canyon National Park is a no-brainer. There are so many ways to explore the vibrant red rock and desert views: visitors can set out on whitewater rafting, hiking, biking or horseback riding excursions, or take a guided walk with a park ranger.
What are some of the most impressive natural wonders of the U.S. that you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments.
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