35 most beautiful places to travel to in America (what to see and how to see it)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps you find beauty in the bright lights of a cityscape at night or a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The scene may be a meadow of wildflowers, a roaring waterfall, or a historic neighborhood in a famous city. It is considered a natural wonder along with the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful geyser, and Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. You can find beauty anywhere, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful places in America to visit before you die, including landmarks, attractions, and breathtaking views.

However, we won’t stop there. There’s one thing to tell you about America’s most beautiful places, and another to help you plan the perfect itinerary to see them. From hiking tours, helicopter rides, and sailing expeditions to recommended hotels and alternative lodging options, our list below will help you add 35 adventures to your bucket list.

What’s the best part? On TripAdvisor, you can book almost anything. Thousands of tours, excursions, attraction tickets, and more are available online for booking, and we check up to 200 booking sites to bring you the best price.

The following are some of the most beautiful places, landmarks, and attractions in the United States.

Island of Kauai, Hawaii: Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Poipu’s Beaches

Several big-budget films have used this lush location as a backdrop, including Tropic Thunder and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. From the stunning Mana Waiapuna falls featured in Jurassic Park to the towering spires of the N* Pali Coast and Princeville’s resorts, this tropical paradise features some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. With this helicopter tour, you can see the island of Kauai, the N* Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Poipu’s beautiful beaches from above. Take advantage of the N* Pali Coast’s snorkeling, rafting, and kayaking experiences, as well as its famous sea caves.

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Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

One of Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruises is this six-hour excursion in Kenai Fjords National Park. At the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, you can glide past alpine and tidewater glaciers, observe abundant marine wildlife, and view seabird rookeries. A kayak trip along the Kenai Peninsula is a great way to catch sight of humpback, minke, and orca whales, among other creatures that gather in the plankton-rich waters. You can explore Kenai Fjords National Park regardless of your adventure style.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon can be enjoyed in so many ways. From nearby Las Vegas, you can take a bus or helicopter tour, or travel by train like visitors did in the early 20th century. Known for its panoramic views of the Colorado River and awe-inspiring red rock formations, this iconic American destination is a destination like no other. In addition to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are also worth exploring.

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Pfeiffer Beach: Big Sur, California

There is no place like Big Sur, where sunsets are crimson and dawns are golden, as the Beach Boys sang. As the waves roar, the white sand of Pfeiffer Beach is especially picturesque. TripAdvisor reviewers were particularly impressed with the perforated rocks, allowing water to splash through and creating spectacular pictures. Pfeiffer Beach’s purple sand and amazing rock formations are not as well known as McWay Falls and Bixby Bridge, but they’re both worth checking out.

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Colorado’s Blue Lakes

At about 12,400 feet, the Blue Lakes Hiking Trail overlooks alpine lakes and the peaks of Yankee Boy Basin near Telluride. In addition to colorful wildflowers, hikers may see marmots, mountain goats, sheep, or even marmots on their excursions. The private day tour of Mount Evans will give you spectacular views from the top and also give you a chance to see bighorn sheep, elk, and bison, so you can experience something similar if you are staying in Denver.

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The Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

There are many superlatives to describe New York City, which is truly an incredible metropolis. Central Park or the Statue of Liberty are both beautiful, but we prefer the Brooklyn Bridge because of its impressive architecture (one reviewer called it an “iconic engineering marvel”) and unique skyline views. One of the world’s most recognizable suspension bridges, the Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883 and stretches nearly 6,000 feet. A boat cruise at night, which includes views of One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, and the Chrysler Building, is also a popular way for travelers to experience the views of the bridge at sunrise or sunset.

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Fall Foliage in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

If you’re planning a getaway in the fall and love history, New England, mountains, and dazzling fall colors, Bretton Woods is a must-see. Located in Carroll, New Hampshire, it is actually a point. This place is simply spectacular in the fall. Taking the cog railway up Mount Washington or hiking up West Mountain will provide you with amazing views.

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Forsyth Park: Savannah, Georgia

Located in the heart of Savannah, Forsyth Park is an iconic spot dating back to the 1840s. One of the park’s most recognizable landmarks is its fountain, which is surrounded by benches and Spanish moss-covered oaks and is the subject of many photographs. Savannah’s historic churches and cathedrals, this museum dedicated to Prohibition’s history, and places like Bonaventure Cemetery, which is known for its old tree-lined roads and historic architecture, are also popular among TripAdvisor reviewers outside the park.

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Maui’s Honokohau Falls and the Sea Cliffs of Molokai from the air

Flying across Hawaii’s most dramatic landscapes will really make you sit up and take notice of what’s around you. The helicopter ride over Molokai and Maui will give you a panoramic view of cliffs, jungle, ocean, and volcanoes, perhaps interrupted by a majestic whale. This serene North Shore bathed in sunlight and those massive sea cliffs will simply captivate you.

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Driftwood Beach: Jekyll Island, Georgia

It looks like a cemetery for trees at Driftwood Beach, a distinctive spot on Georgia’s Jekyll Island that attracts amateur photographers. It’s much more beautiful than it sounds. Due to the landscape of sun-scarred driftwood that makes it seem like you’re in another country, it often appears on lists of the country’s most romantic beaches. For a breathtaking view, catch it early in the morning or at sunset.

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Views from Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Lookout Mountain offers breathtaking views of Chattanooga and neighboring states, as well as the city itself. On Grounds where Civil War soldiers fought and died, there’s a strong sense of history here, as several TripAdvisor reviews point out. Explore Ruby Falls (which has a cave and waterfall beneath the mountain), Rock City, and Point Park, which commemorates the 1863 Civil War Battle Above the Clouds. Fall foliage adds an extra bonus to your visit!

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Views from the Stratosphere Observation Tower in Las Vegas

There’s a good chance that when people refer to the Stratosphere in Vegas, they mean the roughly 1,150-foot-tall observation tower, not the hotel or casino. With its two observation decks, revolving Top of the World restaurant, and a number of bookable attractions, including the SkyJump, this building stands out in Sin City as a distinctive landmark. Besides unlimited rides, you can also enjoy thrill rides like the Big Shot with this pass.

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Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis: Missouri

One of the largest mosaic collections in the Western hemisphere can be found in the St. Louis cathedral, the mother church of the St. Louis archdiocese. Its interior mosaics took almost 80 years to complete, using more than 41 million pieces of glass tesserae. It turned 100 years old in 2014. Although its interiors are stunning, it also has impressive exterior architecture, which makes it one of the most beautiful sights in America.

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Views from the Willis Tower Skydeck in Chicago

Get a dizzying view of Chicago from the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago. On 103 floors of the Willis Tower, you can step out onto the glass balconies of the ledge, extending more than four feet from the building, for a quintessentially Chicagoan experience. Observe everything 1,353 feet below you as you gaze at those 360-degree views. You can book dinner on the 103rd floor for $22, as well as Skydeck admission for $22.

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The Lighthouses of Coastal Maine

A two-hour voyage along Maine’s coastline dotted with lighthouses aboard a vintage lobster boat is a storybook experience like no other. You will be guided, regaled with local color, and taken care of by a captain and deckhand, but the stars are the lighthouses. There are four lights in total, including Ram Island Light, Spring Point Ledge Light, Bug Light, and the iconic Portland Head Light commissioned by George Washington himself in 1791.

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Mauna Key Summit, Hawaii’s Big Island—from the air

Watching the sun rise from the top of a volcano is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. This sunrise excursion is built around Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, which is located on the Big Island. This six-hour trip to the peak of the volcano culminates in watching the sun’s purple, blue, orange, and red rays peak over the horizon. From the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, you’ll use powerful telescopes to observe constellations during this small-group sunset and stargazing tour.

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Boston’s Historic Neighborhoods

As William F. Buckley said once, he would be happy to entrust the entire United States government to the first 400 people in the Boston phone book. A reflection on the truly iconic American city of Beantown and its one-of-a-kind people. There is a beautiful blend of history and modernity here, and you can feel it everywhere you go. Boston is a city with a diverse population of neighborhoods, from Southie to Beacon Hill, with its cobblestone streets, to the North End, with its foodie heaven, pubs, taverns, and universities like Harvard and Boston; and public spaces such as Boston Common and historic buildings like Faneuil Hall.

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Saint Augustine, Florida

There is nothing like Saint Augustine. In addition to charming hotels, intimate restaurants, and pristine beaches, it has all the trappings of a typical vacation spot. As the oldest European settlement in the US, this city has a unique feel because of its history. Let us know if you feel younger after tasting the waters at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park (just like Ponce de Leon). From ghost tours to trolley rides to sunset cruises and craft beer tastings, there are tons of ways to explore the city.

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Chapel of the Holy Cross: Sedona, Arizona

In the red rock formations of Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a distinctive, almost otherworldly structure. This desert oasis, where you’ll also find resorts, spas, and canyons, has been featured in architecture magazines, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. It is only the beauty of the night sky that surpasses the beauty of the desert scenery. Without the illumination of city lights, you’ll see it in all its glory once the sun dips. Sedona offers a wide variety of experiences, including this small-group tour and a chapel tour, if you’d like to explore the area.

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Cathedral of St. Helena, Montana

This Gothic-inspired building with distinctive twin spires and a pipe organ exhibits a stunning collection of German-made stained glass windows. There is a sense of serenity and beauty within this landmark that is highly commended by TripAdvisor reviewers. Among the other attractions in the city are a museum of art, Reader’s Alley (a restored miners’ village with restaurants and shops), and Gates of the Mountains.

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin is the best place for photographers to explore, even though it does not feature Old Faithful Geyser. This is one of the most popular spots in the park, according to a reviewer. There is nothing like the beauty and uniqueness of the area. One of Yellowstone’s most photographed walks is the Midway Geyser Basin due to the breathtaking colors. Turquoise Pool and Opal Pool are also part of the complex. It includes the Grand Prismatic Spring, Excelsior Geyser, and the Turquoise Pool. With this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see several impressive geysers, as well as canyons, cascades, and other natural beauty.

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Niagara Falls, New York & Ontario

The inimitable Niagara Falls is the perfect way to experience the power of nature. Three magnificent waterfalls can be found here, two American and one Canadian. This tour of the American side of the falls includes an observation deck at Skylon Tower, a boat ride up Horseshoe Falls, and the closest accessible point of the falls at Cave of the Winds.

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Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina Mountains

There are 469 miles of breathtaking views along the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are a number of ways to explore the scenery here on the road that connects the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. A local guide leads a photo tour and hike along the parkway, or you can try an alternative guided hike that passes by three lovely waterfalls.

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Wild Horses Grazing On the Beaches of Corolla, North Carolina

Here’s a sight unique to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the 1500s, Spanish ships brought over the ancestors of the wild Spanish Mustangs that roam here today. There is only one wild herd of horses left in the world today. During this two-hour tour of the Outer Banks, you’ll see wild horses in all their splendor as you ride open-air four-wheel drive vehicles through the sand dunes. Additionally, a maritime forest and a historic Coast Guard station will be visited.

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Multnomah Falls: Bridal Veil, Oregon

Multnomah Falls was created for a young princess who wanted a secret place to bathe, according to an ancient Native American story. One of the tallest waterfalls in the US, with a roaring cascade of over 600 feet, this is certainly a place of beauty. You can walk down the trail to Benson Bridge if you’re feeling particularly brave. This bridge spans the falls and gives you an unobstructed view up to the top. Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge are visited as part of a half-day excursion from Portland on tours like this one.

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The Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island

The yacht-lined harbor and Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, ooze a storybook charm unique to New England. A harbor sightseeing cruise offers an excellent opportunity to see these castles of wealth from the water. Alternatively, you can take a guided trolley tour. The Breakers, a mansion that was home to the Vanderbilts and is among the most impressive of the city’s historic residences, is included in most tours. Visit the mansions from a unique and picturesque perspective by walking along the Cliff Walk.

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Charleston’s Historic District: South Carolina

There are plenty of opportunities to learn about Charleston’s fascinating history since it dates back more than three centuries. Try a horse-drawn carriage tour of the historic district, where antebellum mansions, churches, and gracious homes can be found. Enjoy a delightfully old-school experience as you ride a horse used to work American farms in the 1800s and learn about the city’s founding.

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Utah’s National Parks: Arches, Zion, Bryce and More

It’s hard to narrow down your itinerary in the Beehive State due to its abundance of beautiful parks and other natural wonders. This epic seven-day tour of some of the country’s most protected wilderness areas is a great way to tick off several points on your list in one go. A thrilling week of hiking and exploring the rock pillars, rivers, and cliffs in this area will take you through Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park.

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Ruby Beach: Olympic National Park, Washington

Reddish sand and sea stacks are some of the things that make Ruby Beach one of the most popular beaches along the coastline of Olympic National Park in Washington. An afternoon of beachcombing along the rugged shoreline, peppered with rocks and driftwood, is an unforgettable experience.

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Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Snoqualmie Falls attracts more than 1.5 million visitors per year, making it one of Washington state’s most popular attractions. A 270-foot waterfall, an observation deck, the Salish Lodge, and a two-acre park are all part of the site. Visit the falls on this tour that includes wineries and Seattle’s city center, as well as on this tour that includes the falls and wineries.

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The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

As high as a 65-story building, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic, easily recognizable landmarks in the United States. A marvel of engineering and a gateway to San Francisco, it’s an imposing monument that you shouldn’t simply admire from afar. Take a cruise from Fisherman’s Wharf and glide close to the bridge, or take a guided bike tour from San Fran to Sausalito, which takes you right across it.

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Kiva Beach: South Lake Tahoe, California

There’s nothing like Kiva Beach, which is a little bit of a hidden gem. With great views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Tallac, this beach is also one of the few pet-friendly beaches in the area, making it a great spot to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand with a furry four-legged friend.

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Views From the Griffith Observatory: Los Angeles, California

There is a planetarium, exhibits, a public telescope, and a bookstore located within Griffith Park’s Mount Hollywood Observatory. At night, the bright lights of the city sparkle in the distance as you stroll around the back, where you can see sweeping, unobstructed views of the Los Angeles skyline. You can capture both the Hollywood sign and the bust of actor James Dean in the same shot, as one side features a bust of James Dean. Several Los Angeles landmarks are included in multiple tours offered by the observatory.

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Yosemite National Park, California

With granite cliffs, waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most beautiful parks. Ansel Adams made famous Half Dome and El Capitan from their granite cliffs. There are many sights worth seeing, including the 317-foot Vernal Fall, the beautiful Mirror Lake, and Yosemite Falls, the fifth tallest waterfall in the world. Yosemite Village also has many shops and restaurants.

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Bluebonnet Blooms: Spicewood, Texas (Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area)

Visitors to Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area can enjoy 6.5 miles of mountain bike trails among other active activities. The ground is covered in bluebonnet wildflowers in the spring, if you’re looking for a beautiful display of nature. There’s nothing quite like it to make you appreciate nature’s dazzling colors.

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