Did you know that close to 78 million inbound international tourists visited the United States in 2018, a number that is expected to rise to 80.9 million in 2019? That what the figures published by Statista had to say. Foreign tourism has been one of the largest revenue generating sectors in the US. With a vast geographical area, America provides a plethora of options for both solo travellers and families on vacation. Here’s a list of the most beautiful places to visit in the US.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Glacier National Park is filled with glacier-carved mountains and iconic trails. You can explore the bounties of nature along the Trail of the Cedars and Iceberg Lake Trail or sit beside Avalanche Lake or Two Medicine Lake. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can visit the International Peace Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you need to know more about the trails or national park, you can go to the visitor centers at Apgar or Logan Pass. Glacier National Park will surely soothe your eyes and heart, and will certainly fill your camera’s memory card with beautiful images.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon offers plenty of outdoor activities for adventurers, such as hiking, river rafting, desert drive and much more. There are various beautiful trails, including Bright Angel, South Rim, North Kaibab, North Rim, etc. One of the most beautiful places in the Canyon is the Havasu Falls, which is the oasis in the desert. And, don’t forget to explore various gorgeous points by rafting on the Colorado River. Make sure you check the weather forecast before making plans, since the South Rim usually receives heavy snowfall in winter and travelling during the peak season can be dangerous, says an article by the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior.
Lake Tahoe, California
If you are looking for a vacation destination where you can enjoy multiple activities, such as hiking, skiing, swimming and golfing, Lake Tahoe is the ideal place! You can start your day by hiking up the Sierra Nevada Mountains, go kayaking in the Emerald Bay or simply sun bathe on Kings Beach. If you wish to make your trip educational and explore American history, you can consider visiting the Donor Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum. There are also camp sites, visitor centers and restrooms in the park. And in the evening, you can enjoy the famous Harrah’s Casino.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater is a place that can make for the perfect holiday postcard picture. While it is the center of all fun activities, you can also go to destinations around Clearwater Beach, such as Sand Key Park, Honeymoon Island, Caladesi Island State Park and many more. You can consider going to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Philippe Park, Moccasin Lake Natural Park or Cliff Stephens Park. You can meet the dolphins or go kayaking in the Clearwater. You can also explore nature and the wildlife on the Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail. If you fancy knowing more about the famous English-style beer, you can visit the Sea Dog Brewing Company for a first hand experience.
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Another famous destination for an all-in-one family vacation is White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. You can go sledding, picnicking, bicycling or hiking in this area. The Big Dune Nature Trail is an amazing opportunity to walk and have fun in the sand. If you want to explore more of the wilderness, Alkali Flat Trail is the right place for you. However, be alert, since you can easily get lost on the trail, due to strong winds and reduced visibility, says an article by DesertUSA. Whether you want to go on an adventure in the sands or experience spectacular vistas, this is a great place to explore a new terrain.
Niagara Falls, New York
Although the heart of attraction here is the waterfall, you can choose to have this visual treat in numerous ways, such as from the Maid of the Mist, behind the caves, viewing it from the observation towers or gazing down from the sky in a helicopter. Fancy some adventure? Don’t forget to take out some time to see the Cave of the Winds and Journey Behind the Falls. You can also take a walk down history by visiting the Old Fort Niagara. If you are delighted by botanical life, you should visit Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & Butterfly Conservatory. Do you want to add some new bottles to your wine cellar at home? Niagara Falls is also famous for its special icewine, which is available at Inniskillin Winery.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
This is the mecca for outdoor activities. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t just the hub for flora and fauna, it is also home to awesome waterfalls, such as Meigs Falls, Grotto Falls, Rainbow Falls, Laurel Falls and more. You can go for strenuous climbs to Chimney Tops and Clingmans Dome or satisfy your hunger for historical knowledge at Cade Coves. Also, you can choose to walk the beautiful and marvellous Appalachian Trail and Trillium Gap Trail. Located 2 miles south of Gatlinburg is the Sugarlands Visitor Center, which screens a 20-minute video about the park and its natural history. There are also gift shops, bookstores and you can also sign-in for various ranger-led programs from the visitor center.
The Oregon Coast is known for its incredible lighthouses, coves, gorgeous beaches and parks. If you are interested in exploring the unspoiled beauty of nature, this is the right place for you! Although there are plenty of beaches in this area, you won’t get bored with them because each has something unique to offer. Ecola State Park offers breathtaking views and unlimited recreational activities. You can count the wonders that Oregon Coast has bundled like Devil’s Punchbowl, Hart’s Cove, Thor’s Well and a lot more. And, don’t forget to visit the famous Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor, Columbia River Gorge and Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park offers a wide range of tourist attractions and activities, including fishing, boating, camping, hiking, winter activities and much more. You can walk among the wonders of Hoh Rain Forest or carve out footprints at the Kalaloch & Ruby Beach. Other than this, you can also consider roaming around Rialto Beach, which offers an amazing sight of sea lions, whales, otters and seals. What can be more exciting than sleeping below a blanket of bright stars and creating unforgettable memories? You can do this in the campgrounds at South Beach or Deer Park. Note that the government often limits access to some areas in the park due to heavy storm and bad weather in the winter. So, make sure you check the warnings before you plan to visit the park.
Death Valley National Park, California
Haven’t used your DSLR in a while? Death Valley might seem dangerous, but it offers wonders to satisfy the passion of the most avid photographer. Mountains, sand dunes and craters are just a few among these wonders. Death Valley is considered the driest and hottest place and is the lowest point in North America. You can go for a long drive and see Dante’s View, Artist’s Drive, Natural Bridge, Desolation Canyon and more. You will be amazed at the surreal view that Zabriskie Point offers. Other great places to visit in Death Valley include Spring Wildflowers, Rhyolite Ghost Town, Ubehebe Crater and Father Crowley Point. And, don’t forget to photograph all those vacation postcard moments.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Known for its red-hued canyon walls and remarkable natural wonders, like Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park has been one of the favorite destinations of nature lovers. Old Faithful is one of the most famous natural geysers in the world and offers a visual treat by erupting after every hour and a half to a height of 130 feet. Famous for its rainbow-colored water, the Grand Prismatic is the largest hot spring in the US, at a size of 370 feet and depth of 121 feet. Other than these, you can choose to visit Hayden Valley, Norris Geyser Basin, Lamar Valley and many more interesting places in Wyoming.
Hawaii is home of numerous gorgeous beaches, active volcanoes, emerald valleys and amazing museums. You can’t have a better understanding of history and culture or the Aloha spirit in any other place than Hawaii. You can choose to go whale watching, golfing, surfing, hiking, camping, on sunset cruises and many other fun-filled activities in Hawaii. It also offers one of the best snorkeling experiences and ocean activities. You can explore nature’s beauty at Hilo Town, Akaka Falls and experience volcanoes like Hualalai and Kilaueu. And, remember to explore the rich local farms and markets in Hawaii.
With so much to see and the vast area that the country covers, make sure you plan your itinerary well in advance to make the most of your American holiday.
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