There are several best natural places to visit in the USA. With renowned national parks, hovering mountains, and scenic coastlines, the USA is the residence of a few of the world’s most well-known pure wonders.
Dig just a little deeper and also you’ll discover an assortment of underrated U.S. locations, from Charleston to Mackinac Island, that give you entry to journey and pure magnificence without the crowds.
Get off the vacationer monitor and plan a visit to one of these underrated U.S. locations that supply entry to lovely parks, pure wonders, and scenic walks.
We’ve put within the onerous be just right for you, highlighting the highest actions in every vacation spot to chill out and recharge for one more day of the journey.
With over 400 million annual guests to HotelsCombined, we’ve compiled a listing of essentially the most underrated U.S. locations to go to for nature lovers.
Skip locations that might be teeming with folks and as a substitute, uncover new pure wonders so as to add to your bucket list.
Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA
When you’re a nature lover, this listing will get your wanderlust-fueled wheels spinning.
1. Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
Venture into the enchanting embrace of Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania, drawn by the allure of hiking amid vast stands of black cherry trees from which the park derives its name. However, as dusk descends and celestial wonders come to life, the park transforms into a luminous spectacle—quite literally illuminating the night. Nestled at the precise coordinates of 41.6501 degrees north and 77.8164 degrees west, the park affords a mesmerizing glimpse into the heart of the Milky Way.
A celestial escapade awaits, as Cherry Springs State Park holds the distinguished approval of the International Dark-Sky Association. The astronomical wonders do not end there, for an astronomy field atop a lofty 2,300-foot mountain unveils a 360-degree view of the cosmic majesty, embracing the inky expanse of the night sky.
2. Cadillac Mountain, Maine
Serenity and splendor converge atop the captivating Cadillac Mountain, ensconced within the embrace of Maine’s Acadia National Park. Perched upon an island adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, this majestic summit stands unrivaled as the highest point along the East Coast, ascending to a grand elevation of 1,530 feet—a triumphant salute to the heavens.
A journey to Cadillac Mountain heralds a remarkable privilege—the distinction of being the first vantage point to witness the resplendent sunrise for the better part of the year within the United States. Ascend the mountain’s Summit Road by vehicle, or embrace the ardor of adventure by summiting this majestic peak on foot. The bounteous rewards are twofold; aside from the incredible vistas, the journey itself—replete with huffing and puffing—imbues the experience with mirth and exuberance.
3. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Beloved for its historic attraction and horse-drawn carriage excursions, Mackinac Island is a high choice for essentially the most underrated U.S. locations for nature lovers, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
Mackinac Island State Park covers greater than 80% of this car-less island, providing loads of quiet landscapes you may discover by way of bike, kayak, or boat.
Prime Actions on Mackinac Island
- Go on a dawn paddling tour to see a few of the island’s well-known rock sculptures.
- Discover 113 kilometers of pure and paved pathways by bike or by horseback.
- Get pleasure from a calming day of fishing on the Straits of Mackinac.
- Arch Rock (2.2 kilometers)
- Devil’s Kitchen cave (1.8 kilometers)
- The Unique Mackinac Island Butterfly Home and Insect World (1.6 kilometers)
4. The Wave, Arizona
Journeying into the heart of Arizona unravels a sight so awe-inspiring that it leaves even the most discerning observers utterly mesmerized: the renowned Wave. A geological wonder sculpted by layer upon layer of fiery red rock, this undulating formation conjures an illusion of fluidity—an ephemeral wave fashioned from enduring stone.
Yet, this enchanting spectacle demands persistence to visit, as acquiring one of the coveted 64 daily permits to Coyote Buttes North becomes the gateway to this spectacle’s ethereal embrace. Should fortune smile upon the intrepid traveler, the quest is unequivocally rewarded with a sight indelibly etched in the recesses of memory.
5. Grand Tetons, Wyoming
The magnetic allure of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming stands unparalleled, eclipsing even the most breathtaking mountain ranges in the United States. These awe-inspiring peaks, unlike their counterparts buffered by foothills, defy convention by rising with unabashed grandeur from the surrounding plains. It is an arresting visual that leaves spectators with a tingling sense of wonder.
To immerse oneself in the majestic embrace of the Tetons, Grand Teton National Park unveils a realm of captivating experiences. Paddleboard serenely on the shimmering waters of Jenny Lake, or traverse the trail leading to Taggart Lake, all while marveling at the resplendent vista that unfolds before your very eyes.
6. Hood River, Oregon
Nestled within the Columbia River Gorge, Hood Rivers is a quaint city on the West Coast and one of many highly underrated U.S. locations for out of doors recreation, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
Together with a beautiful historic downtown, this Columbia River city is a hotspot for windsurfing, whereas kiteboarding, mountain climbing, and biking are different high pursuits for nature lovers.
Top Activities in Hood River
- Discover ways to trip the waves on a kitesurfing lesson with Cascade Kiteboarding.
- Go snowboarding on Mount Hood in winter or attempt mountain biking in hotter months.
- Comply with the scenic trails to Horsetail Falls and alongside the Historic Columbia River
- Freeway State Path.
- Seneca Fouts Memorial State Park (6.5 kilometers)
- Columbia River Gorge Nationwide Scenic Space (7.4 kilometers)
- Multnomah Falls (49.7 kilometres)
7. Florida’s Coral Reef, Florida
While Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has claimed the spotlight of oceanic wonders, Florida harbors its very own marvel—the Florida Coral Reef. This formidable reef stands as the third-largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world, a testament to Florida’s hidden splendor. Spanning from the St. Lucie Inlet, north of West Palm Beach, to the pristine enclave of Dry Tortugas, this expansive wonderland of marine life cradles an astonishing assortment of natural treasures.
Among its intricate embrace, 80 species of coral flourish, alongside five distinct types of turtles and jellyfish, and a congregation of 20 shark species. For those eager to plunge into the immersive embrace of this underwater realm, equip yourself with snorkel or dive gear. In this ethereal aquatic kingdom, ensure your journey aligns with the ethos of conservation and education by booking with a Blue Star guiding company—stewards dedicated to safeguarding this fragile ecosystem.
8. Thor’s Well, Oregon
Venture to the heart of Oregon’s enchanting coast, near Cape Perpetua, and bear witness to an awe-inspiring spectacle—Thor’s Well. This beguiling phenomenon, resembling an endlessly voracious sinkhole, captivates with its mesmerizing rhythm of ceaselessly swallowing sea water—an unparalleled dance with the ocean’s feral power. While its depth may only reach around 20 feet, the surreal effect instills a mix of awe and trepidation.
To truly experience Thor’s Well in its dramatic grandeur, high tide or stormy weather unveils its most spectacular display. A word of caution, however—maintain a safe distance, as wandering too close can prove perilous. For those yearning for more oceanic marvels, hiking to nearby Spouting Horn or Devil’s Churn promises another enchanting encounter with the ocean’s unrestrained majesty.
9. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is well-known for its Southern attraction and historic websites, however, it additionally ranks excessively on our listing as one of many highly underrated U.S. locations for nature lovers, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
With year-round sunshine, the town is ringed by marinas and tranquil waterways the place you may enterprise into the nice open air.
Top Activities in Charleston
- Hit the surf breaks at Folly Seaside, a laid-back space with a preferred fishing pier.
- Really feel the wind in your sails aboard a sundown catamaran tour, deep-sea fishing tour, or Charleston Harbor boat cruise.
- Hop in a kayak and paddle the waterways on Shem Creek, residence to pleasant dolphins.
- Patriots Level (500 meters)
- Hog Island Path and Commentary Deck (850 meters)
- Mount Nice Memorial Waterfront Park (2 kilometers)
10. Barataria Preserve, Louisiana
Walking through the verdant expanse of Barataria Preserve in Louisiana evokes the sensation of traversing the untamed wilderness. An expansive wetland spanning 26,000 acres, teeming with a cacophony of life—snakes, turtles, alligators, and the elusive bobcat—it exemplifies the quintessence of vibrant ecosystems.
Nestled within the embrace of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, a mere 17 miles from New Orleans, Barataria Preserve tantalizes with the prospect of a safari-like journey into the heart of pristine nature, offering an adventure like no other.
11. Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. has virtually a countless listing of sights to see, together with historic landmarks and world-renowned museums, however, it’s additionally an underrated spot for many who love the outside, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
Step outdoors and uncover the town’s lovely inexperienced areas that are perfect for mountain climbing, biking, kayaking, and boating.
Top Activities in Washington D.C.
- See the town on two wheels on the Capital Crescent Path, Chesapeake & Ohio Towpath, and Mount Vernon Path.
- Escape the bustle of town in Structure Gardens and Rock Creek Park.
- Go cruising, canoeing, kayaking, and luxuriate in scenic cruises alongside the Potomac River.
- United States Botanic Backyard (2.7 kilometers)
- Tudor Place Historic Home & Backyard (4.3 kilometers)
- Rock Creek Park (5 kilometers)
12. Maroon Bells, Colorado
Embarking on a quest to choose an exceptional destination in the enchanting expanse of Colorado presents a formidable task. Amidst the resplendent sand dunes, the regal San Juan Mountains, and the cascading waterfalls that weave through the mountain passes, one site stands apart in unparalleled splendor: the majestic Maroon Bells. Evidently, the sight of these snow-kissed sentinels is nothing short of extraordinary.
The snow, adorning the mountains with delicate stripes, presents an ethereal spectacle mirrored by the placid waters of Maroon Lake below. An experience so captivating, it necessitates beholding this spectacle in real life to truly comprehend its profound allure.
However, the Maroon Bells’ renown has unveiled its secrecy, demanding meticulous planning and reservations to grace its presence. An endeavor worthy of the ultimate reward entails renting a bike and embarking on a 16.2-mile round-trip ride to the Bells’ very base.
13. Palm Springs, California
With its year-round sunshine, most individuals affiliate Palm Springs with celebrity-filled hotspots, lavish spas, and vibrant boutique accommodations, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
This desert oasis is the right setting for lounging by the pool, however, it’s additionally residence to beautiful surroundings and out of doors adventures that make it one of many highly underrated U.S. locations for out of doors fans.
Top Activities in Palm Springs
- Benefit from the mountain climbing trails, scenic vistas, and distinctive rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park.
- Climb aboard the Aerial Tramway for a 4-kilometer trip up 2,500 meters for lovely Mt San Jacinto State Park views.
- Go to Moorten Botanical Backyard to see over 3,000 cactus and native African desert crops.
- Moorten Botanical Backyard (2.8 kilometers)
- Palm Springs Artwork Museum (300 meters)
- Palm Spring Aerial Tramway (10.5 kilometers)
14. Rainbow Falls, New York
A veritable fairyland takes shape within the confines of New York, a realm that transcends expectations—Watkins Glen State Park in the state’s picturesque Finger Lakes region. A sanctuary of enchantment crafted by the artful hand of nature, this ethereal gorge encompasses 19 waterfalls and natural pools, weaving a tapestry of splendor.
Within the park’s Gorge Trail, a foray into the Glen of Pools reveals serene waters encircled by layered rock formations—a mesmerizing tableau preceding the grandeur of Rainbow Falls. Venture beneath the cascading falls, peering over the edge to witness the magic of pools below. This is a realm where reality mingles with the enchantment of dreams.
15. Fairyland Canyon, Utah
Venture into the otherworldly embrace of Fairyland Canyon, nestled within the splendor of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. A realm where nature’s imagination knows no bounds, this ethereal destination beckons adventurers to witness its orangish red hoodoos—tall, slender spires of rock that soar toward the heavens. The Fairyland Loop trail—spanning a strenuous eight miles, demanding between four to five hours—ushers intrepid travelers to eye level with the canyon’s majestic hoodoos.
For a more leisurely excursion, the Rim Trail, partially paved, unveils panoramic vistas of the hoodoos and Main Amphitheater from above, affording the freedom to turn back at will. Prepare to be immersed in an experience that defies the realm of the familiar—a journey that graces the canvas of memory once in a lifetime.
16. White Sands National Park, New Mexico
While the phrase “white sand” may conjure visions of exotic shores in the Maldives or Tahiti, an unsuspecting state within the landlocked embrace of New Mexico unfolds as an extraordinary surprise.
Here, the White Sands National Park showcases an expansive expanse of glistening white sands, a mesmerizing display composed of gypsum crystals. A paradise for beach lovers, these dunes invite the adventurous to indulge in sand sledding and hiking amid a landscape that seemingly transcends reality—truly a photographer’s utopia.
17. Shoshone Falls, Idaho
The breathtaking magnificence of Shoshone Falls in Idaho is nothing short of sublime. Revered as the “Niagara of the West,” these falls outshine their more renowned cousin, boasting a towering height of 212 feet, surpassing Niagara Falls by an awe-inspiring 45 feet.
Yet, size alone does not account for their allure; these Idahoan falls are encompassed by vistas unique to the American West, weaving a tapestry of enchantment. For the daring and the curious, a two-mile hike leads to one of Evel Knievel’s daring jump sites, a testament to audacity.
18. The Adirondacks, New York
Top Activities in The Adirondacks
- Admire the cascading waterfalls and uncooked pure surroundings at Excessive Falls Gorge.
- Get pleasure from tube rides, water rafting, and river crossing at Ausable Chasm.
- Go leaf-peeping in autumn at Schroon Lake Area, a preferred space for boating, mountain climbing, and fishing.
- Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum (3.1 kilometers)
- Lake Placid Membership (4.8 kilometers)
- Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort (18 kilometers)
19. Hyperion, California
Within the embracing bosom of California, amidst a remote sector of Redwood National Park, stands a living testament to nature’s grandeur—Hyperion, the mighty redwood. A tree that may no longer bear the title of Earth’s tallest, yet it remains an awe-inspiring specimen, soaring to a recorded height of approximately 379 feet.
Hyperion’s remote residence on a steep slope renders its presence elusive, yet within the realm of Redwood National Park, myriad giants of the forest stand tall, inviting wanderers to stroll through living corridors of verdant splendor. The journey into this arboreal sanctuary celebrates the majesty of nature at its grandest—a pilgrimage into the resplendent heart of California’s ancient and revered redwood forests.
20. The Florida Keys
Usually missed by Florida’s different white sandy seashore locations, The Florida Keys is, without doubt, one of the highly underrated U.S. locations and the right place to mix pure surroundings with out of doors adventures, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
It’s filled with probabilities to hitch water-based actions, equivalent to snorkeling, fishing, and cruising, whereas epic street journeys let you soak in views of the world’s crystalline waters.
Top Activities in The Florida Keys
- Go to Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park by seaplane and snorkel in the clear, heated waters.
- Bike the kilometers of scenic pathways on the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path.
- Go on a glass-bottom boat trip at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
- The Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path (11.2 kilometers)
- Curry Hammock State Park (7.5 kilometers)
- Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters (13.9 kilometers)
21. Skagit Valley, Washington
For the discerning aficionado of floral beauty, the journey need not encompass vast oceans or combat California’s super bloom crowds. Instead, the vibrant spectacle of Washington’s Skagit Valley unveils a mesmerizing panorama of colorful flowers, the veritable epitome of floral paradise.
A symphony of daffodils reigns supreme in the embrace of March, while the subsequent month dances to the melodious tune of tulips, each event celebrated with jubilant festivals.
22. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Amid the kaleidoscope of natural wonders adorning the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park unfurls a panorama that defies imagination. This ethereal sanctuary bears witness to the awe-inspiring spectacle of two active volcanoes—Kīlauea and Mauna Loa—engaged in a ballet of geological forces, birthing new land in fervent volcanic eruptions.
Gazing upon the vista from the Halema’uma’u Crater viewpoint or navigating Crater Rim Drive evokes an indescribable sense of humility in the face of nature’s creative might. However, as a salient reminder, this active volcanic terrain necessitates adherence to marked trails, avoiding cliff edges and fissures, ensuring a safe and gratifying experience. Those with cardiac or respiratory concerns should prioritize assessing the air quality before embarking on this extraordinary expedition, as volcanic gases pose potential hazards.
23. Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket is a picture-perfect island close to Cape Cod, beloved for its tender sandy seashores, boutique procuring, and native eating places serving buttery lobster rolls, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
Embrace the island’s slower-paced way of life by spending your days biking, fishing, boating, and seashore hopping.
Prime Actions in Nantucket
- See a few of Nantucket’s lovely seashores, dunes, and wetlands by bike.
- Take the Sconset Bluff Stroll to admire the island’s charming cottages and Sconset Seaside.
- Cruise the harbor on a quaint tug boat, by way of a whale-watching cruise, or on a glossy schooner.
- Steamboat Wharf (250 meters)
- Nantucket Bike Excursions (800 meters)
- Nantucket Downtown Historic District (450 meters)
24. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska
A mere 12 miles from Juneau in Alaska, the resplendent Mendenhall Glacier awaits, harboring a secret worthy of exploration. In addition to its considerable size, rivaling the renowned Hubbard Glacier, the Mendenhall Glacier offers an extraordinary gift—a chance to venture within its icy embrace.
As water flows through the glacier, it sculpts passageways and caves, granting visitors the rare opportunity to traverse beneath a glacier’s icy veil. Such an unprecedented experience demands expert guidance and tempered expectations, as the mercurial nature of glaciers renders these ethereal caves an ever-changing marvel.
25. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
In the heart of the United States lies a subterranean realm that reigns as the world’s longest-known cave system—the illustrious Mammoth Cave. An underground wonder shaped over millions of years by subterranean rivers and streams, this captivating labyrinth spans a whopping 412 miles, with explorers perpetually unveiling new passages.
The Mammoth Cave National Park offers an immersive journey into this geological marvel, immersing visitors in a realm that bears witness to artifacts left behind by both prehistoric and historic dwellers of the cave—a testament to the enduring embrace of time.
26. Lake Tahoe, California
With its crystal-clear waters and snow-capped mountains, you’ll be stunned by the sheer pure great thing about Lake Tahoe, which is one of the Best Natural Places to Visit in the USA.
Whereas it’s a first-rate spot for adventure-seeking travelers, it’s on our listing of underrated U.S. locations for nature lovers due to its lengthy listing of outside actions for all ability ranges and lodge affordability.
Prime Actions in Lake Tahoe
- Paddleboard or kayak the picturesque shoreline, hidden coves, and delightful inlets.
- Work up a sweat mountain climbing or mountain biking on the Tahoe Rim Path in hotter months or attempt snowboarding and snowboarding at Heavenly in winter.
- Catch sundown at Emerald Bay State Park, a surprising inlet residence to a Viking-style fortress.
- Heavenly Mountain Resort (2.9 kilometers)
- Washoe Meadows State Park (11.2 kilometers)
- Fallen Leaf Lake (11.5 kilometers)
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