The United States is a vast expanse of land, which is home to some of the most incredible places on the planet. It is almost impossible to compress such an amazing continent into a top five list, meaning that this attempt and any other that you read, should be taken with a ‘grain of salt’. Places such as The Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Alaska, Hawaii, Yellowstone: the list could go on ad nauseum, are all very well-established as places to visit. This list is a group of slightly more obscure, but no less incredible places, that would be the perfect way to spend a weekend, long weekend or even longer.
Glacier National Park, Montana
The Glacier National Park in Montana is a wonderland of stunning glaciers, crystal clear waters, snow-capped mountains, luscious meadows and gorgeous lakes. It is home to over 700 miles of majestic hiking trails and was once described by the actor and comedian Robin Williams as “God’s own backyard”. The terrain is incredibly diverse; one moment you will be in a dense cedar forest, the next you will be greeted with jaw-dropping vistas of open mountains and glorious lakes. It is the perfect off the beaten track getaway for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and people who just like to appreciate beauty. It is certainly a place everyone should want to cross off their bucket list.
The Wave, Arizona
The Wave is a mesmerizing, winding sandstone formation in a remote area close to the border between Arizona and Utah. It was created sometime during the Jurassic era, by a combination of water depositing chemicals and strong winds etching the colorful patterns into the rock. It is now one of Earth’s great geological marvels: unique and awe-inspiring in equal measure. To protect this precious natural-wonder, just twenty lucky people are permitted to hike along it each day, meaning you must enter a lottery to do it. However, it is well worth entering the lottery, because if you get lucky you will encounter one of the most spectacular landscapes that you will ever experience in your life, with the bonus that almost nobody that you have ever met will have done it.
Redwood National Park, California
The Redwood National Park, which lies on the Northern border of California, plays host to a vast forest of gigantic Redwood trees which are the tallest on the planet. Redwoods have been on the planet for nearly 150 million years, and standing under a canopy of branches and leaves that reaches up to 100-meters into the sky is truly breath-taking. The Park itself offers an array of spell-binding hikes through its majestic and changing landscape, of particular interest are the amazing ones, which hug the rugged Pacific Coastline and offer the chance to see plenty of fascinating marine life; along with the hikes that take you through the very heart of this humongous emerald landscape. It is an incredible way to spend a truly unique weekend and become much, much closer to nature.
Palouse Falls, Washington
The Palouse Falls are located in the Palouse Falls State Park in Washington and are well-worth a visit, despite their slightly isolated location (the nearest town, Walla Walla, is 44 miles away). If you do make the journey you will be rewarded with an untouched rocky wilderness, bisected by an icy blue glacial river that is surrounded by rich vegetation. As you press deeper into this magnificent landscape you will reach the roaring, cascading 200- meter high Palouse Falls, a jaw-dropping sight that will take your breath away. If you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day a colorful rainbow will form above the violent waters, only adding to the experience. Below the Falls lie a verdant valley, which encases the sapphire-like pool where the water continues its long journey. The Palouse Falls are a great place for nature lovers and beauty enthusiasts to spend a weekend filled with wonder.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
The Sleeping Bear Dunes run along the coastline of Lake Michigan and are located about five miles from Empire, Michigan. It was formed around two-thousand-years-ago, when a vicious wind swept sand up from the Lake and now rises an impressive 234 feet into the air. What makes it so spectacular is how out of place it feels, compared to the rest of the landscape: surrounded by blue water on one side and dense forest on the other. It is also incredibly fun to both scale and then descend, making it the ideal way to spend a fun weekend with your friends, family or partner.
This list is by no means comprehensive and with such an unending array of choices, it is almost impossible to fully encapsulate all the wonders America has to offer. The thing all the places listed have in common is that they are truly unique in their own way, ensuring that a visit to them will remain with you for the rest of your life. If you don’t visit these magical places, then find somewhere else equally as good. The world is there to be explored and one of the blessings of living in the 21st century is how easy it is to travel.