Looking for some inspiration on new places to travel this summer? Here are some of the most gorgeous travel destinations in the US which will take your breath away!
Since 2020 has probably canceled all your travel plans (as it did mine), let’s hope in 2021 things will look a bit rosier and we all can finally start exploring again!
I’m sure you’re super excited to start planning some trips, and even just thinking about your next travel destinations brings a smile to your face. I know it does for me! Simply fantasizing about upcoming holidays puts me in such a good mood, especially during gloomy winter days.
Yes, covid is still here. But, as cases will (hopefully) go down in the months to come, AND with some extra attention from our side, I’m sure we CAN travel safely again. Want some extra tips on how to keep safe and healthy while traveling? Have a look here.
So, to get you inspired for your next trip, I’ve summed up below 10 of the most GORGEOUS travel destinations in the US, which – bonus points – are all OUTDOORS. Plus, for all of you living on the West Coast, the great news is that they can be easily organized as road trips (which are probably a bit safer than flying at the moment).
10. Glen Canyon & Lake Powell, Arizona
Kicking it off at No.10 is a place like you’ve NEVER SEEN BEFORE in your life! Want to feel like you are walking on Mars? Then head over to the Glen Canyon and the surrounding areas of Page, Arizona.
Miles and miles of desert, rocks, and blue skies as far as your eyes can see. Just watch out for that Arizona sun, it can get pretty hot during the day so packing your sunblock is a MUST!
Best time to visit I would say it’s early spring (March, April) when the temperatures are still high but not burning hot yet. We were there in April and it was already pretty hot.
9. Valley of Fire, Arizona
The name says it all. It’s hot, red sand and spectacular desert rocks. Another place where you feel like you are walking on the red planet if you ask me. Or through Bedrock, together with Fred Flintstone! 🙂 (please tell me you know the cartoons, otherwise I’m gonna feel very old haha).
Walking through the narrow canyons and stepping on the hot sand is such a surreal experience. We were lucky, there were hardly any other people around, so we really got to enjoy the place all to ourselves.
Again, this is the desert, so make sure you ALWAYS have a bottle of water with you and are wearing SPF all over. We visited at the end of April and by 9 AM it was already 30C/86F outside.
This is a popular tourist destination, so I would recommend planning your visit in the early morning to avoid crowds.
8. The Pacific Coast Highway, California
Longing for the ocean? Then hop into your car and drive along on one of the most beautiful (and famous) highways in the world!
From LA to San Francisco, make sure to stop along the way to take in the views, breathe in the salty ocean air and walk on the white, sandy beaches.
Definitely don’t miss out on Pebble Beach, the gorgeous small cities along the way (like Monterey and Carmel), and look for those cute sea lions enjoying a lazy afternoon in the sun.
7. Big Sur, California
Of course, we cannot talk about the most beautiful travel destinations in the US (or the Pacific Coast Highway) without mentioning Big Sur. Breathtaking and picture-perfect views!
The only reason I’ve placed it at No.7 (and not higher) is that, besides those gorgeous insta shots, there’s really not much to do here. You are not allowed to hike down to the beach as it is a protected area, but even from a distance, it is definitely worth seeing!
Need some tips on packing for a road trip? Check out these 43 essentials for packing like a pro.
6. Sequoia National Park, California
Get ready to feel small. Really small.
A walk through this national park is like nothing you’ve experienced before! You are surrounded by extremely tall and very old trees, most of them over 2.000 years old! Watch out for your neck (and your step) as you’ll mostly be looking up, in awe!
You’ll also find here THE BIGGEST TREE IN THE WORLD. Its name is General Sherman, 275 feet tall and 2.200 years old. It’s not the highest, but the volume of its trunk makes it the biggest tree in the world. Such a beauty!
5. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
A definite must-see and, for many (like myself), a top bucket list destination. You will find this gorgeous scenery on a short drive from Page, Arizona.
With such mesmerizing views, I’m sure you could watch the Colorado River and the majestic canyon for hours on end and not get bored.
Just make sure you don’t get too close. I’m serious – there are very few railings, only in the main, central spot. The rest of the canyon is fully open, so watch your step.
4. Lake Tahoe, California
If you’re planning a trip to California, don’t forget to add Lake Tahoe to your list. Whether you’re thinking of a week-long summer holiday or a maybe weekend in the fall, this place is magical in every season.
The beautiful beaches and clear, turquoise water, are just perfect for paddleboarding and a nice swim in summer (although the water might be a bit cold, it’s usually between 68-72F/20-22C). And there are also plenty of hiking routes with gorgeous views if you’re up for it. Such a great destination all year round!
3. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
This is probably one of the most famous canyons in the world, and for good reason – it is absolutely stunning! The narrow walls and the way the light plays within its shapes creates such a surreal experience.
It is only accessible by guided tours, so if you’d like to visit, make sure you book it ahead of time (preferably months in advance, as it’s a VERY popular destination). They offer several options and time slots – for example photography tours (more private, usually early mornings), or visitor tours – in bigger groups.
2. Yosemite National Park, California
Missing the fresh mountain air? Then get your hiking books ready and let’s hit the trails!
Gorgeous waterfalls, spectacular views of the mountains, deers walking around next to you – simply nature at its best. This park is one of the top and definitely MUST-see travel destinations in the US.
As there is SO much to do and explore, make sure to plan a couple of days for the visit, so you can really enjoy it and not have to rush. This is also a VERY popular destination so consider weekdays rather than weekends. Parking especially can be really tricky so arrive early morning to grab your spot. And I do mean EARLY, like 7-8 AM. We drove around for about 2 hours to find a parking spot as we got there in the afternoon.
1. Grand Canyon, Arizona
You’ve seen the pictures, you think you know what to expect. Trust me, YOU DON’T.
Arriving there, walking towards it, seeing the immensity of the canyon opening up and unveiling before your eyes is an experience like nothing you’ve ever felt before! It is simply breathtaking and I guarantee you won’t be able to take your eyes off it.
The best way to truly explore the Grand Canyon is by helicopter! I highly, highly recommend you book a tour! It is pricey, but it’s an experience you will treasure for the rest of your life! We booked the 45-minute tour, which offers the best and most complete views of the canyon, sights we would have never seen otherwise. If you’re interested, check out Maverick tours, we had an amazing time with them!
There are also lots of trails to explore on foot, and easily accessible. You can even go down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail for example. It’s an easy hike and offers gorgeous views.
Just like in the Horseshoe Bend, there are hardly any railings so make sure to watch out and keep safe as you explore this amazing nature work of art!
So there we have it, my top 10 travel destinations in the US! Hope they’ll inspire and excite you as you plan your next travels (whenever they may be possible again 🙂 )!
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