America The Beautiful, In 14 Hypnotic Time Lapse GIFs

The Fourth of July usually means that most of us get a whole federal holiday to stop and smell America's roses.

And oh, how they smell good.

Seriously, look at her. With canyons so grand, waves of grain so amber, and national parks so vast that they include volcanoes, deserts and glaciers, it's obvious that America is a special place.

Below, take a tour of some of our favorite places in this great country, because somewhere in between a photograph and actually being there is a beautifully animated timelapse GIF.

Mount Hood, Oregon:

Central Park, New York City:

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico:

Aurora Borealis, as seen from South Dakota:

Brian Head, Utah:

Greektown, Chicago, Illinois:

Haleakala, Maui:

Kalapana Coast, Hawaii Island:

Interstate 405, Los Angeles*:

*While this gif is awesome, we seem to remember the 405 being shut down when Endeavour crossed over in 2012, but we still think both NASA and a free-flowing 405 are equally awesome and the stuff of dreams.

One New World Trade Center, Manhattan:

A river in Wyoming:

San Francisco, California:

Very Large Array, San Agustin, New Mexico:

Hollywood, California:

Bonus video (because we just couldn't get enough of photographer Andrew Walker's time lapse footage: