From the sky-blue alleyways of Morocco to the hot-air balloons over Cappadocia, our bucket list is beyond full. But you don’t need a passport to see some of the most beautiful spots in the world. Prepare thy camera: These are the 25 most awe-inspiring places right here in the U.S.
BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA
Even if you’ve never cruised down the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ve definitely seen the breathtaking coastline and famous Bixby Canyon Bridge in nearly every car commercial ever made (or in HBO’s Big Little Lies, of course).
KEY LARGO, FLORIDA
The “gateway to the Keys,” this island is home to enchanting mangrove-covered waterways and kayak-worthy tunnels. But don’t forget to snap some pics below the surface, too: Long Key is known as the diving capital of the world.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE
Hike (or drive) to the top of Cadillac Mountain to see the spectacular views of this 47,000-acre park. Bonus points if you go at dawn: You’ll be the first person in the U.S. to glimpse the rising sun from October to March.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
Waterfalls, redwoods and rock formations: Escape to the wilderness to get a glimpse of the sublime granite summits of the Sierra Nevada. Pretend you’re Ansel Adams and snap away.
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK
Soak up the three gorgeous waterfalls aboard the Maid of the Mist, then take a photo at one of the lookout points on the wooden walkways leading up to the Cave of the Winds.
MONUMENT VALLEY, ARIZONA
The eroded remains of ancient Rocky Mountain ancestors stand sentry against the Valley’s expansive red mesas. Be sure to go at sunrise or sunset when the lighting across the canyons and buttes is just right.
GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING, WYOMING
Sort of like a melted rainbow, this hot spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest (and prettiest) in the U.S.
CRATER LAKE, OREGON
Hike around one of the world’s deepest lakes (nearly 2,000 feet to the bottom) by day for spectacular sapphire-hued views, then come back at night to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights over the lake’s caldera.
BROOKLYN BRIDGE, NEW YORK
Stand on the Brooklyn side of the massive steel-cabled suspension bridge facing downtown Manhattan and you'll quickly realize why it's inspired more art than any other manmade structure in the U.S.
GRAND TETONS, WYOMING
Any season will provide heart-stopping views of the Teton Mountain range and nearby Jackson Hole, but summer is when the gilia, larkspur and Indian paintbrush are in full bloom.
TUNNELS BEACH, HAWAII
Related: The Best Beaches in America, Ranked
WORMSLOE PLANTATION, GEORGIA
The intertwined branches of these moss-shrouded canopy oaks provide a welcome reprieve from the hot Southern sun (and the perfect lighting for a photoshoot).
KENAI FJORDS, ALASKA
No need to leave the country in order to view breathtaking sea stacks and giant forest-covered peaks. Plus, this national park has some of the best whale watching in the world.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, CALIFORNIA
Perch yourself atop the Marin Headlands for panoramic views of this little-known bridge, the Golden Gate Strait and downtown San Francisco.
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH
Or why not travel to another planet entirely? Experience sweeping Mars-like vistas of red-sandstone mountains, canyons and delicate rock formations just outside of Moab.
MAROON BELLS, COLORADO
The remarkable colors surrounding the two snow-striped Aspen peaks and ultra-reflective lake change throughout the year, but one thing stays constant: It feels like a painting come to life.
CHICAGO RIVER, ILLINOIS
Visit on St. Patrick's Day and you'll get to witness the waters dyed a vibrant shamrock shade of green.
SHOSHONE FALLS, IDAHO
Nope, this isn’t Iceland…or Norway…or even Ireland. It’s the crown jewel of the Gem State. And with a drop of over 200 feet, these waterfalls are larger than Niagara.
APOSTLE ISLANDS, WISCONSIN
Scattered off the Bayfield Peninsula in Lake Superior, these 22 islands contain tons of sea caves ripe for photos. Wait for the lake to freeze over, then take a walk through the unearthly arches into icicle-covered wonderland.
CHISOS MOUNTAINS, TEXAS
Nestled in the heart of Big Bend National Park near the Mexican border, these striated peaks stand proud above the purples, blues and golds of the blooming wildflowers.
GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY, CALIFORNIA
La La Land's most recognizable building houses a planetarium and multiple cosmos-related exhibits. And with a panorama of downtown L.A. and the Hollywood sign, the view from up there ain't too shabby either.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA
Swiftcurrent Lake is the perfect spot to take in a pink-and-purple sunset over the Many Glacier (yes, that’s its actual name) and the surrounding Lewis Range of the Rocky Mountains. Ahh, sweet solitude.
RAINBOW ROW, SOUTH CAROLINA
We’re not sure a more photogenic stretch of street exists. The pastel-colored homes and the feathery sabal palms of charming Charleston are basically skinny-arming us.
THOR’S WELL, OREGON
The eerie 20-foot-deep collapsed sea cave off the coast of Cape Perpetua legitimately looks like it’s draining the Pacific Ocean. Word to the wise: the best pictures are taken at high tide.
SKAGIT VALLEY, WASHINGTON
The Dutch can keep their tulip fields; we have plenty right here in our backyard. Attend the flower festival in spring when they’re in full bloom.