The Most Beautiful Spot in Every U.S. State

This country is called America the Beautiful for a reason, so we decided to take a closer look. Here, the most stunning place in every single U.S. state. Cue all of the wanderlust.

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Alabama: Little River Canyon

Oh hello, 45-foot waterfall.

Alaska: Lake Clark National Park

Accessible only by plane or boat, Lake Clark is one of the most well-preserved parks in the entire country.

havasu falls in arizona
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Arizona: Havasu Falls

You’ll have to hike about ten miles along the Hualapai hills to make it to this remote, crystal-blue oasis nestled into the Grand Canyon.

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Arkansas: The Buffalo River

This canoe lover's dream wasn't declared the first national river for nothing.

California: Pfeiffer Beach State Park

This Big Sur beach is known for its purple sand, stunning stone arches and crashing waves. (Serenity now.)

Colorado: Garden Of The Gods

This Colorado Springs park almost looks like another planet.

Connecticut: Gillette Castle State Park

Nope, you haven't traveled back to medieval times. This stone castle perched above the Connecticut River was the home of William Gillette, the actor who first played Sherlock Holmes.

Delaware: Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Bird lovers, rejoice. This wildlife refuge contains 16,000 acres of coast (and avian breeding ground) on the Delaware Bay.

Florida: Little Palm Island

This secluded island off the coast of the Florida Keys is as gorgeous and exotic as any Caribbean beach.

cumberland island in georgia
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Georgia: Cumberland Island

The Greyfield Inn--previously the Carnegie family’s mansion--is the island’s only hotel, but many visitors set up camp right on the shoreline. (PS: wild horses!)

Hawaii: Haiku Stairs Of Oahu

Known as the stairway to heaven, this steep hiking trail along Ko’olau Mountain is probably the most scenic climb in the entire country. (Though it’s technically closed to the public--sorry, daredevils.)

Idaho: Rolling Hills Of The Palouse

We totally get the nickname: “The Tuscany of America.”

Illinois: Starved Rock State Park

Hike along one of Starved Rock’s 13 trails and you’ll find 18 colorful canyons, along with sandstone overhangs and cascading waterfalls.

Indiana: Brown County State Park

Fall in Indiana is unbeatable, and Brown County State Park (or “the Little Smokies,” at it’s locally known) is the best place to see the changing leaves.

Iowa: Pikes Peak State Park

This scenic state park’s most notable vista is a 500-foot cliff overlooking the Upper Mississippi River.

Kansas: The Monument Rocks

These chalk formations rise up to 70 feet, forming buttes and arches.

cumberland gap national historical park in kentucky
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Kentucky: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Take the 2,440-foot hike to Pinnacle Overlook for views of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. When the weather is right, you can even catch a glimpse of the Great Smoky Mountains.

avery island in louisiana
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Louisiana: Avery Island

Fun fact: This island, located about 140 miles from New Orleans, is the home to the factory where all your Tabasco hot sauce is made.

Maine: Acadia National Park

Get up early to climb to the top of Cadillac Mountain (it’s the first place the sun rises in the United States) and consider yourself a happy camper.

Maryland: Clear Meadow Farm

What’s more beautiful than a field of golden sunflowers? Hit up this White Hall farm in late summer to see the blooms in all their glory.

Massachusetts: Gay Head (aquinnah) Cliffs

In Aquinnah, the outermost town on Martha’s Vineyard, waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash against the clay Gay Head cliffs. And it’s all just wonderfully dramatic.

Michigan: Turnip Rock

The iconic Turnip Rock sits just off the coast of Huron County and can only be reached by kayak…or by walking across the frozen lake during the winter months.

Minnesota: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

There’s a reason this Lake Superior lighthouse is one of the most photographed spots in the entire U.S.

Mississippi: Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

Come for the eagles, foxes and alligators. Stay for the bonkers beautiful sunsets.

Missouri: Johnson's Shut-ins State Park

This natural playground, about two hours from St. Louis, is basically the world’s best waterpark. Hello, waterslides and chutes.

Montana: Glacier National Park

Green prairies, snow-capped Rocky Mountains, lakes so clear they look like mirrors. Um, why don’t we live here?

Nebraska: Toadstool Geologic Park

Deep in the northwest corner of Nebraska’s Badlands, you’ll find the state’s best-kept secret: an out-of-this-world landscape that comes from thousands of years of wind and water wearing down on the land.

Nevada: Bonsai Rock

Take out your fancy camera and head to Bonsai Rock at sunset. It’s probably the most picturesque hidden gem in all of Lake Tahoe.

New Hampshire: Lake Sunapee

BRB. Buying a lake house here.

New Jersey: Cranberry Bogs

The next time you order a vodka cranberry, remember to thank New Jersey. The Garden State is the third largest cranberry producer in the U.S.

New Mexico: White Sands National Monument

Head to Alamogordo (and bring the sled) for a glistening white sand desert surrounded by dramatic mountains.

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New York: Letchworth State Park

As they say, “Upstate is gorges!”

North Carolina: Pisgah National Forest

About an hour outside Asheville, you’ll find Pisgah National Forest, home to the iconic (and cloud-piercing) Glass Rock.

North Dakota: Badlands Overlook

Make your way to this scenic vista in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and look down upon the Badlands, natural cliffs made of multi-colored rocks and layers of sediment.

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Ohio: Marblehead Lighthouse

The oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Marblehead Lighthouse has lit up the night since the late 19th century.

Oklahoma: Natural Falls State Park

Ozark Highlands State Park…or Garden of Eden?

Oregon: Thor's Well

In reality, this Cape Perpetua Well is only about 20-feet deep. But visit an hour before or after high tide and you’ll swear it’s an abysmal sinkhole.

Pennsylvania: Cherry Springs State Park

Cherry Springs is possibly the best spot for stargazing in all of the U.S. On a given night, 10,000 stars are visible to the naked eye.

newport cliff walk in rhode island
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Rhode Island: Newport Cliff Walk

Look familiar? These mansion-clad cliffs were the filming location for most of The Great Gatsby.

South Carolina: Kiawah Island

Twenty-five miles off the coast of Charleston, you’ll find this gorgeous oasis, known for sandy beaches and world-renowned golf courses.

South Dakota: Mount Rushmore

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Honest Abe Lincoln--the gang's all here!

Tennessee: Twin Falls

Set in Rock Island State Park, these waterfalls might be man-made, but they are still damn pretty.

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Texas: Hamilton Pool

Just outside Austin you’ll find this natural pool, which was created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river eroded and collapsed.

Utah: Bryce Canyon

Fiery red rock + piercingly white snow = jaw-dropping view.

Vermont: Jenne Farm

Picture the most quintessential New England landscape. You're probably imagining something strikingly similar to Jenne Farm, set in the quaint town of Woodstock.

Virginia: The Devil's Bathtub

Ignore the menacing name: You're going to want to take a plunge into the blue-green, idyllic water that fills this natural swimming hole.

Washington: Jade Lake

An easy hike from the Pacific Crest Trail will bring you to Jade Lake, known for blue-green water so surreal, not even an Instagram filter could reproduce it.

Washington D.c.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Two words: Cherry blossoms. In April, this national monument is set among fields of gorgeous pink flowers.

West Virginia: Lindy Point

Whatever, Alps. We’ve got the Allegheny Mountains.

Wisconsin: Apostle Islands Ice Caves

These ice caves are accessible only every few years, when it’s safe to walk a mile on frozen Lake Superior.

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Wyoming: Grand Prismatic Spring

Good God you’re pretty, Yellowstone National Park.

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Hannah Loewentheil

Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.
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